MCUmall's Enhanced Pickit2

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Ron H, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
  2. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    Save your money and buy a real Microchip pickkit. Form the looks of it there is no ICSP connector so no way to debug or program your code in circuit.

    You can pretty much buy a real pickit 2 or 3 for the same price. I don't see how they can justify charging what they are charging for this "clone". Also I can't see how they can call it a PicKit 2, I would think that is a registered trademark of Microchip. I'll bet it is only a matter of time until they are sued.
     
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    What may seem to be an important feature is the ZIP socket for programming, but one soon learns that in circuit is the way to go as you can also use that for in circuit live debugging. There *is* an in circuit programming inferface. They make their own pin outs and provide jumpers.

    That said, this is a clever device. The RS232 is an extra feature that could prove very useful. From the images it seems they cloned a PICkit 2 so it will also work within MPLAB.
     
  4. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    Oops I mussed that. Maybe not so bad then. I would still be worried about compatibility issues. It says it works with those chips but who knows for sure? And when you have an issue then where do you go?
     
  5. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
    it is true that official pickit2 or pickit3 are about $50. i don't think you can buy pickit2 any more. there is tons of clones for pickit2 because microchip released schematic and frimware so anyone can build one if they like. in my spare time i decided to do just that and made my own based on this:
    http://www.micros-designs.com.ar/pickit2-clone-5v3-3v/

    the only thing i had to buy is usb connector and crystal, everything else came from my collection. pic was obtained as free sample from microchip. it worked right away. neat... later on i flashed it with firmware from microchip website.
     
  6. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    Yeah, that's what I'm concerned about. I'm also concerned about the issues some of our members have had with Pickit3, and I don't anticipate using the PIC32s , etc., that aren't supported by Pickit2. Pickit2 seems more user friendly and stable, but it apparently will not be supported by Microchip much longer.
    Meanwhile, some say that 2 and 3 are basically identical at the human interface level.
    I'm in a quandary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  7. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    Microchip still has Pickit2 for sale.
    If I decide to buy a Pickit2, what are the benefits of the Starter Kit vs Debug Express?
     
  8. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    There are a number of the 8bit family not supported by the pickit2 also.
     
  9. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
  10. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    And the two have lessons in assembler not C. The 18F starter kit has C lessons.

    Others will argue but I fail to see the need to learn to program in assembler.

    I used C lessons that came with the PicKit 3 and they were pretty decent.
     
  11. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    Initially, I just need to create several pulse sequences, as in the attachment. Period is on the order of 50mS, adjustable up to maybe one second. Pulse widths are from a few milliseconds down to tens on microseconds. I envision using a timer interrupt to control the period, and some simple code to generate and adjust the pulse widths. I was thinking that assembly would be the best the best way to create this. Can it be done in PICC Lite C? How about PIC Basic?
    Later, I may want to use the ADC and some analysis code to analyze the analog data I get back.
    I'm very competent in analog and digital circuit design, but I haven't done any assemby programming since the early 1980s, on my Apple II's 6502.:eek:
     
  12. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    It can be done in any of those. I have not done assembler in about a century myself. But back then it is all we had except for maybe slow interpreted BASIC. So you pretty much had to know assembler. On some chips there was no choice but assembler. And I coded on a 6502 too except I had a PET and Atari.

    Now there are all kind of tools so I say use them. While a really good assembler programmer can probably beat a C optimizer, no way can a mediocre programmer beat it, So really (IMHO) there is no reason for the hobbyist to bee programming in assembler except for maybe because they want to.

    You might want to check PWM. Some chips have dedicated pins for PWM. You can use microchip's parametric search to find your chip. Of course it can be bit banged too.


    This could probably be done with some 555 timers BTW but a pic would be more flexible.
     
  13. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    Yeah, I started drawing it up with 555s. Too many parts. That's how I concluded I needed to use a microcontroller.:D

    Thanks for your observations.:)
    I will probably try one of the high level languages first. I am not looking forward to learning PIC assembly language.
     
  14. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
    any language would allow you to do this.

    ASM will allow you get most out of hardware. the problem is that it takes some time to get used to and some more to be good at. also does not translate across platforms. so time invested to learn it on one platform is next to useless when you work on another (different brand microcontroller or CPU). if you only need to do basic things like counters etc, this is fine, try doing anything with match and you will quickly realize how cumbersome things can get. this is where high level languages come in handy.

    C syntax is a bit awkward sometimes but it has huge following on any platform. results in good optimization, often matching hand optimized ASM code (unless the ASM programmer was a true expert).
    there are free compilers for any platform but there are also the fancy ones that cost top dollars. some of them are offered as demo or lite version or have other type of restrictions such as max code size etc.
    another major advantage of C is that it easily translates to other platforms so you don't have to worry about hopping from one platform to another. the only things that change is list of things under the hood of particular chip. rest is all the same.

    BASIC has syntax that is claimed to be easier to learn for younger people or those with no programming experience. i don't see much basic in embedded world. also the friendly syntax comes at a price, it is less efficient in terms of resource use

    smaller PICs have very little memory and ugly memory paging. due limited resources, they are usually programmed in ASM.
     
  15. Ron H

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    7,050
    657
    I did a lot of Basic programming in bygone days, and was pretty proficient. I never needed to learn C, but I guess it's time for this old dog to learn some new tricks.

    Does anyone have any comments on my post #6 regarding Pickit 2 vs 3?
     
  16. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
    i used both and they work just fine. from user point i don't think there is much difference.
    except that for PicKit2 you can get another utility ("PicKit 2 Programmer") which i like.
    I guess it was created as a support tool when they released design for pickit2 because this has also some diagnostic.

    Also pickit2 can be used as logic analyser (you may like this one for your project, when scope is not around).
    http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/PICkit 2 Logic Tool User Guide.pdf
     
  17. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    4,873
    996
    The 2 comes with a logic analyzer and serial port debug terminal ability but the 3 will support any chip , the 2 will only support newer chips

    Weighing everything , I think the 3 is the way to go.
     
  18. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    C can be used to write horribly complex statements (sometimes called "write only" code as only the author could even understand them) but it can also write very simple & elegant code too. After several years using C I far prefer it to Basic.

    PICkit #3 does less then the #2 but for all devices and will have full ongoing support.

    PICkit #2 does more but only for earlier devices and has limited support. You may find online hacks to get unofficial devices to work. The #2 does have a very nice stand alone app (no MPLAB) for programming and some troubleshooting of the PICkit itself (yes you can kill either a #2 or a #3).

    I own both #2 and #3 (and the ICD3 too) and I do not find the #3 any less useful then the #2. Just for ongoing support alone I would suggest someone starting out get the #3.

    After all, you don't want to learn next month the new PIC you want to use needs a new programmer.
     
  19. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    1,320
    304
    get pickit3 then make pickit2 and you hav both
     
  20. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    5,939
    1,222
    I would also have chosen the PICKIT 3.
     
Loading...