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'[PIC] Newbie development questions'
2004\09\10@020340 by Peter Johansson

flavicon
face

Greetings all!  I was an electronics hobbyist back in the late '70s
and early '80s but have been pretty much a software guy since then.  A
few weeks back I stumbled onto the SX and was shocked that nowadays a
50 MIPS microcontroller can be had for five bucks.  I immediately went
out and popped for the SX-tech tool kit.  It should be arriving any
day now.

In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
the Microchip PIC.  I must say it has been quite an effort trying to
figure out the product line, which chips are history, what to use
where and so forth, but I'm beginning to see the method to the
madness.

I've found an incredible amount of information about the PICs on the
web, perhaps almost too much.  The number of different PIC programmers
alone is astounding.  And this is where I have my newbie question.
I'm sure this is a FAQ, and if someone can point me to a single
reference I'd be happy to go off and start reading.  (Also, are
archives of this list prior to the recent switch to majordomo
available, and if so, where?)

So, here's what I know (or think I know) and what I don't...

It seems as if the only features the fancy (i.e. expensive)
programmers have are the ability to program everything in a single
socket and then test the programming at multiple voltage levels, but
it also seems as if these features aren't really necessary for the
hobbyist.  It also seems as if they can program the older non-serial
units, but I doubt I'd be dealing with any older chips at this point.
The speed at which the chips are programmed seems to be more a
function of the software than the programmer itself.  Is there more
that I'm missing here?

It doesn't really seem as if the very simple programmers based on
AN589 or COM84 really do anything different that the fancy-pants
programmers, so long as you get the programming signals on the proper
pins.  The one difference I do see is that signal timing is handled by
the PC, which on a slow machine (or perhaps even a not so slow
machine) is non-deterministic in a multi-tasking environment.

It seems as if the electrical characteristics of the AN589 circuit are
standard for all recent PICs, and it is the software dataflow that
really determines what chips can be programmed.

Then there is the issue of in-circuit programming.  It seems as if
in-circuit programming uses the same programming functions and signals
as the "standard" programming, and doing in-circuit programming is
more a matter of designing the embedded circuit with proper isolation
to accept in-circuit programming.

Now, because I'm new to this, I'm going to be doing a lot of
re-programming on a breadboard.  (I even found my old breadboard and
stash of old components!)  It seems silly to constantly be moving the
PIC back and forth between the breadboard and a programmer -- at the
very least that would involve the purchase of two ZIF sockets.  It
would seem to make much more sense to wire the five programming pins
from the breadboard to a socket which can then be plugged into either
the programmer or a loopback to the breadboard.  In reality, since I
have just one rather large board, the programmer would likely live on
the same breadboard to start out, epsecially if it was a simple one.
The advantage of this "jumper" approach seems as if would simply
eliminate the need for all of the isolation circuitry.

This *seems* as if it would be a very simple and elegant solution to
development and prototyping, yet I have found only a few references to
this method. (Wisp and TLVP) Furthermore, it seems as if this method
will easily allow the use of the LVP, eliminating the need for the 13v
supply & associated circuitry.  Are there issues involved that I am
missing?  Are there cases where this doesn't work?

Right now, I'm leaning towards using Byron Jeff's design for the
Trivial Parallel Port programmers (both the low voltage and high
voltage varieties) due to the low component count.  If this turns out
to be a good solution, I'll probably use pp06 for programming because
of it's wide device support.  (That does mean I'll be writing my own
parallel port driver, but given the modular nature of the program this
seems trivial.)  Again, this assumes the electrical characteristics
for the different devices is the same, and it's the format of the data
stream to the device that determines what devices can be programmed.

I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.  (This is the specific reason for my
interest in PIC instead of SX!)  Although these devices are not billed
as LVP devices, it seems as if they do not need the 13V of the more
typical HVP devices.  They seem to be HVP flash memory, but include an
internal high voltage generator.  It seems as if anything from 8.5V to
13.5V will do the trick.  If I'm understanding this correctly, it
eliminates the need for that pesky 13V source!

Many thanks in advance for any comments, advice and suggestions in
these areas.  Confirmation of where I'm right would be appreciated as
well as note of where I'm in error!

-p.
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2004\09\10@031732 by Bob Axtell

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Welcome, Peter.

You have come to the right place.

We mostly program Pics here; many of us are professional firmware or
product developers.
My lot in life seems to be designing Law Enforcement products, i.e.
video surveillance systems,
etc. Its somewhat sleazy, but somebody has to do it. Some of us also
program SX parts; they
are faster than PICs and have some advantages, but they have certain
disadvantages, too.

The only suggestions I have are to try to buy a programmer that most
folks here know, so
when you need help, all you gotta do is ask the List, and SOMEBODY has
solved that problem
at some time or another. Most of us solve problems slightly differently,
but it won't matter.

For an inexpensive programmer, I'd suggest Wouter's programmer kit;
another programmer I
like is the K128, K182, K149 and K150, variants on a design by Tony Nixon.

For development, Microchip's ICD2 is excellent at about $150 USD, but I
like an RS232 clone made
by  http://www.mcu.cz; I own 3 of them and they cost only about $55 USD. This
can also be used to program
all of the Flash PICs.

--Bob


Peter Johansson wrote:

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2004\09\10@034345 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Peter Johansson wrote :

> Greetings all!  I was an electronics hobbyist back in the late '70s
> and early '80s but have been pretty much a software guy since then.

The same :-)

> A
> few weeks back I stumbled onto the SX and was shocked that nowadays a
> 50 MIPS microcontroller can be had for five bucks.

Yes, they are fast, but lack most hardware features such as A/D, USART
and so on.

> In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
> the Microchip PIC.  I must say it has been quite an effort trying to
> figure out the product line, which chips are history, what to use
> where and so forth, but I'm beginning to see the method to the
> madness.

http://www.voti.nl/swp/index.html  isn't to bad... :-)

> Now, because I'm new to this, I'm going to be doing a lot of
> re-programming on a breadboard.

I use more or less only breadboards and Wisp628. THe Wisp628
is connected using a USB->Serial converted (Cleas Olson).
Works real good.

> Many thanks in advance for any comments, advice and suggestions in
> these areas.  Confirmation of where I'm right would be appreciated as
> well as note of where I'm in error!

I have a few spare ready built Wisp628's.
Contect me directly if you'd like one of them.
(I'm in Söderköping/Sweden, b.t.w...)

Regards,
Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\10@060953 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Hi again !
I've now taken a little more time and read your post
a little better. Here are a few more comments...

Peter Johansson wrote :

> I've found an incredible amount of information about the PICs on the
> web, perhaps almost too much.

Note that a great part of that "information" has passed it's
"best-before-date" a long time ago. Many of the web-designs
are using the old PIC16F84. Try to stay away from that one,
if you don't have some very good reason to use it. If you'd
like to build a F84 based design, you can usualy use a F628
instead with minor modifications. And, since you probably
would like to learn about PICs in the same time anyway, you
could just as well "port" the F84 code to (usualy better) F628
code.

> The number of different PIC programmers
> alone is astounding.

Hm, the *good* ones are not *that* many :-) :-)

> So, here's what I know (or think I know) and what I don't...
>
> It seems as if the only features the fancy (i.e. expensive)
> programmers have are the ability to program everything in a single
> socket and then test the programming at multiple voltage levels, but
> it also seems as if these features aren't really necessary for the
> hobbyist.

You could also add "ease of use" and value that as you like.

> It also seems as if they can program the older non-serial
> units, but I doubt I'd be dealing with any older chips at this point.

Right.

> The speed at which the chips are programmed seems to be more a
> function of the software than the programmer itself.  Is there more
> that I'm missing here?

Most reasonable capable programmers are not that different. Most
of the time, the programming time is not a *major* issue for the
beginner/hobbyist anyway. Ease-of-use is.

> It doesn't really seem as if the very simple programmers based on
> AN589 or COM84 really do anything different that the fancy-pants
> programmers, so long as you get the programming signals on the proper
> pins.  The one difference I do see is that signal timing is handled by
> the PC, which on a slow machine (or perhaps even a not so slow
> machine) is non-deterministic in a multi-tasking environment.

