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'[PIC] ICD2 and USB'
2005\10\19@092922 by Tim N9PUZ

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I'm about ready to order a new PIC programmer/debugger and have my
sights set on the genuine ICD2. There is mention in a message or two
in the archives about some issues when using the USB interface to the
PC but not a lot of details.

With respect to operation from a USB port are people generally happy
with the current performance of the ICD2 or are there in fact
problems? USB is critical for me. Both of the laptops I use do not
have serial ports.

Tim

2005\10\19@094424 by John Nall

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Tim N9PUZ wrote:

> I'm about ready to order a new PIC programmer/debugger and have my
> sights set on the genuine ICD2. There is mention in a message or two
> in the archives about some issues when using the USB interface to the
> PC but not a lot of details.
>
> With respect to operation from a USB port are people generally happy
> with the current performance of the ICD2 or are there in fact
> problems? USB is critical for me. Both of the laptops I use do not
> have serial ports.
>
Although I have heard that some people are quite happy with using their
ICD2 with the USB port, I am absolutely, positively not.  Mine works
with a serial port fine, but is very erratic with the USB port --
sometimes it does work, and sometimes it does not, depending on the
phase of  the moon, the alignment of  the astral signs, and how I am
holding my mouth at the time  that I want to use it.  As a result,
because of  the unpredictability, I have just quit using USB with it.  
Your mileage may vary, of course.  :-)

John

2005\10\19@100417 by Mario Mendes Jr.

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I've had mine for 2 years now and I have yet to have problems with it.

-Mario

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\10\19@101400 by John J. McDonough

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As I see it, there are three issues with ICD2.

The most annoying is that it is slow, but I think there is nothing to be
done about that.  With serial it is obviously slower than with USB.  The
fact is you want to move a lot of data between the PIC and the PC
frequently, and the PIC just ain't that fast, so it's really hard to 'blame'
the ICD2.  Its just that I want instant gratification.

The second issue is really more MPLAB than ICD2.  MPLAB expects that you are
an administrative user on XP. (I assume the same with W2K but no data).  It
isn't too tough to fix this for MPLAB, but not as easy with ICD2.  My
strategy around that is to have a RunAs shortcut to MPLAB that allows me to
be logged in without privileges, and run MPLAB (and ICD2) as root.  I keep
my projects on a FAT partition so the file protection isn't an issue.  If
all your partitions are NTFS this could be an issue.  This might not be an
issue if you have no NTFS partitions.

The third issue is USB.  You need a great deal of self-discipline to install
the thing.  When your shiny new ICD2 arrives, read -all- the documentation
and DON'T PLUG IT IN.  Follow the installation instructions EXACTLY.  Read
each instruction 3 or 4 times before you do it, and maybe cross off each one
so you don't inadvertently skip something.  If you just breeze through the
installation and and miss something or take a shortcut, you will spend days
getting it to work.  If you follow the instructions to the letter it works
just fine.  Once installed, there seem to be few issues.  If you install it
wrong, it is practically impossible to get your PC entirely purged so you
can install it correctly.

If you have the time/capability, you might consider making an image backup
of your system beforehand so if you run into a problem you can restore the
backup and start over.  Be advised that the real issues seem to be around
the Windows directory tree and the registry, so simply copying a few files
to CD won't cut it.  You need a backup strategy that you can restore a
working sysem from.  Otherwise, you are trying to figure out what the
installation did to your Windows subtree and registry.

--McD

{Original Message removed}

2005\10\19@111256 by Tim N9PUZ

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John J. McDonough wrote:

> As I see it, there are three issues with ICD2.

Yikes!

John, are there alternatives to ICD2 you can recommend for
development? The ICD2 doesn't sound like a good option in those cases
where I might want to install the software on a client's PC temporarily.

I could actually make use of a reliable USB based in-circuit
programmer for the field work. I was hoping for a single tool but
reliable ICSP programming via USB is my primary need in the field.

Tim

2005\10\19@114813 by Mark Rages

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On 10/19/05, Tim N9PUZ <spam_OUTtim.n9puzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> John J. McDonough wrote:
>
> > As I see it, there are three issues with ICD2.
>
> Yikes!
>
> John, are there alternatives to ICD2 you can recommend for
> development? The ICD2 doesn't sound like a good option in those cases
> where I might want to install the software on a client's PC temporarily.
>
> I could actually make use of a reliable USB based in-circuit
> programmer for the field work. I was hoping for a single tool but
> reliable ICSP programming via USB is my primary need in the field.
>
> Tim

PICkit 2?  What part do you need to program?

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
You think that it is a secret, but it never has been one.
 - fortune cookie

2005\10\19@115819 by John J. McDonough

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Tim

I didn't mean to imply that the ICD2 was somehow a bad choice.

The first problem is one you have to live with no matter what.  The fact is,
the debugging software can't be as fast as MPLAB SIM if it needs to go out
to another processor to get its data.  It is an annoyance that you should be
aware of so you're not disappointed.  When you run MPLAB SIM, all the data
is right there in memory.  With in-circuit debugging, the debugger software
has to go communicate with the target processor to get that data.  Its not
horribly slow, but when you are single-stepping through a lot of code it can
be really annoying.

