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'[PIC]: New PIC programmer ...'
2003\05\27@013424 by Picdude

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As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking that it's run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.  I still can't verify PIC's after programming, and it may be the programmer HW, software, PC port, or a combo of these, but I'd like consider this from the standpoint of a fresh slate.  Would love to hear what's available nowadays that will meet the following needs...

- Devices: 12F, 16F, 18F minimum.
- Interface:  Serial or parallel preferred.  USB may be an option.
- Software:  Anything Linux.  Would also be nice if it worked with MPLAB under Win2k.
- Cost: Lower = better, but no hard budget/limit set.
- Availability:  Homebuilt preferred, though I'll consider others.  Yes, I mean my home :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\27@025218 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Would love to hear what's available nowadays
> that will meet the following needs...

Realy lowest budget: check what hardware ic-prog supports. check Olimex
for supporting hardware if you don't want to build it.
Increasing the budget: Wisp628, Warp13, ICD1-clones (no 18F?).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\27@032616 by Timothy Box

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Have you looked at the EPIC from MELABS http://www.melabs.com Its cheep got good
software 12F, 16F, 18F compatible.

I will get into trouble for this I know but.... The hardware is the same as
Mr. Tait's so I know people who just run the software on there old hardware.

Tim


{Original Message removed}

2003\05\27@034547 by Carlos Ojea

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>following needs...
>- Devices: 12F, 16F, 18F minimum.
>- Interface:  Serial or parallel preferred.  USB may be an option.
>- Software:  Anything Linux.  Would also be nice if it worked with
MPLAB >under
>Win2k.
>- Cost: Lower = better, but no hard budget/limit set.
>- Availability:  Homebuilt preferred, though I'll consider others.
Yes, I
>mean my home :-)


Picstart Plus?


Cheers,
Carlos

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2003\05\27@035836 by Nigel Orr

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pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:37
AM:

> As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking
> that it's run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.  I
> still can't verify PIC's after programming, and it may be the
> programmer HW, software, PC port, or a combo of these, but I'd like
> consider this from the standpoint of a fresh slate.  Would love to
> hear what's available nowadays that will meet the following needs...

Picstart Plus works well for me, as a development programmer.  Well
supported, reliable (except the early power supplies!), and works under
linux.  You don't get the sheer satisfaction of building it yourself(!),
but it gives you more time to build your own designs instead of fighting
with the inadequacies of someone else's...

Nigel
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Axon Instruments Ltd., Wardes Road,Inverurie,Aberdeenshire,UK,AB51 3TT
              Tel:+44 1467 622332 Fax:+44 1467 625235
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2003\05\27@042906 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Picstart Plus works well for me

My main problem with PS+ is that it uses an OTP/JW PIC, so upgrading the
firmware for support of a new chip is a bit of a hassle (it is the only
reason I have an UV-eraser around).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\27@044811 by Nigel Orr

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pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:29
AM:

>> Picstart Plus works well for me
>
> My main problem with PS+ is that it uses an OTP/JW PIC, so upgrading
> the firmware for support of a new chip is a bit of a hassle (it is
> the only reason I have an UV-eraser around).

It is a bit of a nuisance, it would be nice if it used a FLASH part
instead, but the cost of a new OTP part isn't that much on the rare
occasions when I have needed to upgrade to support new parts.  I got my
picstart plus about 8 years ago, and having seen the steady stream of
questions on the piclist from users of other programmers, some of which
seem to work only marginally, I don't regret it at all.

I am looking forward to seeing details on Olin's programmer which he has
mentioned a couple of times, as a more capable production programmer.  He
gives the impression of always 'doing things right', and if the programmer
lives up to that, and some linux support emerges, I'll be looking seriously
at it.  Until then I'll stick with the picstart.

Nigel
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2003\05\27@061848 by Peter Anderson

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I have a PIC Start Plus which I have upgraded to
Version 3.11.  I just don't need three of these while
also selling WARP13s.  It is not defective and hasn't
seen much use.

A photo is at http://www.phanderson.com/pic_start.jpg

It is $125.00 plus $5.00 shipping in the US.

I provide a 30 day return policy, no questions asked.

************

The WARP13A is also a very good buy.  With the new
20MHz firmware, it zips right along and there have
been many times when Jim at Newfound Electronics was
ahead of Microchip.

*************

As an aside, Olimex at http://www.olimex.com/dev/ has
a PG2B which attaches to a serial port and requires no
external power supply with free software from
http://www.ic-prog.com.  I was a bit skeptical that
anything this cheap could actually work, but I was
surprised.  I began selling them on a free return
basis and of some 200 sold, I have had no returns.

Its a good unit for someone starting on a budget.

*************

Best wishes.

Peter H. Anderson, pha(at)phanderson.com,
http://www.phanderson.com


--- Picdude <picdudespamKILLspamNARWANI.ORG> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\27@062718 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> > My main problem with PS+ is that it uses an OTP/JW PIC, so upgrading
> > the firmware for support of a new chip is a bit of a hassle (it is
> > the only reason I have an UV-eraser around).
>
> It is a bit of a nuisance, it would be nice if it used a FLASH part
> instead, but the cost of a new OTP part isn't that much on the rare
> occasions when I have needed to upgrade to support new parts.

I only upgrade it when a new part requires me to update my own
programmer design, to have a working reference. So for me the amount of
hassle relative to the amount of use is much worse than for you :(

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\27@073832 by John Nall

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At 12:36 AM 5/27/2003 -0500, PicDude wrote:

> >Would love to hear what's available nowadays that will meet the
>following needs...
>
>- Devices: 12F, 16F, 18F minimum.
>- Interface:  Serial or parallel preferred.  USB may be an option.
>- Software:  Anything Linux.  Would also be nice if it worked with MPLAB
>under
>Win2k.
>- Cost: Lower = better, but no hard budget/limit set.
>- Availability:  Homebuilt preferred, though I'll consider others.  Yes, I
>mean my home :-)

Well, my Wisp628 seems to meet most of the above requirements.   (It may
meet all of them, but I only use it with Linux (Redhat 8.0) and Windows
98.  And so far I have only programmed the 18F452 and 16F628 with
it.)  Built it from the kit, so it was very inexpensive.  I found the kit
very easy to assemble, and when I had an error (my fault) help was easy to
get.  I had some worry about ordering from another country, but paid
through PayPal and it was delivered in about 6 days  from the time I
ordered it.   As always, of course, your milage may vary. :-)

John

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2003\05\27@074851 by Byron A Jeff

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On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 12:36:41AM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking that it's
> run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.

Any why do you think that?

>  I still can't verify PIC's after programming,
> and it may be the programmer HW, software, PC port,
> or a combo of these,

Probably the hardware. My TLVP was specifically engineered so that you can
read/verify the part, and is of course based on the classic Tait design.

> but I'd like consider this from the standpoint of a
> fresh slate.  Would love to hear what's available nowadays that will meet the
> following needs...
>
> - Devices: 12F, 16F, 18F minimum.

Your existing programmer should be able to do this with minimal rewiring. The
further along I get, the more I move towards ICSP only, by having a jumper
cable from the programmer to the target.

> - Interface:  Serial or parallel preferred.  USB may be an option.

Unfortunately USB is going to have to be an option as more and more machines
simply ditch the serial and parallel port for USB.

> - Software:  Anything Linux.  Would also be nice if it worked with MPLAB
>   under Win2k.

Linux software is where the problem lurks. My last software update to picprg2.3
(which I'm thinking about renaming) was about a year ago. But hope is on the
horizon. I just ordered 5 brand spanking new chips from Microchip's sample
department: 18F452, 12F675, 16F877A, 16F819, 18F1320. IMHO these represent
the widest cross-section of the PIC hobby chip market. Once I get them I plan
to update picprg2.3 to program them, and then change the name.

> - Cost: Lower = better, but no hard budget/limit set.

Nothing cheaper than what you already have. Second cheapest option is probably
Wouter's WISP628, which I would consider the other serious contender.

