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'[PIC]: Universal programmer'
2001\05\25@055757 by 1?Q?Carlos_Nieves_=D3nega?=

flavicon
face
Hi all,
I'm thinking in a design for an universal programmer, controlled by a PIC.
I'm a bit tired to search for a programmer for every device I plan to use, so I would want to build one able to program all devices.
My thought is that it will be "open hardware" (i.e. you will be allowed to use, build, and improve it at your own, like open-source software) with an open source
software.
I will make the software to program the devices I'm using, but other people working with other devices can do the same... so in some time we could have a free
universal programmer.
I have one design in mind, with 50 pins to interface with the device. Each pin is able to handle several sources:
 - Digital output.
 - Analog output (from two analog sources) (from 0 to 25V, digital controlled).
 - Digital input (for reading data from the device).
There will be two analog sources in the design, one will act as supply voltage, and the other could be the programming voltage.
I don't know if two only analog sources will be enough so I wanted to ask you if you know any device needing more than one programming voltage (or greater than
25V).

Please apologize me, because I know this mail is not about precisely about PICs, but I also know most of you have worked with many devices...

Regards,

Carlos

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2001\05\25@060956 by Patrik Husfloen

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Hi, you might want to look at the "EEPROM Memory Programming Specification" for the different PICs
I have one for the 16F8X which says pretty much everything there is to know about programming that device, I would think microchip has similar documents for alll the microcontrollers.

Patrik
{Original Message removed}

2001\05\25@071404 by Jim Robertson

flavicon
face
At 12:00 PM 25/05/01 +0200, you wrote:


CUMP Mark II?

ROTFLOL


>Hi all,
>I'm thinking in a design for an universal programmer, controlled by a PIC.
>I'm a bit tired to search for a programmer for every device I plan to use,
so I would want to build one able to program all devices.
>My thought is that it will be "open hardware" (i.e. you will be allowed to
use, build, and improve it at your own, like open-source software) with an
open source
>software.
>I will make the software to program the devices I'm using, but other
people working with other devices can do the same... so in some time we
could have a free
>universal programmer.
>I have one design in mind, with 50 pins to interface with the device. Each
pin is able to handle several sources:
>  - Digital output.
>  - Analog output (from two analog sources) (from 0 to 25V, digital
controlled).
>  - Digital input (for reading data from the device).
>There will be two analog sources in the design, one will act as supply
voltage, and the other could be the programming voltage.
>I don't know if two only analog sources will be enough so I wanted to ask
you if you know any device needing more than one programming voltage (or
greater than
>25V).
>
>Please apologize me, because I know this mail is not about precisely about
PICs, but I also know most of you have worked with many devices...
{Quote hidden}

NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS
newfoundspamKILLspampipeline.com.au
http://www.new-elect.com
MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.

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2001\05\25@084319 by Andy N1YEW

picon face
i have a good idea and i am working on it :-)

you take an f84 and tell it a command then 16 bits of data to clock to the
pic or something like that.  still thinking about how it should work.

andy
{Original Message removed}

2001\05\25@143600 by jamesnewton

face picon face
This is exactly what the pocket is. It is an existing, proven and
professional design, with OPEN SOURCE (and hardware) so you can add whatever
programming abilities you want to it. It has one analog source.
http://www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm#pocket

Tony is now working to add a "programming programming language" to the
pocket so that you can write a script that does all sorts of programming.
Just like the Engine.
http://www.bubblesoftonline.com/engine.html

A previous attempt at a universal open source programmer was started and has
been languishing for lack of someone to lead the project.
http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/cump/index.htm

Do not underestimate the difficulty of developing a project like this. The
people who sell closed source programmers are protecting a lot of hard won
knowledge and do provide valuable products. But I think there is a need, and
room for, open source, home built, community developed units as well. A
device programmer that only programs a list of devices selected by someone
else and only programs devices (when the same hardware could do so much
more) seems like a waste.
http://www.piclist.com/techref/idea/ebb.htm


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{Original Message removed}

2001\05\25@225926 by M. Adam Davis

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I've thought about something like this as well.  I've since found that:
The majority of hobbyists stick to two or three parts (say, PIC, AVR, EEPROM) and the cost of simple programmers for each total well under the cost of building your own 'everything' programmer.
This may well be one of the reasons the CUMP did not do so well.

To build such a programmer (as you are designing) you'd need each of the 50 pins to be switchable between at least 4 sources:
Digital (tri stateable, to simulate a no-connect)
Analog 1
Analog 2
Ground

Though you really ought to have a dedicated connection to 'nothing', which would make it 5 sources for each pin.  The digital pin is tricky - you either dedicate one digital pin for each socket pin and simple switch it in (which means you can't use a simple matrix for this one, use a cmos switch for each pin), or you use the larger 16x16 matrix cmos switches and hope you never need to program with more than 10 digital lines at any given time.

There are software matrix chips you would end up using, say an 8x16.  You could use 3 of them for 48 pins (do you really need all fifty?  Then use 4...).  They run around $25[US] each IIRC, then you'd need to add the individual cmos switches (which are cheap - you could do the whole thing with them but I wouldn't want to solder them, and it would be a huge board...)   The matrix/switch is shown below (the 8 vertical wires, as suggested, would carry ground, 2 common analog signals, and 5 common digital signals.  The 8 wires on the left carry individual digital signals (which could be matrixed as well, but you limit flexibility.  But then, few devices need more than 20 distinct signals to program, 50 would be overkill.)
, as well as 8 which are left floating.  The wires on the right signify the socket.)

Or, like many programmers, you add a simm socket, and then use wired simm modules to hook everything up for you, but that isn't as cool.

So for your time and energy, it is actually worth it to buy a good "expensive' everything programmer.

Otherwise you'd probably see home-built ones all over the web.

-Adam

                   G A A D D D D D
                   N N N I I I I I
                   D 1 2 1 2 3 4 5
Digital6_______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital7_______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital8_______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital9_______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital10______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital11______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital12______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |
Digital13______   __|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|________Socket Pin
Floating_______ /   | | | | | | | |


Carlos Nieves Ónega wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\26@084340 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Actually, for hobbiest purposes, you could build an 'everything' programmer
in a much simpler manner. It would contain the following components:

1: 2 or 3 programmable analog sources.

2: A bunch of digital source/sense signals.

All of these signals would then appear on a header.

A scramble wired cable would shuffle them to the right pins.

The other end of the scramble wired cable would go to the device socket.

Now, for each unique pinout you'd just need to build up the correct scamble
wired cable (an hour or two's work).

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)




{Original Message removed}

2001\05\26@195601 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Adam, Lattice has in-circuit programmable switch arrays in their
GDX and GDS product lines. The low-cost ispGDS devices come in 7x7,
9x9, and 11x11 versions in 20-28-Pin DIP and PLCC packages. 10,000
Erase/Write cycles. The ISP interface is 4 lines. The ispGDX family
has three versions with 80 to 160 programmable I/O's. I had once
thought of doing an EPROM/GAL programmer using them. For more info:

     http://www.latticesemi.com

  - Tom

At 10:46 PM 5/25/01 -0400, M. Adam Davis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

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2001\05\26@195607 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Bob, if anyone is interested in this, I could do a simple CPLD to route
signals and generate EPROM/EEPROM/FLASH addresses given a device select
input. One CPLD I use has 64 I/O's and comes in an 84-Pin PLCC or
100-Pin TQFP. I can do much larger devices but I can only prototype
PLCC versions.

  As far as a `scramble cable', you could also use a dual header or DIP
headers to wire the signal path and use standard cables and sockets based
on the pin count and package type. Kind of like `personality modules'.

