Programming PICs

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Wendy, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I'm thinking of getting a programmer, a Velleman K8076 for around $65 locally.

    Just curious how people would review it.
     
  2. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    The Velleman may be good enough, if you have a serial port and are happy with the rather limited range of PICs it can program.
    The PICKIT2 can program a lot more parts, and is USB, which might not be a consideration now, but your next PC may not have a serial port - mine hasn't.
     
  3. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Why not just use some 555 timers:D( Sorry could not resist). Well joking aside I would say NO , get a PICKIT 2 or 3, with a demo board. They are often bundled together. Then you have grown out of your demo board. You can build your own trainer.
    With a PICkit you can program in circuit so you do not need a ZIF sicket, Also a PICkit unit will give some debugging options, but not for all controllers. The Velleman has no such options.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  4. bertus

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    Apr 5, 2008
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  5. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Looks like the debate continues.

    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?p=16943

    I have no idea what I'm after, I'm just looking.

    To set a minimum standard, it needs enough pins to run a clock display, and have a row of buttons to set a clock and/or timer.

    It would be nice if it were a DIP package, since I'll likely breadboard whatever I do.

    A/D converter is nice, but not necessary.

    Cheap is good.
     
  6. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Take a look at the PicKit2 Programmer, that is one thing nobody that continues with PICs regrets as a purchase for programming. It also acts as a high frequency logic probe with logging to the computer, and a Serial/I2C debugger mode & software.

    Then you have the choice of the "Demo Board". The earlier demo board that came with their ICD had everything you are looking for, but isn't in production.

    The choices are a couple "Low Pin Count" Demo boards, which use DIPs, have LEDs and sometimes LCDs, and the "High Pin Count" Demo Board, which has a surface mount 44 (or more) pin 18F series processor, and can have as little as 8 LEDs, or as much as an OLED display and multiple sensors.

    The total cost for the PicKit 2 and either the low pin count demo board and the basic SMD Demo board is around $60 for everything needed, including a free C Compiler, the MPLAB design suite, and a dozen or more extremely well documented/commented example applications with source code to work with A/D, PWM, Switch Input, etc.
     
  7. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    The low pin count demo board can handle pics upto 20 pins.
    With the icsp feature it is possible to program larger chips.
    On theis (german) page there are a lot of pictures on how to connect the larger pics to the PICKIT2.
    http://www.sprut.de/electronic/pic/icsp/icsp.htm

    Greetings,
    Bertus
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Another option is the Inchworm from Blueroomelectronics. Bill is a member of this forum. You can get a professional board, not whole kit, from him for $9.00 USD (it is on his home page). The Inchworm plus has some other features, but I have the older Inchworm and it works fine for me. Both are for ICSP and require a serial port. The latter may be a problem with some newer computers. For example, my ASUS MoBo serial port would not work, but a street USB to serial adapter works fine.

    John
     
  9. eng1ne

    Member

    Dec 4, 2009
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    Bear in mind the PICKit 2 will soon become (if it already hasn't) unsupported for new PIC devices.
     
  10. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    I would still go with the pickit 2 bill, it is still very usefull even for some newer uc's that microchip has released as replacements for older ones.... By the time you outgrow any of the uc's it supports you would probably need something like the REAL ICE or similar for something more advanced.... and for $39.00 dollars at digikey, it makes a nice addition to the tool box..... ;)
     
  11. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Have you considered spending a little bit more, if you go up to $139 you can get an amazing EasyPIC6 development board from MikroElektronica;
    [​IMG]

    I did a review of the EasyPIC6 here;
    http://www.romanblack.com/easypic6.htm

    You can use the free demo version of the MikroC compiler, it is limited to 2k PIC code but that is plenty for most projects and you can still use MPLAB in assembler if you need larger projects. You can plug any of the 16F 18F PICs into it, and all the peripherals like LCDs, serial, buttons, LEDs etc are already setup for you.

    I know $139 puts it out of the price range of most beginners etc but you are probably going to be more of a "power user" anyway, (you are not a beginner on a teenager's budget) so having all those peripherals on board is really well worth the money.

