Author Topic: #39 pic kits  (Read 12429 times)

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Offline invent

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#39 pic kits
« on: September 09, 2010, 03:37:31 pm »
I wanted to purchase the pickit2. Should I purchase the "pickit2 starter kit" or "pickit2 debug express". I have used microchip products with third parties programmers in the past.  I thought the debugging functions would be helpful. Can I also debug with the “pickit2 starter kit"? Any advice on which to pick.

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Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 04:07:02 pm »
Hello

You can debug most of the PICs with just the Pickit2 programmer and no boards else...

http://www.microchipdirect.com/productsearch.aspx?Keywords=PG164120

Some old pics require an ICD header and a special connector, so it's up to you if you just buy the programmer or the whole kit.

In order to know if you'll require the whole kit, check the programmable-debuggable pics in this list:

http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en027813

The pickit2 main page:

http://www.microchip.com/pickit2

I only have the programmer and have never required any board else.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 04:29:19 pm »
I bought the pickit2 on it's own and have been quite happy with it, I've never got round to using the debugger, as i understood it, it was just a better than nothing logic analyser ? but of course useful if you have nothing else although i prefer to use a scope where i can.

Bear in mind that whatever you buy straight off microchip will come out much more expensive than they show, my pickit2 started as listed at £17.5 and ended up at £37 delivered after VAT, handling charges and shipping, to be honest to advertise something for £17.5 knowing they will put another 5 on it for handling (that there is no exemption for anyway) is not very nice but who can argue with a big corporation.
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Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 05:05:05 pm »
I bought my Pickit2 from mexico.newark.com and at the end I payed 47.15USD.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 05:12:58 pm »
I would think ordering stuff in bulk direct from microchip becomes much cheaper but one offs are not cheap, it's cheaper and faster to get pics from farnell/RS than microchip unless your buying thousands
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Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 07:40:10 pm »
Yeah, I have been recently buying some Microchip development items and the quote was significantly cheaper from farnell than Microchip itself.

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 12:01:22 pm »
it's because at least for the UK they do not hold stock so I think they send it straight from asia, else they are just ripping us off
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Offline scrat

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 12:56:27 pm »
I bought the pickit2 on it's own and have been quite happy with it, I've never got round to using the debugger, as i understood it, it was just a better than nothing logic analyser ? but of course useful if you have nothing else although i prefer to use a scope where i can.


I think a debugger is much more than a logic analyser. It allows you to instantly see how variables and internal registers are set, without the need to put them on an output pin (which in some cases can be impossible), or to see if a piece of code gets executed or not. For example, this way I easily found some errors in peripheral libraries, and now I usually take a look at all the registers involved, if something seems not right. Of course, you can't use it in some cases (especially when working with converters or controllers), but I think it is still useful.
I own a homemade clone of the MPLAB ICD2 (the debugger from Microchip), and it works quite well with MPLAB (even if breakpoints management isn't so good). It is easy to find on the net schematics, layout and firmware to make a clone, and it will cost much less than the original (the major cost comes from a PIC18F4550 and a PIC18F877A, but I received them as free samples).
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Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 01:01:28 pm »
I think your talking about the junebug ? by blue room electronics, that seems to be a good replacement for the pickit2
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2010, 05:03:57 pm »
Hello
You can debug most of the PICs with just the Pickit2 programmer and no boards else...
how to do the real debugging with pk2? coz so far what i know it only capable of simulated debugging in MPLAB ???
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2010, 11:57:32 pm »
Hello
You can debug most of the PICs with just the Pickit2 programmer and no boards else...
how to do the real debugging with pk2? coz so far what i know it only capable of simulated debugging in MPLAB ???


Just enable the debugging tool as Pickit2 in the Debug menu.

The step by step functions, breakpoints, watches, inspectors and everything else you use in the MPLAB SIM tool, are now replaced with the real time data the Pickit2 collects. Simple.  ;D
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 06:57:08 am »
I think the pickit2 has a built in logic analyser, to debug you probably need something else
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Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 01:38:43 pm »
The pickit2 has a built-in logic analyzer and a built-in debugger. You need nothing else (for most of the pics).

It also has a UART tool, Logic input/outputs and a variable power supply from 2.5V to 5V with up to 100mA output.
 

