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'[PIC] Field programmers'
2010\01\12@172742 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi all,

At work we're having an issue with field techs damaging programmers we
use to update devices at customer sites. We have been using the CCS
ICD (both the U40 and the U64). Some of the failures appear to be ESD
related and others appear to be related to shorting pins on the
connector or accidentally powering the entire end device through the
5V output on the programming connector (i.e., trying to program the
device with the power off). In general, it seems that the CCS ICD
series of programmers are rather fragile, which is understandable as
they are inexpensive development programmers. Does anyone have a
recommendation for a rugged in-circuit PIC programmer for field use?
We do not need debug functions. Ideally it would be resistant to
damage from ESD, shorting output pins on the connector, connecting
backwards, connecting higher DC voltages (e.g. 12V) to the connector,
and just general physical dropping, stepping on, etc.

Thanks,

Sean

2010\01\12@175414 by PICdude

flavicon
face
Perhaps this will meet your needs...  I use a couple of them for  
programming in vehicles.  You'll have to do your own ESD testing  
though...  
http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=3566

The old case style was not very sturdy (basic plastic), but they've  
changed the case now, so I'm not sure how sturdy it is.  I will be  
modifying a couple of these to send to some customers so they can  
update code, and will be making aluminum enclosures for them.  One of  
the nice features is that I can limit the number of times it can be  
used to program chips.

Their new version even has some of my ideas built in -- I modified  
mine to hold multiple code versions and select those with switches,  
and also label it with the error-codes and pinouts.  I showed them  
these mods, which they've now incorporated in their own way into the  
new version.  But no, I get no royalties :(

Cheers,
-Neil.



Quoting Sean Breheny <spam_OUTshb7TakeThisOuTspamcornell.edu>:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\01\12@181839 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Greeting Sean,
You may take a look of our BB0703, BB0703+128K and BB0703+256K. All of them support programmer to go, no pc is required to program a PIC in field.

Here are some links for more information:
www.auelectronics.com/System-PICkit2.htm
www.auelectronics.com/products/system/bb0703.html?limit=all
www.auelectronics.com/UserManual-PICKit2ProgrammerToGo.htm
http://www.auelectronics.com/forum/index.php/topic,29.0.html

Our BB0703 has dedicated power supply (which can connect with AC/DC power supply, such as, Au Part#: PWR-912V-CP) for in-field programmer-to-go feature. We also carry pogo-pin cables for easy-programmer attachment to the board.

I have a client using multi-sets of "BB0703+128K" more than a year on a product line which makes devices operating high voltage up to 7K~10K volt, average volume is about 3K/day.

A few other clients are using "BB0703+128K" too for high volume product line (such as, PIC based USB devices, volume varies from 300/day to 1K/day).

P.S.
Regarding to your concern about protection on our BB0703/PICkit 2,some info are available on our forum link:
http://www.auelectronics.com/forum/index.php/topic,29.msg93.html#msg93

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Sean Breheny <.....shb7KILLspamspam@spam@cornell.edu>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Tue, January 12, 2010 5:27:18 PM
Subject: [PIC] Field programmers

Hi all,

At work we're having an issue with field techs damaging programmers we
use to update devices at customer sites. We have been using the CCS
ICD (both the U40 and the U64). Some of the failures appear to be ESD
related and others appear to be related to shorting pins on the
connector or accidentally powering the entire end device through the
5V output on the programming connector (i.e., trying to program the
device with the power off). In general, it seems that the CCS ICD
series of programmers are rather fragile, which is understandable as
they are inexpensive development programmers. Does anyone have a
recommendation for a rugged in-circuit PIC programmer for field use?
We do not need debug functions. Ideally it would be resistant to
damage from ESD, shorting output pins on the connector, connecting
backwards, connecting higher DC voltages (e.g. 12V) to the connector,
and just general physical dropping, stepping on, etc.

Thanks,

Sean

2010\01\13@105112 by olin piclist

face picon face
Sean Breheny wrote:
> Does anyone have a
> recommendation for a rugged in-circuit PIC programmer for field use?

http://www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog2


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\01\13@121736 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Olin,

Thanks. Is the usbprog2 well ESD protected? I took a quick look at the
schematic and I see some resistors on the PGD and PGC lines, but not
much other protection. I know from experience that ESD can jump across
physically-small resistors.

