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'[PIC]: Using Picstart to program PIC16F877 in circ'
2001\01\30@154012 by Nicholas Irias

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The Microchip docs on ICSP recommend that the Promate be used to program the
flash chips rather than the Picstart.  Apparently the more expensive
programmer verifies writes at the extremes of the chip's rated Vcc range.

In practice, does the Picstart programmer work in this application, or is it
an unmitigated disaster?  I am interested in trying the newer flash chips,
but not interested enough to shell out for a $700 programmer before buying
my first chip.

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2001\01\30@155220 by M. Adam Davis

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What microchip says:
The picstart is fine for prototyping, testing and one-offs.  Verifying the
programming at the outer edges of vcc is a good idea for production work.

My own anecdotal comment:
I use the picstart with my 16f8xx chips and haven't had a single instance
where the programming didn't take.  If I were going to create many (20 or
more) I would consider building a programmer which verifies at multiple
voltages.

Don't worry about it for prototyping.

-Adam

Nicholas Irias wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\01\30@162626 by Mike Mansheim

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>I use the picstart with my 16f8xx chips and haven't had a single instance
>where the programming didn't take.

Do you use it for in-circuit programming, or just chips by themselves?
We've had some problems with the picstart not having enough "oomph" to
get the job done in-circuit, and have resorted to promates.
If you keep the cables short and are careful with the target board
design, you might be able to get by with the picstart.
I am in the process of attempting to learn exactly what "careful" means
here, but one thing I _highly_ recommend at this point:
ground RB3 if you aren't using it, or provide a means to temporarily
ground it during programming.  With our target boards, the need for this
varies, and seems to depend on the load on Vcc - but when it is
necessary, it is a reproducible, demonstratable problem.

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2001\01\30@165920 by Bob Ammerman

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Microchip, like many other vendors, specifies there parts across a range of
voltages, temperatures, etc.

In order for their specifications to be 'binding', you have to verify
programming at extremes of Vdd. This is because at low Vdd a zero might look
like a one, while at high Vdd a one may look like a zero (or do I have those
reversed?).

In reality you will almost certainly properly burn the chip fine with the
Picstart, its just that you can't go back to Mchp and complain if it then
fails in the field.

There is another issue when doing ICSP: The Picstart doesn't really supply
very much Vcc current, and this can give you trouble if you are trying to
power the target from the programmer.

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


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Subject: [PIC]: Using Picstart to program PIC16F877 in circuit


> The Microchip docs on ICSP recommend that the Promate be used to program
the
> flash chips rather than the Picstart.  Apparently the more expensive
> programmer verifies writes at the extremes of the chip's rated Vcc range.
>
> In practice, does the Picstart programmer work in this application, or is
it
> an unmitigated disaster?  I am interested in trying the newer flash chips,
> but not interested enough to shell out for a $700 programmer before buying
> my first chip.
>
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>
>

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2001\01\30@212258 by Roman Black

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Nicholas Irias wrote:
>
> The Microchip docs on ICSP recommend that the Promate be used to program the
> flash chips rather than the Picstart.  Apparently the more expensive
> programmer verifies writes at the extremes of the chip's rated Vcc range.
>
> In practice, does the Picstart programmer work in this application, or is it
> an unmitigated disaster?  I am interested in trying the newer flash chips,
> but not interested enough to shell out for a $700 programmer before buying
> my first chip.


Hi Nicholas, I use the Picstart Plus for programming
all the 16Fxxx series ICSP with no problem. The Picstart
only verifies at 5v. I always run my PICs from 5v
so it works fine.

This only becomes an issue if you need to run at less
than 5v. Even so, you could program your chips at 5v
and then run test them in your application at 3.3v
(for example) to test them. This would porbably work
if you did not need to produce a commercial product.
:o)
-Roman

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2001\01\31@013645 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> My own anecdotal comment:
> I use the picstart with my 16f8xx chips and haven't had a single instance
> where the programming didn't take.  If I were going to create many (20 or
> more) I would consider building a programmer which verifies at multiple
> voltages.
>
> Don't worry about it for prototyping.

My homebuild programmer (16x84-based, programs 16x84 and 16f877) does
multiple-voltage verification (aka production programming), but I never use
the feature, nor did I ever had a badly programmed chip. But I might simply
have not noticed it, because all my (hobby) stuff runs from 7805's at room
temeperature.

Wouter

http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/wisp

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