    The main criticism I've seen of MikroC and the EasyPIC6 is that it makes PIC development "too easy". :D
     
  12. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    @RB

    Very nice review. I'm almost ready to buy one...

    1) Will it work without the crystal oscillators for chips other than the 10F series?
    2) I could not find the list of supported devices. Where is it on the home page?

    John
     
  13. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
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    You can get a bigger BANG for your knowledge:

    http://www.microchip.com/stellent/i...Id=1406&dDocName=en539716&redirects=picdemlab

    For starts, the following links may assist you on how to write code for the supported microchips by the PICkit 2 programmer. The pickit 2 programmer can program a huge variety of microcontrollers from microchip..........

    http://www.gooligum.com.au/tutorials.html
    http://www.ermicro.com/blog/?p=875
    http://www.ermicro.com/blog/?p=909
    http://www.ermicro.com/blog/?p=423
    http://www.ermicro.com/blog/?p=820
     
  14. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    PICdemlab is not even close. A breadboard can't compete with having one LED on every PIC pin and one button on every PIC pin, never mind the plugin ports for LCDs etc.

    Jpanhalt- Yes the EasyPIC lets you use all osc options. The xtals plug in, so you can change xtal values, and there are jumpers so you can remove the xtal and connect those pins to I/Os instead of xtal. Same with the MCLR pins.

    As for supported devices, the EasyPIC6 has a PICFlash2 onboard programmer that is very similar to the PICKit2 (but I dont think it is exactly the same), however it can be updated externally by the windows USB software.

    This is a list I found in a Feb 2009 post in the MikroE forum. I'm not sure where it is on
    the home page, but I think they have added more devices now like some of the J K PICs. If you have a specific device please ask and I will check my latest install of PICFLash2 on my other PC.

    PIC10F200
    PIC10F202
    PIC10F204
    PIC10F206
    PIC10F220
    PIC10F222

    PIC12F508
    PIC12F509
    PIC12F510
    PIC12F609
    PIC12HV609
    PIC12F615
    PIC12HV615
    PIC12F629
    PIC12F635
    PIC12F675
    PIC12F683

    PIC16F54
    PIC16F57
    PIC16F59
    PIC16F72
    PIC16F73
    PIC16F74
    PIC16F76
    PIC16F77
    PIC16F83
    PIC16F84
    PIC16F84A
    PIC16F87
    PIC16F88
    PIC16F505
    PIC16F506
    PIC16F610
    PIC16HV610
    PIC16F616
    PIC16HV616
    PIC16F627
    PIC16F627A
    PIC16F628
    PIC16F628A
    PIC16F630
    PIC16F631
    PIC16F636
    PIC16F639
    PIC16F648A
    PIC16F676
    PIC16F677
    PIC16F684
    PIC16F685
    PIC16F687
    PIC16F688
    PIC16F689
    PIC16F690
    PIC16F716
    PIC16F737
    PIC16F747
    PIC16F767
    PIC16F777
    PIC16F785
    PIC16HV785
    PIC16F818
    PIC16F819
    PIC16F870
    PIC16F871
    PIC16F872
    PIC16F873
    PIC16F874
    PIC16F876
    PIC16F877
    PIC16F873A
    PIC16F874A
    PIC16F876A
    PIC16F877A
    PIC16F882
    PIC16F883
    PIC16F884
    PIC16F886
    PIC16F887
    PIC16F913
    PIC16F914
    PIC16F916
    PIC16F917
    PIC16F946