Right !
Use a programmer with built-in firmware that handles all time critical
issues ! This is more important when using more"modern" versions
of Windows. Yes, there are "hacks" for the simple programmers, I know...

> It seems as if the electrical characteristics of the AN589 circuit are
> standard for all recent PICs, and it is the software dataflow that
> really determines what chips can be programmed.

More or less...
But why bother ? Get a programmer where someone else have done
all the low lever bits for you. You don't have to know how the actual
low-level programming is done, if you don't concider building
one (from scratch) yourself. Focus on your project !! A carpenter
doesn't design his own hammer, does he ?

> Then there is the issue of in-circuit programming.  It seems as if
> in-circuit programming uses the same programming functions and signals
> as the "standard" programming, and doing in-circuit programming is
> more a matter of designing the embedded circuit with proper isolation
> to accept in-circuit programming.

Correct.

> Now, because I'm new to this, I'm going to be doing a lot of
> re-programming on a breadboard.  (I even found my old breadboard and
> stash of old components!)  It seems silly to constantly be moving the
> PIC back and forth between the breadboard and a programmer

Yes it is.

> -- at the
> very least that would involve the purchase of two ZIF sockets.  It
> would seem to make much more sense to wire the five programming pins
> from the breadboard to a socket which can then be plugged into either
> the programmer or a loopback to the breadboard.

Check the Wisp628 : http://www.voti.nl/wisp628/index.html for an example.

> This *seems* as if it would be a very simple and elegant solution to
> development and prototyping, yet I have found only a few references to
> this method. (Wisp and TLVP) Furthermore, it seems as if this method
> will easily allow the use of the LVP, eliminating the need for the 13v
> supply & associated circuitry.

That isn't an issue. Most "real" programmers generate the 13V supply
"on the fly".

> Are there issues involved that I am
> missing?  Are there cases where this doesn't work?

There are things that LVP can't do/program.
HVP can do everything.

> Right now, I'm leaning towards using Byron Jeff's design for the
> Trivial Parallel Port programmers (both the low voltage and high
> voltage varieties) due to the low component count.

How much is a "low component count" worth to you ?
(I have not checked that specific design, so I've no idea of what
a "low component count" is to you either...)

> If this turns out
> to be a good solution, I'll probably use pp06 for programming because
> of it's wide device support.

Compared with what ?

> (That does mean I'll be writing my own parallel port driver, but given
> the modular nature of the program this seems trivial.)

I'm sorry, but that sounds just plain silly !!

> Again, this assumes the electrical characteristics
> for the different devices is the same, and it's the format of the data
> stream to the device that determines what devices can be programmed.

Again, why bother. Let someone designing programmers take care of that.

> I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
> number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
> that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.

For large quantities (several 100's), check : http://www.crownhill.co.uk.
GPB 0.80 for 12F629 in single quantity. I know you can get
a better price on larger quantities (100 or 250, don't remember...)

> Although these devices are not billed as LVP devices, it seems as if they
> do not need the 13V of the more typical HVP devices.  They seem to be
> HVP flash memory, but include an internal high voltage generator.

No they don't, they just aren't that picky about the applied voltage.

> It seems as if anything from 8.5V to 13.5V will do the trick.  If I'm
> understanding this correctly, it eliminates the need for that pesky
> 13V source!

But that is a non-issue ! Just use a programmer that generates
the HVP voltage itself !!

> Many thanks in advance for any comments, advice and suggestions in
> these areas.  Confirmation of where I'm right would be appreciated as
> well as note of where I'm in error!

I think I did :-) :-)

To sum it up :
Get a programmer that works from day one and get going with
your *real* project ! Dont get stuck in long debugging
sessiona of a flaky programmer design. To many have done
that before...

Regards,
Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\10@063238 by 859-1?Q?Jaakko_Hyv=E4tti?=

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face

 Hi Peter,

 I would recommend you take a look at the serial port type trivial
programmers.  They do not require separate 13.5 V high voltage, but
generate it from the PC serial port by some clever tricks.

 The hardware most commonly used is the JDM style, see Jens D. Madsen
page about his design:

http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpic.htm

 It is easy to build with vero board, and he also has a printed board
design there.

 My software uses the same hardware, and supports all 14-bit 12F, 16C/F
parts and 16-bit 18F parts I know of.  Works on Linux, FreeBSD, and using
Cygwin also on Windows:

http://www.iki.fi/hyvatti/pic/picprog.html

 Nowadays the problem seems to be that not all PC's have any serial ports
any more.  Linux kernel needs some fixing to use this software with
USB-to-serial adapters, and I have not gotten through to doing that yet.

 Anyway, I think the serial port device is the fastest track for hobbyist
to get off the ground with PIC.

Hope this helps,
Jaakko

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2004\09\10@090059 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 02:03:39AM -0400, Peter Johansson wrote:

Wow! This is long. I guess I'll chew in small bytes ;-)

>
> Greetings all!  I was an electronics hobbyist back in the late '70s
> and early '80s but have been pretty much a software guy since then.  A
> few weeks back I stumbled onto the SX and was shocked that nowadays a
> 50 MIPS microcontroller can be had for five bucks.  I immediately went
> out and popped for the SX-tech tool kit.  It should be arriving any
> day now.

Yes. There's definitely been a revolution.

>
> In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
> the Microchip PIC.  I must say it has been quite an effort trying to
> figure out the product line, which chips are history, what to use
> where and so forth, but I'm beginning to see the method to the
> madness.

Take a read of one of my pages on the subject:

http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/16F88.html

It describes why in today's hobby environment that for small projects
the 16F88 is a good choice.

>
> I've found an incredible amount of information about the PICs on the
> web, perhaps almost too much.  The number of different PIC programmers
> alone is astounding.  And this is where I have my newbie question.
> I'm sure this is a FAQ, and if someone can point me to a single
> reference I'd be happy to go off and start reading.  (Also, are
> archives of this list prior to the recent switch to majordomo
> available, and if so, where?)

Fire away.

I've been using this archive recently:

http://infoarchive.net/sgroup/piclist

Also James has the full piclist archive on http://www.piclist.com

>
> So, here's what I know (or think I know) and what I don't...
>
> It seems as if the only features the fancy (i.e. expensive)
> programmers have are the ability to program everything in a single
> socket and then test the programming at multiple voltage levels, but
> it also seems as if these features aren't really necessary for the
> hobbyist.

Usually correct. Hobbyist are generally happy to run projects at 5V
and usually will stick to a very limited set of parts, virtually all
of which will be flash based. Also from a programming perspective ICSP
(In Circuit Serial Programming) is often sufficient for the job, so
no socket at all is required.

>  It also seems as if they can program the older non-serial
> units, but I doubt I'd be dealing with any older chips at this point.

That's right. Don't bother.

> The speed at which the chips are programmed seems to be more a
> function of the software than the programmer itself.  Is there more
> that I'm missing here?

Somewhat debatable. From a software perspective the question is whether
or not the software is smart enough not to reprogram blank areas. Really
simple programming software will simply rewrite the entire memory every
time. Smarter ones will only overwrite non blank areas.

On the hardware side I find that the interface dominates the programming
time more than anything else. If you are interfacing with 1200 BPS serial
that will more than swamp the actual programming time.

Microchip has been very good about reducing the amount of time it takes
to write to flash by doing page writes and by reducing the write time.
The 8 word write of the 16F877A taking 2 mS, for a average of 250 uS
per word is a far cry from the 10 mS/word of the original 16F84.

>
> It doesn't really seem as if the very simple programmers based on
> AN589 or COM84 really do anything different that the fancy-pants
> programmers, so long as you get the programming signals on the proper
> pins.  The one difference I do see is that signal timing is handled by
> the PC, which on a slow machine (or perhaps even a not so slow
> machine) is non-deterministic in a multi-tasking environment.

Right. But since it's a syncronous serial interface, the timing variability
only impacts the programming time, not the quality of the programming.

