Electronics > Microcontrollers

PIC: Is there a way to recover a dead PICKIT 4?

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Hey guys.  I'm just a hobbyist, but I have managed to kill 2 PIC Kit 4's recently. 

I'm pretty sure I'm using them as designed but it seems they are VERY fragile.  After a while they start to complain about programming speed and generally get temperamental.  Eventually they won't connect at all. 

So I tried to do the "Hardware Tool Emergency Boot Firmware Recovery" but that has almost bricked it.  I say almost as I can still see it in Device Manager (Windows 10).  There is no light on the PK4 and MPLab won't recognise it.  I have also tried it on multiple computers.

Is there any hope? 

Many thanks


Microchip is rumored to have a good replacement policy for their programmers (unlike Atmel.)

You've gone through two already? Try the MPLAB Snap this time.

Official PICKit's, or clones?

I've recently had to replace the usb connector on one of my PK4 because it would get intermittent connections.. When i removed the old one i saw that the paste on the pin didn't reflow :( so if you are getting intermittent connections, usb dropping when touching the PK4 i would try and reflow the usb connector.

If you are using the first hardware revisions, and programming an ancient pic (for example those with MCLR above 12V) you should be aware that you need to perform an hardware mod because of ringing on the MCLR line. it should be on the PK4 product page
see: https://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/ETN37_MPLAB-PICkit4_overshoot_modification.pdf

I managed somehow to brick the PK4, i had to go under the hardware recovery thing, it took a while but everything was ok

--- Quote from: westfw on May 05, 2021, 12:19:12 am ---Microchip is rumored to have a good replacement policy for their programmers (unlike Atmel.)

--- End quote ---

True. You need to open a ticket on the support channel. we got new PK3 when they failed years after we bought them

--- Quote from: MikeK on May 05, 2021, 12:26:00 pm ---Official PICKit's, or clones?

--- End quote ---

I highly doubt there are PK4 clones around (that aren't rebranded PK3 or PK2 clones)


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