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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars6
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 27 August 2010
I'm an Electronic Engineer who jumped the fence and have been programming in Java/C++ for many years but still dabble with electronics in my spare time. I've dabbled with PICs briefly but the learning curve was steep so often just resorted to standard electronics.

The Derbot platform gives a great incentive to tinker and explore many parts of the microcontroller that I would otherwise not have investigated.

For what its worth, in particular I liked:
The in-depth coverage of interrupts and their use.
The use of assembler. This makes you need to understand the hardware. It's sometimes too easy to jump straight to C code.
Sound practical advice.
The use of shaft encoders for distance and speed compensation. It cuts to the chase on control systems
References to component parts (eg motors) very useful.
Use of LCD displays is excellent.
Good section on serial interfacing although I've not implemented these features yet.

I think a section on USB interfacing would be welcome in future editions.

The style of the book is clear and easy to understand - no mean feat for a reference book.

I did not build the derbot itself, but a similar type of AGV, with a large platform I could add modules to, connected via plug/sockets. I also used the 16F690 for most things as it has most of the functionality of the larger PICs, and I could use the microchip Low-pin-count board directly. The only omission (like the 16F88) is only having one PWM module.

When I've explored all I can with this AGV, I'll upgrade to the 16F887 and build something more like a Derbot.

This book reigniting the passion for electronics in a lapsed electronic engineer who spends his working days writing software :-)
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on 20 December 2012
The book first seems an unwieldy tome, and at times I found it heavy going. As a newcomer, I needed an introduction to the 16F84 PIC microcontroller, with which to handle the signalling for a specialised timer I designed. Tim Wilmshurst's knowledge of microcontrollers and programming is incredible and extensive and includes a good introduction to this chip. I succeeded in writing the draft program after much head scratching, and then discovered to my horror that the programming and debugging hardware and serial port adaptations required for the 16F84 series are almost-obsolete or discontinued equipment... so it was back to the tome to upgrade to the newer 16F628A chip and to rewrite my program. This is not a book for beginners, and the learning curve is steep. The second edition copy I purchased does not sufficiently warn or inform the beginner or the unwary of the electronic tools and additional board modules that are needed or not needed to program the many beasties that are available. Certainly this is a good, well written reference book for the enlightened experimenter, but beginner beware.
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on 8 January 2013
i was hoping this book would go a bit more in to C programming but only last section of book..but very good otherwise
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on 18 June 2016
Bought this for a course, that was based on this book and taught by the author. Too dull for my tastes, I should have gone for a SpongeBob book instead. Would have been as useful and more fun
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on 3 February 2016
enjoyable
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on 19 October 2012
This is perfect for those of you who like waiting every time they type a web address' I read a number of reviews and took the plunge. Big mistake. The advert said 4 day delivery never mentioned a thing about posting
From china and taking three weeks. It feels more like 200mb of ram. The build quality is realy poor. The top left hand corner creeks when you press it feels very cheap. Power is about 2.5 hours. Lasts all day if you don't use it. Very disapointing. Be warned don,t take the plunge,
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