  - Tom

At 08:42 AM 5/26/01 -0400, Bob Ammerman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

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2001\05\27@162115 by Dan Michaels

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Adam Davis wrote:
>I've thought about something like this as well.  I've since found that:
>The majority of hobbyists stick to two or three parts (say, PIC, AVR,
>EEPROM) and the cost of simple programmers for each total well under the
>cost of building your own 'everything' programmer.
>This may well be one of the reasons the CUMP did not do so well.
>

Good guess, but ........... :)
===========

>To build such a programmer (as you are designing) you'd need each of the
>50 pins to be switchable between at least 4 sources:
>Digital (tri stateable, to simulate a no-connect)
>Analog 1
>Analog 2
>Ground
>

This is a major reason the so-called universal devices cost in the
neighborhood of $600-1000 USD.
============

{Quote hidden}

Carlos, for some ideas, you might check out the LP120 at:

http://www.cs.net/lucid/lp120.htm

It was described in Nuts & Volts magazine about december 2000. It is not open-everything, but it is "extensible", and most of the work is already done.  
Also, if anyone contacts you off-list regarding your volunteering your time to do this project on your on time to give to the benefit
of all, PLEASE PLEASE contact me off-list - as I am the resident expert on this particular situation. I can probably save you a lot of trouble.

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
=======================

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2001\05\27@174136 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
Well, if you listen to Dans side of it, please consider contacting me off
list for my side of it as well. <GRIN>

As Dan has said several times, and I agree, complex open source projects
like this need a single, very involved leader (Linus, Larry Wall, etc...)
who can sit at the middle and incorporate suggestions, guide direction, and
keep people involved by releasing new updates often. And we just didn't find
that person. Maybe we will... I do know that I'm NOT it. Wish I could, but I
can't even keep up with the list adminning and site updates at this point.
(hint, hint)

Switching problem is easily (and cheaply) solved by: Using "modules" or
"adapters" boards for each family of device. In the CUMP design, as you can
see in the picture at the site,
http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/cump/index.htm there would be a
"daughter board" for each type of device that routes the available "mother
board" pins and voltage sources to the appropriate set of pins on the
target. We also thought to pass them through to an (optional) connector on
the other side of each daughter board so that they could be daisy chained
together to build up a multi-device programmer for the chips most commonly
used by each person.

At this point, adapters could easily be made for Tony's Pic Pocket
programmer that would do the same.
www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm#pocket
As Tony builds in "The Engine" type configurability,
http://www.bubblesoftonline.com/engine.html adding routines for programming
all sorts of different things (or for stimulating and testing devices or
for... etc...) will become very, very easy.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
spamBeGonejamesnewtonspamBeGonespampiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\05\27@194611 by Dan Michaels

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At 02:39 PM 5/27/01 -0700, you wrote:
>Well, if you listen to Dans side of it, please consider contacting me off
>list for my side of it as well. <GRIN>
>
>As Dan has said several times, and I agree, complex open source projects
>like this need a single, very involved leader (Linus, Larry Wall, etc...)
>who can sit at the middle and incorporate suggestions, guide direction, and
>keep people involved by releasing new updates often. And we just didn't find
>that person. Maybe we will... I do know that I'm NOT it. Wish I could, but I
>can't even keep up with the list adminning and site updates at this point.
>(hint, hint)
>

20-20 hindsight is its own best reward.
================

>Switching problem is easily (and cheaply) solved by: Using "modules" or
>"adapters" boards for each family of device. In the CUMP design, as you can
>see in the picture at the site,
>http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/cump/index.htm there would be a
>"daughter board" for each type of device that routes the available "mother
>board" pins and voltage sources to the appropriate set of pins on the
>target.


Unfortunately, these things are never as cheap as they sound at first.
That's why half the companies sell programmers with universal pin drivers
costing $600-1000, and the other half sell $250 programmers with dozens
of custom $100-150 adapters.

Everything starts out sounding really cool and really cheap, but
then reality bites. It takes man-months of work to produce even
simple-sounding devices, and by time you're done just the parts alone
cost piles of $$$ more than you first thought. Even Tony's totally
free programmer in the end costs $85 for the parts.

I think what is really called for on piclist is a little more
realism based upon hard experience.

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2001\05\27@195858 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>Everything starts out sounding really cool and really cheap, but
>then reality bites. It takes man-months of work to produce even
>simple-sounding devices, and by time you're done just the parts alone
>cost piles of $$$ more than you first thought. Even Tony's totally
>free programmer in the end costs $85 for the parts.
>I think what is really called for on piclist is a little more
>realism based upon hard experience.

       Real nice words, Dan.

       My personal experience on this: I had a PB-10 programmer. $139. Got a $50 adapter for 8751 micros. Got another $50 adapter for 27C1001/2001/etc 40-pin EPROMs. The price has risen to $239. Don't forget shipping and taxes from USA to Brazil. And now I have an old Xeltek Unipro programmer, I bought used for $150. It doesn't do serial EEPROMs nor PICs. But program EPROMs to 27C220 and tests ICs (my main use). So I'm happy with it.

       In usa I believe to be possible to find old programmers as the excellent ALL-03A for less than $300. Compare this with the expense to build a free programmer. Only the ZIF socket is 10% of this value. Sometimes it's best to spend a bit more and get a lot more. I'd never build an osciloscope. Nor a "general" programmer. And I can't wait for the Picstart I got as a gift from a piclist friend, to program 8 and 18 pin PICs. Of course I have a NoPPP programmer - it's cheap as it could be, but there was times when I lost one full day looking for a strange bug caused by the ppp software I was using.

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2001\05\28@060510 by 1?Q?Carlos_Nieves_=D3nega?=

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I have had a look at the CUMP project, and the Pocket project.
I like very much the CUMP project, and it gaves me an idea for the programmable voltage supply.
Really, the Pocket is nice, but I just want a simple device conected to a computer...

What I have thought is having 2 analog sources, ground, and digital signal on each pin.
For switching between them, I have thought on an analog multiplexer (4->1), and then a switching matrix is not required.
I can control each pin if I have some shift registers connected, and each output bit controls a pin of the programmer. By this way, you can simply enter data on the registers with two pins, one for data, and one for clock. A lot of hardware is saved with them.

And I think it's enough if the programmer has 48 pins...

I will want to retrieve data from the device, so I think of having more shift registers, this time to latch the data from the device, connected in a similar way as I told you before...

Each output pin of the register is connected to the digital entry of the analog multiplexer, and the other inputs of the analog multiplexer are the same for all of them: the two voltage supplies, and ground.
This multiplexer is not required if you don't want to use this pin as a voltage output, so you can keep its place in the board, and plug it when you really need it.

I liked the idea of use 16F877 A/D converters to monitor output voltages, and one pin to control the voltage, as shown in the CUMP project. It seems very nice.

The interface to the PC is really simple, a serial port is enough. The commands are simple: - Get data: Gets all 48 pins data from the device.
- Set data: Sets all 48 bits shift registers to output to the device.
- Select source( pin, source): Select the source for each pin.
- Set voltage (supply, voltage): Sets the voltage output on the supply.
- Load program: Use as bootloader for uploading a new version of software to the programmer control PIC.

I think the design is simple, but the board will have a lot of connections, and maybe it will be difficult to route on a single layer board, but it doesn't seem too difficult to do... and it will not required adapters unless the device you are using has other package than DIP.

