Author Topic: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy  (Read 10702 times)

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Offline ThorTheNorseman

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PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« on: January 17, 2014, 04:23:26 AM »
I've had no end of trouble with PICkit 3 and MPLAB X. The thing won't even program a simple PIC16F785 out of the box. I had to change the voltage to 4.875 V before that worked, and this is with the latest software. PIC32 is proving to be a nightmare, with a lovely mixture of "Failed to get device ID", "The PICkit 3 is missing a memory object" errors (when the thing was finally detected), the occasional successful flashing, and the apparent bricking of two chips. This on two separate veroboards on which three separate PIC32MX250F128B's were fitted, with proper SMD adapters and the requisite minimum components.

Microchip's support also seems less than stellar. Support tickets go unanswered, and if I call their Europe support during working hours, I get a voice mail, on which I leave a message without getting a call back.

MPLAB X is fine and dandy in terms of working code projects. It's NetBeans, after all, though I'm slightly annoyed about them having disguised GCC as XC32 and stripped it down in order to sell you the Pro version. What sort of garbage is that? When it comes to control of the PICkit 3? In MPLAB 8, you had nice things like power on/off, erase, blank check and verify conveniently available in a menu. Where has all that nice stuff gone in the X version? I've switched to Mac OS X since I last purchased a programmer from Microchip, and was pleased to learn that MPLAB was going to be available on the Mac, but this isn't even the same product anymore.

I've most certainly had a negative experience. What are your experiences with the PICkit 3 and MPLAB X, particularly in combination with PIC32 chips? I have traditionally had three reasons for sticking to Microchip: user friendly, excellent documentation, nice IDE. Now all I seem to be left with is the documentation. What on earth are they smoking over there?!
 
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Offline Rufus

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 04:35:43 AM »
I've had no end of trouble with PICkit 3 and MPLAB X.

Everything USB seems to be very flaky in MPLAB X, their cross platform USB driver model/interface is obviously all new for MPLAB X.

People are reporting that ICD3 and real ICE are working better in the recent 2.0 release.
 

Offline gocemk

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 05:29:32 AM »
I'm using the PICkit3 for well over a month now on Win7 64-bit and MPLABX v1.95 on an EasyPIC 7 board (as an external programmer) and various  PIC12/16/18 chips without any major problems. When i upgraded to MPLABX v2.00, (the pickit's firmware was also updated to latest) the debugging from MPLABX stopped working. It kept complaining about setting the right configuration bits (Single Supply ICSP bit). No matter how the bit was set, the debugging didn't work. Reverting back to MPLABX 1.95 solved the problem.( I didn't downgraded the firmware).

I also have an EasyPIC Fusion board with PIC32MX795F512L on board , but i haven't tried the pickit on that board yet. And now that you mentioned the bricking of PIC32 chips i am hesitant to do so, because the price of the mcu boards for the Fusion are around ~50$ and i really don't want to get burned.

If i decide to try it on the pic32, i'll let you know about the results.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 05:31:45 AM »
I am a die-hard pickit2 user.
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Offline true

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 01:44:49 PM »
I've had no end of trouble with PICkit 3 and MPLAB X. The thing won't even program a simple PIC16F785 out of the box. I had to change the voltage to 4.875 V before that worked, and this is with the latest software. PIC32 is proving to be a nightmare, with a lovely mixture of "Failed to get device ID", "The PICkit 3 is missing a memory object" errors (when the thing was finally detected), the occasional successful flashing, and the apparent bricking of two chips. This on two separate veroboards on which three separate PIC32MX250F128B's were fitted, with proper SMD adapters and the requisite minimum components.
Pretty hard to brick a PIC32; I've always been able to recover them. But if your tool isn't working they may appear to be that way :/ Sorry, I can't offer much there. One friend who uses Pickit3 hasn't had problems. I use ICD3.

though I'm slightly annoyed about them having disguised GCC as XC32 and stripped it down in order to sell you the Pro version. What sort of garbage is that?
I agree. I wrote and compiled some medicine if you need it. There is also some unfinished code on the internet that does work fine for XC32.

Quote from: Rufus
People are reporting that ICD3 and real ICE are working better in the recent 2.0 release.
And I _just_ updated to 1.95... bah. My ICD3 was somewhat flaky but did work so I'm glad to hear it might be working better.
 