    PIC18F242
    PIC18F248
    PIC18F252
    PIC18F258
    PIC18F442
    PIC18F448
    PIC18F452
    PIC18F458
    PIC18F1220
    PIC18F1230
    PIC18F1320
    PIC18F1330
    PIC18F2220
    PIC18F2221
    PIC18F2320
    PIC18F2321
    PIC18F2331
    PIC18F2410
    PIC18F2420
    PIC18F2423
    PIC18F2431
    PIC18F2439
    PIC18F2450
    PIC18F2455
    PIC18F2458
    PIC18F2480
    PIC18F2510
    PIC18F2515
    PIC18F2520
    PIC18F2523
    PIC18F2525
    PIC18F2539
    PIC18F2550
    PIC18F2553
    PIC18F2580
    PIC18F2585
    PIC18F2610
    PIC18F2620
    PIC18F2680
    PIC18F2682
    PIC18F2685
    PIC18F4220
    PIC18F4221
    PIC18F4320
    PIC18F4321
    PIC18F4331
    PIC18F4410
    PIC18F4420
    PIC18F4423
    PIC18F4431
    PIC18F4439
    PIC18F4450
    PIC18F4455
    PIC18F4458
    PIC18F4480
    PIC18F4510
    PIC18F4515
    PIC18F4520
    PIC18F4523
    PIC18F4525
    PIC18F4539
    PIC18F4550
    PIC18F4553
    PIC18F4580
    PIC18F4585
    PIC18F4610
    PIC18F4620
    PIC18F4680
    PIC18F4682
    PIC18F4685
    PIC18F6310
    PIC18F6390
    PIC18F6410
    PIC18F6490
    PIC18F6520
    PIC18F6525
    PIC18F6527
    PIC18F6585
    PIC18F6620
    PIC18F6621
    PIC18F6622
    PIC18F6627
    PIC18F6680
    PIC18F6720
    PIC18F6722
    PIC18F8310
    PIC18F8390
    PIC18F8410
    PIC18F8490
    PIC18F8520
    PIC18F8525
    PIC18F8527
    PIC18F8585
    PIC18F8620
    PIC18F8621
    PIC18F8622
    PIC18F8627
    PIC18F8680
    PIC18F8720
    PIC18F8722

    Also the EasyPIC can be used as ICSP to program PIC on other boards, AND it now has a ICD connector so you can program the PIC on the EasyPIC board with an EXTERNAL ICSP/ICD like a PICKit2 if you would so wish.
     
  15. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Placing my order. The available add ons are also so inexpensive, i cant see going another route. The eeprom and flash memory card ad-ons are under $10 for eeprom and under $20 for flashmemory card, And you can incorporate them into stand alone projects. The sheer volume of buttons/led/lcd/programmer(all three)/and all other components would cost you more alone. Think of the time savings alone! How long does it take for you to multiplex a 4x4 button matrix on a breadboard alone? The amount you would spend in components and connecting jumpers (on a bid enough breadboard) alone more than pay for itself. And with a pickit2 you still have to get a development platform.

    Not to mention how cool it looks on romanblack.com.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  16. lmartinez

    Active Member

    Mar 8, 2009
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    EasyPic6 Development System:

    Too fancy for a beginner in uC, no opportunities to utilize other electronic components such as a 555 timer.
     
  17. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    I'm with RB on this one. BigPic6 is a nice dev board. On the other side I highly recommend on of these big boards for beginners so you can see how everything is connected and working.
     
  18. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Bill, don't go with that Velleman programmer; it won't support many of the newer uC's that Microchip has out.

    I think you could have a lot of fun with even a PICkit 1, and they're only about $35 + shipping. That limits you to 14-pin PICs, but you'd be surprised what you can do with even 8-pin PICs. I've had a PIC12F675 sitting in a PICkit 1 flashing a dozen LEDs in random patterns for a year now - just using four I/O pins. That doesn't even scratch the surface of what these things can do.

    But if you really want to build a clock with an LCD display, you could get a PICkit 2 Debug Express for $49+shipping from Digikey, Mouser, and many other places. It comes with a PIC16F917 mounted on a dev board, and that PIC has built-in functions to handle LCD displays - along with many other features.

    Don't discount the "little" PICs, like the 10F and 12F series.

    The biggest hurdle is the learning curve for programming the things. Once you get over that, you'll be amazed at what you can do with so few parts.
     
  19. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    I think Bill should pic up PICkit 3 then he can breadbord his first trainer/demo board using a PIC16F917, or a PIC18F45k20. Microchip provide schematics for all their demo boards. And they are very simple. It is just a pot, a switch and some LEDs.
     
  20. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    I think this unit is very good for educational use. But not so good then you shall make your own projects. And the list of supported uCs is small compeared to a PICkit 3. And how about support for newer uCs and incircuit debugging?
     
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