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Good to start with?

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by Marks256, May 16, 2007.

  1. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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  2. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Active Member

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    What about the inchworm? Thats what I use. It was cheaper then the board in that ebay listing.
     
  3. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    Where did you get it? And if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost?
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Active Member

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    http://www.dipmicro.com is where I got mine. Its in Canada, but shipping wasn't that bad. The kit is $36.00 or $18.00 buys you the PCB. I'd go for the kit. Mine went together really nice. Only took me a few hours. I had some trouble with the cable when I first got it together. I ordered a USB to serial one that didn't work. Ended up with a serial extention that works great. I haven't had time to play with it for a while but once I got passed the learning curve, it was a blast to make LEDs do differnt things. I think you have more programming experiance then me, so you might catch on even faster.
     
  6. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    Well, i like the looks of the one on ebay. It has the ZIF sockets, and a direct USB programming cable (that way i can use my laptop, which has no serial ports.)

    On the other hand, i like the idea of the kit, and the price of the inchworm.


    Also, what is the RJ11 jack for (on the pickit linked on ebay)? Is that for the in-circuit programming?


    I dont know yet. Does anyone else have any ideas?
     
  7. TekNoir

    TekNoir New Member

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    You can purchase the real thing direct from Microchip for cheaper. (Probably better support as well.) Mouser and Newark (and possibly others) also sell the real PICKit2.

    http://www.microchip.com/pickit2/
     
  8. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    Yeah, i saw that, teknoir. I am still not sure what i will do...


    What are some other good programmers, anyone?
     
  9. Papabravo

    Papabravo Well-Known Member

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  10. kchriste

    kchriste New Member Forum Supporter

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    Google for "ICD clone". One of the hits will be the Inchworm which is also an ICD clone. The ICD, or a clone, will support ALL the PICs that Microchip makes. A lot of the other PIC programmers use the serial port in a weird way which won't work with a USB to serial adapter and also don't support all PICs. Same with the parallel port ones which is a problem if you have a computer with only USB ports.
     
  11. psecody

    psecody Member

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    I ordered the EasyPIC 4 recently and am waiting for it to be delivered. Has anyone else used it? Is it a pretty good board for a beginner to learn how to use pics with? I'm not new to programming (I've programmed C++, BASIC, and Pascal for years) but this time I'm going to learn assembly and so far its kind of confusing and I was wondering if the easypic 4 makes it easier to learn with all the extra crap its got on it. Thanks
     
  12. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    I never buy or order readymade kits or programmers.

    All I do is making in Vero boards.

    The programmer I have a LVP simple programmer.

    I’m doing like this.

    First choosing the PIC & get a zif socket to match it.
    Soldering the socket with VDD, VSS, RESET, and OSCILLATOR in the Vero board.

    & for the outputs I’m fixing 8pin base sockets (8BIT each).
    For this socket you can connect any of the ones you like ex: LED’s, Piezo’s, Relays,
    Segments, DC motors etc…with appropriate resistors or transistors as required.

    For the UART /IR stuff I have a separate own built board.
     
  13. evandude

    evandude New Member

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    If you're looking for a small, simple USB programmer, look at the real PICKit2, which is nice and small, and quite affordable. If you're looking at something larger like that board in the ebay auction you linked, it seems it would make more sense to look at an in-circuit debugger instead (like a USB ICD2). In-circuit debugging can really come in handy, even if you don't get into using it immediately.

    On ebay you can find ZIF boards which let you plug in an ICSP programmer like the PICKit2, and offer several different ZIF sockets for any size PIC, such as this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/PIC-kit-2-ICD2-...oryZ4661QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    It seems it would be a good pairing to either a PICKit2 or an ICD2 if you really want the option of programming in a socket. The main advantage here being that these ebay ZIF boards are generally cheaper than buying ZIF sockets alone and building something similar yourself.

    Personally, once I got my ICD2 running and set up in MPLAB so I can just click one button to program the PIC in-circuit and start running the program, without having to touch the hardware at all, I sort of lost interest in popping the chip into a socket to program ;)
     
  14. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    Well duh. PBASIC sucks, though...

    I would love to build my own, but i don't want to mess up and have wasted all that money. Also, i would like a programmer that can program a WIDE variety of PICS.

    Didn't the one i linked to in the original post have In-circuit programming?

    [​IMG]
    Isn't the circled connector for in-circuit programming?
     
  15. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Sure looks like one.

    I have an olimix tiny-icd2, an ebay USB ICD2 clone, and an inchworm. All three died. I fixed the inchworm and it is still in use. The other two are junk. The ebay one worked for about a week, something when wrong with its USB interface.

    I like the look of the PICKit2. But..

    IMHO a good ICD2 would use an socketed opamp to generate VPP. That would allow you to adjust VPP and if needed, you could replace the opamp in about a minute.
     
  16. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    So what should i go with? I do not have any money at the moment, so once i get some, i would like to get started with PICs. :)
     
  17. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    If you do not mind doing without in circuit debugging look at the USB Bit Wacker - 18F2455 $25 from sparkfun. Is is a USB enabled microcontroller with 24K bytes of flash. You can use the free student version of the Microchip C compiler to program it and the simulator to debug your programs. A lot of bang for the buck.

    When you get more cash you can upgrade your debug by getting a ICD such as the PicKit2 or an inchworm.

    The bit wacker is a fun little board and includes example programs that allow you to send/read values from its ports from a PC. (not vista).

    If you can not afford the $25 you can build on for about $10 if you can find someone to program the bootloader into the 18F. The chips are about $6.

    Vist this page for details on building one. You can do it on perfboard if you have to.

    Note that according to the PIC on the sparkfun site their board does not have a ICSP connetor. At least some of the version on the project web site has them.

    I have built boards based on the USB Bitwacker. The same programs work when bootloaded or with ICSP but you have to use a different linker file.
     
  18. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    The new Inchworm+ has a simple but workable VPP switch for 13V & 10.5V (a 2.5V Zener drops the voltage)
     
  19. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Don't forget about AVR's =) If you're don't mind turning to the 'dark side' as some PIC people might think theres a forum www.avrfreaks.net which has huge amounts of resources for entry level AVR programming. Parallel port programers are simple to build and all you need aside from that are the chips. You can purchase a stand alone programmer but it's not requried for ISP programming. I'd recommend something like the AtMega8. Which come in nice small DIP packages, lots of features and a decent amount of power.
     
  20. Marks256

    Marks256 New Member

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    AVR's look a bit too expensive... That is why i thought PIC would be great. ~$2 each isn't bad compaired to my crap BS2s... :(
     
  21. bloody-orc

    bloody-orc New Member

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    AVR's will give you twice as many peripherals for the buck than PIC's ;)
    Price here is also much better for AVR's than for PIC's. And the debugging hardware and proto boards (made by Atmel) are cheaper. You get a complete programmer/debugger and a prototyping board for $50 in digikey.
    AVR Dragon + STK500 combo.

    But again... One has to make his own decision... I can't make that for you ;)
     

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