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'[EE]: Xeltec Superpro280'
2002\06\18@101025 by Erik Jacobs

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www.xeltek.com/sp280.htm

Opinions?  Experiences?  Thoughts?  Comments?  I'm in need of a programmer
(I have none, and if you're following the rest of my postings/threads you'll
realize I'm a relative noob), and am looking for something (primarily) with
good PIC support -- this appears to support 16F7X which is one of the chips
I'm considering using... and this programmer seems to be one of the better
ones that supports it.

-Erik

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2002\06\18@102903 by Joe Farr

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Seems to support just about everything you could think of.

But do you want all that support ! 450 bucks dosn't sound that cheap if all you want is a PIC programmer. You can pick one up ready built for less than 50 and I would think you can build one for next to nothing. The only part you probably don't have lying around is a ZIF socket. And think of all those PIC's you could buy with what you saved !
The best thing I ever did was built my own. It works really well, and I understand how it does it. No fancy parts to go wrong.

I'd get/build a cheap one untill your sure you know exactly what you need - might save you a packet in the long run.








{Original Message removed}

2002\06\18@103650 by Tan Chun Chiek

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$449 for a programmer just for programming PICs? You should seriously
consider getting a cheaper one, or even build your own. My DIY JDM currently
serves me good for programming 12c508, 16F84, F628, F87x. If you have some
electronics background, which i think you might, try building it. schematics
and programming software available here.
http://www.ic-prog.net/


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\18@104127 by Erik Jacobs

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> But do you want all that support ! 450 bucks dosn't sound that
> cheap if all you want is a PIC programmer. You can pick one up
> ready built for less than 50 and I would think you can build one
> for next to nothing. The only part you probably don't have lying
> around is a ZIF socket. And think of all those PIC's you could
> buy with what you saved !
> The best thing I ever did was built my own. It works really well,
> and I understand how it does it. No fancy parts to go wrong.
>
> I'd get/build a cheap one untill your sure you know exactly what
> you need - might save you a packet in the long run.

Well there's two ways I can look at this:

1) Yes, you're right.  And:

 A) But I'm a fan of overkill, and since EE is my life, it couldn't hurt to
have such a thing.
 OR
 B) I probably should just build the El Cheapo

2) Speaking in reference to the freelance work thread, since I am working on
this project for a company, it seems that I might want to try and stick them
with the bill.  $450 is a lot easier to slip in than $1000, and could be
validated more easily as a "Prototyping Cost".

Shrug many a time!

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2002\06\18@113110 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> But do you want all that support ! 450 bucks dosn't sound that cheap if
all you want is a PIC programmer. You can pick one up ready built for less
than 50 and I would think you can build one for next to nothing. The only
part you probably don't have lying around is a ZIF socket

And reconsider whether you want ex-circuit programming: a ZIF a socket is
expensive, and in-circuit programming is far easier (at least while
devloping)

Wouter van Ooijen
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2002\06\18@132705 by Tal (Zapta)

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>   B) I probably should just build the El Cheapo


I had a poor experience with the El Cheapo and would recommend to skip this
option.

Look for a better design such as p16pro40 which you can get assembled for
less than 20$.

Tal

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2002\06\18@133743 by Erik Jacobs

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> Look for a better design such as p16pro40 which you can get assembled for
> less than 20$.

google search for this comes up nil.

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2002\06\18@183036 by Tal (Zapta)

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I got it from

http://www.electronics123.com/amazon/catalogue/c3-3-7.htm


Others have it as well.


Shareware software is at

http://www.picallw.com/


Note that it works also with free software so you don't thave to buy the
shareware (I did not) though I think
it is better than the free ones.

Tal

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\19@012329 by Erik Jacobs

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> > > Look for a better design such as p16pro40 which you can get
> > > assembled for less than 20$.
> >
> > google search for this comes up nil.
>
> I got it from
> http://www.electronics123.com/amazon/catalogue/c3-3-7.htm

It doesn't program the 16F73, which is the PIC I intend to use for this
project.  The F84 does not have any A/D or enough timers, and is also more
expensive than the 16F73 in every incarnation (looking at DigiKey price
list).  In fact, MOST programmers do not support the 16F73 (at least not
readily listed as doing such).

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2002\06\19@014728 by Tan Chun Chiek

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If you have read the EEPROM programming specs of the 16F73, it's essentially
programmed the same way as 16F87x

I wager that even if the software doesn't support 16F73, you could program
it as though it's a 16f873/4 (same program memory size) with zero
modification.

Regards,
Tan CC

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\19@020222 by Erik Jacobs

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> If you have read the EEPROM programming specs of the 16F73, it's
> essentially programmed the same way as 16F87x

Last time I checked "essentially" wasn't a guarantee :)

> I wager that even if the software doesn't support 16F73, you could program
> it as though it's a 16f873/4 (same program memory size) with zero
> modification.