Offline hans

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 06:50:12 PM »
My experence with MPLAB X is in general dodgy IDE. The only thing I read on the Microchip forums "if you are not using Linux or Mac in your workflow, use MPLAB IDE". In short, MPLAB X:
- It has been sooooo slow, from day 1. This inherent to MPLAB X, because it uses netbeans crap. I have got the same hatred towards Eclipse, they both run in a Java runtime environment.
On my laptop (an C2D system, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD), I boot MPLAB X, half a minute later there finally is a IDE window. CPU was utilized 100% all the time.
On my PC (a new i5 system with 16GB RAM, 256GB SSDs) I boot MPLAB X, it still takes 20 seconds to boot and 100% CPU utilization.
Anytime the IDE goes "parsing projects", it becomes unresponsive for a second or 2.
If I "Clean project" on laptop machine, it becomes unreponsive for a second or 3.
People recommended me to delete/replace the "xlcm.exe" because even in the FREE version it is contacting the Microchip server on every file being compiled. This "contact" takes like 2-3 seconds if you're unlucky. So a medium sized project with 20 files takes like a minute extra (!) to compile. :=\
On my PC, after replacing the xlcm, enabling parallel compile, that same project takes 4 seconds to clean&build. :scared:

Why isn't there a decent IDE written in Qt these days? Qt runs on almost everything , should be possible..

- MPLAB X uses so much memory. Because it runs Java.

- PICKIT3 & PICKIT2 support is shabby. It's not a case of it either works or it doesn't work. It's mystifying, unpredictable, MPLAB X crashes randomly, undocumented errors (like, I don't give a toss that MPLAB X misses a memory object, I want my debugger to debug this chip).

I usually end up using the standalone app with my PICKIT2, and only when I really have to start the debugger. Or go back to MPLAB IDe. MPLAB X & PK2 support also has many bugs, but they say it's not their top priority to fix the support (because PK2 is old..).

I only have had problems with PICKIT3 and PIC24FJ64GC006 (one of the very latest ones) in MPLAB X. Never got it to work. MPLAB IDE? Some issues, but it works. The debugger glitches out every now and then though, which is extremely annoying.
I have got a feeling I made a step backwards whenever I'm using the PK3 in comparison to PK2 (except for extended device support).

In my opinion Microchip should really try harder and fix their tools. I think their range of 16-bit & 32-bit micro's can be really interesting, there is a lot of "content" out there to be sourced from, but it's too bad there is so much toolset (especially on their software side) crap going on.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 06:56:20 PM by hans »
 
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Offline dannyf

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2014, 12:36:12 AM »
That whole mplab x team should be banned from ever touching any piece of code. It took them years to get a half-baked buggy product to market.

Just total incompetency.
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Offline dannyf

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 12:38:24 AM »
Quote
I have got a feeling I made a step backwards whenever I'm using the PK3 in comparison to PK2 (except for extended device support)

Agreed.

I never understood their rationale for abandoning pk2 in favor of a decidedly inferior product (pk3).

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Offline ThorTheNorseman

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 10:04:41 AM »
I'm having the weird experience of having this work more reliably on a breadboard than on a veroboard... and the veroboard checked out electrically, I measured everything carefully. I'm very confused. Still, I'm not terribly impressed.
 

Offline jaxbird

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2014, 02:48:58 PM »
I originally bought a PICkit3 clone and I thought there was something wrong with it, so I also bought the original, however the original is just as bad as the clone  ::)

Recently I did a small project using a 16F684, it didn't work at all with PICkit3, I thought the mcu had gone bad or something until I found my old PICkit2, then everything was just fine.

I often find that the PICkit3 just stops working, then I need to unplug it, plug it back in and restart MPLABX to get it back.

For MPLABX, I can live with that it's a bit slow and consumes an enormous amount of memory, but I really hate the times on larger projects when it suddenly refuses to compile anymore and only gives some strange undocumented error saying please contact Microchip  ??? I've found the only way to get it back to working is to move the code around a bit (without making any actual changes) then it starts working again.

I wish they would spend a few month just bashing bugs.