>
> It seems as if the electrical characteristics of the AN589 circuit are
> standard for all recent PICs, and it is the software dataflow that
> really determines what chips can be programmed.
>

Correct. And Microchip because of the abovementioned advances has
changed the programming algorithms significantly.

> Then there is the issue of in-circuit programming.  It seems as if
> in-circuit programming uses the same programming functions and signals
> as the "standard" programming, and doing in-circuit programming is
> more a matter of designing the embedded circuit with proper isolation
> to accept in-circuit programming.

Right. All in all it's a boon to the developer because it eliminates
the pull/program/insert/test cycle. But personally I always found it
irratating to have to play games with 3-5 interface lines on the chip
for ICSP.

>
> Now, because I'm new to this, I'm going to be doing a lot of
> re-programming on a breadboard.  (I even found my old breadboard and
> stash of old components!)  It seems silly to constantly be moving the
> PIC back and forth between the breadboard and a programmer -- at the
> very least that would involve the purchase of two ZIF sockets.

Bingo!

>  It
> would seem to make much more sense to wire the five programming pins
> from the breadboard to a socket which can then be plugged into either
> the programmer or a loopback to the breadboard.

I'll pitch another option in a sec...

>  In reality, since I
> have just one rather large board, the programmer would likely live on
> the same breadboard to start out, epsecially if it was a simple one.

A definite possibility. Another option coming.

> The advantage of this "jumper" approach seems as if would simply
> eliminate the need for all of the isolation circuitry.

Yeah, but I find that whenever there's a manual action that has to be
done between programming and execution that you get a lot of Homers
i.e. "DOH! I forget to pull/insert the jumpers."

>
> This *seems* as if it would be a very simple and elegant solution to
> development and prototyping, yet I have found only a few references to
> this method. (Wisp and TLVP) Furthermore, it seems as if this method
> will easily allow the use of the LVP, eliminating the need for the 13v
> supply & associated circuitry.

Now be aware that none of this applies to the SX. This is all PIC only.

>  Are there issues involved that I am
> missing?  Are there cases where this doesn't work?

Here's one of the options you missed: Bootloaders. Many of the current PIC
options at every level (16F819*, 16F88*, 16F877[A]*, and all 18F parts)
have the ability to write their program memory programmatically. So they
are self programmable. There are a set of tradeoffs to the process. Some
pros and cons:

PROS
----
1) You get to choose the interface. With ICSP the I/O pins required are
fixed. With a bootloader you can pick what pins and what resources you
wish to use. Many simple bootloaders use the hardware USART onboard the
part. Others, like Wouter's wloader (http://www.voti.nl/wloader) uses a
custom 1 wire serial interface where you get to pick the I/O line. Wouter's
(in ;-)famous ZPL actually uses no I/O pins! WOW!

2) Back channel debugging. You can send debugging info over the bootloader
interface.

3) Limited programming hardware. The chip is the programmer.

CONS
----
1) Takes up program memory.
2) May be slower than traditional programmer.
3) Still need a programmer to bootstrap.

Another option worth taking a look at is ICD (In Circuit Debugging). Most of
the current generation of PICs have an onboard hardware programming/debugging
interface which let's you set breakpoints, run at full speed, and gather info
in real time. On board "simulation" at full speed. Uses the same physical
interface as traditional ICSP but adds a whole lot more functionality.


>
> Right now, I'm leaning towards using Byron Jeff's design for the
> Trivial Parallel Port programmers (both the low voltage and high
> voltage varieties) due to the low component count.

Designed that way on purpose as it's a bootloader bootstrapper. Once the
bootloader is loaded, then the programmer isn't required. So I build TLVP/THVP
programmers on the fly as I need to bootstrap more chips. It's a transient
programmer.

Do watch out for the transmission line issues. Long cables are in fact
really a problem. I thought that my AC termination would solve the problem
but it really didn't work to get effect. I'm planning on testing Schotty
diode termination next.

>  If this turns out
> to be a good solution, I'll probably use pp06 for programming because
> of it's wide device support.  (That does mean I'll be writing my own
> parallel port driver, but given the modular nature of the program this
> seems trivial.)

Why your own PP driver?

>  Again, this assumes the electrical characteristics
> for the different devices is the same, and it's the format of the data
> stream to the device that determines what devices can be programmed.

That's correct. All PICs use the same physical interface (RB7 as data,
RB6 as clock, RB5/RB4/RB3 for LVP depending on the part, MCLR for reset,
and possibly power). It's the stream of bits that changes on a per part
basis. I've taken to autodetecting and autoconfigging algorithms based
on part type in my newer versions of picprg 3.0a adapted from Brian Lane's
original picprg for the 16F84.

>
> I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
> number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
> that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.  (This is the specific reason for my
> interest in PIC instead of SX!)  Although these devices are not billed
> as LVP devices, it seems as if they do not need the 13V of the more
> typical HVP devices.

For all flash parts, the high voltage is advisory. Unlike EPROM based parts
where the Vpp was actually used to program the EPROM, Vpp for flash is just a
special signal to go into high voltage programming mode. Most parts (but you
have to check the data sheet) will accept anything that's 3.5V or so over Vdd
as "high voltage" So you could in fact switch a 9V battery  or a wall wart
between 8-12V and be fine most of the time.

>  They seem to be HVP flash memory, but include an
> internal high voltage generator.

Right.

>  It seems as if anything from 8.5V to
> 13.5V will do the trick.  If I'm understanding this correctly, it
> eliminates the need for that pesky 13V source!

Right. But you'll need a voltage doubler, or something for the high voltage
which the two parts you listed requires.

>
> Many thanks in advance for any comments, advice and suggestions in
> these areas.  Confirmation of where I'm right would be appreciated as
> well as note of where I'm in error!

You're on track. Since the parts you're proposing are not in fact self
programmable you'd have to use a traditional programmer. Personally I'd
probably develop with a bootloaded 16F88 and then load into the 12F629 once I
got the code straight. But that's me.

Good to see you onboard. Good luck with your project.

BAJ
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2004\09\10@090705 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Peter Johansson wrote:
> In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
> the Microchip PIC.  I must say it has been quite an effort trying to
> figure out the product line, which chips are history, what to use
> where and so forth, but I'm beginning to see the method to the
> madness.

For a real simple starting point, get a few 18F252.  These come in hobbyist
friendly 28 pin DIP packages, have a decent amount of program memory and
RAM, and most of the non-specialized peripherals.

> The number of different PIC programmers
> alone is astounding.  And this is where I have my newbie question.

If you're comfortable scrounging parts and then building a pre-designed
circuit, check out my bare board at http://www.embedinc.com/easyprog.
Wouter and others on this list also sell programmers from full ready built
to kits with all parts.  I don't remember Wouter's URL, but I'm sure he'll
chime in here soon enough.

> I'm sure this is a FAQ, and if someone can point me to a single
> reference I'd be happy to go off and start reading.

That would be too easy.  The problem is there a lots of people with
different opinions, as you will soon see from this list.

> It seems as if the only features the fancy (i.e. expensive)
> programmers have are the ability to program everything in a single
> socket and then test the programming at multiple voltage levels, but
> it also seems as if these features aren't really necessary for the
> hobbyist.

Variable Vdd is not a necessary feature for hobbyists.  However, there are
important differences between "fancy" and "el-cheapo" programmers.  I've
heard a lot of people asking for help here with parallel port programmers.
There are issues of drivers, supply voltage, current drive, etc.

I guess it depends on how much hassle factor is worth $20.

> The speed at which the chips are programmed seems to be more a
> function of the software than the programmer itself.  Is there more
> that I'm missing here?

The maximum speed is also a function of the circuit and where the timing is
done.  If each bit is timed on the PC (I don't recommend this), then it will
be slower because such short PC timing is difficult and therefore needs to
be made more conservative.  However, I don't consider programming speed to
be a major hobbyist issue.

