Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Excellent well written book
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 :-)