Regards,

Carlos


26/05/01 14:42:25, Bob Ammerman <TakeThisOuTRAMMERMANEraseMEspamspam_OUTPRODIGY.NET> escribió:

{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2001\05\28@112611 by Dan Michaels

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Carlos Nieves Ónega wrote:
>I have had a look at the CUMP project, and the Pocket project.
>I like very much the CUMP project, and it gaves me an idea for the
programmable voltage supply.
>Really, the Pocket is nice, but I just want a simple device conected to a
computer...
>

Carlos, the reason the CUMP died is because no one wanted to spend 6+ man-months working on it for free, including the guy who was pushing it the hardest.
Regarding the Pocket, CUMP, or any universal device, what really does not come across in the piclist discussions is the immense amount of time and effort that it takes to develop such devices. Things start simple, but they grow and grow and grow, and you get many suggestions but no one else will do the work.

And the idea that all development tools should be open-source
so that users can hack them is just plain "unrealistic". First, no more than a couple of people would every actually hack and
debug them, and secondly, companies would simply be giving their invested time and effort away to competitors.
If you do wish to pursue the universal programmer route for your own purposes, you might think about making the hardware as universal as possible, and then develop software for the particular application you have in mind, and then later decide whether you want to proceed any further.
Don't let anyone on piclist pressure you into working for free on "their" dream - you do your own, let them do their own. Use
piclist as a resource to help with your problems.
best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
==========================

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2001\05\28@120001 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
face
On Mon, 28 May 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:
>
> And the idea that all development tools should be open-source
> so that users can hack them is just plain "unrealistic". First,
> no more than a couple of people would every actually hack and
> debug them, and secondly, companies would simply be giving their
> invested time and effort away to competitors.

Unrealistic PIC developers are more than welcomed on the GNUPIC mailing
list. http://www.gnupic.org/

Scott

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2001\05\28@120014 by Dan Michaels

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Carlos wrote:

>What I have thought is having 2 analog sources, ground, and digital signal
on each pin.
>For switching between them, I have thought on an analog multiplexer (4->1),
and then a switching matrix is not required.
>I can control each pin if I have some shift registers connected, and each
output bit controls a pin of the programmer. By this way, you can simply
enter data on the
>registers with two pins, one for data, and one for clock. A lot of hardware
is saved with them.
>
>And I think it's enough if the programmer has 48 pins...
>


Carlos, what you are describing here really "is" the essence of having
a switch matrix. That's what a multiplexer is in this case. With 48 pins
and 4 inputs to each, that is at least 24 analog multiplexer chips
similar to the 74HC4052. You could save acres of real estate by doing
the switching with a gate array, as I think Tom Handley mentioned, but
you would not get the analog levels.

Also, another problem you have to consider is that you might not get
adequate +Vcc and gnd connections by making them through standard
logic or multiplexer gates. The current will be limited and/or the
voltage levels not close enough to Vcc/gnd. This is why the expensive
uni-programmers use custom pin drivers, and why they cost a lot of
money.

BTW, one reason I am so vocal in this thread is because I spent a
lot of time designing something like this 2 12/ years ago. It was to
be a universal device "tester", which could also do programming, but
in the end, by time you put in all the circuitry and do all the software
development, it was too big a project for me to want to tackle. I
called it the GTU - Generic/Galaxy Test Unit - and it is still sitting
in limbo, but not totally dead. If I just had about 6-12 man months
of spare time :).

I did solve the problem of how to make the connections in a cheap
and easy manner, but so far have been equivocating about whether to
share my idea in this forum. Unfortunately, a lot of other people
have made a lot more money off of my ideas than I have, and after
a while this does grate on the joints.

However, if you think about the connection problem some more, you
might find a simpler, better, and easier way.

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
===========================

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2001\05\28@121506 by Dan Michaels

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Scott Dattalo wrote:
>On Mon, 28 May 2001, Dan Michaels wrote:
>>
>> And the idea that all development tools should be open-source
>> so that users can hack them is just plain "unrealistic". First,
>> no more than a couple of people would every actually hack and
>> debug them, and secondly, companies would simply be giving their
>> invested time and effort away to competitors.
>
>Unrealistic PIC developers are more than welcomed on the GNUPIC mailing
>list. http://www.gnupic.org/
>

Scott, there will always be a place for hacksters in this world,
and rightly so, but certain people in these threads "invariably"
call for all intellectual property to be opened. Not being able to
clearly distinquish the arguments for and against in these two
different cases leads to a lot of unrealistic commentary.

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2001\05\28@130705 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> Regarding the Pocket, CUMP, or any universal device, what really
> does not come across in the piclist discussions is the immense
> amount of time and effort that it takes to develop such devices.
>
> And the idea that all development tools should be open-source
> so that users can hack them is just plain "unrealistic". First,
> no more than a couple of people would every actually hack and
> debug them, and secondly, companies would simply be giving their
> invested time and effort away to competitors.

There is always a small amount of hobbyists, fanatics or whatever that will
take on an interesting challenge when they see one. So it is not plain
unrealistic, but the laws of numbers apply: there are more people interested
in GCC or Linux than in PICs, so the number of those PIC hackers is small.
But still there are some.

> Don't let anyone on piclist pressure you into working for free
> on "their" dream - you do your own, let them do their own. Use
> piclist as a resource to help with your problems.

Exactly. But shared efforts still make sense, provided that everyone is
ready to put in a big amount of work. A lot of proposals are made in the
sense of 'would this not be a good idea for you to develop for free'. What I
develop for free is my own choice, if anyone has different ideas he is free
to pursue them himself! And some do indeed follow their own vision and
actually achieve somthing, for instance JN with his techref....

Stroustroup speaks in one of his books about the idea that 'anyone who
proposes an extension to C++ should donate a kidney. that keeps the number
of proposals per person down to one and even that one will be made only
reluctantly.' Likewise everyone who proposes a free (PIC) project should
indicate how many time he is willing to put into it, and an estimate of the
total time involved.

Wouter

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2001\05\28@133818 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Wouter wrote:

>
>There is always a small amount of hobbyists, fanatics or whatever that will
>take on an interesting challenge when they see one. So it is not plain
>unrealistic, but the laws of numbers apply: there are more people interested
>in GCC or Linux than in PICs, so the number of those PIC hackers is small.
>But still there are some.
>

Wouter, finally someone who supports the idea, but can see it in
the proper perspective. The idea of Linux is successful precisely
because there is such a truly "massive" base of people that it
appeals to.
===========


>> Don't let anyone on piclist pressure you into working for free
>> on "their" dream - you do your own, let them do their own. Use
>> piclist as a resource to help with your problems.
>
>Exactly. But shared efforts still make sense, provided that everyone is
>ready to put in a big amount of work.


Exactly, as I have implied repeatedly. Beware the salesman who
wants to sell you his idea, and get you to do all the work on it
for free. So far I have yet to see a great movement of people
jumping up to freely contribute their 6 man-months to any of these
projects. So why these things keep coming up, one wonders.
================


A lot of proposals are made in the
>sense of 'would this not be a good idea for you to develop for free'. What I
>develop for free is my own choice, if anyone has different ideas he is free
>to pursue them himself!


That is certainly your choice, and welcome to it. But maybe what we
need is a good "prototyping" of the ideas being flung around here.

How about all the guys who keep calling for everything to be free
and open setting the example by FIRST posting to piclist all of the
code THEY have developed over say the past 5 years - for all the rest
of us to use freely and hack as we may.

Let's see how that goes FIRST, then go from there. Come on guys,
put your code where your arguments reside.

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2001\05\28@173512 by Brent Brown

picon face
Late entry on this thread:

I've often though about a serial only in circuit universal programmer.
Something that could be used for production as well as
development. The hardware would be simpler than a full 48pin
universal porgrammer. You would need only half a dozen or so lines
like CLK,DATA_IN,DATA_OUT,RESET, /RESET,+5V, GND etc.
The software part would probably be no less a task though. The
physical connection could be a socket, like on the MPLAB ICD,
connecting to custom cables for ICSP.


Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  RemoveMEbrent.brownspamTakeThisOuTclear.net.nz

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2001\05\28@174124 by Andy N1YEW

picon face
that is basically what i am building myself

andy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Brown" <brent.brownEraseMEspam.....CLEAR.NET.NZ>
To: <EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: Universal programmer


{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\29@001846 by V sml

picon face
Carlos,

Have you take a look at Engine from Tony, I think it is more relevant than
Pocket to you.

If you want to add in the serial-to-parallel extension, or make it into a
logic-tester, it also has that extendability.

Tony doesn't have a kit for that.  But I have an idea for you to build one
fast, email me offlist if you are interested.

Cheers, Ling SM

> I have had a look at the CUMP project, and the Pocket project.
> I like very much the CUMP project, and it gaves me an idea for the
programmable voltage supply.
> Really, the Pocket is nice, but I just want a simple device conected to a
computer...

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2001\05\29@013148 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman
picon face
> I've often though about a serial only in circuit universal programmer.
> Something that could be used for production as well as
> development. The hardware would be simpler than a full 48pin
> universal porgrammer. You would need only half a dozen or so lines
> like CLK,DATA_IN,DATA_OUT,RESET, /RESET,+5V, GND etc.
> The software part would probably be no less a task though. The
> physical connection could be a socket, like on the MPLAB ICD,
> connecting to custom cables for ICSP.

WISP does that, but only for a few PICs and the design is limited to PICs
that need only a few uA on MCLR. I don't feel the urge to extend WIPS beyond
the flash/eeprom PICs because for a JW the chip must be taken out of the
circuit anyway, so why bother iwth ICSP?

Wouter

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2001\05\29@020120 by Jim Robertson

flavicon
face
At 07:26 AM 29/05/01 +0200, you wrote:
>> I've often though about a serial only in circuit universal programmer.
>> Something that could be used for production as well as
>> development. The hardware would be simpler than a full 48pin
>> universal porgrammer. You would need only half a dozen or so lines
>> like CLK,DATA_IN,DATA_OUT,RESET, /RESET,+5V, GND etc.
>> The software part would probably be no less a task though. The
>> physical connection could be a socket, like on the MPLAB ICD,
>> connecting to custom cables for ICSP.
>
>WISP does that, but only for a few PICs and the design is limited to PICs
>that need only a few uA on MCLR. I don't feel the urge to extend WIPS beyond
>the flash/eeprom PICs because for a JW the chip must be taken out of the
>circuit anyway, so why bother iwth ICSP?
>
>Wouter

You haven't ever heard of OTP and SMD Pics? Lucky I have. ;-)

-Jim


NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS
RemoveMEnewfoundspam_OUTspamKILLspampipeline.com.au
http://www.new-elect.com
MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.

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2001\05\29@033016 by Vasile Surducan

flavicon
face
On Tue, 29 May 2001, wouter van ooijen & floortje hanneman wrote:

>
> WISP does that, but only for a few PICs and the design is limited to PICs
> that need only a few uA on MCLR. I don't feel the urge to extend WIPS beyond
> the flash/eeprom PICs because for a JW the chip must be taken out of the
> circuit anyway, so why bother iwth ICSP?
>

 My offer about projecting pcb for your wisp is still valable !
for free of course [some guys are still hobbyst, more than business mans ]
 Wisp version from last Jal distribution doesn't work with wloader,
 fatal: linestatus: 00000010
Vasile

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2001\05\29@052243 by Andy Jancura

picon face
Hello guys,

when we talk about universal programmer, how about one universal for all
that types of IC using ICSP, JTAG, SPI or what ever. I have at the moment
one for PIC, one for serial eeprom, one for Texas, one for Xilinx and one
for Lattice. And would like have just one as all this types have basically
the same signals like clock, data, reset and prog or programming voltage.

I thought about one configurable with PIC inside, so when I need to program
for example Xilinx just set the switches and it behaves like the
download-cable from Xilinx.

I miss on Pocket the possibility to program other types from PIC and serial
eeproms.

What do think?

Andrej
_________________________________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

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2001\05\29@081357 by Brent Brown

picon face
> >> I've often though about a serial only in circuit universal programmer.
> >> Something that could be used for production as well as
> >> development. The hardware would be simpler than a full 48pin
> >> universal porgrammer. You would need only half a dozen or so lines
> >> like CLK,DATA_IN,DATA_OUT,RESET, /RESET,+5V, GND etc.
> >> The software part would probably be no less a task though. The
> >> physical connection could be a socket, like on the MPLAB ICD,
> >> connecting to custom cables for ICSP.
> >
> >WISP does that, but only for a few PICs and the design is limited to PICs
> >that need only a few uA on MCLR. I don't feel the urge to extend WIPS beyond
> >the flash/eeprom PICs because for a JW the chip must be taken out of the
> >circuit anyway, so why bother iwth ICSP?
> >
> >Wouter
>
> You haven't ever heard of OTP and SMD Pics? Lucky I have. ;-)

I guess I'm kind of looking to the future where most micro's will be
flash, ICSP, and SMD. I think these are reasonable assumptions
(arguable I'm sure).

And...

> when we talk about universal programmer, how about one universal for
> all that types of IC using ICSP, JTAG, SPI or what ever. I have at the
> moment one for PIC, one for serial eeprom, one for Texas, one for
> Xilinx and one for Lattice. And would like have just one as all this
> types have basically the same signals like clock, data, reset and prog
> or programming voltage.

Yes exactly, why not indeed? And ICD while we're at it, and serial
bootloader.

BTW I'm not promising to build it...but will offer help to anyone
ambitious enough. I just think it's desireable and more feasable than
a universal parallel programmer. Maybe someone sells these
already, or else they are secretly developing it comercially...just
remember less than $100 please.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  RemoveMEbrent.brownTakeThisOuTspamspamclear.net.nz

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2001\05\29@115430 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> You haven't ever heard of OTP and SMD Pics? Lucky I have. ;-)

Yes, but I am a hobbyist with typical hybbist level tools (mainly
protoboards), so I use no SMD. For the JW's ICSP has no advantage (for me)
and I don't do large series, so for the occasional OTP I use the PicStart.

Wouter

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2001\05\29@115444 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
>   My offer about projecting pcb for your wisp is still valable !
> for free of course [some guys are still hobbyst, more than business mans ]
>   Wisp version from last Jal distribution doesn't work with wloader,
>   fatal: linestatus: 00000010
> Vasile

You are always free to do that, but I think the WISP circuit should be
redesigned with a max232 first. I got too many problem reports about the
'simple' serial interface. Maybe that only proves how often the circuit has
been build? I'll look into the wisp/wloader problem.

Wouter

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2001\05\29@120631 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> ...just remember less than $100 please.

That's rediculous!  I guess there is no point in developing such a product
if even the main proponent of it is only willing to spend $100 to buy it.
We can all go home now and hopefully stop wasting time on this.


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, EraseMEolinspamspamspamBeGoneembedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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2001\05\29@191032 by Brent Brown

picon face
> > ...just remember less than $100 please.
>
> That's rediculous!  I guess there is no point in developing such a product
> if even the main proponent of it is only willing to spend $100 to buy it.
> We can all go home now and hopefully stop wasting time on this.

I am at home.

I don't want to wate any time on this either - but still think the
market (ie, us) is begging for a product. On second thoughts I
would pay more if it actually existed and was good as it could be,
probably up to US$150 (NZ$350).

