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> Pickit2 Clone
kl27x
Posted: February 10, 2012 06:54 pm
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Well, I finished my PICKit2 clone.

It doesn't detect a Vdd short to ground in time to automatically turn off Vdd, like the original PICKit2 does. But when in Programmer to Go mode, it detects a short. So I'm not sure what gives. Probably a combination of omitting a couple caps, capacative coupling, poor circuit board layout, and serpentine ground plane.

Anyways, if anyone here wants to give their continuity meter a workout, they can give this a try. (It's all SOT23 and 0603 SMD stuff!) The board is doable with toner transfer. Just follow the schematics in the PICKit2 datasheet, and swap 2 individual SOT-23 FETs for the 6 pin SOT 23 dual FET in the schematics. I've built 4 of them, and all went well.

http://www.instructables.com/id/PURPIC-the...-PICkit2-clone/
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Jimthecopierwrench
Posted: February 11, 2012 07:06 am
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QUOTE
Well, I finished my PICKit2 clone
Isn't those things like $25? Although the execution is very nice, I have to woner why you're reinventing the same wheel with the same tread pattern and not working towards our ultimate world domination goal?


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kl27x
Posted: February 11, 2012 11:43 pm
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Well, yeah. You musta missed my other thread where I have hundreds of these microcontrollers, lol.

But having the integrated li ion charging and DC boost makes it much more useful for Programmer-to-Go, which is great for batch programming. And batch programming is the main reason to have a PICKit2 if you are seriously into PICs (and have programmers with better debuggers).

This programmer sticks on the end of a pogo pen, battery and all, right where you can see the indicator LEDs and have no cables.

You can jury rig something up with the original PICKit2, but it ends up taller, heavier, and with jumper wires. You also need a separate recharge port and take care while charging it while it's plugged into the computer, else your USB voltage might clash with the DC boost output. Or worse, yet, you can make a small battery DC boost that plugs into the top of the already lanky PICKit2. Building it anew, I could eliminate all that.

All the other PICKit2 clones are bigger than the original. And they add nothing, really. Other than the AU electronics version. It comes with a DC-boost (for out of spec USB ports, but I presume it would also work with a li ion battery) and an RJ-12 connector.* Mine is smaller than the PICKit2, even with the DC boost, and the short n fat aspect ratio keeps the center of gravity low enough to stick on a pogo pen and forget it's there. It is the ultimate Programmer-to-Go. So at least it does something.

* I spoke with the designer/seller of the AU Electronics clone, and he says he still gets a fair amount of sales overseas. His customers mostly use this programmer for production programming; hence, they like the robust RJ-12 and full size USB connectors on his version. Some no doubt take advantage of the command line programming software and have completely automated setups. But for small volume programming of a wide variety of chip pinouts and packages with a manual interface, Programmer-to-Go is the king of all easily affordable and flexible methods. Well, with one caveat. I don't recommend it for the older parts that use the OSCCAL calibration system. The Programmer-to-Go won't detect an invalid OSCCAL, which does occur from time to time from a bad flash.

I highly doubt they'll ever add this feature to the PICKit3 or to give a good efficient standalone software for their even faster ICD3 programmer. Otherwise it would make production programmers nearly redundant. From a business model, they probably feel it was a mistake to put such great features in the PICKit2 in the first place.

I am working on a setup to semi-automate chip burning using my ICD3, but it's not as convenient. You have to keep MPLAB running, and you have to open and set up each project before you start burning chips. The GUI is not optimized for burning. It doesn't support the newest 16F devices. And I see no option to burn a hex for which you don't have the source code.

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not working towards our ultimate world domination goal?

Sometimes I just plum run out of good ideas!
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