# pic-2 usb burner compare against pickit2

#### Gold Dust

Joined Feb 28, 2009
5
I am new to pic microcontrollers and have no experience with them.
My question is does anybody have information on which of the following pic programmers are best for a newby. Talking Electronics "PIC-2 USB BURNER" or Microchip's "PICKIT2"?

Also, which is easiest to learn.

I plan on using basic language and a usb cable from pc to programmer.

Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Larry Gold

#### t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,934
The "PIC-2 USB BURNER" is a PICKIT 2 clone so it should work as a PICKIT 2. However the "PIC-2 USB BURNER" is a kit you must assemble by your self. And parts has to purchased as I understand like the USB cable. So the cost may easy be close to PICKIT 2 in the end. If you are beginner just go for the PICKIT 2. It is plug and play. The "PIC-2 USB BURNER" is more of a plug and pray. If your budget allow it perhaps a PICKIT 3 is better

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
I'd suggest a PICKit 2 direct from Microchip over ANYTHING ELSE, no matter how much you save.

Most people get turned off uC programming because their programmer is junk, or a DIY kit that sometimes barely sorta works if you hold your tongue the right way.

Starting off with a quality, affordable, assembled and tested programmer like the PICKit 2 will save both you and us (helping you) at least a week of frustration.

#### nigelwright7557

Joined May 10, 2008
532
I always go for Microchip kit, if they cant get it right then no one can !
I have heard a few horror stories about copy parts that wont program certain PICs

#### cravenhaven

Joined Nov 17, 2011
34
If you want to start with basic then perhaps it might be worth looking at the PICAXE chips. basically they are PIC chips preprogrammed with a built-in basic interpreter. No programmer hardware is required, the chips can be reprogrammed in circuit, the programmer and simulator tools are free and there is a fantastic web forum to help you earn it all.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I'd suggest a PICKit 2 direct from Microchip over ANYTHING ELSE, no matter how much you save.

Most people get turned off uC programming because their programmer is junk, or a DIY kit that sometimes barely sorta works if you hold your tongue the right way.

Starting off with a quality, affordable, assembled and tested programmer like the PICKit 2 will save both you and us (helping you) at least a week of frustration.
I would further that by suggesting a PicKit III. The II does not support a lot of the newer Pics. But if you can';t afford a III then get the II.

But ThatOneGuy still has excellent advice, don't waste your time or money on a clone.

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
I would further that by suggesting a PicKit III. The II does not support a lot of the newer Pics. But if you can';t afford a III then get the II.

But ThatOneGuy still has excellent advice, don't waste your time or money on a clone.
The PICKit 2 can program everything the PICKit 3 can, it just can't debug everything the PICKit 3 can, and those devices aren't in the mid-range familiy (PIC10-PIC18), mostly dsPIC and PIC32.

The problem is that you have to manually download the device file to update the PICKIT 2 regularly, where the PICKit 3 is a bit more automated.

#### CraigHB

Joined Aug 12, 2011
127
I thought the PICkit3 was the one that had to update every time you use a different MCU. They broke out the the firmware into many parts to make the PICkit3 more versatile, or something.

My PICkit2 has only needed an update a few times and there's no need to update for a particular device once you've got the latest update.

If you look at the list of supported parts by going to Configure -> Select Device in MPLab, there's a lot of red dots (unsupported) in the "Programmers" section for the PICkit2. It' a lot of the newer devices in all the series. I'm expecting I'll have to buy a PICkit3 at some point. I read somewhere it's possible to do a hack to get the PICKit2 to program some officially unsupported devices. I have a feeling they're trying to obsolete the PICkit2 sooner than later for whatever reason. It's probably more political than technical.

BTW, you can get the PICkit programmers stand-alone. They seem to push the development kits on the main Microchip web site. They're cheaper that way. The PICkit2 is $35 by itself and the PICkit3 is$45 by itself, still reasonable (here's a link). I've never felt compelled to buy any of the development boards. They kind of designed the PICkit for those boards, but it works great as a stand-alone programmer/debugger. Though it has the wrong gender on the connector because of that. I changed it on my PICkit2 and I'll probably change it on the PICkit3 when I get one.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
The updates aren't a big deal. It happens automatically in MPLab. It only takes a minute or two.

Development boards are nice if you never programmed a Pic before. The one for the Pic Kit3 is really nice as it gives you lessons on the various features of the MCU.

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
I'll be using the PICKit 3 exclusively when they add the logic analyzer and UART debugger to the standalone program like they have on the PICKit 2. I don't see why they'd take a step backwards.

Not everybody goes through MPLAB exclusively.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I'll be using the PICKit 3 exclusively when they add the logic analyzer and UART debugger to the standalone program like they have on the PICKit 2. I don't see why they'd take a step backwards.

Not everybody goes through MPLAB exclusively.

That is a good question why they did not add the logic analyzer. Maybe they figured it was not being used much?

What is the UART debugger? Is it basically a protocol analyzer or is it a debugger that works through a UART port?

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
That is a good question why they did not add the logic analyzer. Maybe they figured it was not being used much?

What is the UART debugger? Is it basically a protocol analyzer or is it a debugger that works through a UART port?
It gives you a TTL Tranceiver at any baud rate. So you can talk to boards, etc without needing a separate USB->Serial FTDI adapter.

debugger was in wrong place, it's also a PIC Debugger, but that's a different mode.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
It gives you a TTL Tranceiver at any baud rate. So you can talk to boards, etc without needing a separate USB->Serial FTDI adapter.

debugger was in wrong place, it's also a PIC Debugger, but that's a different mode.
So you mean like being able to send debug messages to the console? Yes that would be useful.

Does it use the same connections for ICSP adapter?

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Yes, it's physically exactly the same as the PICKit 3, button and LEDs in same place, same connector, etc.

Both are used the same way to program/debug.

They just didn't make those extra tools in the standalone programmer, I have both, and both standalone programs, but the standalone program for the 3 is program only, none of the extra features.

The UART will let you talk to routers or send messages in a terminal window. You need to connect to Vdd, Gnd, Tx and Rx at logic level, not the 12V RS-232

The UART, Logic Probe, and Logic Injector all "remap" the ICSP pins and when you open the tool, it shows a picture of how to connect it. It's worth the \$35 just for those features!