> - Availability:  Homebuilt preferred, though I'll consider others.  Yes, I
> mean my home :-)

I'd keep the old battle ax around and hope that someone will update the
programming software. In the meantime given the above criteria I'd suggest
building a Wisp628. It meets nearly every point above:

- Programs all of the chips you specified.
- Serial interface. Even better because you can use a USB/serial adapter once
 everything goes completely USB
- Software written in Python making it cross platform. Also the serial protocol
 is open, you can write your own tool if you like.
- Inexpensive: $36 fully assembled, $25 for a kit with all of the parts, or
 as cheap as you like if you scrounge your junkbox.
- Easily built at home using your current programmer.

Overall it's probably your winner, though for a homebuilt, it would need a
bootstrap programmer, which you already have.

BAJ

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2003\05\27@081542 by Byron A Jeff

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On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 08:56:29AM +0100, Nigel Orr wrote:
> pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:37
> AM:
>
> > As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking
> > that it's run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.  I
> > still can't verify PIC's after programming, and it may be the
> > programmer HW, software, PC port, or a combo of these, but I'd like
> > consider this from the standpoint of a fresh slate.  Would love to
> > hear what's available nowadays that will meet the following needs...
>
> Picstart Plus works well for me, as a development programmer.  Well
> supported, reliable (except the early power supplies!), and works under
> linux.  You don't get the sheer satisfaction of building it yourself(!),
> but it gives you more time to build your own designs instead of fighting
> with the inadequacies of someone else's...

But the cost is a killer. At the very least consider a Warp 13 an alternative
at half the cost ($100 USD vs. $200 USD for the PS+)

As one of those programmer designer you alluded to above, I personally find
them all overrated. Bootloaders are so effective, that given a choice I'd
always use it. In fact the only reason I maintain the TLVP programmer site
is to provide a venue for dumping a bootloader into a chip. I wish that MChip
would make their entire line self programmable, or at the very least provide
one chip in each family that is self programmable.

BAJ

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2003\05\27@091858 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Nigel Orr wrote:
> I am looking forward to seeing details on Olin's programmer which he has
> mentioned a couple of times, as a more capable production programmer.
> He gives the impression of always 'doing things right', and if the
> programmer lives up to that, and some linux support emerges, I'll be
> looking seriously at it.  Until then I'll stick with the picstart.

Thanks for the plug, Nigel.

Getting pilot run units built has been a frustrating experience.  I've
actually had 3 engineering prototypes working since last October.  I was
trying to work with one far east manufacturer, but gave up when they
stopped responding altogether in January.

I then took it to a local guy who can do some work here but also has
existing relationships with some Taiwan manufacturers.  I'd worked with
him on other projects before.  We will split the profit, so he said he'd
take care of getting the pilot run built since I'd done all the design and
first prototypes out of my own pocket.  I also redesigned from thru hole
to surface mount and greatly reduced the board size (the original Asian
manufacturer wanted thru hole for some reason).  Since March I've been
supposed to get a bunch of units in my hands "by the end of next week".
For the last month, it's been "on Friday".  Many Fridays have come and
gone, and now it's actually "tomorrow".  We'll see.

I finally found out last week why it's been taking so long.  They've been
trying to get these units built on the cheap by slipping in the PC boards
on unused space at the edges of other jobs (the boards are small, 86 x 66
mm) and waiting for overrun parts from other jobs.  I would have been
willing to pay a little to get these things done, but I didn't know this
was going on, and was always lead to believe they were almost done anyway.

Oh well, Real Soon Now(tm).


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\05\27@105121 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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Oh boy, this post has made my day! I needed to finish it with a laugh!

I now truly believe that Olin deserves the reputation he has earned on
this list. To think that I have defended him on several occasions! What
a fool I've been!

> Nigel Orr wrote:
>> I am looking forward to seeing details on Olin's programmer which he
>> has
>> mentioned a couple of times, as a more capable production programmer.
>> He gives the impression of always 'doing things right',

Beware of impressions! I've been using PCs for 19 years, and I couldn't
get it to work. Roman Black never got it to work either.

> Getting pilot run units built has been a frustrating experience.  I've
> actually had 3 engineering prototypes working since last October.  I
> was
> trying to work with one far east manufacturer, but gave up when they
> stopped responding altogether in January.

The "far east manufacturer" that Olin is referring to is my
manufacturing facility in Taiwan. Olin approached me with an idea to
design a programmer if I would manufacture it. This evolved out of my
suggestion for a "standardised" programmer that we could all work to on
the list - a thread which spun out of control into the infamous "PBK".
Olin figured he knew what was needed and wanted to bypass the craziness
of the PBK thread. We agreed to manufacture the said programmer at cost
for Olin and/or pay him a royalty for his design.

Olin sent us a single prototype of his programmer - on the
understanding that I was to study it for a week or so and to forward it
on to Roman Black - who is also based in Australia. I tried to install
Olin's software on Windows XP - following Olin's directions explicitly.
I never got the programmer to work, but forwarded the unit onto Roman.

Roman ALSO could not get the programmer to work, and when he reported
this back to Olin - a little harshly, I thought - but then the concept
of the programmer WAS supposed to be "IDIOT PROOF".

Roman copped the wrath of Olin that we are all too familiar with -
which from memory, included a "RTFM" comment. So unfortunately Faisal,
you should not feel so special. Roman is a very respected contributor
to this list, yet he was not spared Olin's wrath.

The thing is, I have not heard from Olin since December 23rd, 2002. As
far as I was aware, there were still issues with either the prototype
and/or the software. As far as I knew, Olin was still thrashing this
out with Roman or - more likely - Olin was sulking because Roman told
him exactly what he thought of the programmer and it's software.
"stopped responding"? - To what Olin?

>  I also redesigned from thru hole
> to surface mount and greatly reduced the board size (the original Asian
> manufacturer wanted thru hole for some reason).

LOL - I don't remember this being an issue for Olin at the time. I am
certainly not going to apologise for Olin's perceived limitations of my
production lines and our preference for sourcing through hole
components in Taiwan. This comment is just stupid.

{Quote hidden}

The hardware was never the issue Olin. You just didn't like the
comments you received from Roman. In the time you've been building your
handful of boards, we have produced 10s of thousands of products. We
certainly were not standing around thinking "Wonder how Roman is going
with those programmers?"

You are a big boy, Olin. You could have emailed and asked if we were
still interested. Until your public post on this site, we had no idea
that your project was even still alive!

Grow up!

Sean

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2003\05\27@123943 by Picdude

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Lots of comments in here from a bunch of responses...

First, seeing the responses reminded me of another feature that I consider essential and should've mentioned before ... ICSP.  I almost exclusively program under ICSP nowadays, and would not be hurt if it did not even have a socket for a chip.

Some thoughts on the responses...

- Wisp628 -- actually looked at this before posting my original message, but did not see any reference to Linux support.  If I was sure it would work under some Linux software, then this goes very high on the list.  I guess that a lot of programmers today are "spoken with" in a common fashion, but don't want to assume that it will work with just any SW.  John Nall claimed use under Linux..... John, what software are you using for this?

- IC-Prog SW -- I can't find any version for Linux, and there's no mention of 18F, which I'd really like to have.

- Devices -- Since I've seen some reference to AVR in my searches, I think that would be nice to have, but not a hard requirement.  I'll leave it at the back of my mind for now.

- Warp-13 -- Again, I have not found any reference to programming under Linux.

- PS+ -- $$$   Since my Tait still works well, I'm wondering if I really need to spend >$100 for an upgrade.  If I built the PS+ clone circuit, then perhaps I could change to a Flash part to eliminate that upgradability issue.

- Olin's programmer -- Proper project-management procedures & experience has taught me to eliminate "future" products in any evaluation.  Olin, with all due respect, whereas I respect your technical aptitude, your apparently-firm stand against Linux seems to eliminate this as even a future option.  Or do you think that you will support Linux someday?

I will mention that I'm hard set on Linux since it has allowed me to put new life into a once junked laptop w/o a hard-drive, etc.  I did try to use Win2k programming SW in the past, but couldn't get the parallel-port device drivers loaded properly.  If it works under Win2k, then fine, but Linux is a must.

- PICkit 1 -- no reference to 18F, but I guess it should support the lower-end 18F's.  Anyone have some idea about this?

- MeLabs EPIC -- Is their SW free/downloadable?  I can't find it on their site.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\27@125848 by Picdude

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On Tuesday 27 May 2003 06:48, Byron A Jeff scribbled:
> On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 12:36:41AM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> > As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking that
> > it's run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.
>
> Any why do you think that?

