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Nuts & Volts Magazine (May 2018)

Programming in the Real World

By Jon McPhalen    View Digital Edition  


It's a fair understatement to suggest that the Propeller is a different beast from other popular microcontrollers. In lieu of specialty hardware modules like UARTs, etc., the Propeller has eight processors (called cogs) that can be used to synthesize peripherals as needed. That said, the Propeller isn't completely devoid of extra hardware; each processor has two general-purpose counter/timers, as well as a shift-register intended to facilitate video output (though clever coders have used it for myriad other things). My focus this time is on the counters, and how their flexibility helped me knock out a critical application for fixing a lighting element in a superhero costume in very little time.

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