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[SOLVED] Help : Pickit2 Clone from India

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felix.ragav

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Hello Everyone!

I'm New to EDA boards. I'll make a Quick OT Intro, I'm Ragav, a Radio Amateur, from Chennai, India. I'm Mostly into Software Defined radio's and RF circuits by default.

For a Few days however I've been reading up on Microcontroller projects and would love to get my hands on them.

For this I've been looking for a suitable USB PIC programmer ever since. I came across a lot of designs on the internet for such a programmer, but none have met my requirements so far.

I prefer to Use BJT's for Programmers and Save the FET's for RF applications, mainly because I feel that they are too costly and second reason being, why use a difficult hard to find part when something common is available. I'm also looking for a design which derives power from the USB as I'm not really a fan of ICSP. I'd be trying to use a ZIF socket for the programmer. The other major requirement I'm Okay with would be minimal solder side jumpers. Why do i need this strange requirement? I'm Planning to help college and school kids assemble these programmers as a part of a volunteer classes on "Introduction to Microcontrollers". Kids and Oldies, alike are prone to solder the jumpers in all sorts of wrong locations all the time

Although I can live with basic 5V devices, a 3.3V addition would spice up the programmer even more. The Programming on the Go is not something we are looking at.

Any schematic/boards/ideas which meets my requirements will be truly appreciated.

Also Please Note that I'm not planning to BUY a Already assembled programmer from the sellers who lurk around at these forums ( one exception exists) who wanna make the maximum buck for something that is available for free from other hobbyists. Please keep off this thread if that is your Intention.

As a homebrewer, I'd rather make something than Buy! (Unless it really has a Exotic parts)

Sorry If my post sounded authoritative or harsh at any point. But from experience on certain forums has taught me a lot! Hope to find better people here.

Thanks and 73 (Radio speak for regards)

Ragav
VU3VWR
 

john blue

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Hi,

Here you go. Pickit 2 CloneView attachment PICKIT 2 Clone.rar . You need to supply external supply however. If you need the power directly from USB, then I would suggest you to buy the original one. The power from USB could be very unstable at at times it would malfunction for the clone version.
 

betwixt

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The schematic for the genuine Pickit 2 and the firmware for the controller are freely available on the Microchip web site. If you have worked with SDR you will find it very easy in comparison!
From the reports I've seen on here and elsewhere, some of the clones do not have full functionality, for the sake of a few coins, it seems silly not to build the real thing so you get predictable results and full compatibility with Microchip's own software, including MPLAB.

73s
Brian.
GW6BWX
 

felix.ragav

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Hi!

@ Brian: Yes agreed that the PICKIT2/3 is a much better option for a microcontroller enthusiast, but for very occasional programming, i dont really see the point in buying a 40$ + Shipping programmer to India, that too in a bulk (10 plus minimum) quantity.

I Hope you realise that as a radio amateur, Im more Inclined on experimenting rather than buying, be it a LED flasher or a Xtal controlled Transceiver. I also realise that the Program on the go is not really needed in this case. I reserve Buying as the Last case option. I would anyday Buy a Commercial rig rahter than homebrew one simply because it is much more rugged and has better features and save the trouble of aligning and casing it.

What I'm looking at might look cheap for those outside India, but those who have gone through the trouble of finding EEPROM's, FET's and other "Exotics" have always been hard for us. Frankly speaking, Radio Ops here use Devices such as IRF 510's in pairs as Linear Power amplifiers in RF modules. That is the situation. Unless you are very serious about the project, you will have to manage with what little is available.

@ john : Thanks for the link. I already have the file. can you tell me if I can connect this to a ZIF adapter and use it with USB without external power? Sorry if i sound like a Idiot. I am one with Microcontrollers.
 

john blue

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can you tell me if I can connect this to a ZIF adapter? Yes... just connect the ICSP pins to the ZIF socket. Thats the 5 pins you need to program a uC
and use it with USB without external power? Nope. You cant. It would be very unstable for a clone made to do that. I have built and tested it but sometimes it disconnect from the PC. So, stick to external supply.
 

felix.ragav

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@ john : Sounds like a good idea. I saw A schematic from blurroomelectronics. It seems quite simple but no support for 3.3v devices. I might attempt that. But then again, Im trying hard to find a device which can support 3.3v Devices as well.
 

