Originally Posted by babylon5
Hi Denny I can get a pkit2 and the PIC18F family to work on the programming. I probably also need an interface or a decoder that can decode the MCU data to talk to the trainer port.
Thanks again for your help
That will require a solid understanding on programming those PicChips. I've been using machine code for the past 30 years and am comfortable with it, even if it is "Stone Age" technology. MicroChip also has "C" software for this purpose, but if you're familiar with "C" you know it is $$$$ expensive.
Nice thing about these microcontrollers, they can likely be the full interface and decoder that you need do do the job. Problem is, even though the circuitry would be very simple, the programming could easily reach many many pages.
Take a look at the attached photos of one of my "Breadboards" for the PicChip PIC18F458. This version PicChip is no longer available, but other very similar versions of the '458 are still available, and are about $10 or so. I've got another breadboard layout that is 3.8 by 2.5 inches where www.expresspcb.com
can build three boards for around $60. This breadboard brings out all of the picchip pins, and also has direct interface connections to an LCD display. (Probably not needed in your application)
Kind of avoid the lower cost PicChips for projects. They operate with "Pages" in their programming, and getting the wrong page on a command can result in total frustration. The PicChip 18F and higher series operate on a "Single" Page.
The circuit board has a 6 pin connector that directly plugs into the PicChip Pickit3 programmer. The programmer plugs into a USB port on your computer. For machine code, everything is free from MicroChip. The PicKit3 allows programming the PicChip, debugging it, single stepping it, and a lot of other stuff. All of these parts are available through www.digikey.com
. (I can provide part numbers if you're interested.) For design work, you'd connect the PicChip to the transmitter trainer output, connect the PicChips outputs to your project. Then connect the Pickit3 between the PC USB port and the PicChip. Kind of a poor mans microprocessor simulator or emulator.
This PicChip project is connected to an accelerometer that is used to measure vibration levels on a glow/gasser model. As you can see, not much to the circuitry. That TO18 "Transistor" is a 5 volt regulator powered by a standard 9 volt alkaline battery. The PicChip is programmed to read the voltage output of the accelerometer chip, 20,000 times per second, and using a lookup table, convert it directly to "g's. The PicChip output directly drives a standard LCD display.
Let me know what you need for inputs and outputs on your project. I'll take a look at it, and let you know what would be involved in "PicChiping" it.