Because of this next statement ...


> >  I still can't verify PIC's after programming,
> > and it may be the programmer HW, software, PC port,
> > or a combo of these,
>
> Probably the hardware. My TLVP was specifically engineered so that you can
> read/verify the part, and is of course based on the classic Tait design.


I have never been able to use LVP for one reason ... the LVP pin is very inconveniently located on RB3, since I use ICSP almost exclusively nowadays.


> > but I'd like consider this from the standpoint of a
> > fresh slate.  Would love to hear what's available nowadays that will meet
> > the following needs...
> >
> > - Devices: 12F, 16F, 18F minimum.
>
> Your existing programmer should be able to do this with minimal rewiring.
> The further along I get, the more I move towards ICSP only, by having a
> jumper cable from the programmer to the target.

I've not tried with 18F's yet.  Since I ran into a problem with programming a 16F872 recently, which turned out to be a limitation with the SW, I have this impression that my whole setup is outdated, which is why I've somewhat posed this question as what would be my best option if I were starting fresh.


> > - Interface:  Serial or parallel preferred.  USB may be an option.
>
> Unfortunately USB is going to have to be an option as more and more
> machines simply ditch the serial and parallel port for USB.

Correct.  However, all 3 of my machines have serial and parallel, and I use the lowest-power machine for programming PICs.  My guess is that if/when I upgrade machines in the future, my other laptop (this Thinkpad I'm using now) will get cycled down as the PIC programmer, and also has unused parallel and serial ports.  It may be years before I am forced to use a USB programmer due to unavailability of a parallel or serial port, so why incur that expense and driver setup now?


{Quote hidden}

Hmmm... Just downloaded this and built it.  some minor warnings, but it built fine and with minimal effort.  I'll think I'll go experiment with try this.


> > - Cost: Lower = better, but no hard budget/limit set.
>
> Nothing cheaper than what you already have. Second cheapest option is
> probably Wouter's WISP628, which I would consider the other serious
> contender.

Yep, holding that high in the options list so far.


{Quote hidden}

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\27@133140 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff wrote:
> The "far east manufacturer" that Olin is referring to is my
> manufacturing facility in Taiwan. Olin approached me with an idea to
> design a programmer if I would manufacture it. This evolved out of my
> suggestion for a "standardised" programmer that we could all work to on
> the list - a thread which spun out of control into the infamous "PBK".
> Olin figured he knew what was needed and wanted to bypass the craziness
> of the PBK thread. We agreed to manufacture the said programmer at cost
> for Olin and/or pay him a royalty for his design.
>
> Olin sent us a single prototype of his programmer - on the
> understanding that I was to study it for a week or so and to forward it
> on to Roman Black - who is also based in Australia. I tried to install
> Olin's software on Windows XP - following Olin's directions explicitly.
> I never got the programmer to work, but forwarded the unit onto Roman.

Now Sean, you know very well some of the issues surrounding this.  You are
being very unfair here and only telling part of the story.  It is
unfortunate (and in my opinion unprofessional) that you decided to air
this publicly.  I didn't want to start a public debate about something
that was a private matter.  Please note that I kept you out of this until
you interjected yourself.  I never pointed any fingers at your nor did
anything to hurt your reputation.  Unfortunately now you've put me in a
position where I have to defend myself.

> Roman ALSO could not get the programmer to work, and when he reported
> this back to Olin - a little harshly, I thought - but then the concept
> of the programmer WAS supposed to be "IDIOT PROOF".

This thing was a **prototype**.  It was tested and was working very well
in my office.  I felt quite good about the hardware, software, and
firmware, but I knew the software installation procedure would need to be
dressed up.  I tried it on several Win2000 machines and had no problem,
but didn't consider that adequate testing.  I made it quite clear that the
installation procedure was under test and certainly not idiot proof.  On
14 October 2002 I replied to Roman and CCed you:

 >> Also I only have Win98ME, your page says only 200 or XP??
 >
 > The executables will run fine, but I don't know about the
 > installation procedure.  The difference between the 9x and NT
 > versions is in how ...

I then gave him detailed instructions on how to manually do an install on
Win9x given the NT release.  Unfortunately, he completely disregarded
these instructions and ran the NT installation procedure anyway, making a
mess.  He then sent a rather scathing reply about my software.  I sent a
detailed reply to all his points explaining what he should have done and
how to fix the mess he had.  At one point I did say RTFM, to which Roman
replied on 22 December 2002:

 > > As expected.  Once again, YOU WERE NEVER TOLD TO RUN INSTALL!
 > > INSTALL.EXE only works for the NT operating systems, which is why
 > > there is a "manual" installation procedure for Win9x.
 > >
 > > RTFM!!!
 >
 > Ha ha! Ok, ok I deserve that. :o)

Roman did also make a few suggestions and came accross an error message
that could have been more clear.  On 22 December 2002 I replied to Roman
and CCed you:

 > I've updated the PIC programmer software and installation files.  I
 > think this version would have prevented all the problems that Roman
 > has reported so far.
 ...
 > Roman, please try this so
 > you can find the next layer of problems.  Eventually we'll get
 > something an average PIC hobbyist can install on Win9x.  Please keep
 > in mind that I don't normally target my software for Win9x, and that
 > I have no machine running Win9x to test it on.

It took a long time before Roman tried the software the first time, so I
wasn't surprised not to hear anything from him for a while.  On 28
December he wrote and CCed you:

 > Hi Olin and Sean, I just got back from a few
 > days hols, will review all info and email you guys
 > back very soon.

Unfortunately he never did try the new version as far as I know.  I pinged
him a few more times and eventually gave up.

>> to surface mount and greatly reduced the board size (the original Asian
>> manufacturer wanted thru hole for some reason).
>
> LOL - I don't remember this being an issue for Olin at the time.

It wasn't.  I thought it odd, but you were going to produce it, so I
didn't care.

> The hardware was never the issue Olin. You just didn't like the
> comments you received from Roman.

Actually Roman just fell off the face of the earth as far as I can tell.

> In the time you've been building your
> handful of boards, we have produced 10s of thousands of products. We
> certainly were not standing around thinking "Wonder how Roman is going
> with those programmers?"

I never doubted your ability to produce these things, I thought (perhaps
wrongly) that you were waiting on Roman to bless it, and I came to the
conclusion he was never going to get around to it.  It came to the point
where I felt like I was kicking a dead whale accross the beach.

> You are a big boy, Olin. You could have emailed and asked if we were
> still interested. Until your public post on this site, we had no idea
> that your project was even still alive!

I guess the basic problem was that I thought it was *our* project.  After
all, the whole idea was initiated by an offer you made to the PIClist.
The ball was in your court.  You had been given everything you needed for
making prototype units.  Since you did offer to do this as a favor to the
PIClist, I didn't feel I had the right to nag you about it.  I assumed you
lost interest in this project.  You could certainly have pinged me at any
time.


*****************************************************************
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(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\05\27@133519 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> - Olin's programmer -- Proper project-management procedures &
> experience has taught me to eliminate "future" products in any
> evaluation.

A wise strategy.

> Olin, with all due respect, whereas I respect your
> technical aptitude, your apparently-firm stand against Linux seems to
> eliminate this as even a future option.  Or do you think that you will
> support Linux someday?

I have no firm stand against Linux, only that I find no use for it
currently in what I do.  All my software sits atop a portability layer
that is deliberately designed to target different operating systems
easily.  It's already been to four other flavors of Unix, although they
are all quite old at this point.  I have nothing against porting the layer
to Linux, just haven't had a good reason (in other words, paying customer)
to do so.

That said, I only intend to provide Linux host software if/when the low
level layer gets ported to Linux for other reasons.  However, the serial
protocol will be documented so anyone can write their own tools for any
operating system they wish.  The only requirement is a serial port that
can run at 115.2Kbaud.


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2003\05\27@140008 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> - Wisp628 -- actually looked at this before posting my
> original message, but
> did not see any reference to Linux support.

Must add that, but I have no working Linux system at the moment. But
apart from the serial port access the PC code is all portable, getting
it running under Linux should be easy. One customer reported that all he
did was translate the Python sources from CR/LF to CR.

