Tools and Techniques
This is the beginning of a page to reorganize Techniques and to include both software and hardware tools and to perhaps distinguish, design, debuggin and building tools. Just an idea for now not linked into the wiki.
Software design tools
For software design tools such as Design CAD CAM
Circuit Schematics / Schematic Capture
= Circuit simulation , see software tool.
Assemblers / Compilers
Assemblers let you program in the basic instructions of the chip, compilers work at a higher, more abstract level which is then transated into the basic chip insturctions. In principal an assembler can result in better programs, if the programmer is good enough and spends enough time. Compilers make it easier to move programs from chip to chip. For a discussion of the advantages of a compiler for the PIC see Use C for PIC Programming!
For the PIC compilers see PIC Links#Compiler Section
Simulators are often included with an assembler or compiler, there are also from freestanding ones.
Features to look for.
Do not for get the good old spreadsheet, do your own thing, or you may find ones for download that have been set up for specific calculations.
Design Manual - Non Cad Cam
Tools ( may also be useful for Debugging )
A directory of hardware tools that you may find useful.
Common Hand Tools Soldering Iron
Oscilliscopes Logic Anilizers Signal Generators Multimeters Power Meters
Microcontroller Programmers In Circuit Serial Bootloaders
Misc Tips Tricks
PC Sound Card Based Test Instruments
The sound card on a PC cna be used either to capture signals or to generate them. Normally it is limited to acting in the audio range, about 20 Hz to 20 K Hz. You cna do this without any additional hardware, or extend the capabalities with some external hardware. This gives you a simple way to get Oscilliscopes, signal generators, and signal analizers. Below are some links, you can probably find more ( and post them here please ). This is not to be confused with instruments that are PC based, but are highly dependent on external hardware ( we should have a section on them sometime soon ).
SoundArb is a free program from David Sherman Engineering Co. that allows you to control a PC sound card like you would a conventional function generator. You can select standard waveforms, load arbitrary waveforms from a text wave table file, control the frequency and amplitude of the waveform, and select from a versatile set of triggering modes. With a stereo sound card, one channel can be used as a "sync" output.
At http://www.epanorama.net/links/pc_sound.html scroll down to: heading "Signal generator software"
The microcontroller polyphony page describes some signal generation techniques.
also heading on:
Signal waveform analyzing tools
also heading on
FFT spectrum analyzer programs