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'[PIC]: Homebrew programmer software kills PICs?'
2001\03\04@231853 by Tim Hamel

picon face
Howdy,

I don't usually come crying to the PICLIST unless I'm REALLY desperate; and I
am now.

Here's the story....recently I've been trying to write my own windoze-based
software for Michael Covington's NOPPP to program 16F84's. So far, it's
coming along fine. The most I've been doing is writing (and re-writing) the
program memory (location 0x0000). I've been doing it right because when I
read the data back, it's the same. Now...the problem.

If I try to use David Tait's program to program the same PIC (it always
works), I get errors. Specifically, it stops programming at 0x0001, " 0001:
read 2001, wanted 300D"  I hear you say, "So Tim, have you tried a different
PIC?" Yes, tried a different one and it programs fine. At first, I thought it
didn't work because maybe I inadvertantly set the CP bit...so....I write out
the routine to turn off CP and try again -- no go. This is the second PIC
this has happened to and it's getting frustrating! (and expensive!) Is it
possible that I've reached the EEPROM's lifetime? Don't think I've
written/erased the memory THAT much. I'm totally stumped, so I come to the
"big boys" for help =)

Much thanks in advance,

Tim Hamel

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2001\03\08@121114 by Andre Abelian

picon face
Tim

why do not you get picstart plus ?
works fine and never had any problem with it

Andre


> Howdy,
>
> I don't usually come crying to the PICLIST unless I'm REALLY desperate;
and I
> am now.
>
> Here's the story....recently I've been trying to write my own
windoze-based
> software for Michael Covington's NOPPP to program 16F84's. So far, it's
> coming along fine. The most I've been doing is writing (and re-writing)
the
> program memory (location 0x0000). I've been doing it right because when I
> read the data back, it's the same. Now...the problem.
>
> If I try to use David Tait's program to program the same PIC (it always
> works), I get errors. Specifically, it stops programming at 0x0001, "
0001:
> read 2001, wanted 300D"  I hear you say, "So Tim, have you tried a
different
> PIC?" Yes, tried a different one and it programs fine. At first, I thought
it
> didn't work because maybe I inadvertantly set the CP bit...so....I write
out
{Quote hidden}

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2001\03\08@133845 by Tim Hamel

picon face
Well...when you're 18 and don't have a job, a PICSTART programmer is
expensive =) I've never had problems with the programmer; only until I start
writing my own software. I've declared these PICs to have "sudden bit
failure." Such a tragedy...

Regards,

Tim Hamel

In a message dated 3/8/01 9:13:36 AM Pacific Standard Time,
spam_OUTengelecTakeThisOuTspamEARTHLINK.NET writes:


> Tim
>
> why do not you get picstart plus ?
> works fine and never had any problem with it
>
> Andre
>

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2001\03\08@231735 by Alejandro Lavarello

picon face
Tim, some ideas:

1) Maybe the "Code protection bit" was set to zero ("code protect")
and, if it happens, the part can not be re-programmed. In Flash
parts, the code reads "all zeroes" in this situation. In EPROM parts,
the code is scrambled. Make sure
that this bit in the Configuration word is in the "unprotected" state.
If not, you need to follow the procedure "code protection disabling"
in order to erase the chip; it enables further programing.

2) Timing considerations: maybe the PC is too fast, and the part is not
correctly programmed. Maybe inserting delay loops can help.
Or, go in another direction: use a PIC to program another PIC
(in this approach, the timing is exact and independent of the PC;
and you are able to connect
the programmer to the serial port. Examples: WISP and YAP programmers).

3) Once the code protection bit is disabled, you can made
a "bulk erase program memory" procedure in order to ensure
the erased state of the chip.

4) Chek your write routines, maybe a thing like you need to send
15 pulses and , in reallity, you are sending 16 pulses to the part;
this causes malfunction.

5) Make the write using the command "erase before write" .It is a bit
slow, but is much
more reliable than the "programming only " command. Give the chip 10 ms.
between each word write.

I have made a programmer using a PIC16F84 + MAX232. The PC software
was written in VB5 using the control MSCOMM. It works ok.

Well, Tim, god luck!!

Cheers!
      Alejandro.


At 21:14 08/03/01 -0800, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\03\09@015610 by Tim Hamel

picon face
Hello Alejandro,

Comments below...

In a message dated 3/8/01 8:19:42 PM Pacific Standard Time,
.....alejolKILLspamspam@spam@ADINET.COM.UY writes:


{Quote hidden}

I've done this many a time. The thing is, I can write to ANY other memory
location BUT 0x0001. The weird thing is, some bits in 0x0001 are "stuck,"
meaning now that they're set to '1', I can't change 'em. I can changes 0's to
1's, but not vise-versa. Weird huh? I think I'll call it, "Sudden Bit
Failure."

> 2) Timing considerations: maybe the PC is too fast, and the part is not
> correctly programmed. Maybe inserting delay loops can help.
> Or, go in another direction: use a PIC to program another PIC
> (in this approach, the timing is exact and independent of the PC;
> and you are able to connect
> the programmer to the serial port. Examples: WISP and YAP programmers).
>

I've thought about this, but as it turns out, that's not the case. My
software is written in Visual Basic which provides some delay because of the
intreperter.

> 3) Once the code protection bit is disabled, you can made
> a "bulk erase program memory" procedure in order to ensure
> the erased state of the chip.
>

I've done this as well.

> 4) Chek your write routines, maybe a thing like you need to send
> 15 pulses and , in reallity, you are sending 16 pulses to the part;
> this causes malfunction.
>
> 5) Make the write using the command "erase before write" .It is a bit
> slow, but is much
> more reliable than the "programming only " command. Give the chip 10 ms.
> between each word write.
>

This is what I've been doing always, wondering if the erase/write is the
culprit. In my estimation, during my developement phase with this (wasn't
really sure what I was doing), I might have written/erased ~30-40 times. Does
an erase before write "take away" two of the endurance cycles?

> I have made a programmer using a PIC16F84 + MAX232. The PC software
> was written in VB5 using the control MSCOMM. It works ok.
>

I could do that...BUT, I wanted personal satisfaction knowing that I'm able
to bit-bang interfaces via VB. Earlier tonight I added a 5-pin header to my
NOPPP circuit and ran pigtails to a breadboard with an 'F877 slapped on.
Don't think I would've been able to read/write it w/out the PICLIST site
(thanks guys!). The datasheets were a bit vague in regards to the LVP mode.

One last note. I pretty much have the software solid rock solid as far as
reading/writing/erasing goes but I'm confused on the memory organization
(little-endian vs. big-endian). If I look at a .hex file and see 300Dh for a
data value, does that mean I should read 3000D back (assuming PIC is
programmed with this hex file)?

When I REALLY get this working properly I'll whip up a webpage on how to
retrofit an 'F877 to the NOPPP (16F84).

> Well, Tim, good luck!!
>
Thanks for your suggestions!

Tim Hamel

> heers!
>        Alejandro.
>

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