betwixt

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Felix.raval, I didn't mean to buy the Pickit itself, what I'm saying is the schematic and the program for the 18F2550 are both free on the Microchip web site. You should be able to build your own using their design. As far as I know, you can leave the EEPROM devices out altogether is you don't want the 'Programming on the go' option. Building it this way will make it expandable in the future if the need arises and it will cope with both 5V and 3.3V devices. In fact it will use the supply on your board or it's own built in supply (derived from the USB port) if necessary. As a bonus, the real Pickit 2 design works as a debugging tool, a bi-directional serial port and a logic analyzer.
I don't think most of the components are critical, you should be able to trace substitutes.

Brian.
 

mvs sarma

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I totally agree with betwixt.
and there is one PCB artwork right on this site by NISHAL on a thread that is started by computerman29.
Somehow the spec is inconsistent. if the item is for college students and if 5V alone is sufficient then either the Blueroom Electronics design or the one suggested by John Blue could be tried.
Mr Ragav knows vu3wjm who brought out a new artwork for a similar cause.
If an attempt is to be made for Complete version, Yes, one has to use special components and they wont cost Moon.
 

felix.ragav

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Thanks for the Suggestion Brian. In fact,I saw the Design from yet another Member , Nishal. Although the Kit looks good, I'm still considering other options mainly beaacuse I want to keep it simple for the students.

Hope you get the point.

73
Ragav

---------- Post added at 12:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:14 PM ----------

Hello sarmaji,

Hope you doing good. yes I have Nishal's artwork, but its not only for college students but for other hobbbyists as well. I'm unaware of Rahul's (VU3WJM) microcontroller programmer.

I want it to be simple but good as well. that is why I've been searching for programmers supporting 3.3V programming. Agreed that they wouldnt cost the moon for a professional like me, but what would a 12th grade Kid be willing to pay? Please go through my first post.

If you have 3WJM's Board/Design/Schematic please post them here.

thanks

Ragav
 

john blue

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@felix.ragav. Mine support all range. Depending on your input voltage to VDD and GND. If you need 3.3V then use 2 AA battery. You should get 3.0V should be enough. We have tried it in one of the course in my university. :)
 

felix.ragav

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Ok John, Ill look at yours. but still think something can be done with the power derived from the USB board. Can you tell me what kind of problems you faced?
 

john blue

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Go read the post on Computerman29. All of the problem faced has been mentioned there. :)
 

mvs sarma

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i should be loyal to wjm by not posting his work over here, LoL. It is almost similar to what John Blue provided a link.

In fact, if your assumption that hobbyists and kids and elderly cant do what you might do, i feel not correct. It is your assumption .
once a board is there, and an assembled sample shown by photos, most people can assemble better than me and you. what ever they struggle for another day extra, they gain over the exercise. We need not underestimate the future generation's abilities.

what is so great that astudent, hobbyist cant spend another 150 extra compared to what he spends on 18F2550 etc
one stroke you get a complete pickit2. the artwork can have the memory chips and can be loaded as and when a need arises. O use computerman29 workaround with an artwork revised after Nishal's. I had adopted to use 2n390x for transistors(npn and pnp), MCP6271 for U2 and IRLML6402(an SMD) for Q1. Other Mosfets are BF170 and BF250.
 

millwood

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I am looking at this from a different perspective.

you either buy a pickit2/3, or build your own, for $30 plus more. all you get for your money is a programmer.

now, for $7, you get a STM8S Discovery that is a programmer, a debugger, a dev board, with an led and a switch, around a chip with 32K flash and runs up 24Mhz (equivalent to a 96Mhz PIC).

or for $10, you get the STM32 Discovery: 32K flash, good for 24Mhz, 32-bit chip, etc.

or for $30, you get a USBKEY2 that is a 128K flash, 16Mhz chip, with a built-in programmer, debugger, and is a dev board with switches, leds, and temp sensors, to name a few.

why should anyone waste his money on a pic or a pickit2/3 or even the clone?
 

felix.ragav

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Thanks all, found a better solution somewhere else :???: , mods can lock up this thread now. Frankly speaking the solutions were either a overkill or not what i really expected. but a huge relief was that none of the Board sellers advertised on this thread.... phew
 

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