> - IC-Prog SW -- I can't find any version for Linux, and
> there's no mention of
> 18F, which I'd really like to have.

IIRC there is 18F support, but only mentioned in some release notes or
such for the latest (Beta?) version. But the source is not available,
and AFAIK no Linux.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\27@161034 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 11:42:32AM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> Lots of comments in here from a bunch of responses...
>
> First, seeing the responses reminded me of another feature that I consider
> essential and should've mentioned before ... ICSP.  I almost exclusively
> program under ICSP nowadays, and would not be hurt if it did not even have a
> socket for a chip.

Then I think you have the winner below.

>
> Some thoughts on the responses...
>
> - Wisp628 -- actually looked at this before posting my original message, but
> did not see any reference to Linux support.  If I was sure it would work
> under some Linux software, then this goes very high on the list.  I guess
> that a lot of programmers today are "spoken with" in a common fashion, but
> don't want to assume that it will work with just any SW.  John Nall claimed
> use under Linux..... John, what software are you using for this?

Wouter's software is written in Python. It's crossplatform! I haven't tried it
yet, but there should be no technical obsticle to using it.

Why not simply invest a day or two and a few bucks and strap one up? Build it
on a breadboard and test with a couple of chips.


> - IC-Prog SW -- I can't find any version for Linux, and there's no mention of
> 18F, which I'd really like to have.

No linux. Does have 18F support from what I have read.

> - Devices -- Since I've seen some reference to AVR in my searches, I think
> that would be nice to have, but not a hard requirement.  I'll leave it at the
> back of my mind for now.

Makes the task a lot more difficult. Better to build a separate AVR programmer.
Just a real quick look at Google points out a couple of very simple programmers
with Linux software.

>
> - Warp-13 -- Again, I have not found any reference to programming under Linux.

Treat like a PS+. Jim has a page on his site on the subject:

http://www.newfoundelectronics.com/linux.htm

He's not providing support, which makes sense IMHO.

>
> - PS+ -- $$$   Since my Tait still works well, I'm wondering if I really need
> to spend >$100 for an upgrade.  If I built the PS+ clone circuit, then
> perhaps I could change to a Flash part to eliminate that upgradability issue.

My question is this: other than being a PS+, what is the significant difference
between the PS+ and the Wisp628? Both are serial interface. Both are high
voltage. Both program a wide variety of parts, and all of the parts that
a hobbyist would use.

I simply can't see what justifies the $150+ USD difference in cost.

>
> - Olin's programmer -- Proper project-management procedures & experience has
> taught me to eliminate "future" products in any evaluation.  Olin, with all
> due respect, whereas I respect your technical aptitude, your apparently-firm
> stand against Linux seems to eliminate this as even a future option.  Or do
> you think that you will support Linux someday?

We don't need Olin to support Linux. All that's required is open specifications
for the hardware. Anyone can write the software.

So I change the question to: would there be any reason not to release the
interface specifications for the programmer so that the software can be ported
to other platforms? Or any possibility of the software being Open Source?

>
> I will mention that I'm hard set on Linux since it has allowed me to put new
> life into a once junked laptop w/o a hard-drive, etc.  I did try to use Win2k
> programming SW in the past, but couldn't get the parallel-port device drivers
> loaded properly.  If it works under Win2k, then fine, but Linux is a must.

Cool beans with me.

>
> PICkit 1 -- no reference to 18F, but I guess it should support the lower-end
> 18F's.  Anyone have some idea about this?

I doubt it's worth the trouble since it seems to be limited to a subset of
chips from the jump.

>
> - MeLabs EPIC -- Is their SW free/downloadable?  I can't find it on their
> site.

Isn't the EPIC a glorified Tait style programmer?

BAJ

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2003\05\27@161751 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 12:01:53PM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> On Tuesday 27 May 2003 06:48, Byron A Jeff scribbled:
> > On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 12:36:41AM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> > > As much as I bow to Mr. Tait for his great programmer, I'm thinking that
> > > it's run it's course and it may be time for me to upgrade.
> >
> > Any why do you think that?
>
> Because of this next statement ...
>
>
> > >  I still can't verify PIC's after programming,
> > > and it may be the programmer HW, software, PC port,
> > > or a combo of these,
> >
> > Probably the hardware. My TLVP was specifically engineered so that you can
> > read/verify the part, and is of course based on the classic Tait design.
>
> I have never been able to use LVP for one reason ... the LVP pin is very
> inconveniently located on RB3, since I use ICSP almost exclusively nowadays.

The LVP wasn't the issue. In fact I have a THVP design here:

http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proghvp.html

Note this only works for flash parts. EPROM based parts need a emitter follower
to work properly (i.e. a second transistor). I posted a message to the list
two or three week ago outlining how that could be done.

{Quote hidden}

It's software. As I pointed out Software programming updates are my number one
PIC development task this summer.

{Quote hidden}

Agreed. Also USB to serial interfaces are going to be around virtually
forever.

{Quote hidden}

I have an E-mail from one of my users with updated config strings. Let me
post it here so you can use it for the 16F872 and the others.

Thanks to Frederico Heinz for the update:
___________________________________________________________________
diff -urN picprg2.3d/picprg.c picprg2.3d-fh/picprg.c
--- picprg2.3d/picprg.c 2002-05-20 12:20:02.000000000 -0300
+++ picprg2.3d-fh/picprg.c      2002-12-21 18:34:40.000000000 -0300
@@ -156,6 +156,9 @@

dev_id_t pic_dev[] =
{{0x07c0,0x0fc0,0x0800,0x0080,0x10,"PIC16F628",pic16F628_config_strings},
+ {0x0960,0x0fe0,0x1000,0x0080,0x10,"PIC16F873",pic16F877_config_strings},
+ {0x0920,0x0fe0,0x1000,0x0080,0x10,"PIC16F874",pic16F877_config_strings},
+ {0x09e0,0x0fe0,0x2000,0x0100,0x10,"PIC16F876",pic16F877_config_strings},
 {0x09a0,0x0fe0,0x2000,0x0100,0x10,"PIC16F877",pic16F877_config_strings},
 {0x0560,0x0fe0,0x0400,0x0040,0x00,"PIC16F84A",pic16F84_config_strings},
 {0x0000,0x0000,0x0000,0x0000,0x00,NULL}
___________________________________________________________________

BAJ

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2003\05\27@162539 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> My question is this: other than being a PS+, what is the
> significant difference between the PS+ and the Wisp628?

- price!
- Microchip support might last longer than mine (but of course each
product can be discontinued)
- Wisp628 does flash PICs only, PS+ also EPROM-based PICs
- Wisp628 is ICSP, PS+ is (intended for) Ex-Circuit, has a ZIF (might do
ICSP with some trouble)
- PS+ has MPLAB support
- Wisp628/XWisp runs on each platform that supports Python and serial
port access
- all Wisp628/XWisp info is available for DIY (*not* for commercial
replication!)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\27@163639 by John Nall

flavicon
face
At 11:42 AM 5/27/2003 -0500, Picdude wrote:

>- Wisp628 -- actually looked at this before posting my original message, but
>did not see any reference to Linux support.  If I was sure it would work
>under some Linux software, then this goes very high on the list.  I guess
>that a lot of programmers today are "spoken with" in a common fashion, but
>don't want to assume that it will work with just any SW.  John Nall claimed
>use under Linux..... John, what software are you using for this?

I'm using the Redhat 8.0 version of Linux.  I just use the Xwisp.py that
Wouter has available at his website.  Python is already installed under
Linux (RH8.0, anyway).  It is my recollection that I had absolutely no
problems whatsoever with getting  Xwisp.py and the Wisp628 to work under
Linux.  If it were not for MPLAB I would most likely do all PIC stuff with
Linux, since I like having multiple screens.  But I also like having a
simulator for the 18F452. :-)

John

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2003\05\27@165935 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
face
On Tue, 27 May 2003, John Nall wrote:

> At 11:42 AM 5/27/2003 -0500, Picdude wrote:
>
> >- Wisp628 -- actually looked at this before posting my original message, but
> >did not see any reference to Linux support.  If I was sure it would work
> >under some Linux software, then this goes very high on the list.  I guess
> >that a lot of programmers today are "spoken with" in a common fashion, but
> >don't want to assume that it will work with just any SW.  John Nall claimed
> >use under Linux..... John, what software are you using for this?
>
> I'm using the Redhat 8.0 version of Linux.  I just use the Xwisp.py that
> Wouter has available at his website.  Python is already installed under
> Linux (RH8.0, anyway).  It is my recollection that I had absolutely no
> problems whatsoever with getting  Xwisp.py and the Wisp628 to work under
> Linux.  If it were not for MPLAB I would most likely do all PIC stuff with
> Linux, since I like having multiple screens.  But I also like having a
> simulator for the 18F452. :-)

You oughta try gpsim then. I use it to simulate the 18f452 nearly every
day.