> It doesn't really seem as if the very simple programmers based on
> AN589 or COM84 really do anything different that the fancy-pants
> programmers, so long as you get the programming signals on the proper
> pins.  The one difference I do see is that signal timing is handled by
> the PC, which on a slow machine (or perhaps even a not so slow
> machine) is non-deterministic in a multi-tasking environment.

All communication is synchronous or requires a minimum wait time only.  An
arbitrarily long wait can be inserted at any part of the programming process
without harm.

However, keep the electrical considerations in mind.  Some of the simple
programmers play fast and loose with the programming spec in terms of Vdd
and Vpp rise time and voltage levels.  Just because you can get away with
this most of the time doesn't make it a good idea.

> Then there is the issue of in-circuit programming.  It seems as if
> in-circuit programming uses the same programming functions and signals
> as the "standard" programming, and doing in-circuit programming is
> more a matter of designing the embedded circuit with proper isolation
> to accept in-circuit programming.

True, but the programmer also needs to be tolerant of some target circuit
issues.  This is where there is substantial difference el-cheapo and real
programmers.  Even my EasyProg has limited in-circuit capability (although
better than most).  That's one reason we are coming out with the ProProg,
which is designed from the start to be a full in circuit programmer that can
source substantial Vdd current, tolerate reasonable capacitance on the power
line, deal with self powered circuits, etc.  I'm not suggesting the ProProg
as a good choice for you.  It is aimed at production test fixtures where
failure isn't tolerated and $200 is a lot cheaper than a few hours farting
around with something that works most of the time.

> Now, because I'm new to this, I'm going to be doing a lot of
> re-programming on a breadboard.  (I even found my old breadboard and
> stash of old components!)  It seems silly to constantly be moving the
> PIC back and forth between the breadboard and a programmer -- at the
> very least that would involve the purchase of two ZIF sockets.

I don't think it's that silly.  I've done this quite often with only a ZIF
socket in the programmer.  In fact, this was standard practice not too long
ago when most PICs were in sockets in the final circuit.  The circuit could
be designed without regard to in-circuit programming.

Lately, more PICs are surface mounted on the final board and then
programmed, so I use in-circuit programming more now.  This also allows for
debugging with the ICD-2, which is all around a pretty good deal for
hobbyists.  Thinking about it more, you don't need a programmer at all if
you design your circuits to be debuggable with the ICD-2, since it can also
act as a programmer.  This is probably the best way to go for hobbyists.

Just beware that the ICD-2 doesn't work with all chips.  Again, since
hobbyist means low volume by definition, stick with the 18F252 (28 pin),
18F1320 (18 pin), or 18F452 (40 pin).  An extra buck or 2 per PIC doesn't
matter when you're only buying a dozen of them.

> It
> would seem to make much more sense to wire the five programming pins
> from the breadboard to a socket which can then be plugged into either
> the programmer or a loopback to the breadboard.

Wire them to a RJ-12 connector so that you can directly plug in a ICD-2.  I
don't see the need for loopback.

> Furthermore, it seems as if this method
> will easily allow the use of the LVP, eliminating the need for the 13v
> supply & associated circuitry.  Are there issues involved that I am
> missing?  Are there cases where this doesn't work?

LVP should work most of the time, but it makes me a bit nervous.  There are
some minor restrictions.  The ICD-2 does high voltage programming.  Just put
the approriate isolation circuit on MCLR.  This is not hard to do.


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2004\09\10@093306 by Jan-Erik Soderholm
face picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote :

> Peter Johansson wrote:
>
> >  They [PIC12Fxxx] seem to be HVP flash memory, but
> > include an internal high voltage generator.
>
> Right.

Do they ?
I didn't know that.
I thougt they needed an external high voltage to program
just as any other PIC...

Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\10@093753 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
> the Microchip PIC.  I must say it has been quite an effort trying to
> figure out the product line, which chips are history, what to use
> where and so forth, but I'm beginning to see the method to the
> madness.

did you read http://www.voti.nl/swp? You did find the Wisp628, so you
probably have.

> It seems as if the only features the fancy (i.e. expensive)
> (snip)  
> Is there more that I'm missing here?

Good summary.

> It doesn't really seem as if the very simple programmers based on
> AN589 or COM84 really do anything different that the fancy-pants
> programmers, so long as you get the programming signals on the proper
> pins.

If you can get it to work the simple proggers are OK, but when you have
spend a few weekends without success that's a very big 'if'. OTOH it can
save you some money. And serial/parallel port bit-fiddeling progger
software can be a PITA on NT/XP type systems.

> It seems as if the electrical characteristics of the AN589 circuit are
> standard for all recent PICs, and it is the software dataflow that
> really determines what chips can be programmed.

correct

> Then there is the issue of in-circuit programming.  It seems as if
> in-circuit programming uses the same programming functions and signals
> as the "standard" programming, and doing in-circuit programming is
> more a matter of designing the embedded circuit with proper isolation
> to accept in-circuit programming.

It is also a matter of having a progger that can handle the higher load
likely to be present when a target chip is programmed in-circuit.

> This *seems* as if it would be a very simple and elegant solution to
> development and prototyping, yet I have found only a few references to
> this method. (Wisp and TLVP) Furthermore, it seems as if this method
> will easily allow the use of the LVP, eliminating the need for the 13v
> supply & associated circuitry.  Are there issues involved that I am
> missing?  Are there cases where this doesn't work?

when it does not work this is mostly due to a too feeble drive of the
programming pins.

> Right now, I'm leaning towards using Byron Jeff's design for the

fine, as long as
- you use part that are LVP (12F629 etc are not!)
- you don't need the LVP pin (it is claimed by the LVP feature)

> number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit

Note that to (re)program this part with /MCLR configured as Input pin
you will need to power cycle the chip as part of the programming
process, this is an extra design thing for ICSP.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\09\10@094402 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Any PIC with a PGM pin can be programmed with just Vdd (no high voltage Vpp
supply required), as long as the configuration fuses allow LVP (low voltage
programming).

Regards

Mike

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2004\09\10@101113 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote :

{Quote hidden}

Yes, of course.
But note the context the original question was asked in. See below.
I read that as that the 12Fxxx series could do *HVP*
without the need of an *external* HV source since they
had an "internal high voltage generator".

Byron replied "Right.", which I'm not sure is correct.

Note that we are talking about the 12Fxxx series that don't
even do LVP, as far as I know.

Regards,
Jan-Erik.

Original post :

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\10@112252 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
All modern PICs have an internal high voltage generator for programming
flash. The MCLR/Vpp pin simply provides a trigger when brought to Vpp to put
the chip in programming mode. The power for programming is *not* obtained
from the MCLR/Vpp pin.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

{Original Message removed}

2004\09\10@115551 by Bob Blick

face picon face

> I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
> number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
> that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.  (This is the specific reason for my
> interest in PIC instead of SX!)

How do you plan to debug? "Burn and Crash" gets old real quick.

That's why people frequently gravitate to an ICD or RS232 bootloader.

You can use a PIC that works with ICD or one with serial port + self
programming. After you've gotten the thing working, you can put your
program into a 16F630 or whatever target you like.

Personally I like to use a bootloader and debug through the serial port,
others prefer using an ICD.

Cheerful regards,

Bob





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2004\09\10@124951 by Jason Harper

picon face
Peter Johansson wrote:
> I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
> number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
> that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.  (This is the specific reason for my
> interest in PIC instead of SX!)  Although these devices are not billed
> as LVP devices, it seems as if they do not need the 13V of the more
> typical HVP devices.

There are no LVP PICs in 8 or 14 pin packages, since LVP makes one of
your I/O pins completely useless except for programming - that's too
much of a loss in a small package.

If you want really cheap, simple PICs, Microchip has recently announced
Flash versions of several low-end (12 bit) parts - 12F508, 16F54/57,
16F505, etc.  Low cost is their only reason for existance.  Not sure if
they're yet available in quantity, however.  And if you want REALLY
simple PICs, there's the upcoming 6-pin 10Fxxx series...

