Author Topic: PIC programmer advice  (Read 6964 times)

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Offline dilbertTopic starter

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PIC programmer advice
« on: May 04, 2012, 06:22:53 pm »
I'm going to buy PIC programmer for a PIC16F628,possibly a 16F648 later,but nothing more.Can I settle for cheap $20 programmers or will they smoke the first time i power them on?It's the first time i program a chip,any advice will be of great help,thanks
 

Offline olsenn

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 06:30:57 pm »
A PicKit 2/3 is all you need
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 07:07:01 pm »
And a PICkit 2/3 is wonderful, especially compared to the cheap programmers.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 08:59:46 pm »
+1 for the PICkit 2 or PICkit 3.

Avoid JDM style programmers that use the serial or parallel port.  They just don't work reliably with the ports on today's computers or USB adapters.

Depending on what you're going to do, the PICkit 2 might be the best option - the UART tool and logic tools can be very useful and the PICkit 3 does not include these features.

My recommendation is the real deal from Microchip; some of the clones work well but others skimp on the details.
 

Offline xquercus

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 11:25:32 pm »
Grab a real PicKit 2 or PicKit 3 from Microchip.  USB is fast and they also do stepped debugging which is invaluable.  I just crushed my PK2 with my chair and looked for a replacement.  I wasn't able to find one so I went with the PK3 despite the issues folks report having.  It gave me a bit of trouble when I first used it but I was able to work around it.  According to the support guy at Microchip, I wouldn't have had the issue I had if I used MPLAB X -- only MPLAB 8.

Definitely get the real deal Microchip branded product.  The PK3 is only $50.  Between my own programming errors, bugs in Microchip's products, and all the other challenges, it's just nice to know that whatever issue I'm dealing with *isn't* because I'm using some cheap knockoff clone.  There are just so many things that can go wrong.  You don't want to spend your time troubleshooting an issue for hours all the while wondering if it's because of the clone programmer.  Not that MC is perfect.  They are famous for bugs.  They are, however, documented for the most part.

As an aside, if you are ordering from the US, Microchip Direct has incredibly fast and affordable shipping.  Sparkfun also stocks the PK3.

-Jeff
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 12:03:13 am »
Microchip still sells the PICkit2.  As of now there are 206 in stock.
 

Offline mariush

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 12:56:57 am »
I've bought a PK3 along, with a development board (having a PIC24 on it I think) but I'm working with a breadboard and some PIC16F chips.

It works fine but it's not without issues. I'm using it with mplab-x and hi-tech c (not that it matters) and I've seen the PK3 simply stop working (after programming the chip a few times). Usually happens after a pause of about 10-20 minutes.

In general, it starts working after I go in Device Manager and disable the USB controller powering one of the 2 usb slots the controller is plugged in  and enabling it again. So yeah, other than this minor annoyance it works fine.

 

Offline Baliszoft

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 08:49:05 am »
I got both pickit2 and 3. They both can be plugged in to the host computer at the same time, so if you got a multi processor project, you dont have to mess with changing the ICSP and downloading a different firmware to pickit 3 (even though MPLAB cannot be run in multiple instances). If the devices you are about to use are programmable with pickit2, choose that instead of pickit3. It is better IMHO.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 08:54:54 am by Baliszoft »
 

Offline dilbertTopic starter

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 11:46:59 am »
Thanks.I can get the 3 for 43€ and the 2 for 46€,so for a project(altimeter) with a single 16F628/16F648 do you still recommend the Pickit2 over the Pickit3?
Also,can i get away with a chinese 9€ zif socket or some wires on my breadboard,or do i really need Microchip's board?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 11:49:46 am by dilbert »
 

Offline T4P

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 12:10:12 pm »
A zif socket is a good one, but pickit is good for ICD so if you want to upload sketches it might be good
 

Offline dilbertTopic starter

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 01:07:25 pm »
The project circuit will be a variant of this: http://www.geocities.ws/jpadfield13/downloads/altimeter_v3.zip
 

alm

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 01:10:41 pm »
ZIF sockets are mostly obsolete in my opinion, nobody uses anything but in-system programming for development if they have any choice. Having to plug the uC in a programmer to upload a new program gets old really fast. Just plug the uC in a breadboard or in your circuit, and program it through a programming header that you designed in your circuit. You can use a standard DIP socket if you consider a uC an expensive part that you might want to reuse.
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 02:26:19 pm »
Why do you want a ZIF socket?  The PICkit will program the PIC in-circuit.
 

Offline dilbertTopic starter

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 10:59:25 pm »
Why do you want a ZIF socket?  The PICkit will program the PIC in-circuit.
This is great news.I tought that the board contained something necessary to the programmer or the chip.I'll use in on board on the breadboard then :)
 

Offline Baliszoft

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 11:15:40 pm »
Thanks.I can get the 3 for 43€ and the 2 for 46€,so for a project(altimeter) with a single 16F628/16F648 do you still recommend the Pickit2 over the Pickit3?
Also,can i get away with a chinese 9€ zif socket or some wires on my breadboard,or do i really need Microchip's board?

For 16F-s i would choose the pickit2. I am using the pickit 2 for 30F-s, too. Newer pic-s may require the 3, however.
 

Offline bxs

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 08:41:19 pm »
Don't wast your money and your time with some obscure programmer, if you want a cheap one, pickit2 or 3 is the solution.
I prefer the pickit2 but for newer PICs you need pickit3, so if you only want one go to pickit3.
 

Offline Skibane

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2012, 04:52:50 am »
I've had good results programming 12F's and 16F's with the Piccircuit ICP-01. It uses the genuine PICkit programming software, so all the whistles and whizbangs work properly.

It only costs around 15 bucks, so you can afford to keep a spare around.

You can also order it with a ZIF socket for under 25 bucks.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2012, 06:05:44 am »
I've had good results programming 12F's and 16F's with the Piccircuit ICP-01. It uses the genuine PICkit programming software, so all the whistles and whizbangs work properly.

It only costs around 15 bucks, so you can afford to keep a spare around.

You can also order it with a ZIF socket for under 25 bucks.

Be careful with this and many other clones.  The PICkit GUI allows adjustment of Vdd for the chip to be programmed, but this programmer doesn't support it.  If you're using a low voltage part like the 18F25K20, you'll roast it.

From the spec sheet for this programmer:

Quote
Supported for 5V operation voltage only
3.3V supply, J-Series and in-Circuit Debugging mode are not supported

The big danger is that it looks like Vdd can be controlled, but it's actually fixed.
 

Offline Skibane

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Re: PIC programmer advice
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 01:37:24 pm »
Yep.

The 3.3/5 volt version costs an extra 3 bucks...
 


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