Sean


On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Olin Lathrop
<.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam.....embedinc.com> wrote:
> Sean Breheny wrote:
>> Does anyone have a
>> recommendation for a rugged in-circuit PIC programmer for field use?
>
> http://www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog2
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
>

2010\01\13@121755 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Thanks, I'll look into it.

On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 5:53 PM, PICdude <EraseMEpicdude3spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTnarwani.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2010\01\13@121853 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi,

Can you please tell me whether your programmers are ESD-protected in any way?

Thanks,

Sean


On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Funny NYPD <@spam@funnynypdKILLspamspamyahoo.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\01\13@132014 by olin piclist

face picon face
> Thanks. Is the usbprog2 well ESD protected?

It wasn't specifically designed for that, but all lines have capacitors to
ground right at the connector and usually a series resistor to the rest of
the circuitry that will do some clamping, even if unintentional.  For
example, the output transistors on the PGC and PGD lines will work in
reverse (E-C flipped) to provide some active clamping for large voltage
excursions.

However, you'll have to evaluate ESD susceptibility yourself.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\01\13@133150 by Vitaliy

face
flavicon
face
OLIN IS BACK!!!

<:-D))))))))

----- Original Message -----
From: "Olin Lathrop" <spamBeGoneolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 08:51
Subject: Re: [PIC] Field programmers


> Sean Breheny wrote:
>> Does anyone have a
>> recommendation for a rugged in-circuit PIC programmer for field use?
>
> http://www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog2


2010\01\13@135121 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Vitaliy ha scritto:
> OLIN IS BACK!!!
>
> <:-D))))))))

:))

--

Ciao, Dario
--
Cyberdyne

2010\01\13@141209 by olin piclist

face picon face
Dario Greggio wrote:
> Vitaliy ha scritto:
>> OLIN IS BACK!!!
>>
>> <:-D))))))))
>
> :))

No not really since my posts are apparently still being subjected to
moderation.  I only responed to this message because it was in my interest.

By the way, I probably should have mentioned a writeup I have on the web
about  PIC in-circuit programming.  It doesn't mention ESD, but does mention
some other issues that could explain why programming appears to be flaky in
some cases.  http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/icsp.htm


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\01\13@152826 by Marechiare

picon face
2010/1/13 Dario Greggio <RemoveMEadpm.tospamTakeThisOuTinwind.it>:
> Vitaliy ha scritto:
>> OLIN IS BACK!!!
>>
>> <:-D))))))))
>
> :))
>
> --
>
> Ciao, Dario
>

This is called "International Recognition" :-)

---

Then He told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own
hometown and among his own family."

2010\01\13@160858 by Funny NYPD

picon face
>Can you please tell me whether your programmers are ESD-protected in any way?

Well, it may not be as strong as you wished (such as popular 15KVESD protection on RS232 transceiver chips) if you checked out the schematic:
http://www.auelectronics.com/pdfs/CB0703_PICKit2_Schematic.pdf

So far, this design seems working good even without ESD protection under normal usage.

One of my client uses BB0703+128Ks on programming boards under a 7KV to 10KV high-voltage environment without a single issue, but I was told he implemented special protection/isolation to/from the high voltage circuits.

ESD protect circuits can be added to BB0703, but it will increase the cost and price. Let us know if you are still interested.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Sean Breheny <shb7EraseMEspam.....cornell.edu>
To: Microcontroller discussion list -  Public. <EraseMEpiclistspammit.edu>
Sent: Wed, January 13, 2010 12:18:16 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Field programmers

Hi,

Can you please tell me whether your programmers are ESD-protected in any way?

Thanks,

Sean


On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Funny NYPD <RemoveMEfunnynypdEraseMEspamEraseMEyahoo.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\01\14@044147 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Thanks. Is the usbprog2 well ESD protected? I took a quick
>look at the schematic and I see some resistors on the PGD
>and PGC lines, but not much other protection. I know from
>experience that ESD can jump across physically-small resistors.

