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'[PIC] Comparison of cheaper USB PIC programmers'
2007\10\02@014306 by Xiaofan Chen

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>From : http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=283491
What is your opinion on my classfication of USB PIC programmers?
I know there are some good serial based PIC programmers like
PICStart+ and Wisp628A but I think USB based counterparts
are better.

As someone who has used PICKit 1, PICkit 2, ICD2, Promate II and
Promate III and a follower of PICkit 2, I find it interesting that people
still want to create yet another simple USB programmer.

Anyway, here are my classification of USB PIC programmers. I might
miss many programmers in the lists but it pretty much show you the
pictures. After class 3, then there are many high end programmers
from Data I/O, BP or similar for mass production.

****************
Class 1: Simple USB programmers (not as good as PICkit 2 and
Olin's USBprog):
1. picsquirt
http://www.p10link.net/plugwash/picsquirt/

2. GTP USB lite (somewhat like a USB version of Wouter's
WISP628A)
http://www.hobbypic.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=35

****************
Class 2: Good for personal and lab use
1. PICKit 2, good and cheap, supports many PICs and double
as a debugger.

2. Another good USB programmer is the Amadeus. The author
is aparently very knowledgeable about PIC programming specifications.
Not many people understand it as thoughly as him. Olin may be one
of them.
http://home.arcor.de/bernhard.michelis/

3. USBprog is a kind of higher-end PICkit 2 in terms of hardware
functionality. USBprog hits a good spot between PICkit 2 and
Promate III but I find its chip support quite limitted compared to
PICKit 2. And for normal people, an external 5V supply and
PICkit 2 perhaps is almost as good as a USBprog.

4. MPLAB ICD2
Comaprison of PICKit 2 and ICD2
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=282776

5. GTP-USB+ with WinPIC800
http://www.winpic800.com/index.php?lang=en
The author is certainly another PIC programmer expert.
Take note that WinPIC800 supports many cheap programmers
but I am only talking about GTP-USB+ here.

****************
Class 3: low quantity production quality programmer

After class 2 then you have higher-end USB programmers
like Promate III and SoftLog ICP2. SoftLog ICP2 seems to
be a serious contender to PM3 at much lower cost. Between
USBProg and Promate III, there are still quite some good gaps.
SoftLog ICP2 is a good attempt. Olin's Proprog (not USB)
might be good but I find SoftLog ICP2 more attaractive (integrated
with MPLAB and supports more PICs).

www.microchipdirect.com/ProductDetails.aspx?Catalog=BuyMicrochip&Category=Programmers&mid=13

2007\10\02@031830 by Per Linne

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Hi,

I use CCS' MachX.Consider it to be class 3.

I does not need MPLAB to work.
I has a "start programming" button on it.
It automatically identifies the chip you put in it.
(Provided the chip belongs to the identifiable ones.)
It has ICP connector.
It can double as an ICD.
It has variable VDD.
It is USB-powered.
It is in a nice box.
It integrates with CCS' IDE, which I think is
far better than MPLAB (with the exception that
it doesn't support my MPLAB ICE 2000).

I love it.

PerL



{Original Message removed}

2007\10\02@044752 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/2/07, Per Linne <spam_OUTper.linneTakeThisOuTspamswipnet.se> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I use CCS' MachX.Consider it to be class 3.
>
> I does not need MPLAB to work.
> I has a "start programming" button on it.
> It automatically identifies the chip you put in it.
> (Provided the chip belongs to the identifiable ones.)
> It has ICP connector.
> It can double as an ICD.
> It has variable VDD.
> It is USB-powered.
> It is in a nice box.
> It integrates with CCS' IDE, which I think is
> far better than MPLAB (with the exception that
> it doesn't support my MPLAB ICE 2000).
>

Nice one with Linux support as well. At US$199,
it is kind of the upper-end of Class II and lower
end of Class III. Seems to be like a ICD2 and PS+
combined. Quite nice.

However I hear many negative reviews of CCS
C compiler.

Xiaofan

2007\10\02@060028 by Per Linne

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That is because you listen to the wrong people. ;-)

I have used it for 10 years and  I have not had any
problems that have been worse than with other software
products. I knew assembly programming with PIC:s
rather well when I started to use CCS C and I was
careful not to challenge its capabilities, but rather
used what I found it was good for. Besides I continuously
buy their maintenance and hence I get upgrades whenever
they occur.

