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Introduction

Introduction

The microcontroller is an exciting new device in the field of electronics control. It is a complete computer control system on a single chip. microcontrollers include EPROM program memory, user RAM for storing program data, timer circuits, an instruction set, special function registers, power on reset, interrupts, low power consumption and a security bit for software protection. Some microcontrollers like the 16F818/9 devices include on board A to D converters.

The microcontroller is used as a single chip control unit for example in a washing machine, the inputs to the controller would be from a door catch, water level switch, temperature sensor. The outputs would then be fed to a water inlet valve, heater, motor and pump. The controller would monitor the inputs and decide which outputs to switch on i.e. close the door – water inlet valve open – monitor water level, close valve when water level reached. Check temperature, turn on heater, switch off heater when the correct temperature is reached. Turn the motor slowly clockwise for 5 seconds, anticlockwise for 5 seconds, repeat 20 times, etc. If you are not that maternal maybe you prefer discos to washing – then you can build your own disco lights.


  

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