Review of EasyPIC Fusion v7

Table of contents

RoadTest: EasyPIC Fusion v7

Author: migration.user

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

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?: Microchip PICDEM Lab Dev kit. A lower-cost development kit for those not needing the power of the 24/32 bit chips. Definitely a better beginner alternative when it comes to cost vs complexity.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: The biggest problem I had was mainly new user navigation of the board. All the jumper/pin-outs/circuitry can be overwhelming, but with judicial use of the provided material, anyone can quickly find the information they need to setup and design their projects.

Detailed Review:

Open-Box review:

The packaging was well designed and left no area w/o being double-boxed or protected in some way. There is no space wasted as it appears even the included manuals and demo programming software were utilized to assist in protecting the board and delicate contents.



Price Review:

As stated in previous comments, this is one feature rich board that may be daunting to new developers. With that in mind, the price of not only the board, but the chips to program, are going to be pricy. The $180 price tag for the board alone is not unreasonable given the VERY feature rich options for testing and developing, without needing to supply breadboard and separate components. The included "microBUS" interfaces allow you to purchase additional sensors and communications equipment to further develope your projects. All these options and capability come at a price, where chips range from ~$20-$45 per chip, which would not be as easy to stomach user-based developement failures that could burn out a chip, vs the "lesser" 8-bit counterparts. When totaling all it's capability and all the add-ons, you're looking at at least spending ~$205 (not including shipping) just to get one project off the ground, not including MikroElektronika's powerful programming suite.



Consumer niche:

Be mindful that this programs and handles powerful chips for very large-scale projects. With this in mind, judging price point vs capability, it appears that we're looking less at individual developement and more at companies seeking to potentially mass produce products in the future. With that in mind, the pricing is perfect for small businesses with developement needs, and would be very easily budgetted by larger companies looking to expand their hardware developement and testing capabilities.



Those who lack a thorough programming and embeded software background should stick to developement more on the scale of 8-16 bit microprocessors/chips.



My experiences:

MikroElektronica made it easy to dive into this board and get to work. Software installation is provided in hardcopy as well as online, so you are able to get going with or without internet connection, or whichever is your preference. With that in mind, it would behoove you to be savy in internet use as there are a plethora of projects, tools, libraries and assistance online to help when it comes to programming and troubleshooting.



I signed up for MicroE's "Libstock" site ( and was immediately innundated with options and project ideas spanning too many manhours to include within this trial period.



Upon power of the device, I was treated to a nice demo, demonstrating 6 of the functions of the board. Loading MikroC software, I found many other demos I could load and toy with, but many did not appear to work correctly. For instance, when I attempted to load the TFT demo, it didn't function at all. I checked the chip settings, libraries, etc, and was having difficulty troubleshooting (on my own) what was going on. On further investigation (i.e. web search) I found out there was an error introduced upon upgrade of the TFT display. Instead of initializing the original TFT display, you need to init a different function to get it to work properly (TFT_Init_ILI9481_8bit instead of TFT_Init). Once the proper initialization function was utilized, everything appeared to work as explained in demo summaries. Though there are a lot of manuals and demos provided, updates to instructions and demos could be more clearly stated (i.e. included in the box is an addendum to the code) to assist those who may run into similar issues. At first, I was starting to believe I may have had, or caused issues with the board.



All in all, based on what was provided for the review, the basics are covered. Seeing what is received when purchasing the board, under normal circumstances, maybe not so. You must ensure you have the chip you want to use right off the bat (either by purchasing the board and the chip you wish to utilize, or by reviewing MikroElektronica's combo-deal list) and you must be ready to purchase MikroElektronika's programming software if you want full compatability and accessability that the dev-kit has to offer. Even once you have these basics, you're still looking at more when you start browsing their archive of click add-on boards.



In conclusion:

Best had by the developing small business looking to delve into 32bit microchip processor developement.

Good value for those corporations already on their feet.

For the individual - Best have your project needs vs budget evaluated if you're looking for a hobby.