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Basic PIC 'Deployment' Concept

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Newbie level 1
Jun 1, 2011
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I'm a newbie at PIC programming and haven't yet even decided on which microcontroller/programmer/dev-board to buy yet and am still in my initial research stages. I have a basic question I hope somebody can help me out with...

I understand you buy a Development board to upload a program to a chip via a serial cable, but when it comes to deploying the finish product, is it normal practice to then remove the chip from the development board and plug it into a new circuit board (i.e. a circuit designed for whatever you wanted to do) at which stage the development board is no longer required (accept for reprogramming, etc)? Let me know if this assumption is correct or incorrect.

for a discussion about starter kits see

for initial prototyping development boards are usful. For example, I tend to use Microchip's Explorer 16
**broken link removed**

which can take PIC24, dsPIC and PIC32 plug in modules and has lots of daughter boards for USB, Ethernet, WiFi, etc.

when the concept has been proved a PCB is designed and built specifically for the project.

It is normal practice to either: 1) remove the chip from the dev board and plug into the final circuit, or 2) program another chip (or batch of chips) and use them in the final circuits and keep the original chip on the dev board for further development.

It is also quite common for there to be a connection on the board to the PGC, PGD and PRGPWR pins of the PIC which are the pins used for programming, by doing this it means that it is possible to program the chip whilst it is in place in your circuit which means you dont have to swap chips from development board to the circuit. In order to do this you would be looking at getting an ICD3 or some similar piece of kit, I can highly recommend the ICD3 though.

Another alternative is to put a connection to the USART, on your PIC, on the board, you can then use a bootloader to put the software into your PIC, however, to do this you would still need a programmer to put the bootloader onto it in the first place, so only really best for updates.

Hope this helps.


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