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The Microcontroller Idea BookThe Microcontroller Idea Book

Circuits, Programs, & Applications
featuring the 8052-BASIC Microcontroller

by Jan Axelson

The Microcontroller Idea Book is now available as a free PDF. The print edition is out of print, and the paid e-book editions have been discontinued..

The program listings from the book.

List of corrections.

The Microcontroller Idea Book is a hands-on guide that presents practical designs for use in data loggers, controllers, and other small-computer applications. Microcontrollers, or single-chip computers, are ideal for projects that require computer intelligence but don't need the disk drives, keyboard, and full-screen display of a desktop computer.

About the 8052-BASIC

Example circuits and programs in the book are based on the popular 8052-BASIC microcontroller, whose on-chip BASIC programming language makes it easy to write, run, and test your programs. With over 100 commands, instructions, and operators, the BASIC-52 interpreter can do much more than other single-chip BASICs. Its abilities include floating-point math, string handling, and special commands for storing programs in EPROM, EEPROM, or battery-backed RAM.

You can use any computer with a serial port as a host system for writing, uploading, running, debugging, and storing programs as you develop a project. When project development is complete, you can disconnect the host computer, and the 8052-BASIC will run your program automatically on bootup. You can also use an 8052-BASIC circuit as a development system for uploading and debugging assembled or compiled programs. As a member of the 8051 microcontroller family, the 8052-BASIC uses a standard, popular architecture.

Comments and Reviews

The real gold in the book is the collection of input/output circuits that show you how to connect to the outside world and have it all work properly. The writing is a model of clarity and conciseness. Once you know how these things work, you can use them cookbook-style. - Bill Machrone, PC Magazine ideal introduction to low-end embedded design....Axelson takes the reader from essentially no knowledge of programming through Basic while offering lots of insight into the design of simple embedded systems....The next time I hire new CS or EE graduates, I plan to have them work through both Bebop [to the Boolean Boogie] and The Microcontroller Idea Book. A week spent soaking up these practical concepts will help ground them in reality and balance the four years of theory still ringing in their ears. - Jack Ganssle, EDN