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'[PIC]: Is the ICD2 a good buy?'
2003\07\23@125405 by Adi Linden

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Hi,

Just wondering, is the ICD2 a good buy or are there other alternatives
low cost available.

Adi

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2003\07\23@132116 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Just wondering, is the ICD2 a good buy or are there other alternatives
> low cost available.

Perfect, if you need exactly what it gives. Stupid buy if you don't need
its features :)

So maybe tell what you want to do with it, what your budget it, etc?
Maybe an el-cheapo programmer, or (on the other extreme) a real ICE is a
better idea.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\07\23@133029 by Tom

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I have one and like it very much. I do not know of any alternatives for low
cost tools.

At 11:54 AM 7/23/03 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>Just wondering, is the ICD2 a good buy or are there other alternatives
>low cost available.
>
>Adi

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2003\07\23@150738 by Adi Linden

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> > Just wondering, is the ICD2 a good buy or are there other alternatives
> > low cost available.
>
> Perfect, if you need exactly what it gives. Stupid buy if you don't need
> its features :)

I haven't studied the exact specs of the ICD2 so I am making assumptions.
I understand it supports in-circuit debugging for the PIC16F873 and
PIC16F877. And it is a in circuit programmer (that does not
require a bootloader?) for the 14 pin PICs.

> So maybe tell what you want to do with it, what your budget it, etc?
> Maybe an el-cheapo programmer, or (on the other extreme) a real ICE is a
> better idea.

My budget is "as little as possible". I have an ITU programmer (parallel
port using a 74LS05 buffer). The last time I did any hands-on programming
on PICs is about 10 or 12 years ago... Since then I've improved my
programming skills by learning and using C (and php, perl, etc). My
interests then were mostly focused on systems stuff like embedding Linux.

Now I have renewed interest in playing with some microcontroller stuff
just for the fun of it. So since this is a hobby, I am on a tight budget.
I've considered AVR devices but decided to stick with PICs for now (still
have a few drawers full of assorted PICs). Now I am in the collecting
information stage. Which devices are a good re-entry level? I came to the
conclusion that the 28pin and 40pin PIC16F87x are pretty neat and
worthwhile playing with. What tools are good? MPLAB is free. I am
considering the CCS C-compiler, it seems to be good value (affordable) for
the money. Thanks to http://www.winpicprog.co.uk my ITU programmer is
still useable. But I would prefer a programmer that runs off a serial
port and supports in-circuit programming. The ICD2 does that, right?

One of my problems is that my projects have somewhat complex input
signals. Certainly something that's not trivial to simulate using MPLAB.
So I am looking for an inexpensive in-circuit debugging solution. I think,
ICD2 is just that?

Once I get all this straight, I just need some time to actually work on my
PIC ideas. I am finishing off some amateur radio projects (IRLP node and
APRS I-gate) that are takeing much longer (>1 year) than planned. The
thing is evolving from a simplex radio and roof mounted j-pole to a full
duplex repeater on a 40' tower.... Time to finish it and get onto new
things :)

Adi

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2003\07\23@151606 by Wouter van Ooijen
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> My budget is "as little as possible".
> But I would prefer a programmer that runs off a serial
> port and supports in-circuit programming.

That sounds like my Wisp628....

> So I am looking for an inexpensive in-circuit debugging
> solution. I think ICD2 is just that?

When you want to single step on the real hardware ICD1 or ICD2 is AFAIK
the cheapest option (but you might check Olimex for an ICD1 clone). IIRC
ICD1 does 16F87x.

Do read 'start with PICs' at http://www.voti.nl/swp

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\07\23@153454 by Bob Blick

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Adi Linden said:
> Just wondering, is the ICD2 a good buy or are there other alternatives
> low cost available.

Do you really need a debugger? Your current programmer will do in-circuit
programming. Almost any programmer will, if you do a thing here or a thing
there (I do in-circuit programming with a Picstart Plus, of all things).

I have an ICD1 and an ICE and both are virtually unused.

Of course most of my programming is in C so my programs usually work, and
debugging is easy when they don't.

Also if you are doing anything real-time, single-stepping is worthless in
hardware. And getting the stupid things to reset correctly and sequencing
the power, yuck. I find it easier to blink an LED or squirt diagnostics
out the UART.

Save your money and get a C compiler. Email me if you need to know how to
use any programmer to do in-circuit programming.

Cheers,

Bob

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2003\07\23@154737 by Adi Linden

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> Do you really need a debugger? Your current programmer will do in-circuit
> programming. Almost any programmer will, if you do a thing here or a thing
> there (I do in-circuit programming with a Picstart Plus, of all things).

Yes, I know that the ITU programmer does in-circuit programming, used it
that way before. I just prefer a serial port programmer over a parallel
port programmer... Another thought came to mind, if I used a bootloader in
a 16f87x, the device would support in-circuit serial programming without
programmer, right?