Scott

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2003\05\27@175646 by Picdude

flavicon
face
So it's this mysterious Python script that I did not know about, but I'll go look for it now.  I only question how much Python support I can squeeze into a floppy-based distro.

Cheers,
-Neil.


On Tuesday 27 May 2003 15:14, John Nall scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\27@190022 by John Nall

flavicon
face
At 01:58 PM 5/27/2003 -0700, Scott Dattalo wrote:

> > But I also like having a
> > simulator for the 18F452. :-)
>
>You oughta try gpsim then. I use it to simulate the 18f452 nearly every
>day.

Let there be no misunderstanding -- The Free Software movement has no
stronger advocate than me.  If gpsim will do an adequate job, then I will
use it.  Last time I tried it for the 18F452 there was a problem, but
admittedly that has been awhile.  So will give it a shot.  Now, (climbing
up on the soapbox, which is awkward for someone of my advanced age) I think
that those of us who believe that good software is something that should be
shared, just like good music (yes, I download) do have to admit that
Microchip has freely shared MPLAB.  Their motivations may be rooted in the
search for the almighty dollar (Euro??) but, nevertheless, the sharing has
been A Good Thing.  And for whatever reason, they have stayed with
Windows.  Personally, I think they should rethink that, and move to
Linux.  But since I buy about 3 chips a year, I doubt I have much
influence. (But I do own some of their stock). :-)  What I would REALLY
love to see is for Microchip to just put MPLAB and its components into the
public domain, and have a place in sourceforge.   But most likely that will
not happen. :-)

John

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2003\05\27@190456 by John Nall

flavicon
face
At 05:00 PM 5/27/2003 -0500, Picdude wrote:

>So it's this mysterious Python script that I did not know about, but I'll go
>look for it now.  I only question how much Python support I can squeeze into
>a floppy-based distro.

Well...gosh...I do seem to dimly recall a sequence of messages about you
running Linux on some sort of primitive equipment....don't remember exactly
what it was, but it was pretty basic (no pun intended -- does the term
"Tiny Basic" strike a chord with anyone??).  So yeah, that may pose a
problem.  But I am not gonna go there!!!   :-)

Cheers,
John

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2003\05\27@193310 by john chung

flavicon
face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> > > My main problem with PS+ is that it uses an OTP/JW PIC, so upgrading
> > > the firmware for support of a new chip is a bit of a hassle (it is
> > > the only reason I have an UV-eraser around).
> >
> > It is a bit of a nuisance, it would be nice if it used a FLASH part
> > instead, but the cost of a new OTP part isn't that much on the rare
> > occasions when I have needed to upgrade to support new parts.
>
> I only upgrade it when a new part requires me to update my own
> programmer design, to have a working reference. So for me the amount of
> hassle relative to the amount of use is much worse than for you :(
>
> Wouter van Ooijen
>

   I always thought that one could interchange between OTP and flash
b'cos it was the same thing but the erasing was different. Am I wrong?

John


>
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2003\05\27@201507 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
At 07:00 PM 5/27/2003 -0400, you wrote:
Let there be no misunderstanding -- The Free Software movement has no
>stronger advocate than me.  If gpsim will do an adequate job, then I will
>use it.  Last time I tried it for the 18F452 there was a problem, but
>admittedly that has been awhile.  So will give it a shot.  Now, (climbing
>up on the soapbox, which is awkward for someone of my advanced age) I think
>that those of us who believe that good software is something that should be
>shared, just like good music (yes, I download) do have to admit that
>Microchip has freely shared MPLAB.

I should share some history (from a guy even older than you are, I'll bet).
For years Intel controlled the IN8080 with expensive, bulky development
tools. These things now are used, along with other surplus metal trash, to
create breakwaters outside SF Bay.  Then, about the time Microchip was
born, Motorola burned us with severe allocation of wafer resources as they
went into another line of work- cellphone chips. I had to quickly redesign
15 projects into PIC in a hurry. Microchip was RIGHT THERE for us
designers, provided us with free or cheap tools that work.


>  Their motivations may be rooted in the
>search for the almighty dollar (Euro??) but, nevertheless, the sharing has
>been A Good Thing.

Yes, it was a smart move. PIC is now the uP of choice in engineering labs
around the world. Young engineers WON'T forget that, either.

>   And for whatever reason, they have stayed with
>Windows.

Actually, they started with DOS. They went to windows as DOS was no longer
supported. And they still release, for free, a DOS MPSIM, that, as far as I
know, works well.

>   Personally, I think they should rethink that, and move to
>Linux.

I my opinion, they are working on it. Windows is still a notoriously
unreliable operating system, albeit it is better than is has been...
Win2000 actually runs a full day without a lockup... Are you aware that
China, en masse, has decided against Windows servers and as operating
systems in its school system setup? While yes, there are a lot of systems
out there, businesses are sick and tired of lost productivity due to
Windows unreliability. As applications are designed for Linux that will do
the job, FREE OR NOT, Linux will become the standard.

>   But since I buy about 3 chips a year, I doubt I have much
>influence. (But I do own some of their stock). :-)  What I would REALLY
>love to see is for Microchip to just put MPLAB and its components into the
>public domain, and have a place in sourceforge. But most likely that will
>not happen. :-)

Yes it will.

And the notion of a PIC killer is a myth. Windows CE, even at $3, is a laugh.
Suppose you design an aircraft flight navigator, using Windows CE as the
operating system. Would YOU like to fly on that plane?

I rest my case.

--Bob



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2003\05\27@205115 by Picdude

flavicon
face
On Tuesday 27 May 2003 15:08, Byron A Jeff scribbled:
> Then I think you have the winner below.
>

Think I'm coming to the same decision.


> Wouter's software is written in Python. It's crossplatform! I haven't tried
> it yet, but there should be no technical obsticle to using it.
>

Just found it, and need to investigate/test on Linux.


> Why not simply invest a day or two and a few bucks and strap one up? Build
> it on a breadboard and test with a couple of chips.

Exactly my thoughts ... I have the 2 major components already -- MAX232 and F628.  Will look into doing this over the weekend or so.


> We don't need Olin to support Linux. All that's required is open
> specifications for the hardware. Anyone can write the software.

No, but it would be preferred, so we have easy access to info and updates, etc.


> So I change the question to: would there be any reason not to release the
> interface specifications for the programmer so that the software can be
> ported to other platforms? Or any possibility of the software being Open
> Source?

Honestly, the chip-programming spec is fairly braindead.  If I were going thru the trouble of porting code or writing my own programming software, then I'll just roll my own programmer from scratch.  But I know my perfect solution exists out there so I won't need to do this. :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\27@210703 by Tal

flavicon
face
> And the notion of a PIC killer is a myth. Windows CE, even at
> $3, is a laugh. Suppose you design an aircraft flight
> navigator, using Windows CE as the operating system. Would
> YOU like to fly on that plane?

This reminds me an old joke. In a software reliability class for
engineers, the lecturer asked the engineers will would they think if in
their next flight, they will learn that the software of the plan was
designed by their coworkers. All students expressed concerns except for
one guy. When asked why, he explained that knowing his coworkers, the
plan will not even taxi on the ground.

