Subject: Re: rs232-controller switches
To: None <>
From: Ty Sarna <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 05/21/2003 17:30:12
In article <> you write:
> Yes, someone at work suggested this too.
> The problem is that this has to be programmed. We have the equipement at work,
> but I plan to make the shematics available on web, and would like to
> avoid PICs so that it could be build with minimal equipements.

(note this is intended as somewhat general advice, as well as to your
specific question...)

Well, PIC programmers aren't that expensive.  You can get a minimal
programming setup for under $60. has them, or a
"deluxe" setup including a 16F877 and a bunch of stuff to play with
(buttons, LEDs, an LCD, etc) for $125.

But, you might look at the Basic Stamp 2.  The BS2 costs more (US$49 vs
$8-$10), is slower, no interrupts, etc, but requires even less in the
way of development hardware, as it is serial port programmed.

Development tools and docs for both are available for free downloads.
And, there are netbsd-compatible development tools for both as well
(though in both cases they're much more limited than the windows stuff)

The cost difference is really actually very negligible for a person
doing a single project.  $60 + ~$10 for the PIC, or $49 + 0 for the BS2,
assuming you already have some basic stuff like a breaboard, serial
cable, and power source (a 7805 and a 9-volt would do it) which you will
need anyway for development.  The advantage of the BS2 is ease/speed of
writing BASIC vs assembly, the advantage of the PIC route is greater
flexibility and that if you want to do a second board or some other
project, you only need ~$10 for another pic, instead of $49 for another
BS2. has lots of good information on both, as well as all
sorts of related topics and nice tutorials.