ICSP programming is definitely the way to go, if you can arrange for the
relevant pins to not be actively driven by the rest of the circuit.
Actually, I'd say that the ultimate PIC programming environment (short
of a $2000+ ICE setup) would be the ICD2, which gives you single-step
debugging for certain devices using the same 5-wire connection as ICSP -
and it works just as well as an ICSP programmer if you don't happen to
have any bugs to find.  The basic ICD2 kit is about $160 from Microchip,
and there are some cheaper clones available now.  Just be sure to check
the device compatibility list, it doesn't support any older PICs (not
even the venerable 16F84, but that can only be regarded as a feature).

Another popular programming technique, which has never really appealed
to me, is to use a bootloader.  This is a program that is loaded into
the PIC once with a conventional programmer (taking perhaps 256 words of
program memory), and then allows reprogramming over a simpler interface.
There's even a bootloader out there that uses no I/O pins at all - the
data is communicated entirely via the reset pin!  Note that a bootloader
requires a PIC with the ability to write to its own Flash memory - this
rules out all current PICs with less than 18 pins, and almost all of the
18 pin ones.
       Jason Harper
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2004\09\10@132055 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Bob Ammerman wrote :

> All modern PICs have an internal high voltage generator for
> programming flash. The MCLR/Vpp pin simply provides a
> trigger when brought to Vpp to put the chip in programming
> mode. The power for programming is *not* obtained from
> the MCLR/Vpp pin.

OK, fine.
Anyway, that doesn't make the **12F's** any different
then just about any other (modern) flash PIC, which was the
point (as I understod it) of the original post on this specific
topic. The 12F's does not have some "special" internal HV
generator that make the external HV obsolete. Some other
replies on this issue could make you believe so, IMHO.

Regards,
Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\10@150549 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 03:33:05PM +0200, Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> Byron A Jeff wrote :
>
> > Peter Johansson wrote:
> >
> > >  They [PIC12Fxxx] seem to be HVP flash memory, but
> > > include an internal high voltage generator.
> >
> > Right.
>
> Do they ?

Yes.

> I didn't know that.

> I thougt they needed an external high voltage to program
> just as any other PIC...

They do. But as I stated, it's a high voltage signal, not a
high voltage drive. If you check the data sheets you'll
see that the Vpp current requirement is something like 100 uA
which certainly isn't enough to actually do any programming.

Microchip deicded with the smaller than 18 pin parts that it
wasn't worth it to dedicate a whole I/O pin for LVP. But the
structure is the same as the larger flash chips which do have
LVP.

BAJ
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2004\09\10@151352 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 03:37:51PM +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Right now, I'm leaning towards using Byron Jeff's design for the
>
> fine, as long as
> - you use part that are LVP (12F629 etc are not!)
> - you don't need the LVP pin (it is claimed by the LVP feature)

I have an HVP version too:

http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys/proghvp.html

It just adds the HVP switch and requires a 13V supply.

I'll be the first to admit that it isn't perfect because there's
no way to use it ICSP without adding a second high side switch
and a 5V pullup. But remember that the Trivial programmer's
primary function is to serve as a bootloader bootstrapper. So unlike
the Wisp628, which is a much much better overall programmer, it doesn't
have all the extra amenities.

>
> > number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
>
> Note that to (re)program this part with /MCLR configured as Input pin
> you will need to power cycle the chip as part of the programming
> process, this is an extra design thing for ICSP.

IIRC you simply shorted the Vdd right? I guess the right way to do it
is to have a logic level MOSFET as a switch between +5 and Vdd on the PIC

BAJ
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2004\09\10@152927 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 04:11:11PM +0200, Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I then qualified that the Vpp is a high voltage signal and unlike
EPROM based parts do not require any current. I just checked the
progspec for the 12F6XX parts and the Vpp range is Vdd+3.5V to
13.5V. So in theory you could program with only 8V.

>
> Note that we are talking about the 12Fxxx series that don't
> even do LVP, as far as I know.

No the don't. But the question was phased to indicate that the
programming voltage is generated internally. It is. However you
still need the high voltage signal in order to get to chip into
programming mode. Note the "anything from 8.5V to 13.5V will
do the trick."

BAJ

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\10@153030 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 08:55:48AM -0700, Bob Blick wrote:
>
> > I do have a specific project in mind which will require a fairly large
> > number of simple PICs, and it looks like the 12F629/16F630 will fit
> > that bill at $1.60/$1.80ea.  (This is the specific reason for my
> > interest in PIC instead of SX!)
>
> How do you plan to debug? "Burn and Crash" gets old real quick.
>
> That's why people frequently gravitate to an ICD or RS232 bootloader.
>
> You can use a PIC that works with ICD or one with serial port + self
> programming. After you've gotten the thing working, you can put your
> program into a 16F630 or whatever target you like.
>
> Personally I like to use a bootloader and debug through the serial port,

as do I.

BAJ

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2004\09\10@155846 by Peter Johansson

flavicon
face
Less than 24 hours ago, I wrote:

> Greetings all!  I was an electronics hobbyist back in the late '70s
> and early '80s but have been pretty much a software guy since then.  A
> few weeks back I stumbled onto the SX and was shocked that nowadays a
> 50 MIPS microcontroller can be had for five bucks.  I immediately went
> out and popped for the SX-tech tool kit.  It should be arriving any
> day now.
>
> In the meantime, I've been researching other microcontrollers, mostly
> the Microchip PIC.  [ ... ]

First off, many *many* thanks to everyone who responded.  I don't
think I have *ever* gotten so many in-depth replies in such a short
time before!  You have filled in all the missing pieces for me!

In some sense, a funny story from my childhood has repeated itself.
My interest in electronics started when I was in the third grade,
circa 1976 and my only source of information was the elementary school
library.  The electronics section contained some 20 books, most of
which were donated by a single person.  They were all written between
the late '40s and early '60s.  In some of the books, the only
semi-conductor was the cat's whisker.  Some others contained
information about diodes and transistors in the conclusing chapters.
I specifically remember the following line from one of the books, "If
you are fortunate enough to be able to obtain a transistor, here is a
circuit you can build."  As you can imagine, I was quite confused when
I walked into Radio Shack and a mixed lot of of a dozen transistors
was two bucks and the cheapest vacuum tube was $10 and they went up in
price from there!  A few months later I got one of the 150-in-1
project kits (how many of y'all still have yours?) but it was probably
a good year or more before before I realized the humor of the
situation.

The same thing has now been repeated with the PIC 16C84 -- much more
capable devices are now available at lower prices.  I had a notion of
this, but the full extent only just became apparent.  I also only just
realized that what made this chip so popular was that it was the only
inexpensive chip to have EEPROM memory, while nearly everything these
days uses flash memory.

But back to the issue of programming...

In summary, there is absolutely no need for a fancy programmer, yet at
the same time bit banging on the parallel port really isn't worthwhile
for anything but bootstrapping your first PIC.  In my mind, the
optimal programmer for the hobbyist is a PIC driven by serial control,
such as the Wisp628.

However, after researching ICD2 clones (as someone suggested) I
discovered the Olimex ICD2 clone which can both program and debug
PICs, interfaces directly with MPLAB, and has both serial and USB
interfaces.  At $90 assembled and tested, this isn't substantially
more than the Wisp, not to mention that it provides debugging which
I'll probably want anyhow.  This seems like a real no-brainer, and In
retrospect, this is what I probably should have purchased instead of
the Ubicom SX toolkit to get started with.  As it is, my
microcontroller toolbox will merely be filling up faster than I had
initially intended.  ;-)

Does anyone have any experience with the Olimex ICD2?  Are there any
other ICD2 clones worth considering?  Any other comments before I just
go out and order one?  ;-)

-p.
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2004\09\10@161302 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote :

> I then qualified that the Vpp is a high voltage signal and unlike
> EPROM based parts do not require any current.

Hi.
Noone have ever mentioned EPROMs in this thread. Where
did they come from ?

The actual context was the 12Fxxx PICs compaired with the
*other* Flash PICs. I didn't know there was any differens
(in this regard).