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Offline senso

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2014, 11:56:28 PM »
Even the pickit3 Standalone program is a nice piece of code crap..
Tried to program a couple of pic16f something for a friend, lol nope, only exceptions and more exceptions followed by a couple freezes, I'm always wondering if it is my computer or if pickit3 is as crappy as it seems  :-BROKE
 
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Online andersm

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 01:20:35 AM »
People recommended me to delete/replace the "xlcm.exe" because even in the FREE version it is contacting the Microchip server on every file being compiled. This "contact" takes like 2-3 seconds if you're unlucky. So a medium sized project with 20 files takes like a minute extra (!) to compile.
That should be fixed in the latest versions of the compilers.

Offline lapm

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 01:31:22 AM »
People recommended me to delete/replace the "xlcm.exe" because even in the FREE version it is contacting the Microchip server on every file being compiled. This "contact" takes like 2-3 seconds if you're unlucky. So a medium sized project with 20 files takes like a minute extra (!) to compile.
That should be fixed in the latest versions of the compilers.

Im more curious why they tough its good idea in first place to add call home functionality.
Electronics, Linux, Programming, Science... im interested all of it...
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 02:13:19 AM »
Im more curious why they tough its good idea in first place to add call home functionality.

It doesn't 'call home'. It supports floating licensing from a network license server and due to some screw up it tries to find a license server when it doesn't need to or isn't supposed to.
 

Offline senso

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 09:23:40 AM »
And what is the need to use HID mode for the programmer, I suspect that almost all the problems are related to retarded drivers in windows and choosing hid mode for what could be using the serial emulation thingy.
 

Online andersm

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2014, 11:08:11 PM »
And what is the need to use HID mode for the programmer, I suspect that almost all the problems are related to retarded drivers in windows and choosing hid mode for what could be using the serial emulation thingy.
AFAIK, Windows has only had CDC support built-in starting with Vista, plus the OS is kind of weird in how it handles COM ports. HID basically works on anything that supports USB.

Offline senso

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 04:21:28 AM »
With the problem that it doesn't always works as it should  :-BROKE
 

Online eurofox

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 04:41:43 AM »
With the problem that it doesn't always works as it should  :-BROKE

You can send an email to : [email protected]

 :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Offline JTR

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 02:30:09 PM »
Suggesting a virtual serial port over HID for reliability purposes is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read on this forum.  :scared:
 

Offline senso

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 03:48:06 PM »
Re-read my post again, or maybe it was not clear, what I said is that choosing HID is also not a great way of communication, due to the great windows drivers, and the fact that windows always tries to connect the pickit as a freaking keyboard.
 

Offline hli

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2014, 02:55:35 AM »
I had to change the voltage to 4.875 V before that worked, and this is with the latest software.

I think these problems stem from a misunderstanding of what this setting means. AFAIK it defines the voltage the PicKit expects to see as target voltage. But when powered by USB, you basically never get 5V as output. First the USB voltage is lower than 5V in most cases, and then there is the circuitry in the PK3 taking its toll. That's why setting 5V here won't work most of the time (though it should when powering the target externally).
 
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2014, 02:57:05 AM »
Suggesting a virtual serial port over HID for reliability purposes is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read on this forum.  :scared:
I take it you're fairly new to the forum then?  ;D
 

Offline JTR

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2014, 06:26:25 AM »
Suggesting a virtual serial port over HID for reliability purposes is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read on this forum.  :scared:
I take it you're fairly new to the forum then?  ;D

Nice quip, me likes and I can see where you are coming from. I mean I did have the misfortune to read the C Vs ASM thread.  :-DD

However I spend all day, every day working with (writing firmware for) both HID and CDC devices so I have my perspective...  |O
 

Offline MartinP

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 03:39:54 AM »
I also just discovered that I need to set the Power to 4.5 V instead of 5 V when using a PICKIT3 with a custom card to avoid the error "Failed to get Device Id.".  The Status shows around 4.66 V, so I assume the card is pulling the voltage down.  I never experienced these type of problems with the PICKIT2 before.
 

Online ggchab

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Re: PICkit 3 still seems dodgy
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2017, 11:47:52 PM »
I had a similar problem with my PICkit 3 connected on an old desktop computer (to program a 12F1822 powered by the PICKit). I had to lower a bit the voltage in the power settings. The error message said this could be be due to the USB port delivering a bit less than 5V. The same PICkit 3 is working perfectly on my recent laptop.
 


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