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Recommend A Programmer?

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I've been using a PICStart Plus programmer for years, which integrates very nicely with MPLAB.

 

Now that I've discovered BoostC, it looks like getting the PICStart Plus to work with the SourceBoost IDE may be rather challenging.

 

So, could any of you recommend a programmer that is proved to work nicely (and easily) with the SourceBoost IDE?

 

What I really like about the PICStart Plus is that it handles pretty well every PIC ever made, from 6 pins to 40 pins. That is a really good point. Also, as I say, using it with MPLAB is utterly painless. What I dislike is that every so often it has a little sulk and has to be reset. Also, it uses a serial port rather than USB, which is a bit clunky these days.

 

I bought a "Microchip PICkit 2" some time ago, and I haven't played with it yet, but as far as I can see you have to build a circuit board to mount the chip you are programming, which seems a great deal less convenient than a 40-pin ZIF socket! Or perhaps I've misunderstood.

 

So, any advice on a programmer that plays nicely with SourceBoost IDE and has the flexibility I like would be much appreciated.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Hello-unless I'm mistaken, didn't you post this question and get my reply at the Hi-Tech forums?

 

If not, please disregard that.

 

The PICKit 2 will work quite well and is (generally) easy to use. There are new features as well, including a UART terminal function for your PC using the PICKit 2 as the interface and GUI as the terminal window.

 

The PICKit 2 does not taken any extra amount of effort to use UNLESS you are attempting debugging on a PIC that does not provide on-chip in-circuit debugging (ICD) provisions. Those require a PCB with special "ICD" version of the chip you will use, but still just plugs into the circuit in question.

 

The PIC is programmed & debugged via a 6-pin .1" header and may provide low-current power to the target circuit if needed.

 

You basically provide provisions for the PICKit 2 header in the circuit, and should be able to leave the PIC in-circuit from then on. The progrmr/debugger will identify the target PIC in MPLAB when you attempt to establish a connection to the PIC.

 

It uses:

- /MCLR / VPP line

- ICSPDAT ("PGD" on some PICs) data line

- ICSPCLK ("PGC" on some PICs) clock line

- VCC, ground lines

 

I think you will find it very convenient once setup properly and in use. The lines dedicated to ICSP can typically still be used for I/O functions in most cases.

These lines are usually "isolated" using 470 resistors or physically isolated in your design depending upon application.

 

It's not perfect, but has gotten better. Works well with Sourceboost C & MPLAB.

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Hello-unless I'm mistaken, didn't you post this question and get my reply at the Hi-Tech forums?

 

ChipGuy: nope, it definitely wasn't me! I haven't been near the Hi-Tech forums for as long as I can remember. I've decided to stick with BoostC for now (while I'm learning the ropes), although I ought to take a look at Hi-Tech C some time. However, I have asked a related question in the Microchip forum, although it wasn't in the context of using it with BoostC.

 

Anyway, ChipGuy and kenn, thank you both very much for such encouraging words about the PICkit 2. You've encouraged me to look at it again, and I think you are right - I should build ICSP into my circuits from now on, and make proper use of it, instead of messing about taking the PIC in and out all the time.

 

According to the manual, the SourceBoost IDE doesn't have built-in support for any programmer. Is there an on-line guide somewhere saying how to use PICkit 2 with the SourceBoost IDE?

 

Many thanks again,

 

Steve

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There *USED* to be a thread on this very forum with all you needed to set up a variety of programmers for use from the IDE. It was called 'Tell me your programmer command line'. Unfortunately it went missing a few months ago. I initially got PICKit 2 using PK2CMD and a Tait parallel programmer using WinPic going with it's help.

 

Watch this space . . .

 

Meanwhile PM me if you are stuck. (I'll edit this out and put a link in later)

I use PK2CMD (download from Microchip) and my command line is (all one line):

C:\PROGRA~1\MICROC~1\PK2CMD\pk2cmd.exe /BC:\PROGRA~1\MICROC~1\PK2CMD\ /P%target% /R /T /M /F

The /R releases /MCLR and the /T powers the PIC after programming.

Note the /P{short dos style 8.3 path name}. PK2CMD needs to know where its device file is and doesn't like /P"{long windows path}" one little bit. The IDE adds {proj_name}.hex on the end and launches it from the project directory so the /F switch gets the filename just after it where its needed.

Edited by IanM

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Fantastic! Thank you, IanM, I really appreciate you going to this trouble.

 

I'll give it a try.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

 

Steve

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