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  RemoveMEbrent.brownKILLspamspamclear.net.nz

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2001\05\29@192517 by Jeff Frohwein

flavicon
face
> > That's rediculous!  I guess there is no point in developing such a product
> > if even the main proponent of it is only willing to spend $100 to buy it.
> > We can all go home now and hopefully stop wasting time on this.

Possibly a better response would be to point out why such a low price
would be a waste of time. And define what would be a non-rediculous minimum
price point for such a product. I'm not sure what is to be learned from a
"That's rediculous!" response. But... maybe I'm missing something.

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2001\05\29@214033 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

flavicon
face
> Possibly a better response would be to point out why such a low price
>would be a waste of time. And define what would be a non-rediculous minimum
>price point for such a product. I'm not sure what is to be learned from a
>"That's rediculous!" response. But... maybe I'm missing something.

       Hmmm Jeff, I'm the one who is always wrong, but I'll try anyway.

       Imagine a good 40/44 pin programmer. You should use at least 5 switches to EACH pin. Earth, +5VCC, Tri-state, +6, +12, +21. 5 sources to 44 pins equals 220 switching things. If you tell me that not all the pins goes to every tension, which I'd agree with you (but wouldn't be an "universal programmer"), lets say a hundred switchings? Analog ones, since you need +6, +12 and +21??? How do you think it's easily done??? Open EVERY good programmer, from the Xeltek and Hi-lo basic systems to SuperPro and All-11, and you will see LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of transistors and relays (!!!). Maybe they know their business. If you find something more efficient, tell them, and you got a nice job.

       "cheap" programmers use 8255 and "some" analog pins, to create aderess/data (8255) and pgm (usually only +12VCC with uln2803s). It works. But don't work for a "universal" programmer. For pic, it doesn't work. Neither for BPROMs if I'm not mistaken. See the PB10 as a great example: Program EPROMs (from 2716), EEPROMs, FLASHs but don't test ICs, don't program PICs, don't program Serial EPROMs, and uses an adapter for each complicated device (even MCS-51 microcontrollers). Cheap price, limited use.

       I'd prefer with my good old Kenwood 40MHz Scope and the (not so good) old Xeltek Unipro. They work out of the box, are relatively cheap and gives you repeatable results. It's hard to put your money on something you "think" will work, and don't work after hours of building and debugging. Been there, done that.

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2001\05\29@223537 by Jeff DeMaagd

flavicon
face
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Frohwein <jeffSTOPspamspamspam_OUTDEVRS.COM>


> > > That's rediculous!  I guess there is no point in developing such a
product
> > > if even the main proponent of it is only willing to spend $100 to buy
it.
> > > We can all go home now and hopefully stop wasting time on this.
>
>  Possibly a better response would be to point out why such a low price
> would be a waste of time. And define what would be a non-rediculous
minimum
> price point for such a product. I'm not sure what is to be learned from a
> "That's rediculous!" response. But... maybe I'm missing something.

Maybe you could build such a device and try to prove them wrong?  From what
I gather, the programmer market isn't huge and certainly not large enough to
support the volume that's needed to bring the price anywhere near that
level.

In my catalogs universal programmers quickly run to $2k and beyond, I'm
inclined to say that there's probably a good reason, particularly when you
have to be compatible with so many variations of incompatible devices.  The
PIC line is huge and has lots of variations, then you'd throw in the mess
all sorts of parallel and serial EPROMs, EEPROMs, Flash memory, other entire
microcontroller families.  Just the thread concerning the minute but
important differences between the 16F84 and 16F84A devices should be a
wake-up call showing that this isn't a normal weekend project.  As I
understand it, the -A devices have some differences in the programming that
make it such you can't simply use the non-A protocol.  Now imagine gathering
info and performing thoughrough testing on other uC families.

There also are not that many hardware programmers that are willing to design
and program for such a unit and charge so little for the effort it takes to
make it.

I know people will buy them at that price, but I don't feel it's realistic
for people to expect someone to build them for that price.

Jeff
demaagd.com

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2001\05\29@233429 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Jeff DeMaagd wrote:
............
>I know people will buy them at that price, but I don't feel it's realistic
>for people to expect someone to build them for that price.
>

Notwithstanding the use of the "R-word" [realistic], which so
many have taken exception to, but ........ by far,

the most intelligent thing anyone has said yet on this thread !!!!

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2001\05\30@005237 by Jeff Frohwein

flavicon
face
Hi Jeff,

Jeff DeMaagd wrote:
> >  Possibly a better response would be to point out why such a low price
> > would be a waste of time. And define what would be a non-rediculous
> minimum
> > price point for such a product. I'm not sure what is to be learned from a
> > "That's rediculous!" response. But... maybe I'm missing something.
>
> Maybe you could build such a device and try to prove them wrong?

I am fully aware of the expenses involved in elaborate universal programmers.
They are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. To say the least...

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2001\05\30@010635 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
   Imagine a good 40/44 pin programmer. You should use at least 5
   switches to EACH pin. Earth, +5VCC, Tri-state, +6, +12, +21. 5
   sources to 44 pins equals 220 switching things.

You could do like the Neeham's EMP20 (?) I have, and route pins from the
device socket to half of a SIMM socket, and the other (less than) half of
the simm socket to your voltage sources/switches.  Plug in a PCB that looks
like a simm with the right cross connects for each chip (if you're halfway
clever, for each family of chips.  If you're quite clever, you can probably
get more than one family per simm "personality module."  Note that the PM
is JUST a PCB...

OTOH, I think a basic rule is that your product shouldn't be so cheap that
people who don't have a clue how to use it buy it anyway and tie up all
your time doing "customer support."  This sort of customer is really better
served by the REALLY cheap single-popular-chip programmer such as those
available for the 16F84.  Open source things tend to solve this by not
having any support, or putting the support burden on "the community at
large."  This is a solution, but it's not a GOOD solution.  Even serious
hobbyists reach the point where they'd rather spend the $450 for a
Needham's programmer or equivilent where the chance are good that they'll
get a "download new code from here" answer when they ask for support for a
new chip, rather than "George was working on that, but he got the flu and
then his day job got tough so there hasn't been any progress in a while.
Can *you* program?"

Open source is neat, but it doesn't (and can't) solve all the worlds'
problems.

BillW

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2001\05\30@013204 by Vasile Surducan

flavicon
face
On Tue, 29 May 2001, wouter van ooijen & floortje hanneman wrote:

> >   My offer about projecting pcb for your wisp is still valable !
> > for free of course [some guys are still hobbyst, more than business mans ]
> >   Wisp version from last Jal distribution doesn't work with wloader,
> >   fatal: linestatus: 00000010
> > Vasile
>
> You are always free to do that, but I think the WISP circuit should be
> redesigned with a max232 first. I got too many problem reports about the
> 'simple' serial interface. Maybe that only proves how often the circuit has
> been build? I'll look into the wisp/wloader problem.
>
 The simple serial interface works fine if you talk about the wloader
interface. Just with minor adjustements was tested on many ( really many!)
computers, cable lenght up to 1m . Redesign with any serial interface is
not a problem. ( max232-very expensive, GD75232-difficult to obtain, or
even 1488/1489 -the cheapest, but a +/- supply is requested, so one more
pic pin must be free for oscillator )
Vasile

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2001\05\30@090437 by michael brown

flavicon
face
> > > That's rediculous!  I guess there is no point in developing such a
product
> > > if even the main proponent of it is only willing to spend $100 to buy
it.
> > > We can all go home now and hopefully stop wasting time on this.

