Haven’t got your Experimenter yet? Well, you’re in luck!
It can be purchased online from the
Nuts & Volts Webstore at www.nutsvolts.com
or call our order desk at 800-783-4624.
thousand words, let’s walk through some of the major tool
bars. If you are familiar with the current MPLAB 8.xx series
of Microchip’s IDE, there are similarities that will help you
get started. Figure 10 shows the main tool bar. Here, we
have quite a few similar functions to the existing MPLAB
8.xx tool bar, but the new one uses different icons.
Figure 11 is a side-by-side comparison of the
debugger tool bars. Figure 12 shows the Editor tool bar
with its new icons, but with additional functionality that
was not present in MPLAB 8.xx.
Working With the Demos
The demos have already been configured for you as
MPLAB X. To open a project, you navigate to the folder of
the project demo you downloaded, and open the X
extension as shown in Figure 13.
The demos are configured with specific compiler
selections and the PICkit3 debugger. You may have to
change these for your system’s compiler locations and
debugger selection. (We will show you how.) You will still
need to apply power to the Experimenter board and add
any additional hardware the project may require. Then,
simply compile, download, and run.
As you open each of the projects, you will find that
MPLAB X supports multiple projects. The screenshot in
Figure 14 shows MPLAB X once all the demos have been
opened. Each project is organized into file folders
designated as: Header, Library files, Linker files, Object
files, Source files, and Important files. We use both the
header and source folders. You select which project (in
the project window) to make active by right-clicking your
mouse on the project tile and selecting it as your active
main project. In this case — within the Projects window —
PWMDEMO is selected and the main file in the source
folder for PWMDEMO is open in the Edit Window. The
Output window is also shown. It is displaying the results of
the last build.
MPLAB X has a new all-inclusive Project view with the
Dashboard view. Under “Window” on the tool bar, select
Dashboard and you should see what’s shown in Figure
15. With one view, you see the device, compiler tool
chain, memory utilization, active breakpoints, and
debugging tools. On the left side of the dashboard are
several other important icons. When clicked, the PDF
image automatically displays the device’s datasheet; when
selected, the circular arrow icon resets the device; when
selected, the wrench icon brings up another window to
allow you to change any of the major settings in the
FIGURE 12. Editor tool bar.
FIGURE 13. Opening a demo project.
FIGURE 14. MPLAB X with demos.
project. Refer to Figure 16.
Under this window, you can switch debuggers
between Microstick II and PICKIT3, or even select a
Ideas for the Future
Now that we have covered an important 32-bit
upgrade for the Experimenter while also illustrating a new
set of tools and methods, we hope you will be anxious to
try it yourself. The Experimenter remains a viable learning
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