>From what I remember of your original post, I suspect that you need to get
the field guys to take rudimentary ESD precautions anyway, like wear an ESD
strap that they connect to the chassis of the equipment they are dealing
with, and maybe even modify the programmer so it has a grounding line with a
series resistor and crocodile clip to do likewise before they plug it into
the equipment being programmed. Otherwise no amount of ESD protection in the
equipment or programmer is going to stop a failure at the most embarrassing
moment.

2010\01\14@115047 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
I definitely agree that our field techs could do better with regard to
ESD precautions and we are going to do some training around that.
However, I think it is interesting that A) very little of our
equipment ends up being damaged - just the PIC programmers and B) we
have never seen an ESD damaged multimeter or scope. These two items
lead me to believe that the CCS ICD is particularly ESD susceptible
and it would make sense to purchase some programmers which are
considerably ESD tougher.

Sean


On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 4:41 AM, Alan B. Pearce
<EraseMEAlan.B.PearcespamspamspamBeGonestfc.ac.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\01\14@124849 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 09:50 AM 1/14/2010, Sean Breheny wrote:
>I definitely agree that our field techs could do better with regard to
>ESD precautions and we are going to do some training around that.
>However, I think it is interesting that A) very little of our
>equipment ends up being damaged - just the PIC programmers and B) we
>have never seen an ESD damaged multimeter or scope. These two items
>lead me to believe that the CCS ICD is particularly ESD susceptible
>and it would make sense to purchase some programmers which are
>considerably ESD tougher.
>
>Sean

Might you then try hardening the programmers yourself?  For example,
the SP721 is a hex ESD clamp device available in an 8-pin DIP or soic
package.  It connects to the highest and lowest voltage rails in your
device (2 pins) and then clamps 6 lines to stay within those voltage
limits.  Its fast and relatively inexpensive.

Just a thought . . .

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <RemoveMEdwaynerKILLspamspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2010\01\14@130248 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
Sean Breheny wrote:
> I definitely agree that our field techs could do better with regard to
> ESD precautions and we are going to do some training around that.
> However, I think it is interesting that A) very little of our
> equipment ends up being damaged - just the PIC programmers and B) we
> have never seen an ESD damaged multimeter or scope. These two items
> lead me to believe that the CCS ICD is particularly ESD susceptible
> and it would make sense to purchase some programmers which are
> considerably ESD tougher.

Couldn't you just make an "ESD-potection-inbetween"-gadget, permanently
fixed to the CCS ICD? There are only a few lines to take care of.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2010\01\14@133318 by Funny NYPD

picon face
I am curious how the programmer is damaged by ESD while the hardware (which linked on the exactly same lines) is not damaged on the same environment.

(BTW, you are not the first one I heard of complaining about CCS programmers)

>it would make sense to purchase some programmers which are
>considerably ESD tougher.

Pull-down resistors and current limit resistor/device will help but may not be as strong as you wished.

ESD protect device is a better choice than resistors. We are going to add the "ESD protection feature" as an option to all our BB0703 and BB0703+ product family.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Sean Breheny <shb7STOPspamspamspam_OUTcornell.edu>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <spamBeGonepiclistSTOPspamspamEraseMEmit.edu>
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 11:50:10 AM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Field programmers

I definitely agree that our field techs could do better with regard to
ESD precautions and we are going to do some training around that.
However, I think it is interesting that A) very little of our
equipment ends up being damaged - just the PIC programmers and B) we
have never seen an ESD damaged multimeter or scope. These two items
lead me to believe that the CCS ICD is particularly ESD susceptible
and it would make sense to purchase some programmers which are
considerably ESD tougher.

Sean


On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 4:41 AM, Alan B. Pearce
<KILLspamAlan.B.PearcespamBeGonespamstfc.ac.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\01\14@171435 by Barry Gershenfeld

picon face
No one has suggested the Microchip products.  If the vulnerability is
particular the the CCS units, then "something else" would seem to be the
answer. I have abused my ICD2's in most of the ways you described (miswired
cables, power applied at inappropriate times, etc., though no high voltage
arcs), and I've never had one go bad.  I've had more trouble with the PM-3
(which is not under my care).   But the fact that Microchip will repair or
replace these devices (no time limit that I know of) suggests that they put
some thought about these problems into their design.

