Obtaining a 68HC11 system.

Back to basics.

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OK, so you're interested in trying a 68HC11 system; what now? There are a wealth of sources for different 68HC11 systems. At first I was overwhelmed with the different offerings of HC11 chips and boards. I have settled on a few boards which I am used to, but all of the 68HC11 boards I've seen have similar capabilities. Once you are up to speed with one board, any of the others should be fairly easy to pick up. The differences I've seen is the "extra" stuff offered on the board, like motor drivers, LCD capabilities, built-in RS-232 to TTL chips, additional memory, and other such additions. The core of the systems remains the same, a 68HC11 microcontroller.

My preference is to have a simple 68HC11 system and to add things onto the system as I need it, thus my extensive use of Marvin Green's (from the Portland Area Robotics Society) wonderful BOTBoard. For a system which requires additional memory, I use Marvin's BOTBoard 2 and Zorin's ModCon board. Other boards, such as the "handy board" the "mini board" and others are also popular boards.

For a 68HC11 system you also need the parts for the board. Marvin sells the BOTBoards, along with a list of required parts and suggested sources to buy the parts, but does not sell complete kits. For my classes I compile the parts for my students, but I don't desire to be in the "kit" business in general. If you want a good one-stop source for complete 68HC11 kits, I suggest


Other places offer 68HC11 kits: I suggest you search the web for "68HC11 kit" or "68HC11 board" and see what is currently available. Besides boards and kits, you will find built and tested systems (for an extra charge, of course).

Am I reluctant to put lots of web-links to HC11 sources since they will be constantly changing and I want to avoid information that is out-of-date.

The 68HC11 chip

Most of the boards I've seen use the 52-pin PLCC version of the 68HC11 chip, not the DIP version. Don't let this bother you. The PLCC version of the chip is the most widely available version, has a much smaller footprint than the DIP version, and snaps nicely into a PLCC socket.

The E series of the 68HC11, as well as the A series, fits into a 52-pin PLCC socket. Also note that the E or the A type of chips can be used interchangeably since they share the same pinout. Just choose the device which has the memory offerings you desire. My preference is the 68HC11E1 for most projects (512 bytes of RAM and 512 bytes of EEPROM), and the 68HC811E2 for projects which require more program space (256 bytes of RAM and 2048 bytes of EEPROM).