I save my wagers for sporting events.  If a manufacturer doesn't say their
product supports it, I assume it doesn't.  I suppose I could email the
manufacturer and get a definitive answer, but I'd rather just spend a little
more money and have a guaranteed thing as well as the ability to program
lots of other stuff.

I just said to someone else in a PM -- it's always good to have a good tool.
Even if you don't plan to use all of its functionality, you may need it
someday, your friend may need it someday, and it gives you the ability to do
things that you might not have even planned to do.

Warp-13 looks pretty promising, but someone just yesterday (2 days ago?)
complained about a problem with one and was greeted with "buy a real
programmer" as a reply.  Now I come along and ask about a real programmer,
and am told to go on the cheap.  What gives? :)

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2002\06\19@102341 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Erik Jacobs wrote:

> Warp-13 looks pretty promising, but someone just yesterday (2 days ago?)
> complained about a problem with one and was greeted with "buy a real
> programmer" as a reply.  Now I come along and ask about a real programmer,
> and am told to go on the cheap.  What gives? :)

If I adopted the "buy a real programmer" attitude, I'd be taking my car
back to the dealer for oil changes and new tires, too.  I have a good
programmer (EPIC+ from microEngineering Labs, a Tait style design) and am
considering an even better one (Warp-13).  Reason I haven't bought a
Warp-13?  Well, the EPIC does everything I need it to do, without
exception, and has never once failed...  so there's been no need so far.

Some people seem to think that if the manufacturer offers a tool at any
price, that's the only tool you should use.  I tend to believe that even
if the manufacturer offers a tool, you should look at others because they
may well be better, or may be of equal quality at a far lower cost.  Just
my own personal opinion.

Dale

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2002\06\19@105513 by Tal Dayan

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Have you consider the PicStart from MicroChip ?  Around 200$ with power
supply and cable.

http://www.microchip.com/1010/pline/tools/prog/index.htm

www.microchip.com/1010/pline/tools/picmicro/program/picstart/index.ht
m

http://www.microchip.com/download/tools/picmicro/program/picstart/51034h.pdf

BTW, looks like they changed it enclosure to a clear one. Yuck.

Tal

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\19@105525 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> list).  In fact, MOST programmers do not support the 16F73 (at least not
> readily listed as doing such).

http://www.voti.nl/wisp628 (kit or DIY)

The following target chips are currently supported:
16c84, 16f84, 16f84a
16f627 (untested), 16f628
16f73, 16f74, 16f76, 16f77
16f870, 16f871, 16f872, 16f873, 16f874, 16f876, 16f877

Wouter van Ooijen
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2002\06\19@114043 by Erik Jacobs

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> If I adopted the "buy a real programmer" attitude, I'd be taking my car
> back to the dealer for oil changes and new tires, too.  I have a good
> programmer (EPIC+ from microEngineering Labs, a Tait style design) and am
> considering an even better one (Warp-13).  Reason I haven't bought a
> Warp-13?  Well, the EPIC does everything I need it to do, without
> exception, and has never once failed...  so there's been no need so far.

No that's definitely true.  And being a car guy I know -- I do most of the
work on my car myself.  It turns out that some further exploration of the
PICAll site reveals that the PIC16PRO and the PICAll both program the 16F7X.
The listings on dontronics, 123, etc. are very incomplete and the listing on
PICAll took some prodding to find (it was under software not hardware,
shrug).

> Some people seem to think that if the manufacturer offers a tool at any
> price, that's the only tool you should use.  I tend to believe that even
> if the manufacturer offers a tool, you should look at others because they
> may well be better, or may be of equal quality at a far lower cost.  Just
> my own personal opinion.

Well I looked around the net and found that the SuperPro series were
generally less expensive than other models while offering similar if not
better performance in some cases.  I then even found some on eBay.  Since
the PIC16PRO and PICAll support what I'm after, I might just get those.  I
could break down and get a Warp-13.. but if I'm going this route, why bother
with the extra functionality?

-Erik

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2002\06\19@131328 by Olin Lathrop

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> Some people seem to think that if the manufacturer offers a tool at any
> price, that's the only tool you should use.  I tend to believe that even
> if the manufacturer offers a tool, you should look at others because they
> may well be better, or may be of equal quality at a far lower cost.  Just
> my own personal opinion.

That may be fine for hobby work, but I need a programmer that I don't have
to waste time "fixing", works accross the product line, and I know will be
supported for future products, and works without any doubt and fussing with
MPLAB.  That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
worth it for $100 each.


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2002\06\19@134455 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> That may be fine for hobby work, but I need a programmer that I don't have
> to waste time "fixing", works accross the product line, and I know will be
> supported for future products, and works without any doubt and fussing
with
> MPLAB.  That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
> worth it for $100 each.

Horses for courses!

I have a PicStart+, and I will use it to program a 18f252 for the first time
(but first I must update the firmware...), but as soon as I have adapted
Wisp628 I will use that exclusively. A PS+ is not well suited to in-circuit
programming, and without serial passthrough I feel blind...

