Diving deeper into the "Dark Side!"

Discussion in 'Other Electronic Interfaces' started by Keith M, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    902
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    I guess I should know better at my age, but despite having enough to keep me occupied, I succumbed to temptation ('cos it was cheap!), and bought this Velleman 'PIC Programmer kit', breadboard, jumper wires and power supply, basically just to (hopefully) learn and have a play with. As some of the recent MERG kits use PIC's (Programmable Integrated Circuits), I reckon it's about time I got at least some understanding of what it's all about. As an aside to this, as I have an unused 'Windoze' desktop PC, I've also decided that I'll return it to use 'Windows 7', connect my Lenz L1-USB link, download JMRI and Java software and see if I can manage to use this PC to run my layout. Who know's, I might even consider turning over points operation to the PC as well, but for now, one step at a time! As I'm not a Windoze user normally (I have an iMac), I'll likely have a steeper learning curve than most would, so many daft questions/help appeals on the forum may result from this leap in the dark! The older I get, the dafter I get, it would seem!:facepalm:

    Keith.:avatar:

    IMG_1403.JPG
     
    steve and jakesdad13 like this.
  2. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    612
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    :facepalm::facepalm: going going gone!
     
  3. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,156
    Likes Received:
    542
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    What have you done!! :facepalm:
     
  4. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    3,188
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Good on you Keith,
    I am a firm believer in pushing yourself mentally as we age. I am no doctor, but I believe from what I`ve seen and heard that it helps keep dementia at bay.
    It`s too easy to get lazy as we age. We`ve had a lifetime of experiences and a good deal of knowledge to carry us through just about anything life can throw at us, but when you think about it, most of our basic / school learning was done at an early age.
    Keep pushing the knowledge in there mate.....you`ll be fine......what`s the worst that can happen........nothing much really in the scheme of things.??
    :cheers::tophat:Gormo
     
    MalcT and steve like this.
  5. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    13,212
    Likes Received:
    1,815
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    keep the grey matter turning over. don't let it get too comfortable with the retirement gig. :avatar:
     
  6. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,235
    Likes Received:
    806
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    I know I keep saying I'm a technophobe but I applaud your efforts to learn more of the dark arts of electronics.
    I really struggle with electronic tech because I can never remember what I've done when I get something right and it is extremely frustrating!

    Good on you mate :thumbs:

    Pete.
     
  7. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    4,258
    Likes Received:
    612
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Reckon I've got the hang of ac/dcc ... but L'll wait for you to show it first
    :faint:
     
  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    6,433
    Likes Received:
    1,559
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    I think that's the kit I have upstairs waiting to be built - it's not alone :whatever:

    Looking forward to you trailblazing this one.

    Paul
     
  9. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    902
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Referring back to Gormo's post above, I take the view (rightly or wrongly) that the human brain is rather like a computer memory, with a finite capacity for assimilating knowledge, once it's reached capacity, then further information just 'overwrites' what is already in there. As a retiree, I have little need nowadays for the knowledge I possessed years ago relating to what I needed to know to do my job, and much of my early electronics was learned back in the days of thermionic valves (those glowing little 'bulbs' you might see if you looked through the ventilation slots in the back of your 'Black and White' telly!), transistors just becoming available in the late 50's/early 60's to the likes of us 'dabblers'. I'm not particularly looking forward to having to learn something about programming, but if it's gotta be done........ Quite looking forward to building the kit though, although there is no build manual, user instructions or supposedly included CD, despite being a sealed pack (Ex-Maplin stock, I'm led to believe). Just another challenge to overcome I guess!
     
    steve, jakesdad13 and Ron like this.
  10. bobcom52

    bobcom52 Full Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    196
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Ahhh, the days when the only question that had to be answered when buying a transistor was' will that be NPN or PNP sir?"
    Life was much easier.
    Enjoy the PIC's, I have forgotten all I learnt about them now but memory tells me they were quite fun devices, saved loading up a board with a bunch of cmos chips.
    cheers
    Bob
     
  11. Davoetype

    Davoetype Full Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    149
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Keith, you did know better and that is why you bought it...as Gormo says, keep the mind fresh. For me I am still trying to understand the vagaries of QSI decoders. When my NCE Procab indicates "cannot read CV" I was told to just ignore the message and enter the value, which I did and it works??? I have no option but to just accept the outcome rather than try and understand how it got there.

    Cheers

    and happy modelling

    Richard
     
    MalcT, Ron and steve like this.

Share This Page