Alternatives to getting a plain PICmicro chip directly from Microchip or from a Microchip distributor:
- a pre-designed small PCB designed for prototyping that includes a PICmicro and a few other commonly-used parts: often much faster to get to a finished product than starting from scratch.
- "clones": code-compatible microprocessors, sometimes with a feature or two unavailable in the ones from Microchip
- functionally similar microprocessors
Small PCBs (is there a better term than "small PCB" for the sorts of PCBs that are specifically designed to be hacked and modified -- they have pins that are perfectly aligned to be plugged into a solderless breadboard, or they have a prototyping area on-board?)
- BASIC Stamp
- C Stamp
- OOPic: The Object-Oriented PIC. The "ooPIC-S" board is a PCB with a large prototyping area and a PIC16F877. The "ooPIC-C" is a tiny stamp-like PCB that plugs into a solderless breadboard. Both hold a PIC16F877, a Flash memory chip, 3 LEDs, a voltage regulator, and a RS-232 tranciever). Both run the "ooPIC III+" firmware.
Protean Logic TICkit -- The module
is directly programmable in a library-centric Functional Basic
- BeagleBoard PIC module plugs into standard solderless breadboard
- PIC-01 Development Board
- the HOODMICRO
- "modular PIC based single board computers (SBC) and expansion boards."
- SerReg (FIXME: is this really a development board?)
Dontronics sells a variety of PIC-oriented
proto boards and
(as well as development boards for several other popular microprocessors).
- LiniStepper designed to drive stepper motors
- Communitary Universal Microcontroller Programmer
- iRX Prototyping Board: a simple but malleable prototyping board for PIC based projects. It features the EEPROM programmable PIC16F84A, an MAX233 for RS232 port and infrared I/O. About half of the board is an empty prototyping area. Compare: Atmex.
- UBW (USB Bit Whacker)
by Brian Schmalz
"The UBW board ... contains a Microchip PIC USB-capable microcontroller, headers to bring out all of the PICs signal lines (to a breadboard for example) ... costs about $15-$20 to build and is powered from the USB connection. ... All tools used to design this project are free, and the design is open to anyone to use for whatever they wish. Please build your own and improve upon it! If you don't want to build your own, you can buy them assembled and tested ... SparkFun hosts a USB forum where the UBW is a common discussion topic."
- [FIXME: there may be a few more mentioned at that ought to be listed here.]
- Bread Board Power Supply -- a tiny little board that fits between a wall-wart and plugs into a solderless breadboard to supply regulated power.
It accepts a wide variety of wall-warts because its full-wave rectifier and LM317 handle a wide range of AC and DC power supply, and its screw terminal headers let you plug in the wires.
- Boarduino aka
solderless breadboard Arduino clone (plugs into solderless breadboard; based on Atmel AVR ATmega168)
- Tutorial: SparkFun ProtoShield Assembly + Use shows how to use the ProtoShield development board with a Arduino
- A huge list of Makezine kits, a few of which ("Daisy MP3 player", some of the RepRap projects, "The IR-ritator", etc.) use PICmicros, a few others that use Atmel AVRs (TV-B-Gone, etc.), one that uses a Freescale processor ...
- BlinkM, which can be used as a AVR ATtiny45 development board
- Atmex: An entry-level Atmel Experimentation System. less than $10; includes Atmel ATtiny2313; a DB-9 and MAX232 for serial communication and downloading new programs (using a bootloader); LED. About half of the board is an empty prototyping area. Meant to be better than the iRX board.
"nanocore12", much like the BASIC Stamp but using a Motorola/Freescale HCS12 instruction set
"the Hammer": a Samsung S3C2410A ARM9 CPU board in a 40-pin DIP package, ready to plug into a solderless breadboard. Pre-loaded with Linux.
Open Circuits: demo board
for another long list of these small PCBs.
Other popular, functionally similar microcontrollers:
The Atmel AVR ATtiny2313 (replaces the now-obsolete AT90523131200) is like
the PIC processor line
Some ARM processors (32-bit) cost less than some 8-bit PIC processors.
Low Cost Micro Controller Development Systems
for some comparisons of these microcontrollers.
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