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Thread: Pic Programmer

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate KyleYankan's Avatar
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    Pic Programmer

    Hello everyone. I thought I posted this but for some reason I can't find it!

    I had a few questions about programming a PIC so I figure a new topic would be best in case anyone is searching for it.

    OK, here's my questions:
    I don't have alot of money. A homemade programmer is defintly the way to go, for a while with me. Can anyone recomend an easy to build circuit?

    Here's a few random questions too:

    What's an ICD2? What's EEPROM? Do I need either or? I beleive PICs have built in EEPROM, so why do some programming boards offer it?

    What exactly is needed to program a PIC? I want to go the parallel port way, because my serial ports are being used.

    One last question: How easy/hard is it to transfer serial data between a pic, and other hardware?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate KyleYankan's Avatar
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    Oh, and about the actual programming. I understand programming a pic can be done in C. I'm sufficient in C++. and own a copy of codewarrior. Do I have to compile my code in codewarrior, or does the program I use with the programming board handle it?

  3. #3
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleYankan
    Hello everyone. I thought I posted this but for some reason I can't find it!

    I had a few questions about programming a PIC so I figure a new topic would be best in case anyone is searching for it.

    OK, here's my questions:
    I don't have alot of money. A homemade programmer is defintly the way to go, for a while with me. Can anyone recomend an easy to build circuit?

    Here's a few random questions too:

    What's an ICD2? What's EEPROM? Do I need either or? I beleive PICs have built in EEPROM, so why do some programming boards offer it?

    What exactly is needed to program a PIC? I want to go the parallel port way, because my serial ports are being used.

    One last question: How easy/hard is it to transfer serial data between a pic, and other hardware?

    Ok. I'd just buy a PGC1 or PGC2. probably cheaper then making your own. $12-13 dollars + shipping. They work with most computers. Some have a cheap rs232 driver that doesn't provide actually 12 volt swings though so on some pcs it won't work. I own both and they work fine.

    ICD2 is In-Circuit-Debugger. I haven't used it yet, but it gives you a real time look into the chip IIRC when running.

    Pics don't have much eeprom, for instance most pic16x have 128 bytes! You'd normally use this for persistant info. Like volume/level or whatnot.

    You need a c compiler that can target it. I think GCC does now, but I normally use Hi-Tech C when using C code. The free version works well but has some restrictions. If you want to use it, make sure you buy a PIC the free version targets.

    Serial is pretty easy. I normally use a MAX232 but there are cheaper methods. I don't recall them, cause I never actually used them. If you can spare 20 bucks, get an Olimex proto board (18 or 40 pin). You get the board, PIC, MAX232 wired with caps, 4 or 20MHZ crystal and ICSP (In circuit serial programming header) and RS232 connector. All you need to do is plug it in and your almost done. You will need to wire RX/TX to the MAX232 though.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    For your first programmer, search for THVP (both in these forums and on google). It's a simple parallel port programmer supported by several different PIC programming packages. You can make this with parts found at radio shack for ~$10. The main limitation of this programmer is the software support -- basically you can only flash those chips supported by your software.

    Once you've used the above circuit and are ready to move on to something that works with pretty much every recent PIC, search for ICD2 (again on google or on these forums). There are several plans around that will show you how to make your own. In addition to programming, the ICD2 will allow you to debug your code while it runs on an actual chip (i.e. in the target circuit) instead of just simulating it. You can build one of these for < $25 but you'll need to order some of the parts from digikey or elsewhere.

    You can hook almost any PIC to your serial port. Some have dedicated hardware for this purpose and on others you'd have to implement the low level serial routines in code (lots of compilers come with libraries to do this). Either way you need some kind of level converting circuit to convert the TTL voltage levels of the PIC to RS232 compliant (or at least compatible) voltage levels. The MAX232 is a common IC that can do that.

  5. #5
    FLAC mauri's Avatar
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    Sw free ,IC-PROG 1.05 ----> link
    http://www.electronics-lab.com/downloads/mcu/005/

    Hardware to program the pic free ----> link
    http://www.pianetaradio.it/tecnica/programmatore.htm


    Mauri

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate marshallh's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have the Velleman K8048, which works pretty well for programming most types of common PICs. You can see more info here
    http://velleman.be/common/product.Aspx?lan=1&id=350903

    A good place to buy this is here
    http://www.qkits.com
    Although they are in Canada, they ship fast and I trust them more than some in the US.

    Any more questions, let me know!

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate Stonewall78's Avatar
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    I have the pic programmer from kitsrus.com (also sold as qkits) and it works pretty well and has regularly updated software.

  8. #8
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    Wow, I got exactly the same one, a velleman kits.

    I used it alot until I built the ICD2 clone.

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