PerL

----- Original Message -----
From: "Xiaofan Chen" <.....xiaofancKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Comparison of cheaper USB PIC programmers
>
>
> However I hear many negative reviews of CCS
> C compiler.
>
> Xiaofan
> --

2007\10\02@080656 by Bob Axtell
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Per Linne wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I like DIY Electronics' K182 and K128, no MMPLAB needed. It doesn't
support many recent PIC devices. But it can stand alone as a programmer,
and is VERY cheap.

--Bob A

2007\10\02@085357 by Matt Pobursky

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On Tue, 2 Oct 2007 16:47:51 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I think the negative reviews of the CCS C compiler are highly overblown.
I've been using PCWH (the Windows IDE/C Compiler) for the last several
years pretty much exclusively for all my PIC development work.

I like having one compiler that works for all the PICs from 12/14/16
through the 18F families (something Microchip still doesn't have). It makes
moving code up or down through different PIC devices very easy. CCS
recently added PIC24 capability although I haven't used it yet. The CCS
debugger is far, far, far superior to MPLAB (IMO) for debugging C code.
After using some of the better source level debuggers out there, MPLAB is
kinda lame. I'm a registered Microchip consultant and I can get Microchip
tools virtually for free and I prefer the CCS tools. No, the CCS C compiler
is not perfect but it's very good and has been for quite some time.

I also have a MachX programmer/debugger and it has worked well for me too.
It's solid and well designed. Their ICD U-40 ICD/ICSP device is also
superior to the ICD2, IMO and a lot cheaper ($75).

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\10\02@093159 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/2/07, Bob Axtell <EraseMEengineerspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcotse.net> wrote:

> I like DIY Electronics' K182 and K128, no MMPLAB needed. It doesn't
> support many recent PIC devices. But it can stand alone as a programmer,
> and is VERY cheap.

Before PICkit 2, I was interested in DIY K182/128. With
PICkit 2, they are not really that cheap any more.

The price is similar to PICkit 2, at least from
Wouter's number. It seems everything in EU
is more expensive due to high tax but again
the welfare is better...
http://www.voti.nl/shop/catalog.html?K-DIY-182

2007\10\02@114925 by William Benson

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HI,

Try "GOOGLE" "PIC Programmers".

BEN> Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2007 21:31:58 +0800> From: xiaofancspamspam_OUTgmail.com> To: @spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu> Subject: Re: [PIC] Comparison of cheaper USB PIC programmers> > On 10/2/07, Bob Axtell <KILLspamengineerKILLspamspamcotse.net> wrote:> > > I like DIY Electronics' K182 and K128, no MMPLAB needed. It doesn't> > support many recent PIC devices. But it can stand alone as a programmer,> > and is VERY cheap.> > Before PICkit 2, I was interested in DIY K182/128. With> PICkit 2, they are not really that cheap any more.> > The price is similar to PICkit 2, at least from> Wouter's number. It seems everything in EU> is more expensive due to high tax but again> the welfare is better...> http://www.voti.nl/shop/catalog.html?K-DIY-182>

2007\10\03@060509 by Jesse Lackey

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Humm, I'd like the 150+ hours I spent tracking down at least a dozen
serious bugs in it back again.  This was about 3 years ago, the PCH, it
was a horror show of failing to function with included sample code,
regressive bugs showing the lack of automated test suites, and continual
upgrades to fix literally hundreds of bugs.  This was *after the beta
test*.  Buying it was the biggest mistake of my EE career, but since I
was just starting out on projects with way to small budgets there was no
chance of switching to anything else.

200+ version releases over 3 years later, I haven't found a bug in
awhile, but I've also moved on to AVR.

It also seems that the company is under new or at least revitalized
management and moving forward.

J


Per Linne wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> --

2007\10\03@071718 by John Chung

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If I have to CRAFT my code to suit the compiler than I
won't use it... Unless there is NO alternatives.

