Amicus18 Compiler and Hardware Brief Review

Amicus, to quote from the site directly:

What does the name Amicus mean ?
The name Amicus derives from the Latin word Amici, meaning friend. An Amicus is a person who speaks or performs on your behalf. The Amicus18 board will become your best friend, allowing a freedom to perform tasks that you never dreamed possible.

Usage disclaimer: The contents sited above has been quoted for information purposes only and remains the intellectual property of the original owner.

If you have been a long time PIC user you are all too  aware of the rigors in getting started with PICs. The costs involved made it expensive. Granted some of the items could be self built for example the development PCB and the Programmer. But then you were limited to Assembly to write code. Over time this has changed with Microchip releasing “Student Versions” of their compilers which can be used without charge. Programming the PIC still required a programmer which is available in the form of a PICKIT 2  or 3.

When you weigh the above against the Arduino however, at the cost of the Development board an entire community opens up, with free Compiler, shields for every type of project  and free code samples everywhere.

Breeze Board Type AThe Amicus Compiler may change that and give the PIC enthusiast a lease on life. The Amicus Compiler delivers a complete solution tied to a development board in the Arduino Form Factor. What this means is that the PCB is compact and can be used in conjunction with the vast array of Ardunio Shields that can be purchased off the internet.

 

Downloading code to the device is accomplished using a freely available boot loader which is integrated as part of the IDE.

The compiler however only compiles for one device the PIC18F25K20, which is a 3V3 device. Not a problem, as with the Arduino platform the focus is rather on getting the project working as opposed to the nuts and bolts under the DIP.

Getting stared with this route does require the purchase of an Amicus compatiable PCB. You can purchase from supplier of the Amicus 18 compiler Crownhill Associates. A similar and recommended PCB is also available here in SouthAfrica, from Dizzy Enterprises.

Located in Midrand, Gauteng they ship to all corners of South Africa and offer friendly efficient service.

So why entertain the use of this option: For one the platform offers a powerful, energy efficient microcontroller that will integrate with existing Arduino shields. The compiler is easy to use, free to download and overall the cost entry foot print is economical fitting neatly into the budget of the hobbyist or enthusiast.

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