Need help building a simple electronic calculator

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macuser1232, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #1
    Ok, so recently I've decided to take on the challenge of building a basic function calculator. I was wondering if anybody could provide me with a good website to learn how to do this from. I have found this, http://lupinesystems.com/calc/ , and was wondering if this would be a good place to start. According to the website, this challenge is the easiest, with a rating of 1 "howl."
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    What is it about the calculator project that appeals to you?

    Personally I'd focus on something with a bit more "legs" and room to grow. Like an Arduino based kit or other microprocessor evaluation board. Microchip has a bunch of inexpensive boards you could consider.

    B
     
  3. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #3
    That depends on what he wants to learn. If he wants to get deep into chips and circuits he should try and do it himself using 74 series chips. It wouldn't be particularly hard to implement adding and substracting using two's complement and the digit decoder. (I have personally done both in my Logical Circuits class two semesters ago, and it requires no particular skills beyond extremely basic knowledge of electrical circuits and a bit of logic.) Multiplying is a bit harder but again not very complicated.

    Of course the limiting factor will be the breadboard size, it would probably become immense :eek:


    I do agree with the Arduino suggestion, but to me it's not as much about electronics as it is about programming. In a way it's just moving the complexity somewhere else.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    That's why I asked. ;)

    The build your own PCB aspects of the linked tutorial are the first thing I'd not do. Spend some money on a basic breadboard kit and you'll be able to reuse that for many projects to come.

    FWIW There's a bit of a gap I see in the tutorial. They give you the source code in an ASM file, but the actual programmer to load the code into PIC is not explicitly mentioned or included in the project BOM. You need something to load it with. I'm not finding any really cheap MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.

    This is one reason the Arduino and/or other similar PIC based boards can be easier to bring up They already include either a bootloader or on-board programmer.

    B
     

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