It's too bad that no one told microchip this when they had the
"hair-brained" idea to build a microprocessor with adc's, uart's, spi
interfaces, flash rom, eeprom, ram and only charge 2.00 for one.  Someone
should have given them the good sense to ask 200.00 for them, that way the
chips wouldn't have been wasted on inane concepts like light dimmers, toys,
environmental control systems and even the dreaded "detecting milk froth"
project.  I, for one, choose to take advice from more than one source.  I
suspect that microchip did the same.  Remember it was "ridiculous" idea to
build an electric light source, freeware Unix clone, wireless
communications, and a "personal" computer.  After all the world was going to
need only three mainframe computers to meet all of its data processing needs
(according to another self proclaimed expert).

Michael Brown
Instant Net Solutions
http://www.KillerPCs.net

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2001\05\30@093711 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> It's too bad that no one told microchip this when they had the
> "hair-brained" idea to build a microprocessor with adc's, uart's, spi
> interfaces, flash rom, eeprom, ram and only charge 2.00 for one.

What are the units of 2.00 here?
Euros, Pounds, Punts NT$ (please yes).
And which MChip beauty is so cheap?

> After all the world was going to
> need only three mainframe computers to meet all of its data processing
needs
> (according to another self proclaimed expert).

It was IBM !!!
(And I think it was  few more than 3, but not many).


RM

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2001\05\30@102833 by Karl Seibert

flavicon
face
After a quick look through the Digi-key catalog, the
cheapest PIC I found was an OTP PIC12C508A for $US 1.58
or $US 0.94 each if you buy 100.

Karl


Russell McMahon writes:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\30@201942 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>communications, and a "personal" computer.  After all the world was going to
>need only three mainframe computers to meet all of its data processing needs
>(according to another self proclaimed expert).

       Wasn't six?

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2001\05\30@203910 by Tony Nixon

flavicon
picon face
Hi all,

I just thought I'd put in a few words to the discussion.

If I were to look at the specs and devices available from a commercial
programmer, and then I had thoughts on creating a copy for free, and had
delusions of matching that companies database, manpower and resources, I
would hope my missus locks me up in a straight jacket and throws away
the key. She may as well, my life as I know it would be over just the
same.

My own thoughts about a universal programmer is that it is probably not
achievable by any one person like myself. From my limited experience, I
have already found that it takes an awful lot of time being involved in
creating anything even remotely close to that goal. It's not just a
matter of creating the thing, it's also having the drive and the time to
maintain it. I guess it also means being perceived as being able to do
that long term for it to be successful.

I guess the initial "gung ho - in we go" attitude dies away when the
enormity of the problem starts to arise out of the settled dust and it
becomes near impossible to juggle time to devote to the project.

The Engine and the Pocket are attempts at open programmers, but they are
by no means the solution.

I know the Engine is being used because of feedback but it's
interesting, as Dan points out, that no-one (to my knowledge) has even
attempted to add to the list of programming code modules for other
devices. I started the ball rolling with a dozen or so but it fell in a
hole and stopped.

My guess is that on the bottom line most people don't want to bother
with the nitty gritties of debugging code and spending time developing
it either. I can't see a company telling 'Fred' to stop what he's doing
and spend a week to create a module that programs a Dallas thermometer
and then make it available on the web for free. I really don't think
most hobby types want to do it either if it interferes with thier own
projects. Then you have to contend with - oh man, is it the programmer
or my project that doesn't work...

I can spend some time adding to the data base, but I can't personally
afford to spend the money buying a couple of devices from who knows how
many companies and then figure out how they work, write code for them,
then test the chips in real projects to make sure they do what they do
before posting the code.

This all get's back to a group effort, but as history shows, not many
are willing to engage in it long term. It's got to be a labour of love
for it to work, not a quest for money and that may be the killer.

For my part, it is a lobour of love. I get satisfaction out of creating
something that people may find useful. Overall, I still only make enough
to keep the web site up and running and pay all the bills that seem to
come out of the woodwork. I've managed to upgrade my computer which has
given me more opportunities in being creative and whatever is left I
consider a bonus - and so does the tax man. If I was to add it all up,
I'm probably earning about 10 cents an hour.

Software for these projects is the easy part. Common sense, imagination
and time. Hardware is harder because it takes money and you have to be
prepared to gamble it away.

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Best regards

Tony

mICros
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2001\05\30@230956 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>I just thought I'd put in a few words to the discussion.

       Nicest and smartest words we've got in this tread Tony, congratulations :o)

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2001\05\31@011040 by Lee Jones

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> What I have thought is having 2 analog sources, ground, and
> digital signal on each pin.  For switching between them, I
> have thought on an analog multiplexer (4->1), and then a
> switching matrix is not required.

Take a look at Needham's Electronics (http://www.needhams.com)
line of device programmers for another solution.

They feed the various signals to different pins for various
parts using small jumper boards.  This way you have a solid
Vcc, ground, etc.  And you can reduce the number of expensive
analog drivers to the minimum number needed; the jumper board
routes them to the right pins based on the device or family
being programmed (or tested).
                                               Lee Jones

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2001\05\31@014808 by Tom Messenger

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At 10:37 AM 5/31/01 +1000, TONY NIXON wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>I just thought I'd put in a few words to the discussion.

---some stuff snipped out---

>I guess the initial "gung ho - in we go" attitude dies away when the
>enormity of the problem starts to arise out of the settled dust and it
>becomes near impossible to juggle time to devote to the project.

---lots snipped---

>This all get's back to a group effort, but as history shows, not many
>are willing to engage in it long term. It's got to be a labour of love
>for it to work, not a quest for money and that may be the killer.
>
>For my part, it is a labour of love.

Here's what The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Third Edition  © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company has to say about that
curious phrase "gung ho":

       gung ho (gùng´ ho´) adjective, slang.
       Extremely enthusiastic and dedicated.
       [Earlier Gung Ho, motto of certain U.S. marine forces         in Asia during World War II, from Chinese (Mandarin)         gonghé, to WORK TOGETHER (short for gongyèhézuòshè,         Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society) :         gong, work + hé, together.]

       (from my online dictionary, capital letter emphasis, mine)

Tony couldn't have said it better. Gung ho, indeed. It originally meant "to
work together"; and as Tony pointed out, not enough are willing to go for
it in the long term.  Of course, software projects like the 'Universal
programmer' can't really be distributed very well among the masses like
Linux; rather, it's something that requires one person to do the lions
share of the work. And a lions share it is... as many have recently pointed
out on this list.
For myself, I am *REALLY GRATEFUL* to Tony for making his ROMZAP software
freely available to anyone who wants to download it.  Some people just
naturally write working code right out of their fingertips into the
computer. Others like me need to burn their pic-chips 1000 times to get a
program working. The idea of having to buy 3 or 4 UVEPROM's and wait 20
minutes for them to get erased just doesn't work for a dumb analog guy like
me.  If Tony charges for some of his products, he damn well has earned it.
For me, I can type come code changes, click my mouse 3 or 4 times and bang,
another version is downloaded into my target system. No, this isn't how
professional coders do it but as I said above, I am *REALLY GRATEFUL* to
Tony for making this available.  If you haven't tried it, check it out; you
might really like it too.

Thanks Tony!

Best regards,
Tom M.

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2001\05\31@040530 by Tony Nixon

flavicon
picon face
Tom Messenger wrote:

> Some people just
> naturally write working code right out of their fingertips into the
> computer. Others like me need to burn their pic-chips 1000 times to get a
> program working.

Don't you worry, I'm one of the ones that take many tries before it
'seems' to work as it should. I'm surprised my F series proto chips are
still working with the number of reprogramming cycles they have gone
through.

UV erasable - fooey!!

Give me flash anytime :-)

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2001\05\31@042021 by dpharris

picon face
I'd like to add my voice to the appreciation for what Tony has provided us.  If
I had more time, I'd contribute too, but I am busily trying to get my model
railroad going which includes track-laying, structure-building,
scenery-building, as well as building the PIC-based control systems - so I'm
spread pretty thin.