Offline scrat

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2010, 11:01:06 am »
I never used a PicKit 2 until now. From what you said, it has nothing less than MPLAB ICD2, perhaps something more. Why does it cost much less?
I always thought that PicKit2 had some restricted feaures about debugging, so I didn't go so much in deep.
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. - Elbert Hubbard
 

Offline TopherTheME

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 09:00:26 pm »
I wish the pickit 2 supported the PIC32 chips.  :(

The manual board power thing really ticks me off.
Don't blame me. I'm the mechanical engineer.
 

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2010, 09:10:28 pm »
microchip might have made some good token efforts over pickit3 being improved but I would still call them cheats and dishonest, as far as I know apart from not being kept up to date and the few extra's 3 offers there was no need for the "upgrade" is was just to drag more money out of people. Basically microsoft tactics
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Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2010, 09:26:34 pm »
I wish the pickit 2 supported the PIC32 chips.  :(

The manual board power thing really ticks me off.

I can program my PIC32MX420F032H and my PIC32MX440F512H just using my Pickit2. What I can't do is debug them.

There are some PIC32s out there that can be programmed with the Pickit2.

PIC32 Devices

    * PIC32MX320F032H, 320F064H
    * PIC32MX320F128H, 320F128L
    * PIC32MX340F128H, 340F128L
    * PIC32MX340F256H
    * PIC32MX340F512H
    * PIC32MX360F256L, 360F512L
    * PIC32MX420F032H
    * PIC32MX440F128L, 440F128H
    * PIC32MX440F256H
    * PIC32MX440F512H
    * PIC32MX460F256L, 460F512L

http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en027813
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 06:49:19 am »
are there open source versions of the firmware/software, it would be great if someone gave microchip the kick up the ass they deserve by rewriting the firmware for pickit 2 and 3 so that 2 supports all the later chips and 3 actually works
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Offline scrat

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 08:36:58 am »
I don't know how it is for the Pickit 2/3, but for the ICD2 someone ripped up the FW (or made one equivalent, but I don't think so), take a look at here: http://www.icd2clone.com/wiki/Main_Page
Probably the same happened for Pickit2, it is a little less probable for Pickit3, since it is too recent.
Then one should also modify the PC software (even the driver?) to implement different things from the original version... Not an easy task, starting from the assembly!
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. - Elbert Hubbard
 

Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 02:03:17 pm »
are there open source versions of the firmware/software, it would be great if someone gave microchip the kick up the ass they deserve by rewriting the firmware for pickit 2 and 3 so that 2 supports all the later chips and 3 actually works

Yes, there are. Microchip released the firmware, electronic diagrams and Visual Studio source code for the Pickit2. It's not a secret:

http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1960

There are lots of Pickit2 clones around the internet. I think the Pickit2 firmware is perfect. There's no need to modify it, IMHO.

I don't know about the pickit3 source code... I've seen some A!tium files which have the inners of the pickit3, which uses a PIC24 and also include its firmware. I don't know if Microchip released it or if it's a hacked Pickit3.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 02:06:35 pm by migsantiago »
 

Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2010, 03:33:23 pm »
It's a PIC24 hex. You can modify it if you know ASM and have the patience to analyze thousands of lines.

The hex can be updated via MPLAB or Pickit3 beta.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2010, 04:32:42 pm »
so could the pickit2 be updated to support later chips ?
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Offline migsantiago

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2010, 05:05:42 pm »
so could the pickit2 be updated to support later chips ?

It is constantly being updated by Microchip to do so.

But it works with a PIC18F and therefore it has its limits. That's why you can't debug a PIC32 with a PIC18.

Just buy a Pickit3, it's not that bad.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2010, 06:38:40 am »
yea 2 fills my needs so far so I will wait until I need it
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Offline TopherTheME

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Re: #39 pic kits
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2010, 06:22:57 pm »
Quote
Just buy a Pickit3, it's not that bad.

I own one, its ok in most respects. Its very fast and does everything I ask it to without issue. I bought mine for $35 shipped with a student discount, but if I paid full price for one I would probably be complaining more. There really isn't much room to complain if you think about it. Although its not as fully featured as the 2, it programs and debugs every modern microchip uC out there for a fraction of the cost of other manufacturer's programers *cough* atmel *cough*.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 06:25:16 pm by TopherTheME »
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