Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Finally made the leap...

As you know I've been trying to use a single 16F877A microcontroller to run the whole of Tommelise. The work so far seems to say that it is going to be possible to do that. Sadly, in getting to that point I've had the PIC's in and out of the prototyping board so many times that the pins on the three PICs that I am currently using are getting a little unreliable.

Anyhow, I've been trying to catch Randy at Glitchbuster for the past several days to reorder some more, but it appears that he is out of touch for the moment, so I decided to reorder through Mouser instead. Mouser got rid of their minimum order restrictions so they're a bit easier to deal with these days, not that I had a minimum order in any case.

While I was ordering at Mouser I decided to go ahead and try out the 18F4610 chip which is much more powerful than the 16F877A. It has some 4 Kbytes of RAM, which should allow me to at least think about putting in a data stack of instructions for the printer and cut down on the comms from the PC. As well, it will give me a chance to try out a direct USB comms connection rather than the indirect serial approach using the MAX232 that I am now.

good luck with that, and be sure to post code.

I'm a bit more optimistic on using the single pic controller, though I'll admit it will take some very.. creative programming.
***I'll admit it will take some very.. creative programming.***

LOL! Yeah, I'm finding out all about that part right now. :-p
Relatively speaking, PIC's are high on power but low on memory. 20mhz can do a heckuva lot, but with only a handful of variables you have to plan accordingly.

Instead of having tables with definite speed associations, there should be ratios and multipliers.
AccelRate, BrakeRate, etc.

It's the same concept as procedural texturing in computer games. Systems use seed values and algorithms to generate terrain, instead of using massive amounts of graphics to store everything.

The trick lies in getting the right algorithm to reproduce the function.
The 18F4610 has some 64 kbytes of flash memory and 4 kbytes of RAM.
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