Way-to-go Tony :-)

David

Tom Messenger wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\05\31@052044 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
Just to add my 2 pennies to this discussion, I had a problem with a
so-called universal programmer of commercial origin. A particular line of
EPROM's I was trying to program had high failure rates when it came to the
verify cycle. I kept the chips that had failures and one day when I had some
spare time (or it might have been that we were running out of chips and I
desperately needed some) I got stuck in to investigate the problem. It
turned out that the programming pulse waveform was nothing like the timing
WRT the other waveforms that the datasheet called out. I ended up building a
little circuit on matrix board using some one-shots that timed according to
the data sheet, and an address counter so I could copy from one EPROM to
another. The result was I could now verify the "faulty" devices as good.

It appeared that the original testing worked OK on the devices they had
tested with, but a process change by the EPROM manufacturer meant that the
waveforms had to be followed exactly for correct programming of newer
batches. It is this sort of problem which plays havoc with any attempt at a
hobbyist universal programmer, as it is always "someone else's design" that
needs fixing. Witness the problems some people are having (as reported on
this list) with the 16F84A chips compared to 16F84 chips.

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2001\05\31@121502 by Dan Michaels

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Tony Nixon wrote:
...........>
>My own thoughts about a universal programmer is that it is probably not
>achievable by any one person like myself. From my limited experience, I
>have already found that it takes an awful lot of time being involved in
>creating anything even remotely close to that goal. It's not just a
>matter of creating the thing, it's also having the drive and the time to
>maintain it. I guess it also means being perceived as being able to do
>that long term for it to be successful.
..............
>

Fantastic - the voice of wisdom and experience. Tony, we thank you
- for MANY things.

Personally, I think the open-source movement is a great idea, and
has a place in the overall scheme of things.

What I do not think is so great is some people on piclist trying
to recruit others to do things, like giving away source code and
spending tons of time working for free, when they are not willing
to do so themselves.

And what I think is absolutely miserable is some people on piclist
threatening others that, if they do not make their source code
freely available, then piclist will hack it anyways.

For those who forget or missed it, this happened several weeks
ago on another thread regarding open-source. This type of
crapola has to stop.

cheers,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
========================

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2001\05\31@164540 by Chris Carr

flavicon
face
> Just to add my 2 pennies to this discussion, I had a problem with a
> so-called universal programmer of commercial origin. A particular line of
> EPROM's I was trying to program had high failure rates when it came to the
> verify cycle. I kept the chips that had failures and one day when I had
some
> spare time (or it might have been that we were running out of chips and I
> desperately needed some) I got stuck in to investigate the problem. It
> turned out that the programming pulse waveform was nothing like the timing
> WRT the other waveforms that the datasheet called out. I ended up building
a
> little circuit on matrix board using some one-shots that timed according
to
> the data sheet, and an address counter so I could copy from one EPROM to
> another. The result was I could now verify the "faulty" devices as good.
>
> It appeared that the original testing worked OK on the devices they had
> tested with, but a process change by the EPROM manufacturer meant that the
> waveforms had to be followed exactly for correct programming of newer
> batches. It is this sort of problem which plays havoc with any attempt at
a
> hobbyist universal programmer, as it is always "someone else's design"
that
> needs fixing. Witness the problems some people are having (as reported on
> this list) with the 16F84A chips compared to 16F84 chips.
>
> --
What you describe above is the best scenario Alan. A considerably worse
scenario in a Commercial environment is a programmer which does not follow
the chip manufacturer's programming algorithm but does result in
a verified chip. However, it can result in a cell capacitor charge which is
marginal. Correctly charged the manufacturer may guarantee a cell charge
retention of say 10 years. With a marginal charge, Murphy's Law more of less
guarantees the failure of shipped equipment within the warranty period due
to one or more EPROM cells flipping state.

Now within 10 months of being shipped, equipment starts being returned as
faulty and the fault proves to be due to flipping cells in the EPROM. It is
found that the programmer does not conform to the chip manufacturers
algorithm.
These are the first units shipped out of a total of over 10000.

What does one do?

There is the Douglas Adams approach : Don't Panic, put on the Peril
Sensitive Sunglasses, and hope that all the other units fail after 1 year
and 1 day. (i.e. Out of Warranty Period)

or one could sell the business quickly at a knock down price due to ill
health or any other excuse you can think of

or one could wait for the inevitable bankruptcy

Chris Carr
Owner of a pair of Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.
The best investment I ever made.

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'[PIC]: Universal programmer'
2001\06\02@203428 by James Newton
face picon face
Seems like that would be a good place to start.
James Newton (PICList Admin #3) RemoveMEjamesnewton@spam@spamspamBeGonepiclist.com 1-619-652-0593

Brent Brown wrote on 01-5-28 14:41:

Late entry on this thread:

I've often though about a serial only in circuit universal programmer. Something that could be used for production as well as development. The hardware would be simpler than a full 48pin universal porgrammer. You would need only half a dozen or so lines like CLK,DATA_IN,DATA_OUT,RESET, /RESET,+5V, GND etc. The software part would probably be no less a task though. The physical connection could be a socket, like on the MPLAB ICD, connecting to custom cables for ICSP.


Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  .....brent.brown@spam@spamEraseMEclear.net.nz

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2001\06\04@040849 by 1?Q?Carlos_Nieves_=D3nega?=

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face
Hi,
I've made a small serial programmer now.
It will be necessary to add two more lines. DEVICE_CLOCK, TEST, and MCLR. MCLR is used in pic16f84, for example, and the other two lines are used in pic17c7XX devices, for example.

Carlos


03/06/01 2:28:23, James Newton <.....jamesnewtonRemoveMEspamMASSMIND.ORG> escribió:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\06\05@102652 by James Newton

face picon face
Bill, I've been thinking about what you said ... "This sort of customer is really better served by the REALLY cheap single-popular-chip programmer such as those available for the 16F84. "

That is a very good point... Quite true. Perhaps I should focus more on what "that sort" (low budget hobbiest / student)  is going to do assuming they get somewhere with thier 16F84 or'877. After they cobble together a Tait or ROMZAP and manage to do a blinking LED, the "cheapic" or other tutorials and a few other things, what guidance can we give them on good steps to take next?
I think that being able to see what is going on in the chip beyond simulation (free ICD, Stickley register monitor, ROMZAP's pseudo breakpoints) is critical to any larger project especially where external io is involved.

Hooking up an LCD controller and a low cost panel and some switches etc... to build a basic DVM / pulse or frequency counter / logic probe / bench assistant would be a next step if used or low cost commercial versions were not available.

At what point is it necessary to program other chips? Which other chips are most important? How can a Tait programmed '84 or ROMZAPped '877 be used to program them?

Are these better questions for myself and others who wish to help the hobbiest or student or who are hobbiests or students to focus on?

Perhaps by focusing on these most needed items we can have a very low cost "second generation" programmer that miqht expand slowly into a more, but perhaps not totally, universal design.

I guess my first pic (sic) would be the 12c508 class, then the 16c54 both to fit low cost, small projects.
I'd like to hear from others.

James Newton (PICList Admin #3) spamBeGonejamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@piclist.com 1-619-652-0593


William Chops Westfield wrote on 01-5-29 22:16:

   Imagine a good 40/44 pin programmer. You should use at least 5  switches to EACH pin. Earth, +5VCC, Tri-state, +6, +12, +21. 5  sources to 44 pins equals 220 switching things.