The second problem is really an MPLAB problem that ICD2 just aggrivates.
Installing Windows, MPLAB and ICD2 on a FAT partition should make that
problem go away.  If you are like most people who haven't figured out that
it is a bad idea to log on as administrator, it also won't be a problem.
You could blame this one on Windows, but recent versions of Windows have
gotten more unix-like in their file protections, and most Windows developers
haven't learned how to cope with this.  Since most Windows users don't care
about security anyway, it will take them a while to learn.

And the third problem is one of impatient users like myself (and plenty of
others) who are too excited to play with their new toy.  If you can follow
Microchip's instructions, it works just fine.  The thing is, if you don't
the price is really high.

Some ICD2 alternative, no matter how good, won't fix any of these.  Well,
maybe the second one sort of.  The MPLAB problem will still be there, but
some programmer who understands file protections could easily fix the dll
thing.  Trouble is, all the alternatives I've seen use Microchip's software.

I do use ICD2, and it works just fine.  But it isn't all a bed of roses.  I
have two other programmers, and the only time I use one of them is when I'm
writing a lesson targeted at it.  The other never gets used anymore.  If I'm
not forced to use something else, I use the ICD2, so it ain't THAT bad!

--McD

{Original Message removed}

2005\10\19@115857 by Jesse Lackey

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I have an old laptop I use for this - a little bitty vaio.  As for icd2
and usb, you do need to read the documentation and follow the
directions.  Also, very important, don't use it with a hub, even a
powered one.

Also I never power the board under development with it.

It can be erratic but I haven't lost too much time to it.  It is
certainly convenient to use; why microchip can't get their usb devices
to work properly under all circumstances, like every other usb
peripheral manufacturer I just can't comprehend.

My old laptop has a copy of the dev environment for an HCS12 chip, a
copy of Eagle, etc.  All my work-related stuff I keep under a single
directory on the desktop machine so to go into the field I copy it all
to the laptop and go.  The laptop doesn't get used for anything else so
it doesn't break.  The ICD2 is good about running with different
versions of MPLAB, fortunately, so that's never been a problem.

As for using another icsp programmer, that is certainly an option, but
being able to single-step debug in the field has been handy on occasion.

J



Tim N9PUZ wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\10\19@132427 by redrock8

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I have been using ICD2 with a USB hub for 2 years
On a VAIO notebook and have not had any problems...

-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
Jesse Lackey
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:59 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [PIC] ICD2 and USB

I have an old laptop I use for this - a little bitty vaio.  As for icd2
and usb, you do need to read the documentation and follow the
directions.  Also, very important, don't use it with a hub, even a
powered one.



2005\10\19@132643 by Thomas C. Sefranek

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-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu] On Behalf Of
Jesse Lackey
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:59 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [PIC] ICD2 and USB

Also, very important, don't use it with a hub, even a powered one.

SO TRUE!

Also I never power the board under development with it.

DITTO!

It can be erratic but I haven't lost too much time to it.  It is
certainly convenient to use; why microchip can't get their usb devices
to work properly under all circumstances, like every other usb
peripheral manufacturer I just can't comprehend.

I've had PICs that programmed, verified and FAILED minutes later.
Verifying them showed a location had changed.
?Soft programming?
The board has 6 PICs on it and draws 150 mA.
The ICD is spec'd at 200 mA.  WRONG!  
At 200 mA it's down to 4.3 volts.
I now have a power fixture for the boards I program.
No failures since.


 *
 |  __O    Thomas C. Sefranek  tcsspamspam_OUTcmcorp.com
 |_-\<,_   Amateur Radio Operator: WA1RHP
 (*)/ (*)  Bicycle mobile on 145.41MHz PL74.4

ARRL Instructor, Technical Specialist, VE Contact.
hamradio.cmcorp.com/inventory/Inventory.html
http://www.harvardrepeater.org


2005\10\19@144731 by Tim N9PUZ

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John J. McDonough wrote:

> Its not horribly slow, but when you are single-stepping
> through a lot of code it can be really annoying.

Okay. For the price I wasn't expecting a full-blown ICE with all the
bells and whistles.

> The second problem is really an MPLAB problem that ICD2 just aggrivates.
> Installing Windows, MPLAB and ICD2 on a FAT partition should make that
> problem go away.  If you are like most people who haven't figured out
> that it is a bad idea to log on as administrator, it also won't be a
> problem. You could blame this one on Windows, but recent versions of
> Windows have gotten more unix-like in their file protections, and most
> Windows developers haven't learned how to cope with this.  Since most
> Windows users don't care about security anyway, it will take them a
> while to learn.

For those of us who DON'T run as Admin is it a matter of giving the
correct privileges to the appropriate directories?

> And the third problem is one of impatient users like myself (and plenty
> of others) who are too excited to play with their new toy.  If you can
> follow Microchip's instructions, it works just fine.  The thing is, if
> you don't the price is really high.

