As I read through the tutorials mentioned in the previous two posts, I tried to follow along on my tool with the long name “MPLAB Xpress PIC16F18345 Evaluation Board“. This was a good exercise because those tutorials were written for different demonstration boards. Following along required some modifications to run on my specific evaluation board, which meant I had to have enough comprehension to know what I needed to do. I couldn’t get away with just monkey-see monkey do.
By this point in my PIC self-education, I knew how to resolve most of the differences. The PIC itself was different but not a hinderance. The tutorial’s PIC16F1709 has the same USART module as my PIC16F18345 and understood the same instructions. The tutorial called for a PICkit 3 programmer/debugger which is different from the programmer built into my evaluation board but I’ve learned how to program my board. And the tutorial used the full-featured MPLAB X IDE application whereas my board was designed for the web-based MPLAB Xpress. For the most part it was a matter of navigating different menu structures.
The serial communication lines, though, got a little trickier. The tutorial calls for a PICDEM Lab II development board equipped with a MCP2221 breakout module to allow serial communication back to the PC. I thought I was stuck until I found a serial communication example specific to my evaluation board. This is where I learned the board has a built-in serial communication module hard-wired to specific pins and routed back to the PC connected to the USB port.
From there it was a matter of combining bits and pieces from both tutorials in order to assemble a project that implements the serial communication functionality. This project is also where I experimented with tracking MPLAB X project directories in Github, so I could share the results with the world.