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ICD2 vs PICKit 2

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by noptical, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. noptical

    noptical New Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I need to buy a programmer/debugger for PICs ASAP and I'm having a huge dillema. I still can't really understand what's the big difference between ICD2 and PICKit 2 besides the huge difference in price of course.
    Anyone can explain me please?
    I've been reading posts from various forums but still haven't come to a conclusion.
    1) I read somewhere that pickit2 cannot program low voltage pics (the ones with the "L" in their names?). Is this true?
    2) I also read that pickit2 cannot debug as many pics as icd2 can and it also requires some extra module? Debugging is very important for me so if icd2 is much more superior than pickit2 in this department, I'll most likely get icd2.
    3) Some people claim that pickit2 is a much better programmer than icd2. Why is that?
    4) I see that both pickit2 and icd2 clones are much cheaper than their original counterparts, plus some have extra features. Are those clones as good as the originals? What shortcomings do they usually have compared to their original counterparts?
    I've found these 2 on ebay:
    ---- a) http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....m=250220186930&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=015
    ---- b) http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-USB-PIC-...Z4661QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262
    Anyone tried any of those? (a) also comes with an external zif module. I'm just wondering if these clones are really compatible with mplab software and if they support the firmware updates that microchip releases for their own programmers/debuggers.


    Damn, post turned out bigger than I expected :p Thanks for reading it :D



    ... and thanks for your help :)
     
  2. Diver300

    Diver300 Well-Known Member

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    As the PICKIT2 is only about $40 I can't see why you would bother with a clone.

    The ICD2 cannot provide any voltage other than 5V, so if you want to programme a low voltage PIC you need to power it separately. Also the ICD2 needs the 9V supply connected to supply 5V.

    The PICKIT2 can provide any voltage up to 5V.

    The ICD2 can work on a serial port. The PICKIT2 can't.

    The first ebay link looks like a good copy of the ICD2.
    The second looks like a PICKIT2 rebadged, with a mark-up.

    We bought a PICKIT2 some time ago, but it was one of the ones shipped without a bootloader, so we only got it working yesterday.

    As far as we can tell it does everything that an ICD2 does, and more, except have a serial port. It also costs about 25% of the price. I can't see us buying an ICD2 ever again.
     
  3. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    The only reason to buy an ICD2 (and this may change as the PICkit2 software gets updated rather regularly) is debug support for 16 bit PICs.

    The PICkit2 has some nice uitlitites too, the UART tool, the one button programming, EEPROM support, command line programming. A really nice tool all around. The only negative with a genuine PK2 is the programming connector but I'm probably biased as I also sell a PK2 clone kit.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Diver300

    Diver300 Well-Known Member

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    With MPLAB 8.02, and a PIC24FJ32GA002, debugging with the PICKIT2 seems to be possible.
     
  6. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I have found the PicKit2 a bit flakey in debug mode. Pressing F8 (step over) will often result in the code just running away. The function "Set PC at cursor" just doesn't work.

    Mike.
     
  7. bananasiong

    bananasiong New Member

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    Hi,
    Read the discussion here. Also, PICkit2 is capable of programming the low voltage PICs such as 24F and 33F. As for the LF, they can be programmed the same way as the F version.
     
  8. noptical

    noptical New Member

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    Thanks for your replies!

    I live in Europe and pickit2 + shipping = ~60-70euros which is (~90-105usd) :)

    I thought it was the icd2 that could program low voltage pics and pickit2 :confused: or so i read...

    So I don't really understand, are there any reasons to choose icd2 over pickit2? What exactly justifies the bigger circuit board and the much bigger price?

    Also, how good is icd2 as a (ICSP) programmer compared to pickit2?

    And finally, how exactly is icd2 better than pickit2 in debugging? Does it require extra modules for debugging pics just like the pickit?


    Questions questions questions... I'm confused and stuck with a stupid JDM programmer that works only whenever it wants to... :(
     
  9. Diver300

    Diver300 Well-Known Member

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    You are buying from the wrong supplier....

    http://de.farnell.com/9847170/halbleiter/product.us0?sku=MICROCHIP-PG164120

    The ICD2 can program low voltage PICs, but it cannot provide 3.3 V. If you want to use a PIC that cannot run on 5 V (e.g. pic18F24J10) then you have to provide 3.3 V and the ICD2 can program it.

    The PICKIT2 can provide 3.3V


    Both ICD2 and PICKIT2 seem to work fine as programmers.