John


--- Jesse Lackey <TakeThisOuTjsl-mlEraseMEspamspam_OUTcelestialaudio.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2007\10\03@081815 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/3/07, Jesse Lackey <EraseMEjsl-mlspamcelestialaudio.com> wrote:
> Humm, I'd like the 150+ hours I spent tracking down at least a dozen
> serious bugs in it back again.  This was about 3 years ago, the PCH, it
> was a horror show of failing to function with included sample code,
> regressive bugs showing the lack of automated test suites, and continual
> upgrades to fix literally hundreds of bugs.  This was *after the beta
> test*.  Buying it was the biggest mistake of my EE career, but since I
> was just starting out on projects with way to small budgets there was no
> chance of switching to anything else.
>
> 200+ version releases over 3 years later, I haven't found a bug in
> awhile, but I've also moved on to AVR.

Wow, I do not know that (I do not use CCS, now I only use C18
for my learning of PIC18 and USB). 200+ version is certainly
a symptom of bug-ridden software. Maybe they are better now...

> It also seems that the company is under new or at least revitalized
> management and moving forward.

Which company? Atmel? That would be good. Atmel has quite some
nice product and I hope they get along well. And in my new job,
we do use Atmel 8051s and ARM7 MCUs. Still I just switched one
EEPROM to Microchip because Atmel chose to obsolete some 5V
EEProm chips.

Xiaofan

2007\10\03@082235 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/2/07, William Benson <RemoveMEben1son1EraseMEspamEraseMEhotmail.com> wrote:
> Try "GOOGLE" "PIC Programmers".
>

No I do not want to check those simple yet problematic programmers
(JDM or alike) which are still quite popular on the web.

But googling "USB PIC programmers" comes out with some better
results. Still I think my classification is quite ok.

Xiaofan

2007\10\03@090351 by Russell McMahon

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> If I have to CRAFT my code to suit the compiler than I
> won't use it... Unless there is NO alternatives.

Absolutely!
Any compiler that demands that you code in C is an utter no no !!!!!
:-)


       Russell


2007\10\03@091139 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-03 at 04:16 -0700, John Chung wrote:
> If I have to CRAFT my code to suit the compiler than I
> won't use it... Unless there is NO alternatives.

Unfortunately I don't think I've encountered a compiler, on any
platform, that I haven't had to "accommodate" in at least some small
way.

I do agree though, some of the PIC compilers have been a little more
"cranky" in this regard... :(

TTYL

2007\10\03@103115 by Peter van Hoof

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{Quote hidden}

I have the K128 it's been a fairly reliable programmer the problem is the supported devices
I was looking forward to the new software plans under development for it and would have spent
some money upgrading

On the website it mentions Bob Axtel is working hard on it (was that you?) but nothing materialized
I think product development has stopped.

I had to resort to buying a ICD2 clone for my modest budget this is the most bang for the buck.

Peter van Hoof

2007\10\03@115031 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:

>> 200+ version releases over 3 years later, I haven't found a bug in
>> awhile, but I've also moved on to AVR.
>
> Wow, I do not know that (I do not use CCS, now I only use C18 for my
> learning of PIC18 and USB). 200+ version is certainly a symptom of
> bug-ridden software. Maybe they are better now...

It's been exactly this that drove me away many years ago.

<http://www.ccsinfo.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=71>

"CCS releases a new version of the compiler approximately every 10 days
[...]"

<http://www.ccsinfo.com/devices.php?page=versioninfo>

No dates on the versions.

Gerhard

2007\10\03@130323 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
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Russell,

On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:31:38 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > If I have to CRAFT my code to suit the compiler than I
> > won't use it... Unless there is NO alternatives.
>
> Absolutely!
> Any compiler that demands that you code in C is an utter no no !!!!!
> :-)

ROFL!  My feelings exactly...

Among the myriad of programmers that I have is one of the PICkit2 clones, made by Sure Electronics - the one with the PCB between two pieces of perspex -
they're available on eBay for about US$25.  It seems to work OK including accepting a download of the latest firmware, except for one aspect: it doesn't respond to
changes of Vdd setting in the software - the PICkit2 software allows turning Vdd on and off, and varying it from 2.5V to 5 (or 5.5?)V.  

Proper PICkit2s do as they're told, but whenever the box is ticked the clone passes through whatever voltage the USB port is supplying regardless of the software
setting.

Has anyone else seen this?  I wonder if mine is faulty, or if it's a bit of the design that they omitted?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\10\03@171247 by Nate Duehr

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John Chung wrote:
> If I have to CRAFT my code to suit the compiler than I
> won't use it... Unless there is NO alternatives.

Uhh, ok we'll make sure the PASCAL compiler can read your C code.  :-)

All code is crafted.

Nate


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