You could do like the Neeham's EMP20 (?) I have, and route pins from the device socket to half of a SIMM socket, and the other (less than) half of the simm socket to your voltage sources/switches.  Plug in a PCB that looks like a simm with the right cross connects for each chip (if you're halfway clever, for each family of chips.  If you're quite clever, you can probably get more than one family per simm "personality module."  Note that the PM is JUST a PCB...

OTOH, I think a basic rule is that your product shouldn't be so cheap that people who don't have a clue how to use it buy it anyway and tie up all your time doing "customer support."  This sort of customer is really better served by the REALLY cheap single-popular-chip programmer such as those available for the 16F84.  Open source things tend to solve this by not having any support, or putting the support burden on "the community at large."  This is a solution, but it's not a GOOD solution.  Even serious hobbyists reach the point where they'd rather spend the $450 for a Needham's programmer or equivilent where the chance are good that they'll get a "download new code from here" answer when they ask for support for a new chip, rather than "George was working on that, but he got the flu and then his day job got tough so there hasn't been any progress in a while. Can *you* program?"

Open source is neat, but it doesn't (and can't) solve all the worlds' problems.

BillW

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2001\06\05@103454 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
James et al.,

I strongly believe that the '87x series with some sort of ICD is _the_ way
to go for the hobbiest. For one-off (or even ten-off) types of projects it
is very reasonable in price.

It has nearly every peripheral known to the PIC world, so outgrowing it
while still being in the PIC range is not too likely.

When 18F chips become available they should probably replace the F87x in
this role because of their simpler architecture (re: banking/paging, etc).

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2001\06\05@130556 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
   Bill, I've been thinking about what you said ... "This sort of customer
   is really better served by the REALLY cheap single-popular-chip
   programmer such as those available for the 16F84. "

   That is a very good point... Quite true. Perhaps I should focus more
   on what "that sort" (low budget hobbiest / student) is going to do
   assuming they get somewhere with thier 16F84 or'877. After they cobble
   together a Tait or ROMZAP and manage to do a blinking LED, the
   "cheapic" or other tutorials and a few other things, what guidance can
   we give them on good steps to take next?

   I think that being able to see what is going on in the chip beyond
   simulation (free ICD, Stickley register monitor, ROMZAP's pseudo
   breakpoints) is critical to any larger project especially where
   external io is involved.

I dunno.  Tony's stuff is pretty amazing, although I haven't used it a
lot yet.  Perhaps some PC-side tools in that vein aimed more at the
intermediate user, rather than the beginner?


   At what point is it necessary to program other chips? Which other
   chips are most important? How can a Tait programmed '84 or ROMZAPped
   '877 be used to program them?


I dunno.  Looks to me like you can go a long ways on PIC16F8xx chips,
and it's hard to imagine a (modern) chip that you couldn't program with
a programmed 8xx.  Maybe what you want is a series of pin connection
diagrams and downloadable (via romzap?) 8xx code images (based on common
libraries, of course)  Rather than having particularly smart or
configurable programmer "firmware", you just reprogram the programmer
from the ground up each time you change chip types...  Hmm...

BillW

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2001\06\05@150607 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I strongly believe that the '87x series with some sort of ICD is _the_ way
> to go for the hobbiest. For one-off (or even ten-off) types of projects it
> is very reasonable in price.
>
> It has nearly every peripheral known to the PIC world, so outgrowing it
> while still being in the PIC range is not too likely.
>
> When 18F chips become available they should probably replace the F87x in
> this role because of their simpler architecture (re: banking/paging, etc).

I totally agree.  For now I think the official hobbiest entry PIC should be
the 16F876.  Once someone is comfortable with that, it is easy to move up
and down the product line.  The low end 12Cxxx chips only make sense when
you need a lot of them, board space is very tight, etc.  These aren't issues
for a hobbiest starting his first PIC project.


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, .....olinspamRemoveMEembedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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2001\06\05@151017 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> I totally agree.  For now I think the official hobbiest entry PIC should
be
> the 16F876

I think the 16F628 makes more sense as a low-buget entry. For a higher
budget I would preferd the 16F877.

Wouter

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2001\06\05@163652 by Jeff DeMaagd

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----- Original Message -----
From: wouter van ooijen & floortje hanneman <RemoveMEwfKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTXS4ALL.NL>

> > I totally agree.  For now I think the official hobbiest entry PIC should
> be the 16F876
>
> I think the 16F628 makes more sense as a low-buget entry. For a higher
> budget I would prefered the 16F877.

How much cheaper is the F628 vs. the F877? (BTW I can't find F628 in my
catalogs).  I don't know how much they cost in NL, but the F877s cost $10
USD in the US, compare that to the F84's $7 USD, I think that with the extra
pins versus the extra cost it is a bargain to go straight to the F877,
although I did have to spend a few minutes figuring out that certain
features were default enabled at startup that I didn't want.  The only big
downside is waiting to flash the entire 8k program space.

I actually started with a 12C672 as I couldn't get my 16F84s to work with an
external oscillator. I found out later I was being dumb but an internal osc.
cuts out a little bit of work and components.

I didn't know about Amtel's line or that they had 8 pin chips, I might have
tried them instead, they even have 8 pin chips with flash now, something I'd
like.

Jeff

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2001\06\05@180109 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
The F628 is a good choice -- but no ICD capability.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2001\06\05@180712 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I think the 16F628 makes more sense as a low-buget entry. For a higher
> budget I would preferd the 16F877.

But remember, you are only buying 1 or 2 or maybe 5 of them.  The 628 can't
do a lot of things the 876 can.  Since you can recycle these chips from
project to project it makes sense to get the more capable ones for only a
few dollars more once.  You'll spend more than the difference on making the
first board.


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, RemoveMEolinspam_OUTspamembedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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2001\06\05@183429 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> > > I totally agree.  For now I think the official hobbiest entry PIC
should
> > be the 16F876
> >
> > I think the 16F628 makes more sense as a low-buget entry. For a higher
> > budget I would prefered the 16F877.
>
> How much cheaper is the F628 vs. the F877? (BTW I can't find F628 in my
> catalogs).  I don't know how much they cost in NL, but the F877s cost $10
> USD in the US, compare that to the F84's $7 USD, I think that with the
extra
> pins versus the extra cost it is a bargain to go straight to the F877

When you are in a position to appriciate the "more bang for the buck" ratio
of the F877 fine, but I get mail (about Jal, because it is free) from quite
a lot of low-budget developers (I think it is not appropriate to call'm
hobbyists) for instance from India, where every dollarcent counts and the
time versus money choice can turn out very different compared to use
westernwers (if they can get a particular chip at all!). For prices check
for instance http://www.phanderson.com:
F628 $3.25
F84A $4.70 (so its usefull life is over, give way to the F628!)
F877 $8.50 (definitely the best choice *if you can afford it*)

Wouter

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2001\06\05@202040 by Andy N1YEW

picon face
can the 628 be programmed with an 84 programmer like LUDI?

andy
----- Original Message -----
From: "wouter van ooijen & floortje hanneman" <wfspam_OUTspamXS4ALL.NL>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC]: Universal programmer


> > > > I totally agree.  For now I think the official hobbiest entry PIC
> should
> > > be the 16F876
> > >
> > > I think the 16F628 makes more sense as a low-buget entry. For a higher
> > > budget I would prefered the 16F877.
> >
> > How much cheaper is the F628 vs. the F877? (BTW I can't find F628 in my
> > catalogs).  I don't know how much they cost in NL, but the F877s cost
$10
> > USD in the US, compare that to the F84's $7 USD, I think that with the
> extra
> > pins versus the extra cost it is a bargain to go straight to the F877
>
> When you are in a position to appriciate the "more bang for the buck"
ratio
> of the F877 fine, but I get mail (about Jal, because it is free) from
quite
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