What's a Microcontroller?

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What's a Microcontroller?

What's a Microcontroller?

Author: Andy Lindsay
Pages: 340
Publisher: Parallax Inc
Language: English
ISBN: 1-928982-02-6
Edition: 2.2


The What’s a Microcontroller? text answers the question “What’s a Microcontroller?” by showing students how they can design their own customized, intelligent inventions using the BASIC Stamp module. The activities in this text incorporate a variety of fun and engaging experiments that appeal to the student’s imagination using motion, light, sound, and tactile feedback to introduce new concepts. These activities are designed to introduce the student to many basic principles in the fields of computer programming, electricity and electronics, mathematics and physics. Many of the activities facilitate a hands-on presentation of design practices used by engineers and technicians in the creation of modern machines and appliances using inexpensive and easy to obtain parts. This text is designed to accommodate a wide range of ages and skill levels.

The What’s a Microcontroller? activity highlights include the following which are all intended to enhance multisensory involvement to keep the students engaged and motivated:

* Reaction timer game
* potentiometer-controlled servo
* 7-segment LED light meter
* Nokia Cell Phone ringtone player

The last activity in each chapter typically involves an example project that makes the concepts that were introduced up to that point more tangible. The first activity in a given chapter is hands-on so that students can discover how the electrical/electronic component works before controlling/sensing it with the BASIC Stamp module and a program. The activities between the first and last activity introduce techniques that either support the project in the last activity or one of the projects from the Projects section at the end of the chapter.

The What's a Microcontroller? introductory microcontroller programming tutorial introduces downloading PBASIC code to a BASIC Stamp module, building a circuit on a breadboard, and both simple and advanced circuits with LEDs, tact switch, pushbuttons, and a servo. What's a Microcontroller? is our most introductory BASIC Stamp tutorial for education by introducing the essentials of writing and downloading a simple program. It's a starting point for middle school, high-school and college level students. It may even serve as a background reference for higher levels.

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