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how to program electronic components

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 09:27
by Amynio
Could anyone give me very general idea of how elements like air conditioning controllers so the parts where in a car you setting up temperature, with led displays etc are programmed nowadays? So assuming we have a plastic panel with buttons on it, led display and what not, and when I press "+" I want temperature to be increased or some mechanical parts to take action.

I'm guessing that there is ROM and some CPU chips: where software controlling the parts is stored. Now this software is usually written in Java or low level C(++?) or even lower?

Are there any libraries commonly used for this sort of thing? Or the chips come preprogrammed with these and maybe some basic operating systems?

how that chip is programmed with software? There is some sort of ROM writing device needed is that right?

is this something that would be able to play around at home via my laptop and if so what equipment I would need in addition to laptop?

Would anyone be able to point me to resources where I could read more on it? I'm trying to get general idea of how it works, how involving it is and what skills someone would need to get this working. I understand this is huge topic but want to get an idea of how this is done and even though I wont be able to do anything like that myself I would like to understand the process and what's involved

Again, if the questions and my explanation is confusing I apologise. I found it very hard to explain.

Re: how to program electronic components

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 12:46
by FiveseveN
Arduino is by far the most friendly platform to start with, there are even "graphical programming environments" for it (Visuino, ArduBlock, Minibloq etc.) for the programming-impaired. Otherwise yeah, you program in C-ish and the IDE takes care of compilation and uploading.

Re: how to program electronic components

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 17:03
by Dirk_Hendrik
What FiveseveN says. Arduino is your starting point. While the platform is extremely limited in many perspectives it is absolute heaven when it comes to having a good starting point in the embedded world. I wish there had been Arduino 20-25 years back. Would have saved me a world of frustration.

Re: how to program electronic components

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2018, 18:27
by deltafred
Yes, there is no better starting point than Arduino. There is a library for most things and plug on boards (shields) for a lot of common hardware interfaces.

I agree with Dirk, I wish it had been around when I was getting into microprocessors.

Re: how to program electronic components

PostPosted: 13 Jul 2018, 16:56
by mxaniac
I'm not a SW developer, I'm an ME but I used to support my coworkers with their IT needs. For custom boards an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is used which will have "drivers" for the components and a compiler such as C/C++. Some IDEs are specific to a processor so for example TI might provide one, or generic ones that work with multiple components. KEIL was used a lot where I worked along with another very mainstream product whose name escapes me. I can still see the yellow box, black letters, complete senior moment on the name. You can typically tie the IDE in to an SVN (source code versioning repository) which becomes more important when you have modular code, crucial if multiple people are working together on it.

As for Arduino I use it for my 3D printer. I'm pretty impressed at how well they've dumbed it down such that even I can make it work, even without a programming background. In the case of a printer most of the code is already written so you're mostly just commenting out features you aren't using but so much exists on the web for content you can go a long way by just finding code snippets and integrating them. Hardware is dirt cheap, you can get all sorts of controllers on Amazon. Smoothie is a newer platform, and you have Raspberry Pi which I know pretty much nothing about.