The O.P. wrote :

> Although these devices [12Fxxx] are not billed
> as LVP devices, it seems as if they do not need the 13V
> of the more typical HVP devices.  They seem to be HVP
> flash memory, but include an internal high voltage generator.
> If I'm understanding this correctly, it eliminates the need for
> that pesky 13V source!

I still think that is a statement based on a missunderstanding
of the 12Fxxx data sheet. I don't think the 12F's are any
different then any other (modern) Flash PICs in this regards
(the need for a high voltage source/signal to use HVP).

Or are they ?

Jan-Erik.
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2004\09\10@164515 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> it was the only
> inexpensive chip to have EEPROM memory, while nearly everything these
> days uses flash memory.

Actually EEPROM and FLASH is the same thing, from the users perspective.
What made the 16C84 popular is that it was the first electrically
reprogrammeable microcontroller, and it remained so for quite a long
time. And you could actually buy it at quantity 1.

> In my mind, the
> optimal programmer for the hobbyist is a PIC driven by serial control,
> such as the Wisp628.
>
> At $90 assembled and tested, this isn't substantially
> more than the Wisp

Well, about twice the price, but if you want the debugging capabilities
is seems like a good buy.

> Does anyone have any experience with the Olimex ICD2?  Are there any
> other ICD2 clones worth considering?  Any other comments before I just
> go out and order one?  ;-)

I don't mind losing some sales to them, and they make the PCBs and
(partly) assembled Wisp628's for me, so I'd like the to stay in
buisiness :)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\09\10@171055 by Andrew Warren

flavicon
face
Wouter van Ooijen <piclistspamspam_OUTmit.edu> wrote:

> What made the 16C84 popular is that it was the first electrically
> reprogrammeable microcontroller

   Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable _PIC_,
   but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers long
   before the 16C84.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren -- @spam@aiwKILLspamspamcypress.com
=== Principal Design Engineer
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
===
=== Opinions expressed above do not
=== necessarily represent those of
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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2004\09\10@174611 by tom_mcgahee

face picon face
I own an OLIMEX ICD2 and have found it to be as advertised.
Be aware that it comes with NO documentation of its own.
They assume you will download all the stuff about the
MicroChip ICD2 from their website.

It truly is a drop-in replacement. It would have been nice
if OLIMEX had included a few pages of information to help
the user get started. For example, there are two 6 pin
male headers on the board. The one closest to the USB
connector is the one you use. The other one appears to be
an ICSP connector for in-house programming of the on-board
PIC located on the ICD2.

I also discovered that the cable pin marked with the triangle
was NOT the pin 1 I thought it was, but rather pin 6.
Luckily I figured that out BEFORE I used it. A little following
of the traces showed which ones were +5 and Ground, and
once I knew that I was able to figure out what was going on.

I built mine into a plastic box from RadioShack to help protect
it. I included a 9 VAC 300 ma transformer inside the case, since
the +5 from the USB is limited. (I have only used the USB, so
cannot comment on the serial port interface). I included a
pushbutton on/off switch and indicator light to tell me when
I had the transformer powered on. You must allow Windows to
boot up BEFORE turning on the transformer.

I also have a DPST switch connected that switches the CLOCK and
DATA lines from the ICD2. After programming a PIC I can then
disconnect the CLOCK and DATA lines. This provides complete
isolation of these lines between the circuit under test and the
ICD2. I am thinking of adding a switch for the MCLR line also,
but haven't done that yet.

I use 3 small sections of clear acrylic rod 1/8" thick as light
rods so I can see the three small LEDs on the ICD2 inside the
case. All components mount on the COVER of the plastic case.
Slots are cut into the shell of the plastic case to allow
for power, signal lines, and the USB cable. I am quite pleased
with the final result.

Fr. Tom McGahee


>{Original Message removed}

2004\09\10@175910 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 10:13:01PM +0200, Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> Byron A Jeff wrote :
>
> > I then qualified that the Vpp is a high voltage signal and unlike
> > EPROM based parts do not require any current.
>
> Hi.
> Noone have ever mentioned EPROMs in this thread. Where
> did they come from ?

The OP alluded to it when he referred to that pesky 13V source
below. Original EPROM PICs actually required that voltage at
a rather substantial current (50ma IIRC). It carried over to
the 16C84 then the 16F84. But as the Flash chips came into
promenince, the voltage became simply a signal.

>
> The actual context was the 12Fxxx PICs compaired with the
> *other* Flash PICs. I didn't know there was any differens
> (in this regard).

There aren't. That's the point. Any current flash PIC can
be pushed into HVP with a Vdd+3.5V signal. So the 13V nominal
value isn't required anymore.

BAJ
{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\10@180025 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Peter Johansson wrote:

>
>Does anyone have any experience with the Olimex ICD2?  Are there any
>other ICD2 clones worth considering?  Any other comments before I just
>go out and order one?  ;-)
>
>  
>
Take a look at the serial ICD2 clone from WWW.MCU.CZ. You can buy  a
blank PCB for $12 USD plus shipping
and build it yourself. I paid less than $50 USD ea for the 3 I built.
Already populated, I think they are $65 USD + S/H.
Works like an ICD2 in serial mode, but I use a USB to RS232 adaptor (a
VCP) and for some reason, speeds
everything up dramatically.

--Bob

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2004\09\10@180203 by Peter Johansson

flavicon
face
Jan-Erik Soderholm writes:

> The O.P. wrote :
>
> > Although these devices [12Fxxx] are not billed
> > as LVP devices, it seems as if they do not need the 13V
> > of the more typical HVP devices.  They seem to be HVP
> > flash memory, but include an internal high voltage generator.
> > If I'm understanding this correctly, it eliminates the need for
> > that pesky 13V source!
>
> I still think that is a statement based on a missunderstanding
> of the 12Fxxx data sheet. I don't think the 12F's are any
> different then any other (modern) Flash PICs in this regards
> (the need for a high voltage source/signal to use HVP).

Well, I'm the OP, the newbie, so you should take those statements with
a grain of salt!  Those comments were made after reading the
"PIC12F629/75/PIC16F630/76 Memory Programming Specification"
(41191C.pdf on the microchip website.)

Specifically, note 1 at the bottom of page 2:

Note 1: In the PIC12F629/75/PIC16F630/76, the programming high voltage
is internally generated. To activate the Programming mode, high
voltage needs to be applied to the MCLR input. Since the MCLR is used
for a level source, the MCLR does not draw any significant current.

And then from interpretation of the table on page 20:

Sym   Characteristics            min          max     units

VIHH  High voltage on MCLR for   VDD + 3.5    13.5    V
     Programming mode entry

Now, my interpretation of Note 1 is that internally VDD is raised to
the necessary programming voltage for flash memory.  My guess is that
if this can be done on the most inexpensive chips in the line, it
would be something they would use across the line of modern units.

-p.
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2004\09\10@181329 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 10, 2004, at 12:58 PM, Peter Johansson wrote:

> I specifically remember the following line from one of the books, "If
> you are fortunate enough to be able to obtain a transistor, here is a
> circuit you can build."  As you can imagine, I was quite confused when
> I walked into Radio Shack and a mixed lot of of a dozen transistors
> was two bucks and the cheapest vacuum tube was $10 and they went up in
> price from there!

I had a similar revelation WRT ICs.  I had read all these project books
based on transistors, with an occasional IC project.  My local dealers
had only transistors, at rather high prices (anyone remember
laffeyete(sp?)?),
so of course I assumed that the IC projects were completely out of my
reach.
I got a real shock when I go ahold of some hobbyist magazines and
notice that
there were dealers selling ICs for about $0.20; far less than I was
expecting
to pay for a single transistor :-)

BillW

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2004\09\10@203230 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face

Regarding Vpp programming currents:
-----------------------------------

Most, but not all current flash memory MCUs use Enhanced Flash. One current
and notable exception that comes to mind is the PIC18FX490/X410 family. It
uses the *older* standard Flash and its Vpp programming current requirements
are 100 mA (milliamps) maximum. With all of the Enhanced Flash PIC18F MCUs
that I've seen thus far, this same parameter is 300 uA (microamps) maximum.