Tal

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2003\05\27@213018 by Picdude

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On Tuesday 27 May 2003 15:16, Byron A Jeff scribbled:
> > I have never been able to use LVP for one reason ... the LVP pin is very
> > inconveniently located on RB3, since I use ICSP almost exclusively
> > nowadays.
>
> The LVP wasn't the issue. In fact I have a THVP design here:
>
> http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proghvp.html

I've had one question w.r.t. most HVP ICSP's, and perhaps you might know ... with the target PIC in-circuit, it's usually directly connected to it's own on-board PS, usually a 7805.  So how is the programmer connected to the Vdd line?  A diode on the programmer Vdd line only protects the programmer when the app circuit switches on.  I won't want to connect a diode permanently in the app-circuit's Vdd line for other reasons.  Is the programmer Vdd line really piggybacked/paralleled with the app power?  I assume the app power will be off right?  Most articles/docs on ICSP address issues with MCLR connections, but not Vdd.

I notice however, that your design uses app-ckt power during programming, and does not control the Vdd line.  But how is the PIC reset during programming?  I've tried with the Tait, and it does not work if I leave the app-ckt power on only.


{Quote hidden}

Hey cool.  Thanks.

-Neil.

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2003\05\27@214102 by Picdude

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On Tuesday 27 May 2003 15:24, Wouter van Ooijen scribbled:
> - Microchip support might last longer than mine (but of course each
> product can be discontinued)

I've actually come to the impression over time, that support is more related to popularity than company-size.  Larger companies have more motivation to discontinue support to clear the way for a new revenue stream.  Look at Win98 for example.


> - Wisp628 does flash PICs only, PS+ also EPROM-based PICs

For me, all I need is Flash.


> - Wisp628 is ICSP, PS+ is (intended for) Ex-Circuit, has a ZIF (might do
> ICSP with some trouble)

Again, Wouter, I need to ask here cause I don't have a clear answer yet.  My app circuits have a 7805 directly tied to Vdd.  How is the Wisp connected to the Vdd line during programming?


> - PS+ has MPLAB support

Would be nice, but lower priority.


> - Wisp628/XWisp runs on each platform that supports Python and serial
> port access

So I can program my pics with a Palm-pilot?  Not as useless as it sounds, cause I've been doing mostly automotive PIC applications.


> - all Wisp628/XWisp info is available for DIY (*not* for commercial
> replication!)

One thing that disappointed me about the Wisp is that although it has flash-upgradeable firmware, and it has ICSP capabilities, the target programming clip cannot be put on it's own firmware F628 to upgrade itself.  Wat up with dat, Wouter!?!? :-) :-) :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\27@220849 by Picdude

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On Tuesday 27 May 2003 19:15, Bob Axtell scribbled:
> And the notion of a PIC killer is a myth. Windows CE, even at $3, is a
> laugh. Suppose you design an aircraft flight navigator, using Windows CE as
> the operating system. Would YOU like to fly on that plane?

So there you have the ultimate showdown .... Bill and one (or a few) of his top programmers, an airplane, Windows CE, and any embedded HW they choose.  Code an auto take-off, fly-to-destination, and landing system.  Time limited for development of course.  Bill tightly strapped inside, far from any controls. :-)  And of course, a parallel system with Mr. Torvalds using Linux.  Heck, let's even throw in a PIC-based system and <insert any name here>. :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\28@015803 by Picdude

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233Mhz dell laptop, floppy, no HD.
Actually, I'm cheating right now -- found my HD tray, so I'm using a small HD to experiment with various distribs, and doing my PIC dev with it.  I'm still aiming towards a floppy-only setup so I can put the HD back in the MP3 player project though.

Cheers,
-Neil.


On Tuesday 27 May 2003 18:04, John Nall scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\28@022101 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
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On Tue, 27 May 2003, John Nall wrote:

> At 01:58 PM 5/27/2003 -0700, Scott Dattalo wrote:
>
> > > But I also like having a
> > > simulator for the 18F452. :-)
> >
> >You oughta try gpsim then. I use it to simulate the 18f452 nearly every
> >day.
>
> Let there be no misunderstanding -- The Free Software movement has no
> stronger advocate than me.  If gpsim will do an adequate job, then I will
> use it.  Last time I tried it for the 18F452 there was a problem, but
> admittedly that has been awhile.  So will give it a shot.  Now, (climbing

The last official release of gpsim is getting really old. The 18f452
support in that release is not complete. The code in CVS, however, gets
bang on every day. Just yesterday I fixed an annoyance with setting breaks
from the command line (not checked into CVS yet). Over the last couple
months I found some obscure bugs in gpasm with regards to the Access bank,
so you'll want to grab the latest gputils too.

I think the 18f452 is rapidly becoming gpsim's most tested processor!

I also think I need to make another release of gpsim!!

Scott

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2003\05\28@025212 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Again, Wouter, I need to ask here cause I don't have a clear
> answer yet.  My
> app circuits have a 7805 directly tied to Vdd.  How is the
> Wisp connected to
> the Vdd line during programming?

Default is to power Wisp628 from the target. Some extra circuitry is
needed for chips that configure thier /MCLR as input, because in that
case the programmer must briefly remove (short!) the power, while still
running itself.

> So I can program my pics with a Palm-pilot?  Not as useless
> as it sounds,
> cause I've been doing mostly automotive PIC applications.

I don't know. Does a PP have Python? (It probably will if it has a
decent (= 32 bit) C compiler). Does the Python have access to the serial
port?

> One thing that disappointed me about the Wisp is that although it has
> flash-upgradeable firmware, and it has ICSP capabilities, the target
> programming clip cannot be put on it's own firmware F628 to
> upgrade itself.
> Wat up with dat, Wouter!?!? :-) :-) :-)

Actually I have been thinking about two options:
- use a PIC that can self-program, but those are more expensive than the
F628 used now
- (for a future USB version) upgrade via the bit-bang mode of the FT
chip (using LVP).
But neither will apply to the current Wisp628...

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\28@025222 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>     I always thought that one could interchange between OTP and flash
> b'cos it was the same thing but the erasing was different. Am I wrong?

You can mix OTP and JW (windowed) because they are the same chips (just
different packaging). To my knowledge (TMK?) there are no PIC types that
are available both as OTP and as flash, so interchange would be limited
to the compatibility of the two different chips.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\28@025228 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> So it's this mysterious Python script that I did not know
> about, but I'll go
> look for it now.  I only question how much Python support I
> can squeeze into
> a floppy-based distro.

not much I guess :(

and it is not a mysterious Python script, XWisp is just a (few) Python
source files.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\28@032504 by john chung

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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> >     I always thought that one could interchange between OTP and flash
> > b'cos it was the same thing but the erasing was different. Am I wrong?
>
> You can mix OTP and JW (windowed) because they are the same chips (just
> different packaging). To my knowledge (TMK?) there are no PIC types that
> are available both as OTP and as flash, so interchange would be limited
> to the compatibility of the two different chips.
>

   Thanks for the information Wouter!

   John

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2003\05\28@040424 by Nigel Orr

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pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:43
PM:

> - Warp-13 -- Again, I have not found any reference to programming
> under Linux.

I've looked at this recently, as a 'good prospect' if/when the aging
picstart dies!  You must somehow have missed:
http://www.newfoundelectronics.com/linux.htm
as that seems to suggest you can treat it as a picstart (and use picp) or
use the warp-13 driver.  Unsupported, but IME unsupported linux
applications are usually more reliable than supported Windows ones...

From all the positive press on the piclist, Warp 13 would be high on my
list of picstart alternatives.

Nigel
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2003\05\28@061201 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > So I can program my pics with a Palm-pilot?  Not as useless
> > as it sounds,
> > cause I've been doing mostly automotive PIC applications.
>
> I don't know. Does a PP have Python? (It probably will if it has a
> decent (= 32 bit) C compiler). Does the Python have access to
> the serial
> port?

And if Python won't run: Rob Hamerling has written an XWisp clone in C
for OS/2, which might be easy to port. See XWisp2 at
http://www.robh.nl/picsoft.htm .

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\28@063249 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Looks like Python has been ported to ther Palm:
http://www.isr.uci.edu/projects/sensos/python/

Mike


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2003\05\28@065611 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Looks like Python has been ported to ther Palm:
> http://www.isr.uci.edu/projects/sensos/python/

But a bit limited. 'No file I/O' is a sure killer, because the .hex file
must be read :(

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\28@074806 by John Nall

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At 11:19 PM 5/27/2003 -0700, Scott Dattalo wrote:

>The last official release of gpsim is getting really old. The 18f452
>support in that release is not complete... Over the last couple
>months I found some obscure bugs in gpasm with regards to the Access bank,
>so you'll want to grab the latest gputils too.