Wouter van Ooijen
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2002\06\19@134458 by Josh Koffman

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Don't they retail for $200, not $100? You can get deals if you go to
Microchip conferences and such though.

Josh
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Olin Lathrop wrote:
> That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
> worth it for $100 each.
>

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2002\06\19@135739 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Josh Koffman wrote:

> Don't they retail for $200, not $100? You can get deals if you go to
> Microchip conferences and such though.

Yeah...  I would have maybe bought one for $100, but they're not worth
$200 to me.

Dale

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2002\06\19@140400 by Brendan Moran

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> That may be fine for hobby work, but I need a programmer that I don't have
> to waste time "fixing", works accross the product line, and I know will be
> supported for future products, and works without any doubt and fussing
with
> MPLAB.  That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
> worth it for $100 each.

I've gotten really bitter about Universal Programmers over the last month.
I have a Logical Devices ChipMaster 2000 at work.  I needed to program a
PIC16F877.  The "software expandable" "universal" programmer doesn't support
the PIC16F877.  When I asked for a new driver set for it, they told me to
buy a new one for $1200, and that they'd be nice and knock $100 off the
price as a trade-in, if we returned the 2000.

Universal programmers suck.  This is one big reason that I'm working on
CUMP.(http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/cump/index.htm)  I hope to get
it so that there IS a software expandable universal programmer available.

My opinion is don't buy a programmer, since they will cop out on you
anyways.  Microchip's programmers may be different, since they make their
money from selling PICs, not from selling programmers to replace the ones
that they stop supporting.

My very angry $.02

Brendan

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2002\06\19@143104 by Howard McGinnis

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At 10:10 AM 6/18/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>http://www.xeltek.com/sp280.htm
>
>Opinions?  Experiences?  Thoughts?  Comments?  I'm in need of a programmer

We've used two Xeltec products - they seem to work OK, but support is a
little lacking. When Zilog changed the algorithm for the Z86E02, the old
software wouldn't program it. I don't think we ever got any resolution from
Xeltek, ended up using the Zilog development board to program them. I do
remember that Xeltek wanted us to send them chips to program, I guess to
test the new algorithm out.

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2002\06\19@144747 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Brendan Moran wrote:

> > That may be fine for hobby work, but I need a programmer that I don't have
> > to waste time "fixing", works accross the product line, and I know will be
> > supported for future products, and works without any doubt and fussing
> with
> > MPLAB.  That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
> > worth it for $100 each.
>
> I've gotten really bitter about Universal Programmers over the last month.

I feel your pain...  I got suckered into buying a "universal" programmer
back in '91.  By '92 the manufacturer had, of course, stopped all software
and driver updates, and pretty much disavowed ever hearing anything about
the product I had paid $800 for.  Pissed me right off.  I was doing PAL &
GAL development with it...  still keep it around in case I ever need to
make another one, but it hasn't been used since '95.

Dale

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2002\06\19@145828 by Howard McGinnis

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Update on the Xeltec...

I just went to ask about the Xeltek programmers and lo and behold, the
older unit is being used instead of the new one. The old SuperPro will
program the 8 pin serial eproms we use for the Altera chips, the new one
fries them. We've contacted Xeltek, true to form - no response or "we're
looking into it"

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2002\06\19@173351 by Olin Lathrop

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> > That's why we have two PicstartPlus' around here, which are well
> > worth it for $100 each.
>
> Don't they retail for $200, not $100? You can get deals if you go to
> Microchip conferences and such though.

I guess that's right.  Microchip PIC consultants get a discount.


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2002\06\20@141349 by Peter L. Peres

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On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Howard McGinnis wrote:

>Update on the Xeltec...
>
>I just went to ask about the Xeltek programmers and lo and behold, the
>older unit is being used instead of the new one. The old SuperPro will
>program the 8 pin serial eproms we use for the Altera chips, the new one
>fries them. We've contacted Xeltek, true to form - no response or "we're
>looking into it"

Probably their crystal ball crashed. Happens to big companies all the
time.

Peter

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2002\06\20@162436 by Josh Koffman

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Are you prohibited from reselling them? :)

Josh
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fools.
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Olin Lathrop wrote:
> > Don't they retail for $200, not $100? You can get deals if you go to
> > Microchip conferences and such though.
>
> I guess that's right.  Microchip PIC consultants get a discount.

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2002\06\21@075231 by Olin Lathrop

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> > > Don't they retail for $200, not $100? You can get deals if you go to
> > > Microchip conferences and such though.
> >
> > I guess that's right.  Microchip PIC consultants get a discount.
>
> Are you prohibited from reselling them? :)

Probably.  I imagine that Microchip wouldn't want their PIC consultants
competing with their distributors.  I assume that actively reselling such
equipment would be an abuse of the program.


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