    I haven't used the PICKIT2 as a debugger, but there seem to be some problems. The ICD2 works fine.

    You need to provide connectors for either debugger. For larger PICs, you can debug the standard PICs. For smaller ones, you need a module, and they are then more like an emulator than a debugger.
     
  10. parts-man73

    parts-man73 New Member

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    I'm interested now. I was planning on buying a PicKit 2. What is the negative about this connector?

    I am currently using a serial programmer from SparkFun, (which is actually a Olimex PG2 (JDM type programmer)) but the only computer I own with a serial port is in the cold dark basement, and I can't program directly from MPLAB.

    I want to upgrade to a USB programmer. Is the Programming header on the PK2 the same type as on the PG2 from Olimex? or what differences are there and does an adapter exist?

    Brian
     
  11. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    You would have to make one. The PICkit2 uses a female 6x1 pinheader. The Olimex uses a male 1x6 molex. Bill's programmers use a male 2x5 IDC.

    I started out with the Olimex style molex connectors and switched to Bill's system. You can make a cable for Bill's system in just a few minutes with no soldering. Just cut the ribbon cable to length and add the 2 IDC connectors by slipping them over the cable and squeezing in a small vice.

    You should take a look at Bill's Junebug kit. I use them in my class and for mentoring. It is a PICkit2 clone with a built in target 18F1320 target board.

    In this pic a Junebug is connected to a Moongose robot for programming via the ICSP ICD connector.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    When I designed the Inchworm (ICD2) and more recently the Junebug (PK2) I recall why I choose the 2x5

    The RJ12 on the Microchip ICD2 does not have 0.1" pinning (breadboards & protoboards are usually 0.1")

    The 1x6 female header on the PICkit 2 IMO simply comes loose to easily plus its not readly designed for use with a programming cable (the Junebug has a 16pin extended version available)

    Some clones use a 1x5 (the prehistoric PGM pin is omitted) polarized male header, you need a crimp tool to build them. There is also no strain relief so you have to be careful.

    Other clones use a 2x5 male header and IDC cable. This is the system my kits use.
    1. Inexpensive
    2. Robust the IDC cable has strain reliefs
    3. Reliable on my kits I double up the connections
    4 Can be assembled easily a small vice works well
    5 Can be used on a solderless breadboard (the doubled connections work well here)
     
  13. patroclus

    patroclus New Member

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    I got a Pickit2 clones, because it came with a 3 ZIF sockets PCB for the same prize. It works great so far, but I have 2 problems.

    1- 12F629 can't be programmed neither read. If you try to, it works some times, and most of them just writes and reads incorrect data... this hurts to me, as I have to use my old Willem parallel port programmer for this....

    2- MPLAB 8.00 does not recognize my pickit. It just shows gray in the menus. From outside, my pickit seems like the original one, and I flashed it with latest firmware from Microchip...

    so be careful. Maybe someone know why these things occur??
    I'll be so pleased :)
     
  14. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine why your PICkit2 clone would be greyed out with MPLAB8, I run MPLAB 8.02 with my Junebug (PICkit2 compatible) no problem. Does the PICkit 2.4 software see the programmer?

    The 12F629 also work fine with the Junebug, does your clone support VPP before VDD programming? What brand is it?
     
  15. futz

    futz Active Member

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    6. You can get cables for free from old junker (pre-pentium) computers. All you have to do is make one new programmer cable from every two old boxes (some have two cables, so you can make one programmer cable from the two).
     
  16. noptical

    noptical New Member

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    Can you tell us please which clone exactly did you get?
     
  17. patroclus

    patroclus New Member

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    one that looks like this one

    http://i17.ebayimg.com/07/i/000/c7/e9/d74b_1.JPG

    brand, sure electronics.
    Pickit 2.4 sees the programmer and works great, but does not work with 12F629 and MPLAB8 shows pickit2 grayed in programmer and debugger menu....

    I don't know about VPP before VDD.
    Is it activated in with "Use VPP first program entry" under pickit software ?
     
  18. noptical

    noptical New Member

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    I was about to get that one as it's very cheap (23euros including shipping) but I finally got an ICD2 clone instead from ebay. I'll probably get one of these to, I've bought from sure electronics (on ebay) a couple of things and they're pretty good when comes to pricing.
     
  19. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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  20. patroclus

    patroclus New Member

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    anyone knows what can I do to make it work with a 12F629 and MPLAB8 ??
     
  21. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Can you post its schematic?
     

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