My fuzzy recollection is that the last time I used gpasm I had some
problems trying to assemble relocatable code.  Don't remember the exact
problem, but I think that it was not recognizing the UDATA_ACS
directive.  Is gpasm now up with mpasm with regard to assembling
relocatable code?

John

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2003\05\28@081503 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
>> We don't need Olin to support Linux. All that's required is open
>> specifications for the hardware.

Which will be available on a web site.

> Honestly, the chip-programming spec is fairly braindead.  If I were
> going thru the trouble of porting code or writing my own programming
> software, then I'll just roll my own programmer from scratch.

You can certainly do that.  The programming specs are not hard to
implement if you are willing to sit down and read them carefully, although
there are a few outright errors and hidden issues.  Basic hardware is also
not that difficult to design, although you do have to think a little if
you want to support variable Vdd as I did.  (Variable Vdd allows
verification at the limits of the target chip's voltage range, as required
for "production" programmers according to Microchip's definition).

The biggest problem with a no-firmware programmer is speed.  In fact, my
programmer does present several interface layers to the host software.  At
the very lowest level, the host software can wiggle all the lines.  This
guarantees that any chips with one of the supported pinouts can be
programmed with only host software changes.  However, sending individual
RS-232 commands to wiggle pins to implement the serial protocol is very
slow.  The next higher interface level transfers strings of bits with the
clocking and serialization done in the firmware.  This is much faster but
still universal enough that all modern PICs that I know of could be
programmed with this interface.  The highest level presents a <address>
<data> ... <data> read/write interface.  This is where the algorithms vary
between PICs.  These are implemented in firmware as space permits.  The
host decides which algorithms to select based on chip type, then sends the
data.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\05\28@091738 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 28 May 2003, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> >     I always thought that one could interchange between OTP and flash
> > b'cos it was the same thing but the erasing was different. Am I wrong?
>
> You can mix OTP and JW (windowed) because they are the same chips (just
> different packaging). To my knowledge (TMK?) there are no PIC types that
> are available both as OTP and as flash, so interchange would be limited
> to the compatibility of the two different chips.

More to the point, you can't erase OTP parts at all...  OTP = One Time
Programmable.  It's an EPROM part with no window for erasing.

EEPROM (JW parts): Quartz window, can be erased and re-programmed, just
DON'T SET CODE PROTECTION.  Expensive, usually only used for development.

OTP parts: Same as EEPROM, but all plastic with no window for erasing.
Usually used for production or other "permanent" uses.

FLASH parts: Can be erased and re-written electrically thousands of times.
Good for dev and production.

Dale
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2003\05\28@111941 by Picdude

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On Wednesday 28 May 2003 01:50, Wouter van Ooijen scribbled:
> Default is to power Wisp628 from the target. Some extra circuitry is
> needed for chips that configure thier /MCLR as input, because in that
> case the programmer must briefly remove (short!) the power, while still
> running itself.

That's good then.  I found that the Tait could not do this -- it required control over the Vdd line.  I always have MCLR setup with a resistor and diode as such...
    Vdd O----|>|-----./\/\/'----- MCLR



> > So I can program my pics with a Palm-pilot?  Not as useless
> > as it sounds,
> > cause I've been doing mostly automotive PIC applications.
>
> I don't know. Does a PP have Python? (It probably will if it has a
> decent (= 32 bit) C compiler). Does the Python have access to the serial
> port?

Yes it supposedly does, though I'm not sure how much has been whittled out (as would be expected).


{Quote hidden}

Well I was actually kidding.  I'll always have another programmer on hand so definitely not an issue.


Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\28@112320 by Picdude

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Yep.  Found it.

On Wednesday 28 May 2003 01:50, Wouter van Ooijen scribbled:
> > So it's this mysterious Python script that I did not know
> > about, but I'll go
> > look for it now.  I only question how much Python support I
> > can squeeze into
> > a floppy-based distro.
>
> not much I guess :(
>
> and it is not a mysterious Python script, XWisp is just a (few) Python
> source files.
>
> Wouter van Ooijen
>
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> consultancy, development, PICmicro products

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2003\05\28@112507 by Douglas Wood

picon face
One small correction, Dale: They're EPROM (Windowed and OTP). EEPROM is
something else.

Douglas Wood
Software Engineer
KILLspamdbwoodKILLspamspamkc.rr.com
ICQ#: 143841506
STFUOLIN

Home of the EPICIS Development System for the PIC
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2003\05\28@112715 by Picdude

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face
On Wednesday 28 May 2003 03:04, Nigel Orr scribbled:
> I've looked at this recently, as a 'good prospect' if/when the aging
> picstart dies!  You must somehow have missed:
> http://www.newfoundelectronics.com/linux.htm
> as that seems to suggest you can treat it as a picstart (and use picp) or
> use the warp-13 driver.  Unsupported, but IME unsupported linux
> applications are usually more reliable than supported Windows ones...
>
> From all the positive press on the piclist, Warp 13 would be high on my
> list of picstart alternatives.
>
> Nigel


Correct --I had not seen when I posted.  Will go thru the details.  Agree with support.. as long as it's popular, it'll get supported.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\28@120112 by Dale Botkin

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On Wed, 28 May 2003, Douglas Wood wrote:

> One small correction, Dale: They're EPROM (Windowed and OTP). EEPROM is
> something else.

You're absolutely correct, and I do know the difference.  8-)  That was a
typo, sorry about that!

Dale
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2003\05\28@144528 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 08:34:14PM -0500, Picdude wrote:
> On Tuesday 27 May 2003 15:16, Byron A Jeff scribbled:
> > > I have never been able to use LVP for one reason ... the LVP pin is very
> > > inconveniently located on RB3, since I use ICSP almost exclusively
> > > nowadays.
> >
> > The LVP wasn't the issue. In fact I have a THVP design here:
> >
> > http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proghvp.html
>
> I've had one question w.r.t. most HVP ICSP's, and perhaps you might know ...
> with the target PIC in-circuit, it's usually directly connected to it's own
> on-board PS, usually a 7805.  So how is the programmer connected to the Vdd
> line?

Three possible answers:

1) They don't have to be connected. You can just share a ground. This one is
  only a problem if you have a part where MCLR can become an input and a
  power cycle is the only way to reset. This is possible for me because I
  always power the programmer from the PC, and never from the target.

2) You can route board power through the ICSP connector so that the programmer
  can control Vdd when connected and a jumper connects straight through when
  the programmer isn't. My ICSP version of the TLVP here:

  http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proglvp-icsp.gif

  can be wired that way. And BTW you can rewire the THVP same way.

3) Do what Wouter does: short the power on the target briefly

>  A diode on the programmer Vdd line only protects the programmer when
> the app circuit switches on.  I won't want to connect a diode permanently in
> the app-circuit's Vdd line for other reasons.


Note that this particular HVP circuit was designed for ICSP, so none of these
issues exist. And instead of putting the diode on the target, it would be
better placed on the programmer, since that's what would need the protection.

> Is the programmer Vdd line really piggybacked/paralleled with the app power?

No! That would be a disaster.

> I assume the app power will be off right?

Not necessarily. That can cause parasitic power issues where the programmer is
in fact trying to power the whole target with unknown power requirements.

>  Most articles/docs on ICSP address issues with MCLR connections, but not Vdd.
>
> I notice however, that your design uses app-ckt power during programming, and
> does not control the Vdd line.  But how is the PIC reset during programming?

The MCLR line resets the PIC. You can do that under power. The only exception
is when MCLR is turned into an input. Of course there's still the issue of
resetting everything else on the target.

> I've tried with the Tait, and it does not work if I leave the app-ckt power
> on only.

So the right solution is pretty clear to me: Route app-ckt power through the
ICSP connector and run it through a P-channel MOSFET that's on the programmer
which can then be controlled by the programmer. You need a P channel so that
you can get the it to turn on by dropping the gate low.

Hope this helps,

BAJ

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2003\05\28@174400 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
I get around Flash programming problems by simply diode-isolating the PIC
only as well as its MCLR line. I use a  low-drop diode such as SD101, etc.
I make sure that the isolated VCC has proper bypassing, and that the MCLR
line is pulled up OK, but is easy to pull down by the programmer.