2010\01\14@191508 by Funny NYPD

picon face
My personal experience shows ICD2 is ok when it is working. The only pain is the "downloading new os" feature when different chips are used, which can easily kill a unit for all kinds of reason (still a mystery to me, it happens randomly). Other than that, it seems fine.

I have some good time with ICE2000, and recommend it to new PIC users. But I do got a lot of opposite opinions complaining it's too pricey.

By the way, the PK2 was a nice design, and the support was good, but Microchip abandoned this well-designed product in its early stage  to leave space for PK3(one of the key PK2 designer left Microchip, not sure for what reason, otherwise, his experience on PK2 can help the PK3 team speed up the design and support.). PK3 is a hybrid of PK2 and ICD2 on a few hardware aspect, but PK3 picked a wrong MCU (3.3V only) as a programmer. PM3 is good too for PIC16Fs if size and cost doesn't matter to you.

ICD2 is not so reliable to me, but the free-replacement service is good.
There are still a few screaming PK3 users on the Microchip forum complaining about the poor design. After 1 year of its release, PK3 is still not matured. Please be aware of this situation if you don't want get your self some headache. (The PK3 has been unofficially called "the joke of the year" on Microchip forum.)

Our BB0703 and BB0703+ carry limited life-time warranty.
http://www.auelectronics.com/UserManual-BB0703.htm

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Barry Gershenfeld <EraseMEgbarry42spamEraseMEgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <@spam@piclist@spam@spamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 5:13:58 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Field programmers

No one has suggested the Microchip products.  If the vulnerability is
particular the the CCS units, then "something else" would seem to be the
answer. I have abused my ICD2's in most of the ways you described (miswired
cables, power applied at inappropriate times, etc., though no high voltage
arcs), and I've never had one go bad.  I've had more trouble with the PM-3
(which is not under my care).   But the fact that Microchip will repair or
replace these devices (no time limit that I know of) suggests that they put
some thought about these problems into their design.

2010\01\14@192016 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Maybe someone owns a CCS can take it apart and find out what's the cause for the failure from design point of view?

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Barry Gershenfeld <spamBeGonegbarry42spamKILLspamgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <.....piclistspam_OUTspammit.edu>
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 5:13:58 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Field programmers

No one has suggested the Microchip products.  If the vulnerability is
particular the the CCS units, then "something else" would seem to be the
answer. I have abused my ICD2's in most of the ways you described (miswired
cables, power applied at inappropriate times, etc., though no high voltage
arcs), and I've never had one go bad.  I've had more trouble with the PM-3
(which is not under my care).   But the fact that Microchip will repair or
replace these devices (no time limit that I know of) suggests that they put
some thought about these problems into their design.

2010\01\15@073415 by olin piclist

face picon face
Barry Gershenfeld wrote:
> No one has suggested the Microchip products.

They tend to be significantly more expensive than third party alternatives.

> I have abused my ICD2's in most of the ways you described
> (miswired cables, power applied at inappropriate times, etc., though no
> high voltage arcs), and I've never had one go bad.  I've had more
> trouble with the PM-3 (which is not under my care).

While the USBProg and USBProg2 were not specifically designed for ESD
survival, they should still be reasonable.  However, they were specifically
designed for the kind of abuse you describe.  You can't kill one by
miswiring a cable and applying normal board voltages, or shorting lines to
ground or supply.  This is no accident.  For example, there are 2W resistors
in a couple of places that would only need to dissipate a few mW under
normal circumstances.

So far we haven't heard of a single field failure of a USBProg2, and we have
one customer that is buying about 20/month that go to end users as part of a
field programming option.

To the OP:  If you buy a USBProg2 I'll give you 30 days to return it for a
complete refund, including shipping.  At only $125 apiece, they are the best
value out there for field use.  If you need to equip 10 or more field
people, then they are only $105 each.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

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