RoadTest: Microchip PIC32 LCC Graphics Kit
Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Arduino AtMega1280 with 2-line LCD
What were the biggest problems encountered?:
Just starting to read the User Guide and downloading MPLAB.
So far - power consumption is a bit above expectation. I was expecting ~ 200-300mW just like Arduino, but it's 1W without LCD and 1.5W with LCD.
Bundled Product Demo was amazing, the graphics speed is good - I can't imagine doing the same on Arduino.
Will now try to write a simple program to tick the time and display some charts of the measured temperatures to see how this will look like.
Some more pointers for those who decide to try this kit.
1. It seems that the project loaded as the demo is "LCCG_NewDemos" from http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en555047
2. You need to install the new libraries "microchip-application-libraries-v2012-08-22-windows-installer" from http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2680&dDocName=en547784
3. You either need to position your directories right or manually edit "PIC32 LCC Demo.mcp" project file so that all the paths reference files in the installed Libraries correctly.
4. Then the project builds.
5. In my case I could download it (Menu Debugger / Programming / Program All memories)
6. I could also run it and see the calibration screen.
7. After that point, the whole thing comes in blank.
Then I got a bunch of "Configuration Bits Not Set" messages again.
At this point it's been about 4 hours wated to see how this can work out.
Unfortunately (for this board) the current project I have does not need as much processing power, so I will be using Arduino for the rest of this project.
As I mentioned earlier, these Kits would REALLY BENEFIT from bundled stand-alone projects and descriptions. Like "this is a minimal project that displays "Hello" on the screen. Here's the instruction to build & load it.". "this is a minimal project to draw an image", "this is a minimal project to draw lines/polygons" kind of things.
What MicroChip really should do is provide a simple step-by-step instructions and a sample project for each board like this.
I just had to go through the following to configure and find a project that builds OK. Yet it has some errors programming which seem to be politely explained on the forum, but still no concrete examples.
1. Getting Started guide (Document 61146B.pdf) was useful to get MPLAB installed.
2. MPLAB is a 120Mb download which installs OK.
3. You need to configure MPLAB for your board. Menu Configure / Select Device "PIC32MX795F512L"
4. Default faunt is too tiny. Open a C file, Menu Edit / Properties / Tab Text / Button Select Font -> Courier New Size 9-10 is OK.
5. A demo project which is self-contained and builds fine can be downloaded from PIC32 LCC - Object Layer Demo (bottom of http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en555047)
6. Have to choose your board again: Menu Debugger / Select Tool / PIC32 Starter Kit
Get an error "Device reset failed, Make sure Configuration Bits are correct". I am not alone, yet there's no specific of what these should be for this board: http://www.microchip.com/forums/m451631.aspx
Somehow, it was a lot easier to start something with Arduino... Mush smaller learning curve.