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'[PIC]: "Dev" vs. "Prod" programmers ?'
2008\07\26@175210 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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I've been trying to find any information at
http://www.microchip.com regarding this old issue
about "Development" vs. "Production" grade
programmers, but havn't been able to find
anything (yet).

Now, if anyone have some pointer to some
official information on this issue I'd be
very glad.

Or, some information stating that this
issue is a non-issue today would be
equally helpfull... :-)

Regards,
Jan-Erik.

2008\07\27@000505 by Vitaliy

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Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> I've been trying to find any information at
> http://www.microchip.com regarding this old issue
> about "Development" vs. "Production" grade
> programmers, but havn't been able to find
> anything (yet).
>
> Now, if anyone have some pointer to some
> official information on this issue I'd be
> very glad.

Me too. :-)

It may be safe to say that when you go to Microchip Direct->Dev
Tools->Programmers, you are looking at "production grade" programmers.
Everything else -- debuggers, "getting started" programmers -- are
"development grade".

> Or, some information stating that this
> issue is a non-issue today would be
> equally helpfull... :-)

I doubt we will see a popular "all-in-one" programmer anytime soon.

Production programmers need to be able to do certain things that
significantly increase the cost. For example, count how many of the features
of ProProg you won't use for development:

http://www.embedinc.com/proprog/index.htm

How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd limits? Some of the
higher end programmers are also designed with code security in mind (see
SoftLog products for example).

Conversely, there are some things you need in a development programmer, like
debugging capabilities, that you don't need in a production programmer.

Engineering is all about tradeoffs. :-)

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@004710 by Apptech

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> How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd
> limits?

Depends on the value of 'need'.

For ' ... should ... ' it's any time you are producing
something that you want to be certain to meet spec in a
given environment.

For "do" it's ...


           Russell


2008\07\27@025359 by Vitaliy

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Apptech wrote:
>> How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd
>> limits?
>
> Depends on the value of 'need'.
>
> For ' ... should ... ' it's any time you are producing
> something that you want to be certain to meet spec in a
> given environment.

Russell, you like to take my words out of context. :)

If you read the post again, you will see that the statement you quoted
applies only to development. Why would you want to run the Vdd test every
time you do a compile/program cycle?

If you mean to suggest that I advocate not running the test during
production programming, you are attacking a straw man.

Vitaliy

2008\07\27@043547 by Christopher Head

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Vitaliy wrote:
| Production programmers need to be able to do certain things that
| significantly increase the cost. For example, count how many of the
features
| of ProProg you won't use for development:
|
| http://www.embedinc.com/proprog/index.htm
|
| How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd limits?

... like the $35 PK2 can? (not that I'm suggesting it's production
quality, but this was the definition Microchip used for "production
programmer" IIRC). It seems to me you'd have to go *very* cheap to find
a programmer that doesn't have variable-VDD capabilities.

Chris
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2008\07\27@044850 by Apptech

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>>> How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd
>>> limits?

>> Depends on the value of 'need'.

>> For ' ... should ... ' it's any time you are producing
>> something that you want to be certain to meet spec in a
>> given environment.

> Russell, you like to take my words out of context. :)
...
> If you mean to suggest that I advocate not running the
> test during
> production programming, you are attacking a straw man.

No intention of any attack.
I don't recall even being specifically aware they were your
words.
I thought, and on reflection still think, that what I said
added value if understood correctly.

I'll have to work on making what I say more liable to be
understood :-)

I was just trying to better define the locus of when you may
or may not want the facility.

My suggestion lay somewhere between your two answers -
neither "every time you compile" NOR only during production.

My intended point (FWIW) was that occasionally during
development, hardware development especially, you pass
through checkpoints where you need to be certain that the
system will work correctly under all (or most) real world
conditions that it needs to run in when 'in action'.  At
that stage, during development, a production programmer may
be 'a good idea' [tm]. It could have been put rather better
:-)



   Russell

2008\07\31@011628 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 5:51 AM, Jan-Erik Soderholm
<spam_OUTjan-erik.soderholmTakeThisOuTspamtelia.com> wrote:
> I've been trying to find any information at
> http://www.microchip.com regarding this old issue
> about "Development" vs. "Production" grade
> programmers, but havn't been able to find
> anything (yet).
>
> Now, if anyone have some pointer to some
> official information on this issue I'd be
> very glad.
>
> Or, some information stating that this
> issue is a non-issue today would be
> equally helpfull... :-)

This may give you some insight.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=312541

So Microchip still considers it kind of matters.

Xiaofan


'[PIC]: "Dev" vs. "Prod" programmers ?'
2008\08\09@142811 by Wouter van Ooijen
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> | How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd limits?
>
> ... like the $35 PK2 can?

It can, but only when both extremes of Vdd are well below the voltage
level of the USB but, which can be below 4.5 V. I would not call that a
true 'production' grade programmer.

OTOH, with a very limited interpretation of 'extremes', all
target-powered programmers could be considered 'production' grade....

> as the definition Microchip used for "production
> programmer" IIRC). It seems to me you'd have to go *very* cheap to find
> a programmer that doesn't have variable-VDD capabilities.

Wisp628/648? OK, maybe that is a cheap one :) but what about an ICD2?