> Of course most of my programming is in C so my programs usually work, and
> debugging is easy when they don't.

Which C compiler are you using?

> Also if you are doing anything real-time, single-stepping is worthless in
> hardware. And getting the stupid things to reset correctly and sequencing
> the power, yuck. I find it easier to blink an LED or squirt diagnostics
> out the UART.

That's how I have been doing things so far. Thought that doing in-circuit
debugging may be easier than modifying and reloading code over and over...

Adi

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2003\07\23@160022 by Joyce, Patrick

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I dunno, I just started using the ICD2 after years of assemble burn crash
redo style of programming, and the ability to stop the program and see the
registers without special code is a big plus.  The USB interface to MPLAB
has eliminated most of the COM port conflicts I ran into.


{Original Message removed}

2003\07\23@160025 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Another thought came to mind, if I used a
> bootloader in
> a 16f87x, the device would support in-circuit serial
> programming without
> programmer, right?

Yes, but with the limitations of a bootloader (less code space, less I/O
pins, etc).

> That's how I have been doing things so far. Thought that
> doing in-circuit
> debugging may be easier than modifying and reloading code
> over and over...

I don't think an ICD will save you from modifying your code a fair
amount of times!

If you find your programming cycle too long check for instance a
16F877A, it programs much faster than an 16F877. And the 18Fs are even
faster.

(still promoting my Wisp628)
Wisp628 let's you use the RB6/RB7 programming pins to communicate,
without additional hardware, whithout touching the target (or use the
UART pins if that is what you like, but that ties up additional pins).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\07\23@160439 by Samo Benedicic

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> That's how I have been doing things so far. Thought
> that doing in-circuit
> debugging may be easier than modifying and reloading
> code over and over...

Well, ICD1 helped me a lot with debugging. I'm not
very experienced in programming, so it helps to
actually see what's going on in certain registers. You
can always add blinking LED if you want. ICD1 costs
$39 (you can hardly buy a decent dinner for two with
that money :-))at Olimex, which is pretty cheap for
what it does.

But, one way or another, you must reload your code
after you've modified it.

BTW, ICD2 does the same thing as ICD1, only faster and
with more PICs.

Samo


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2003\07\23@160645 by Bob Blick

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Adi Linden said:
> Yes, I know that the ITU programmer does in-circuit programming, used it
> that way before. I just prefer a serial port programmer over a parallel
> port programmer... Another thought came to mind, if I used a bootloader
> in a 16f87x, the device would support in-circuit serial programming
> without programmer, right?

Yes.

> Which C compiler are you using?

I use HiTech. It is expensive, pretty much bug-free, runs under Linux, not
the fastest or smallest code (you'd want ByteCraft for that, hi Walter!).
But there is nothing wrong with CCS and the price is right.

> That's how I have been doing things so far. Thought that doing
> in-circuit debugging may be easier than modifying and reloading code
> over and over...

Unless you are just poking in a variable with the debugger, it takes just
as long.

Have you considered a Warp-13? It is a super fast programmer. Serial port.
ISP... $95 from phanderson.com

-Bob

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2003\07\23@163743 by Adi Linden

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> Have you considered a Warp-13? It is a super fast programmer. Serial port.
> ISP... $95 from phanderson.com

Well... I received a bunch of parts that were promised to be from a
defunct Warp-13. I thought I'd wire it together on punchboard but I can't
find a schematic. Also, it looks like the Warp-13 is not sold as a
kit, so the parts might not be a Warp-13 after all.

Adi

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2003\07\23@175543 by Randy Jones

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> BTW, ICD2 does the same thing as ICD1, only faster and
> with more PICs.

I haven't had time to use my new ICD2 much yet, but Microchip says it also
does variable voltage, down to 2.0V.

At the recent Masters I got the impression that Microchip is solidly behind
the ICD2.  There are new inexpensive ICD2 headers for the 8 and 14 pin Flash
parts that include special PICs with extra lines so all of the normal I/O
lines are available for the target circuit.  I was also told that support
for new devices was a top priority for the ICD2 and PROMATE, and a lower
priority for PICSTART Plus.

You can get the ICD2 alone or as a complete kit with the PICDEM 2+ board and
sample 40-pin 16F87x and 18F452 parts.  There is not a large price
difference between the bare ICD2 and the full kit with the PICDEM 2+ demo
board, cables, power supply, and sample PICs.  The PICDEM 2+ board has
sockets for 18, 28, and 40 pin PICs, pushbutton switches, 2-line LCD, LEDs,
pot, MAX232/DB9 serial port, ICD connector, power supply, speaker, 32kHz
xtal, etc.  There is a socketed canned oscillator included, along with pads
for a crystal or resonator.  If you're buying an ICD2, the full kit seems to
be a much better deal.

I've seen new ICD2s on eBay... they seem to show up there now and then.

Randy

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