Microchip PIC18F252 druid circuit

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

The most glaring ommision was that the DRUID did not accept confirm codes (ie the solution to the clue) and did not give directions to the next cluesite. Instead teams had to call in and confirm with Game Control in order to find out their next destination. This was due to a lack of planning on my part. The final version of the text including the

 Microchip PIC18F252 druid circuit
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

Confirm and Arrival codes turned out to be about 40KBytes. Since we had about 3K of program, and only 32K of ROM memory total I decided to write a compressor/decompressor to fit all the text in. The compression/decompression software worked, but the decompression was slow and the changes caused instabilities in the software. I finally had to revert to an earlier version of the software which did not have many of the features that we wanted. At that point there was no time to shrink the messages to fit into 32K and we decided to just abandon the confirm codes and their messages (since the alternative was to not have a working gadget). On the plus side we built 34 DRUIDS of which 27 actually worked, and during the game not one of them failed. There was one that broke open, but it was still working at the end of the game. I heard that one actually got run over by a van, but I never got that confirmed. The DRUID is based on a Microchip PIC18F252 microcontroller. A microcontroller is basically a small computer on a chip, and they are often used for controlling car engines, appliances, etc. Below is the circuit diagram. The display is attached to J1. It is controlled with a 4 pin parallel port. The DB4-DB7 pins are the 4 bit data, RS determines whether the data goes to a control register or the data register, and E is toggled to tell the display that the data is valid and should be grabbed off the other pins. LEDA and LEDK are...

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