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\08\09@222713 by Christopher Head

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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
|> | How often do you need to verify program memory at Vdd limits?
|>
|> ... like the $35 PK2 can?
|
| It can, but only when both extremes of Vdd are well below the voltage
| level of the USB but, which can be below 4.5 V. I would not call that a
| true 'production' grade programmer.
|

Agreed, it only applies if you know your particular USB port provides
enough voltage to meet the extremes of the target chip's VDD range.

That said... anyone up for making a tiny circuit (I'm thinking, around
the size of a flash stick) that plugs into a USB port and has a little
tiny switching boost regular, plus maybe a linear, and brings whatever
you have on the port up to a perfect 5V? Then you'd just plug a regular
USB cable into the other side of the circuit. You could market it at EEs
as a way to stabilize voltage so you can use cheap programmers like the
PK2 (perhaps sell an adjustable-voltage version for testing USB
functions at both legal extremes of Vbus?), and also market it at the
general public as a cheap way to get an expensive, not-quite-legal USB
function to work with an expensive, not quite-legal USB host.

It probably wouldn't be legal USB though, for connector reasons as well
as current reasons (standby would be annoying?)

Chris
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2008\08\10@004353 by Mark Rages

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On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 9:27 PM, Christopher Head <.....cheadKILLspamspam@spam@telus.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Just use a powered hub.  They come with 5V switching power supplies.

Anyway, measure your USB port.  The ones I've measured are a little
over 5V, except a PCMCIA adapter that supplies 3.3V (!)

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesspamKILLspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\08\10@035348 by Christopher Head

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Mark Rages wrote:
| Just use a powered hub.  They come with 5V switching power supplies.
|
| Anyway, measure your USB port.  The ones I've measured are a little
| over 5V, except a PCMCIA adapter that supplies 3.3V (!)
|
| Regards,
| Mark
| markrages@gmail

True, I'd forgotten about the existence of hubs (though they're not
particularly useful if you're in a remote location with no auxiliary
power supply and just your laptop - but this is stretching reality a
bit). In any case, my laptop's built-in USB ports have very good
voltages on them, and I think the Cardbus ports I got do too, though I
haven't done any real measurements on that.

Eh, just an idea (not a particularly good one).

Chris
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2008\08\10@072853 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> That said... anyone up for making a tiny circuit (I'm thinking, around
> the size of a flash stick) that plugs into a USB port and has a little
> tiny switching boost regular, plus maybe a linear, and brings whatever
> you have on the port up to a perfect 5V?

If you just want 5V irrespective of the USB voltage, why not use
target-powered mode and a good wall-wart?

If you realy care about variable-level verification (aka production
programming) Olin has some offers that esseintially do the same and are
bound to be easier...

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\08\10@125346 by olin piclist

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Christopher Head wrote:
> That said... anyone up for making a tiny circuit (I'm thinking, around
> the size of a flash stick) that plugs into a USB port and has a little
> tiny switching boost regular, plus maybe a linear, and brings whatever
> you have on the port up to a perfect 5V? Then you'd just plug a
> regular USB cable into the other side of the circuit. You could
> market it at EEs as a way to stabilize voltage so you can use cheap
> programmers like the PK2

Or you could get a USBProg which has this built in.  See page 1 of the
schematic at http://www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog/eusb3.pdf.  The PIC
10F204 (IC2) controls a boost switcher that makes about 8.2V.  After a
diode, this is linearly regulated to a steady and clean 5V by IC1.  The 8.2V
is the power input to the programmable target chip Vdd linear regulator on
page 4.  These two circuits allow the USBProg to work with any legal USB
voltage but to still guarantee up to 6V target Vdd at 100mA.

This is part of the extra robustness I was talking about that a "production"
or "professional" programmer needs versus a hobby or development programmer
like the PicKit2.  Of course this is one reason the USBProg also costs more.
For hobbyist the $35 PicKit2 is a great deal.  For professional or
production use the extra $45 for a USBProg is cheap compared to even a
single field failure or having to figure out why it's not working this time.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\10@125807 by olin piclist

face picon face
Mark Rages wrote:
> Just use a powered hub.  They come with 5V switching power supplies.

So does your PC.  The output voltage requirements for a powered hub are the
same as those for the USB ports on your PC because those are esentially
powered hubs too.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\10@163850 by Funny NYPD

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Agree.
Since the PICkit2 schematic is open to the public, on the power supply part of the design, you can upgrade the power supply circuit to get a dedicated power regulator for "prod" programmer purpose. Just like the following schematic did:
http://www.auelectronics.com/pdfs/CB0703_PICKit2_Schematic.pdf

The enhancement on the power regulator is also a great feature to take the advantage of the "Programmer-to-Go" feature which many expensive programmers don't have. It has been widely used for production ICSP (In-circuit serial programming).

The following two youtube show how easy it can be done to "program without a PC":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5CR1Il07WU&eurl=http://www.auelectronics.com/System-PICkit2.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phPkZD4BTdE&eurl=http://www.auelectronics.com/System-PICkit2.htm

And we have this power enhanced version of PICKit 2 the same low price as Microchip's design:
http://www.auelectronics.com/System-PICkit2.htm

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, New Bedford, MA, http://www.AuElectronics.com



{Original Message removed}

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