At the low current that the PIC normally uses, the diode voltage drop is
about 100mV max, which makes NO difference in any design I've worked, even
at 24Mhz (I've overdriven a few PICS before, for video work).

Neither I nor any client has had trouble programming with anything, even
David Tait's design works great.

If the board has room, I make the programming connector an RJ12-6 (6-pin
telephone jack). Sure makes programming easy in a poorly-lit room or auto,
back of van, or whatever.

I have made a PDF schematic of the setup for those who want it, just send
an email.

--Bob Axtell

At 02:44 PM 5/28/2003 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--------------------------

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2003\05\30@135605 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> So there you have the ultimate showdown .... Bill and one (or a few) of
> his top programmers, an airplane, Windows CE, and any embedded HW they
> choose Code an auto take-off, fly-to-destination, and landing system.
> Time limited for development of course.

Yes I can see it.

a) the latest virus swaps the gps coordinates of the next waypoint with
those of a tall building in Seattle. A national guard F16 shoots them down
before they reach it.

a1) the latest virus swaps the next waypoint with the coordinates of his
house. The national guard does not shoot them down in time.

b) the clock battery has a bad contact whan passing some turbulence, the
license manager detects 'unauthorised tampering' and revokes the license
for the autopilot while on final on automatic landing, and displays the
large anti-piracy bright blue flashing splash screen to cover the entire
hud display (which is extra large and covers the entire front window of
the cockpit).

What was that story about a us navy large battleship (?) that had to limp
into port after its nt-based (?) computer systems balked. There was a
story about this but I do not remember the details.

I think I'll stop here.

Peter

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2003\05\30@141422 by Nick Veys

flavicon
face
Don't forget the Linux ones!

* Plane comes in for a landing and they discover the SourceForge AutoPilot v0.0013.19412.2 never had any people sign up to help develop and only has landings "Planned".

* After taking off the Pilot simply has to execute the following  simple, foolproof and easy-to-use command: aplt | cruise.dat < auto && grep nonturbulence &;

;)  It's only fair.

Original Message -----------------------

<cut> Anti-MS stuff ... </cut>

I think I'll stop here.

Peter

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2003\05\31@204226 by Olin Lathrop

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> b) the clock battery has a bad contact whan passing some turbulence, the
> license manager detects 'unauthorised tampering' and revokes the license
> for the autopilot while on final on automatic landing, and displays the
> large anti-piracy bright blue flashing splash screen to cover the entire
> hud display (which is extra large and covers the entire front window of
> the cockpit).

Then Bill sees he's about to make a crater and quickly pulls the pilot eject
lever.  A popup appear that reads "Ejecting will permanently remove the
pilot from the controls, and may cause total loss of the aircraft.  This
operation can not be un-done.  Are you sure you wish to eject the the pilot
from  ...  CRASH - BANG - large pile of smoking rubble.





*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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'[PIC]: New PIC programmer ...'
2003\06\01@223706 by bob
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face
Hi Bob,

could I see a copy of that setup?

Thanks!
Bob

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Axtell" <RemoveMEengineerspamTakeThisOuTCOTSE.NET>
To: <PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: New PIC programmer ...


{Quote hidden}

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2003\06\02@080236 by Bob Axtell

face picon face

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2003\06\03@052010 by Nigel Orr

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face
pic microcontroller discussion list <> wrote on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 11:26
AM:

>>> My main problem with PS+ is that it uses an OTP/JW PIC, so upgrading
>>> the firmware for support of a new chip is a bit of a hassle (it is
>>> the only reason I have an UV-eraser around).
>>
>> It is a bit of a nuisance, it would be nice if it used a FLASH part
>> instead, but the cost of a new OTP part isn't that much on the rare
>> occasions when I have needed to upgrade to support new parts.
>
> I only upgrade it when a new part requires me to update my own
> programmer design, to have a working reference. So for me the amount
> of hassle relative to the amount of use is much worse than for you :(

I have just come across this gem from Newfound Electronics, I don't
remember it being mentioned on the list before, and it is vapourware at
present, but it sounds _very_ appealing to me, 'upgrade' picstart to a
Warp, using an 18F452-based, bootloader-upgradable system.

http://www.newfoundelectronics.com/picstart%20plus.htm

Sounds like a winner to me (no connections with Newfound Electronics etc
etc, just looks like it might be a smart product!), time and money will
tell!!

Nigel
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Axon Instruments Ltd., Wardes Road,Inverurie,Aberdeenshire,UK,AB51 3TT
              Tel:+44 1467 622332 Fax:+44 1467 625235
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2003\06\03@064427 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nigel Orr [SMTP:RemoveMEnigelEraseMEspamEraseMEAXONINSTRUMENTS.CO.UK]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 10:20 AM
> To:   RemoveMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject:      Re: [PIC]: New PIC programmer ...
>
> I have just come across this gem from Newfound Electronics, I don't
> remember it being mentioned on the list before, and it is vapourware at
> present, but it sounds _very_ appealing to me, 'upgrade' picstart to a
> Warp, using an 18F452-based, bootloader-upgradable system.
>
> http://www.newfoundelectronics.com/picstart%20plus.htm
>
Jim posted an announcement of this project a few days ago (28/05/2003).
However, the topic tag was ommited so it's probably worthwhile reposting it
here:

Regards

Mike


PICSTART PLUS marries WARP-13?

Hi Folks,

Been working very hard on upgrading firmware for the WARP-13. One of my
"pet" projects has been porting my firmware over to the picstart plus.

Currently I have an 18F8720 (a little overkill maybe) replacing the 17C44
in the PS+  I have it working for all the serial (only) programmed PICs
(That is all except the 16C5x and 17Cxx(x) families. I do intend to port
the serial EEPROM code as well and even add other (Microchip?!) devices.
;-)

What I am trying to do is greatly improve on the programming benchmarks,
just as an ego thing but if there is sufficient interest I may go on and
have an adapter PCB made (I am asking around now for someone to do the PCB
as I do not wish to be doing everything.)

Note. I am proposing this as a commercial venture. I am giving away to
picstart plus owners what WARP-13 purchasers have being paying for.

This firmware I am working on is destined for the WARP-13 so WARP-13 owners
should not feel left out. There will be a few mods to do with the WARP-13
so we can use the UART instead of its current bit banged mode. With this
and a couple of diodes and a resistor on the reset pin the WARP-13 will
keep punching with the best of them.

Here is a gauge of my current improvement (using the most extreme example.)

A Program everything and verify on a 18F8720 PIC takes:

PS+  5 minutes 50 something seconds (with MPLAB)
PSW13 < 33 seconds.  (With WARP13.EXE)

There are great improvements with all other PICs and I have not finished
yet...

This is with a 1Gig Athlon PC. I believe a faster PC will further improve
the gap as inefficiencies in Windows are apparent. (A hard sell, I know....)

The firmware has a bootloader (of coarse, just to keep BAJ happy) for quick
updates.
I am optimizing the firmware for USB compatibility (packet mode instead of
byte by byte) via the FTDI USB - RS232 bridge.

I hope to have an ICSP mode with modified (programmable) timing and a
single take off point for all ICSP connections regardless of target PIC
pinout. A special cable will identify itself (via pin strapping) to the
picstart plus and ICSP mode with be automatic from there.

The protocol currently is a modified version of the TM4 protocol used in
the WARP-13 Linux driver on my web page however I am looking to put
together a Unified Programmer Protocol (UPP) that is based on the picstart
plus protocol but with a set of extended commands and with all the
inefficiencies removed.
I could assist with drivers for other O/Ses including working with Linux,
um, "enthusiasts."

The problem with cross platform support is keeping everything together and
organized. This is not my strong point. ;-(

So... I have a few questions....

Any "real" interest in this from picstart plus owners?

Any need to support 16C5x and 17Cxxx parts?

Anyone interested in "bird nesting" their own 18F252 to 17Cxxx adapter
(Will do serial programmed pics only due to the lack of I/O)

Anyone willing to help with CAD/PCB if this project is a goer.

I am open for comments at RemoveMEpspprojectTakeThisOuTspamspamnewfoundelectronics.com

Thanks for the bandwidth!

Regards,

Jim Robertson
NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS




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