In addition, the PIC18FX490/X410 family Vpp minimum/maximum programming
voltage is a bit narrow compared to its Enhanced Flash counterparts: 10 V to
12 V with respect to ground. This a big deviation from the usual enhanced
flash PIC18F MCUs' Vpp minimum/maximum programming voltage (9 V to 13.25 V
with respect to ground).

But, there is a reason as Microchip explained to me, so this (higher Vpp
programming requirements on the PIC18FX490/X410 family) most likely will not
be a trend. They told me that standard Flash memory is just more suitable
for implementing the LCD driver circuits on the PIC18F8490 than Enhanced
Flash. In addition they said that in Standard Flash parts, the supply for
erase/program is drawn from Vpp pin. In Enhanced Flash parts it drawn from
Vdd pin, hence the difference in specifications.

Best regards,

Ken Pergola


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2004\09\11@011238 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>     Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable _PIC_,
>     but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers long
>     before the 16C84.

Interesting! Can you name them, and were the realy available to the
small-quantity buyer?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\09\11@011238 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face

> Most, but not all current flash memory MCUs use Enhanced
> Flash. One current
> and notable exception that comes to mind is the
> PIC18FX490/X410 family.

are there any other exceptions?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\09\11@015342 by Don Taylor

flavicon
face

Peter Johansson wrote:
>Does anyone have any experience with the Olimex ICD2?  Are there any
>other ICD2 clones worth considering?  Any other comments before I just
>go out and order one?  ;-)

Wasn't the original ICD2 offered at a bargain price recently?
Some kind of promotion I think?  Or has that offer expired?
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2004\09\11@020354 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> are there any other exceptions?

Hi Wouter,

I would not be surprised if there are others in the future, but that's the
only subset of the PIC18F family that I'm aware of at this time that
requires up to 100 mA of Vpp current. This is based upon what I've seen in
the publicly available PIC18F programming specifications. I verified with
Microchip that that figure of 100 milliamps maximum for the PIC18FX490/X410
is not a typographical error. It's because those devices use standard (not
enhanced) flash memory.

Unless device programmers can supply up to 100 mA of Vpp current it makes it
difficult to support the PIC18FX490/X410 devices and comply with the
PIC18FX490/X410 programming specification if the device programmer was
designed for the Vpp requirements of Enhanced Flash PIC18F parts.

I'm questioning whether the Microchip ICD 2 will be able to support these
parts with regard to the Vpp programming current requirement and the
narrower Vpp programming voltage window -- I'll have to look into this at
some time in the future -- it looks like beta support is available at this
time with MPLAB IDE v6.61. The Microchip ICD 2 would have to keep the target
Vpp programming voltage between 10 volts and 12 volts -- this should not be
a problem due to the ICD 2's internal digital potentiometer. I'm just not
sure at this time if the ICD 2 can supply up to 100 mA of Vpp current.

Best regards,

Ken Pergola


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2004\09\11@025406 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On Friday 10 September 2004 10:12 pm, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> >     Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable _PIC_,
> >     but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers long
> >     before the 16C84.
>
> Interesting! Can you name them, and were the realy available to the
> small-quantity buyer?

Would the pic16c83 count as coming before the pic16c84?   ;-)

I missed some of the conversation, but ...otherwise, does the motorola
mc68hc811 series count?
The A was limited in space to about 512 bytes of space.
E2 had about 2k worth of space.
It was possible to program them via RS232 if you made your own 12v to 5v
converter dongle. :-)
Was sort of hard to get secure versions.  :-(
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2004\09\11@033420 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I missed some of the conversation, but ...otherwise, does the
> motorola mc68hc811 series count?

If it was electrically re-programmable and available before the 16x84
was, yes. Do you have date iformation? Does anyone know when the 16x84
(or 83) was first available?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\09\11@085856 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bob,

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 00:17:24 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:

> My lot in life seems to be designing Law Enforcement products, i.e.
> video surveillance systems,
> etc. Its somewhat sleazy, but somebody has to do it.

Well as long as we don't get caught by speed cameras designed by you, we'll still talk to you  :-)))

>...<

> For development, Microchip's ICD2 is excellent at about $150 USD, but I
> like an RS232 clone made
> by  http://www.mcu.cz; I own 3 of them and they cost only about $55 USD.

As a matter of interest, why would you want 3 of the same programmer?  Surely they are quick enough that you
wouldn't need to overlap programming three chips at once, would you?

I seem to have accumulated a whole lot of *different* programmers, which have different pros and cons, but one
day I'll build something useful instead (I'm sure building programmers is a displacement activity for me! :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\11@092219 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 12:09 AM 9/11/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>On Friday 10 September 2004 10:12 pm, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > >     Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable _PIC_,
> > >     but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers long
> > >     before the 16C84.
> >
> > Interesting! Can you name them, and were the realy available to the
> > small-quantity buyer?
>
>Would the pic16c83 count as coming before the pic16c84?   ;-)
>
>I missed some of the conversation, but ...otherwise, does the motorola
>mc68hc811 series count?
>The A was limited in space to about 512 bytes of space.
>E2 had about 2k worth of space.
>It was possible to program them via RS232 if you made your own 12v to 5v
>converter dongle. :-)
>Was sort of hard to get secure versions.  :-(

There was an (expensive, small memory size) 6805 variant from Motorola with
EEPROM at a time when Microchip only had crummy 12-bit cores and OTP. Of
course, OTP CMOS is what made
Microchip a success- they sold it cheap (and plentiful) in plastic packages
before anyone else- priced for mainstream production rather than just
specialized applications and prototyping. Even though their CPU was not
really in the same class as existing micros at the time.

Nowadays, the cost of the core itself is becoming less of a factor in the
$5+ range especially. Here's the blurb on the synthesizable core used
in the Philips ARM parts:

http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/ARM7TDMIS.html

only 0.32mm^2 of silicon required with a 0.13u process, and 100+ MHz
operation...
and that's a 32-bit core that does a multiply-accumulate fast (like a fixed
point DSP, y'know)...

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




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2004\09\11@095649 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>Bob,
>
>On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 00:17:24 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
>
>  
>
>>My lot in life seems to be designing Law Enforcement products, i.e.
>>video surveillance systems,
>>etc. Its somewhat sleazy, but somebody has to do it.
>>    
>>
>
>Well as long as we don't get caught by speed cameras designed by you, we'll still talk to you  :-)))
>
>  
>
I don't design those, although I HAVE found some flaws in other designs..

{Quote hidden}

I have a product in development that has 4 PICs running in a 2-pin
clocked serial bus. I ran into problems deciding who did the evil  deed.
Unless  you can
catch it, you can't fix it. I can see which guy sent the data, and I can
see which guy hung the bus. The third one is being loaned to a contract
programmer.

>I seem to have accumulated a whole lot of *different* programmers, which have different pros and cons, but one
>day I'll build something useful instead (I'm sure building programmers is a displacement activity for me! :-)
>
>Cheers,
>
>
>  
>
I have a box full of 'em. If I every have time to go fishing, I'll use
them as boat anchors.

If I'd had the money I spent on those things, I could have afforded
another marriage and divorce.


--Bob

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\11@110745 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> Does anyone know when the 16x84 (or 83) was first available?

Hi Wouter,

If I remember correctly, the PIC16C83 was released *after* the PIC16C84 came
out, not before. I'm sure someone will correct me on this if I don't have my
facts straight.

This does not directly answer your question, but the oldest PIC16C84 MCUs in
my PIC antique collection I have are marked 9411 (11th week of 1994). This
does not mean that this date is when the first production parts were
released however -- it could have been much earlier in time. In addition,
these are not engineering samples -- engineering samples would have been
released before production parts. Unfortunately, I do not have engineering
samples (ES) of the PIC16C84 to check their dates.

Have you checked the Microchip press release archives on their web site?
It's a great and fun place to look through the history of Microchip.

