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What Language To They Use To Program Metal Detector Microprocessors

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Google failed me in my quest for an answer.  Modern metal detectors are obviously based on some microchip(s) to be able to do all that they do.

So I was  wondering what chipset they use and what type of language do they use to make the detector do what it does.

I am guessing that this may be confidential company information in some or even many cases and I am not asking anyone to break any laws.

I am assuming other than the D2A and A2D chips/circuits it is probably mostly like any other programming language like C++.

I know there are some very talented members on this forum who can dive very deep into the weeds in terms of modern metal detector designs.





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I cant say for sure about how the control architecture of metal detectors work but I do know that there is probably not much decision making going on to require any high level or even low level language.  In the basic form there will be a known set of inputs to some type of micro-controller and in the end there will be a known set of outputs.  A micro-controller is different than a micro-processor in that it only follows a very limited and fixed instruction set and does not really process a lot of variable data like a micro-processor or cpu.  The instruction set, or program if you want to call it that, for a micro-controller resides in non-volatile firmware (eprom or pla).  This firmware is typically updated and revised if/when needed to implement factory changes or updates.  There is probably some device specific language involved to initially program the firmware but again I don't think that would be comparable to a typical computer language.

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I'm sure some of the more 'entry-level' detectors will have their microcontrollers programmed in assembler. Some may be a mix of compiled code ( often C++ ) and assembler.
For example the popular Microchip IC series:




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Dutchman, your information on microcontrollers is about 30 years out-of-date. Modern uC's have incredible processing power and speed and the standard language used by all of them is C. Some people still program them in assembly but they are the laggards who would be unhirable in the open market because no one does that any more.

Pimento, you are correct, a lot of the Bounty Hunter and Teknetics models are written in assembly because they are derived from legacy designs. For the TekPoint/FPulse and the new revised Bounty Hunter pinpointer I used C++, and I think they are the only modern designs we've released so far (32-bit uC & C/C++). All my other 32-bit projects are in C++ and the few 8-bit projects I'm doing (for my book) use C.

PSPR, you are correct, at least concerning one manufacturer. All the detector companies that have released new models in the last 2-3 years are using C or C++. Back in college (when PCs were new) I knew a guy who had a Jive translator on floppy disc; you type in a sentence and it would give the Jive translation. Loosely based on the Jive talkers in the movie Airplane!. Using a bunch of precompiler #defines the same could be done to make C look like Jive. Probably someone has already done it.

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21 hours ago, Geotech said:

Most of the newer designs use ARM Cortex micros like the STM32 line (my favorite). Programmed in C or C++ (my preference).

mention of ‘C’ & assembler brings back the memories, from Fortran test code (and HW design) for ECL based B-52 flight simulator to berkley Unix system startup for my 1st ‘C’/assembler job doing diagnostics then to Fortune Systems for Unix-based FW/diags/device drivers, then Mips for chip test assembler simulations then Unix based FW/diags/device drivers (I was the only non-genius there) then to Apple for the same!…after quitting that I should have applied to one of the MD firms! I would have been a good candidate..except that I didn’t handle/use a metal detector till I moved to Canada years later….good times..

Looking forward to buying your book when it comes out…cheers

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