Microcontrolers, what to use them for?

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I have recently been given the following PIC chips and a programmer made by Microchip:

PIC16C64/JW 9503 CAT 3EA
PIC17C42-16/JW 9413 CBA NR 1EA
PIC16C55/JW-S1 9424 CFT 1EA
PIC16C71/JW-S1 9351 CAT 1EA

What can I do with them??? I would love to build a pre-amp, cd player, lcd something. Anyone have any ideas?

Its quite a lot of effort to program a microcontroller unless you have had experience with them before, but yes a good use for one (or 2 plus an EEprom chip maybe) is in preamps.

Assembler is an easy language to pick up once you have figured out what ports and various registers are for.

Display control/messages, volume control, automatic power up/down, saving bass/treble combinations with motorised POTS and remote control signal processing.

Anything to do with control you can think of really.

Thats what i'd do with them anyway :) but it is quite time consuming.

Those are one-time-programmable chips, if you're really interested in microcontrollers, you might want to pick up some flash versions (contain F in the name). Microcontrollers are very cheap and small these days, it's to the point where using a microcontroller is often simpler and cheaper than traditional circuits for blinking a light, timing an event, generating a tone, etc. They're very good for tying together other circuits with a bit of logic, or as a communications center. Virtually any device that communicates with a computer will use a microcontroller. Recent developments include DSP functions on small microcontrollers, making some forms of signal processing very inexpensive.

The only thing directly audio-related I ever tried to do with microcontrollers was an electronic flute, obviously there are many other neat tricks out there.
These are JW series, so they are UV erasable.

J = Ceramic DIP
W = Windowed (for UV erasure)

The 16C series have a very simple instruction set and minimal peripherals. The 17C series has an extended instruction set similar to the 16 series. There where only a few 17C series chips and they never became very popular. The 12F/16F series are the most popular right now.
Thanks for the replys everyone. I have also received a couple of LM4550 chips that are audio codec chip for pc's. I was thinking I might be able to use a microcontroller along with a couple of these chips to create a preamp with multiple inputs, lcd display (tell input and volume level), volume, bass, lo-mid, mid, hi-mid, trebel eq's, and if possible have it control a pc cd-rom so I could have an integrated unit.
If you are going to do something like this, get a controller which is flash programmable. Debugging is going to be a long story if you have to wait for the erasing time after time... And a 16F84 or a more modern device is cheap. Check if your programmer can handle those.

If not, build your own. Tons of stuff on that on the net. Only takes few zeners, one transistor and some resistors. In chip programmable, so not remove, put in programmer, put back on pcb all the time either.

Made a preamp myself with 16F84, hit www.
hit www next to the email button :)

Anyway, the pictures and info on the webpage is old. Went away from volumecontrol by motoralps to 6 relays. Made a new pcb for this, this time a 'real' one (olimex). After some debugging and ordering new parts :dodgy: it works fine. I''ll update the webpage someday (after i get a dig cam that is).

Also got a display with the parts, blue chars. Maybe i'll put one in after all....:hot:
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