Best regards,

Ken Pergola


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2004\09\11@120508 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Howard Winter wrote:
> As a matter of interest, why would you want 3 of the same programmer?
> Surely they are quick enough that you wouldn't need to overlap
> programming three chips at once, would you?

I can't speak for Bob, but we have 2 ICE-2000 and 4 ICD-2 around here.  At
some point or other we had enough overlapping projects of the right type
going on that were simultaneously debugging enough PICs to require that.  At
$80 per ICD-2 (gold level consultants get 60% off), it's a no brainer if you
even *think* you might need it.

As for pure programmers, we've got plenty of EasyProgs at various revisions
floating around and a few ProProgs are staring to join them (we get a good
deal on those too ;-) ).


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com
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2004\09\11@181359 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 11, 2004, at 6:34 AM, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

>> >       Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable
>> _PIC_,
>> > >     but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers
>> long
>> > >     before the 16C84.
>>
I'm having trouble coming up with any, too.  But then I'm also noticing
that
the 16C84 came out later than I remembered (it's not in my 92 databook.)

Do you count the motorola chips with EEPROM?  They weren't REALLY EEPROM
microcontrollers in the same sense as the 18c84; they had rom or OTPROM
as
their "main" memory, and had a relatively small amount of EEPROM that
just
happened to be in the same address space as program memory and could
store
programs.  I suspect motorola was surprised when people (MIT robot lab)
started using the EEPROM as THE program area.

And just where DOES one find a timeline of computer history that
includes
individual chips (w speed grades, I guess) and microcontrollers?  
Probably
a worthwhile project, probably already done...

BillW

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2004\09\11@182756 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 11, 2004, at 8:07 AM, Ken Pergola wrote:

>
>> Does anyone know when the 16x84 (or 83) was first available?
>
>
From microchip, of all places.  Searched for 16c84 and found the
following
in the 'press releases' segment of the results:

CHANDLER, Ariz., (March 16, 1993) -- Microchip Technology Inc. has
released its new PIC16C84, a small footprint, wide voltage, high speed
8-bit microcontroller with on-chip EEPROM. The midrange PIC16C84
contains 1K x 14 bits of EEPROM program memory, 64 bytes of EEPROM data
memory and 36 x 8 general purpose SRAM

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2004\09\11@184825 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face

Re: Does anyone know when the 16x84 (or 83) was first available?

Hi Bill,

That was Wouter's question, not mine. I suggested that he search the
Microchip press release archives. I'm glad you found the press release
information though. :)

Best regards,

Ken Pergola



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2004\09\11@212442 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bob,

PIC programmers...

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 06:56:41 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:

> I have a box full of 'em. If I every have time to go
fishing, I'll use
> them as boat anchors.
>
> If I'd had the money I spent on those things, I could
have afforded
> another marriage and divorce.

I think you made the right decision!  :-)))

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\12@194522 by Steve Mercer

flavicon
face
Peter

I am in exactly the same boat as you. I got into electronics when I
was 11 (1972) and moved into software when my career took off. I am a
newbie with PIC's just like you. During this time I was on a stable
diet of Electronics Australia and Electronics Today International
(Bought at great cost from Australia whilst I was living in New
Zealand).

I spent a fair bit of time researching all the programmers and
learning systems on the market and finally decided on the EasyPIC2
from <http://www.mikroelektronika.co.yu/>. This board has pretty much
everything on board that you would want for learning to program
PIC's. I use it extensively to test out my designs. It's extremely
easy to use - just plug in a USB cable and it springs to life. I can
hook up a serial port to it as well and check out the serial
capabilities of the PIC. It even comes with a PIC16F877! All the
ports come out to pin headers at the edge of the board and I have
these connected to my breadboards. I have found the board, software
and manuals supplied by this company very professional and well worth
the cost (US$114). If there is one critique it would be that English
is their second language and some of the text on site is not quite
correct (but it is close enough for me) - it is still completely
understandable though.

I do not get paid by this company - I am just a very satisfied owner.

I just thought I would give you another option if you don't want to
fiddle with setting up your own programmer.




Best Regards






Steve


>Many thanks in advance for any comments, advice and suggestions in
>these areas.  Confirmation of where I'm right would be appreciated as
>well as note of where I'm in error!
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2004\09\12@204414 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 12, 2004, at 4:45 PM, Steve Mercer wrote:

> <http://www.mikroelektronika.co.yu/>. This board has pretty much
> everything on board that you would want for learning to program
> PIC's. I use it extensively to test out my designs.

Maybe too much.  It doesn't look like it leaves a lot of room for
hardware creativity, which MIGHT the area where a software geek most
needs to expand their knowledge...

BillW

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2004\09\12@211556 by Steve Mercer

flavicon
face
>On Sep 12, 2004, at 4:45 PM, Steve Mercer wrote:
>
>><http://www.mikroelektronika.co.yu/>. This board has pretty much
>>everything on board that you would want for learning to program
>>PIC's. I use it extensively to test out my designs.
>
>Maybe too much.  It doesn't look like it leaves a lot of room for
>hardware creativity, which MIGHT the area where a software geek most
>needs to expand their knowledge...

Bill

All the ports come out to pin headers on the edge of the board. I
have these connected to pins on my breadboard and can do a lot of
hardware experimentation. The great thing is that I can just work on
the hardware I need to interface to - the LED's, buttons, 7-Segment
displays, LCD and serial port are already in place on the main board!
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2004\09\12@220929 by Peter Johansson

flavicon
face
Steve Mercer writes:

> I spent a fair bit of time researching all the programmers and
> learning systems on the market and finally decided on the EasyPIC2

I just checked that out and I must say it is a *very* nice little
package they have there.  The only thing they are missing is a
breadboard!  I'm sure most people who get one will just wind up
mounting it on a base along with a breadboard.  ;-)

However, I've been playing my SX-Tool kit and after working with the
in-circuit debugger there is no question that I want an in-circuit
debugger for the PICs as well!  That clinches my decision to go with
the ICD2, and I'll probably go with the Olimex clone unless I can find
the original for something close in price.  Somebody mentioned a
promotional special, but the best price I've found so far for the
Microchip original is $160.

-p.
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2004\09\13@194350 by Andrew Warren

flavicon
face
Wouter van Ooijen <TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu> wrote:

> > Well, no... The 16C84 was the first electrically-erasable _PIC_,
> > but there were other electrically-erasable microcontrollers long
> > before the 16C84.
>
> Interesting! Can you name them, and were the realy available to the
> small-quantity buyer?

   Sure:  I still have a couple tubes of (and emulators for)
   Motorola MC68HC805C4 microcontrollers; they have 4K of EEPROM
   program memory and were available years before the 16C84.

   They were expensive, but not hugely more so than
   similarly-powerful UV-erasable microcontrollers of the time.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren -- RemoveMEaiwspamTakeThisOuTcypress.com
=== Principal Design Engineer
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
===
=== Opinions expressed above do not
=== necessarily represent those of
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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2004\09\13@202815 by Ken Pergola

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Andrew Warren wrote:

>     Sure:  I still have a couple tubes of (and emulators for)
>     Motorola MC68HC805C4 microcontrollers; they have 4K of EEPROM
>     program memory and were available years before the 16C84.


Here's a Motorola patent link for the MC68HC805C4 filed on September 30,
1985:

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4752871.html


Best regards,

Ken Pergola


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2004\09\13@231223 by Jose Da Silva

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On Saturday 11 September 2004 12:34 am, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > I missed some of the conversation, but ...otherwise, does the
> > motorola mc68hc811 series count?
>
> If it was electrically re-programmable and available before the 16x84
> was, yes. Do you have date iformation?

It was created after the 6805 series so it is likely the 6805 wins 1st on the
eeprom arena unless the intel 8051 series was there 1st.

Got  a couple of 68hc811a1fn dated 9001 - has 512bytes of eeprom
and some 68hc811e2fn dated 9320 - with 2k of eeprom.
...these are normal production chips, not engineering samples.

Mitsubishi was creating an equivalent 63 version based on the 6811 by this
point in time.
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