LED Fireflies in a Jar (v1.0)

Me and my wife recently had our first child.  I’ve been trying to come up with some projects I can do for the kid.  Well, around this time of the year the fireflies go crazy around my house, so we came up with the idea to do led fireflies in a jar.  It should be something cool for him to stare at and is easy to build.

Schematics, C source code and hex file are available here on our wiki.  If you want to build one it should only take about an hour.

I’m planning on making a version 2 with some changes, stay tuned for that one.

Using the PICkit 2 : As a Programmer

PicKit2 Debug Express
PicKit2 Debug Express

Around the space, we have been using the PICkit 2 Debug Express quite a bit lately.  This has allowed us to get pretty cozy with the functions of this handy little programmer and I thought I would share some of these features with you.

I’m sure you’ve read the previous tutorial ‘Programming PIC Microcontrollers in C‘, if you haven’t, you should go familiarize yourself with it now.  Continuing on from there, after we have a successful build of a led blinking we can use the PICkit 2 to program our chip via the ICSP header.

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Programming PIC Microcontrollers in C

Learning to program microcontrollers seems like an impossible task but with the help and support of a Hackerspace you’ll find that it’s actually simple to get started. The members of Harford Hackerspace set out to learn by starting at the basics and gradually taking on more difficult applications. The key to our quick success was group participation. Most of us had at least attempted PIC programming, but it took a group effort to get the whole picture.

In this tutorial we will teach you what we learned. You can then take this new knowledge to your local hackerspace and put it to good use. Let’s get started!

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