RTFM? Okay, if I have to.

John, thanks for the very thorough answer.

Tim

2005\10\19@151754 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim N9PUZ" <@spam@tim.n9puzKILLspamspamgmail.com>
Subject: Re: [PIC] ICD2 and USB


> For those of us who DON'T run as Admin is it a matter of giving the
> correct privileges to the appropriate directories?

Sadly, no.  On Earlier versions of MPLAB that strategy worked well enough.
But the ICD2, and maybe MPLAB 7.x, puts some files in various Windows
directories.  I was unable to make it work by changing file protections, but
I may have missed some files buried there.

What I did was to make a shortcut that runs MPLAB as administrator.  It
works just fine except for the irritation of typing in the root password
whenever you launch MPLAB.  I have a user called root who has privileges.
Just make a shortcut to

%windir%\system32\RunAs.exe /user:root "yadyadyada\MPLAB.EXE"

and "Start in:" the MPLAB directory, and all works just dandy.

> RTFM? Okay, if I have to.

Yeah, well.  The installation really isn't that tough, the problem is
unraveling it if you need to do it over.  Microchip has a program that is
SUPPOSED to do that for you, but I found it only did a small part.

Oh yeah, FWIW, I generally power small projects from the ICD2 (with a 9 volt
supply plugged into the ICD2) and it works just fine.  I have a nice clean
supply, could be that folks who are having trouble have wall warts or
something.  Some really small projects keep running off the USB power after
I turn off the power supply -- a little disconcerting to see things keep
going after you pull the big switch.

I've also used ICD2 with a hub without ill effect, but I haven't done that a
lot so I can't say it always works, or even often works.

--McD

2005\10\19@155944 by Harold Hallikainen

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>
> Sadly, no.  On Earlier versions of MPLAB that strategy worked well enough.
> But the ICD2, and maybe MPLAB 7.x, puts some files in various Windows
> directories.  I was unable to make it work by changing file protections,
> but
> I may have missed some files buried there.

Do Windows programs really have to spew stuff all over the hard drive? Can
they just work out a single install directory (and subdirectories)?

Harold
(not a Windows programmer)

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2005\10\19@172034 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold Hallikainen" <KILLspamharoldKILLspamspamhallikainen.com>
Subject: Re: [PIC] ICD2 and USB


> Do Windows programs really have to spew stuff all over the hard drive? Can
> they just work out a single install directory (and subdirectories)?

Is that annoying or what.

Windows developers seem to think that the only use you have for your PC is
their program.

It takes an extra programming step to avoid spraying files all over, and not
many are willing to take the extra step.  And why should they?  Few people
care, or even realize it.

--McD

2005\10\19@172635 by Timothy J. Weber

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>
> Do Windows programs really have to spew stuff all over the hard drive? Can
> they just work out a single install directory (and subdirectories)?

There's almost always a way to avoid it, unless you're truly dependent
on specific hardware drivers or other OS patches.

Some development tools like to steer you toward shared DLLs that go in
the system directory, though.  Personally I steer away from those tools.  :)
--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2005\10\19@175531 by Tim N9PUZ

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John J. McDonough wrote:

> Windows developers seem to think that the only use you have for your PC
> is their program.
>
> It takes an extra programming step to avoid spraying files all over, and
> not many are willing to take the extra step.  And why should they?  Few
> people care, or even realize it.

Call me old fashioned but I like the idea of having everything I need
for a given program in a single directory (sub directories under that
one are okay) that I can move around from disk to disk and all I have
to do is make sure the shortcut or link points to the right place.

One of my big gripes is not being able to restore to a new disk and
not be ready to run without many, many reinstalls.

I'll be quiet now! I think we're straying from [PIC].

Tim

2005\10\20@012014 by Chen Xiao Fan

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You can run MPLAB 7.xx under normal user account. Up to
version 7.00, it is easy. After 7.01, it is a bit
more difficult but it can be done. Of course the driver
and MPLAB still need to be installed by the administrators.

Please refer to the
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.asp?m=45142
http://forum.microchip.com/m.asp?m=86718

In my case, I need to get the full control rights to
"C:\program Files\Microchip" folder as well. This is
on my work PC with Windows XP Profession SP1.

Regards,
Xiaofan

******From http://forum.microchip.com/m.asp?m=86718

MPLAB versions - 7.01 and 7.10
Module - Machines with USER privileges (non-admin rights).

When you try to start MPLAB, the splash screen flashes by,
but the application does not launch. This only occurs on
machines with non-admin privileges. Note: Admin rights are
required to install MPLAB, but should not be required to run MPLAB.

Solution - The workaround is to modify the Target path on
the MPLAB shortcut and append the option -noswitch:

"C:\Program Files\Microchip\MPLAB IDE\Core\MPLAB.exe" -noswitch

You can reach the target path by selecting the MPLAB icon on
the desktop, right click properties, then selecting the shortcut tab.


{Original Message removed}

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