A few steps forward

This weekend I was able to spend some time in the lab. I got the Arduino to ADE7763 interface cleaned up and working using the hardware SPI peripheral. This greatly increases the speed that I can access ADE registers.

I then took a detour in learning to program a PIC micro. I will be using a PIC to drive each ADE7763. I had an old development system that I was able to use with MPLAB to start doing some simple things like blinking an LED. By the end of the weekend I had the prototype of my application done. But the prototype lead me to realize I had a speed issue. To switch the chip select on and off was taking 60usec. This is almost twice as long as it takes to transmit the 3 or 4 bytes of data. Either the PIC is very slow (clock was 20MHz), I am doing something wrong, or I need a beter way.

Assuming I need a different solution to my chip select problem, I ordered some 16F627A chips that have a built in comparator. I think I can use the comparator to pass the chip select on to the ADE when selected at a very fast rate, and then force an inactive chip select when the sensor node is not selected. I also ordered a PicKit-3 programmer to make the programing of the chip seamless. The old programmer was a standalone device. The PicKit-3 should work in circuit.

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