Electronics > Microcontrollers

what should happen when you plug in a PIC microcontroller?

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I'm currently designing a custom keyboard and want to use a pic18f24k50. This bootloader project (https://hackaday.io/project/63204/instructions) had me believing that I don't need to program the pic with a pickit and ICSP pins, but could instead simply connect the board via usb and it would appear as a writeable usb drive.
I ordered the pic in a qfn28 package and soldered it on my board, however nothing happens when I plug it into my computer via usb. I was wondering if anything is supposed to happen and I screwed up the soldering? Or do I have to go the "old-fashioned" route with a pickit programmer and ICSP pins?

Thanks in advance :)

Start by downloading and reading the datasheet.
That what it's for. the datasheet is always your first reference in case of doubt.

And in these modern times those datasheets do not only have an index, but the text itself is searchable too...

I don't think the hackaday project was intended by the manufacturer, I know that the official method is going through a dedicated hardware programmer. From a similar post I made on stackexchange (https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/644259/programming-pic18f24k50-over-usb) it seems that nothing is supposed to happen with an unprogrammed pic so I'll be waiting for my pickit to arrive.

sites like hackaday, stackeschange ane 95% of the rest of internet is nice for boosting your inspriation and it can save you lots of time if you find a similar project to what you want to do yourself.

But for reliable info there is simply no substitute for a datasheet.
Downloading the datasheet, and searching it for "bootloader" and/or "programming" would have taken you about as much time as writing these posts.

IIRC, eight bit PICs don't come with a factory pre-programmed bootloader, unless you specifically order them from MicrochipDirect, programmed with a user-supplied firmware image with that functionality (the set up fee is significant so this is only really an option if you don't want the hassles of production line ICSP programming).

If you are too impatient to wait for your PICkit, and you still have a PC with legacy ports, your PIC18F24K50 should have low voltage programming enabled by default, so provided you can access the required pins on your board, you could cobble together a DIY LVP programmer and use it with the PICpgm software.  See: http://picpgm.picprojects.net/hardware.html 


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