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'[PIC] Re: winpic800 and propic2'
2006\04\29@095405 by David Segonds

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face
Hi Ramzi,


> I'm new to PICs and I'm facing a problem programming the 16f84a PIC:
> I built a paralel port programmer which is compatible with the ProPic2
> hardware
> I used the Winpic800 software, but when I read the PIC, I get at address 0
> (program code) the value of the device ID (0x0560) and I can't program any
> hex file since I must first write to the reset address (0x0)
> I tried the 16f648a pic, and the problem was the same
> Does anyone have any clues what is wrong??.

I am also new to PICs. I have been using those for only a month with
little prior experience with electrical engineering. I started by
building my own programmer using a PCB found in a book ("El Cheapo"
programmer).

Using this home made programmer, I realized that it was difficult to
program a 16f84a and
it had the type of problems you are experiencing where I got all kind
of errors trying first to talk to the parallel ports as specific
drivers are needed and then I had to try to power and connect the
programmer in different order. With great difficulty, I was able to
make it work on Linux and Windows.

Then, I moved to the 16f628a because my programmer could theoretically
program it and I needed PWM to produce sound on a small speaker. It
was impossible for me to program that chip with my home made
programmer. The "El Cheapo" could program 16f628 but not 16f628a.

I am just letting you know all this to express the type of frustration
you may or have already encountered.

In the end, I purchased a USB programmer on EBay for $US 47 shipping
included and since then, I no longer have any problem programming
chips (Except the one I toasted by mistake by applying 9V or reversing
polarity).

The big lesson for me was two folds:

- Home made parallel programmer are crap and you can find good working
programmer supporting many chips out there.
- The 16f84a is 3 times more expensive than the 16f628a that has more features.
- Most books and information on the Internet is outdated and does not
take into account "new" things like USB and more modern chips
manufactured by Microchip.

I am aware that I did not address directly your problem but given
similar problems I was experiencing, I at least exposed my
solutions...

Sincerely,
David.
--
David Segonds
PGP: 1F7A3E7A Finger: 9949 521B 1B39 CE5A E193  FC49 866A 1255 1F7A 3E7A

2006\04\29@101317 by olin piclist

face picon face
David Segonds wrote:
> The big lesson for me was two folds:
>
> - Home made parallel programmer are crap and you can find good working
> programmer supporting many chips out there.
> - The 16f84a is 3 times more expensive than the 16f628a that has more
> features.
> - Most books and information on the Internet is outdated and does not
> take into account "new" things like USB and more modern chips
> manufactured by Microchip.

Right.  All of which gets mentioned here regularly.  The problem is that
most newbies don't know of or don't think of looking for resources like this
list and the Microchip forums.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\04\29@102551 by Picdude

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> -------- Original Message --------
> From: "David Segonds" <spam_OUTdavidTakeThisOuTspamsegonds.org>
>
> - Home made parallel programmer are crap and you can find good working
> programmer supporting many chips out there.

Have to disagree with this...
When I started with PICs a few years ago, I also built a few of the different parallel-port and seral-port programmers out there.  Many are crap, but I've had excellent results with my homemade Tait programmer.  So much so that I re-built it in a nicer-laid out PCB a year ago and still use it.  The problem will be that they support a narrow range of PICs, and you'll have problems programming the F872A, F628A, etc as you noticed.


Ramzi, Whereas I'm not familiar with the ProPic2 or Winpic800, I noticed that most of these have a mode where you individually turn on/off each line (PGD, MCLR, etc) so that you can test it's functionality with a multimeter.  Have you tried this?  This will help you narrow down the parts of the system that has the problem -- the software, the drivers, the port settings, the programmer, the PIC, or perhaps some interconnect wiring.

Look at "icprog" software (http://www.ic-prog.com/) which I know has this test capability.

Also check the voltage at MCLR to make sure it is within the correct value.


Cheers,
-Neil.

2006\04\29@115525 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Picdude wrote :

> Many are crap, but I've had excellent results with my
> homemade Tait programmer....
> ...
> ... and you'll have problems programming the F872A,
> F628A, etc as you noticed.

Now, *not* beeing able to program the quite common
F628A, isn't that a rather significant "problem" ?
Generaly speaking...

Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2006\04\29@121451 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>> - Home made parallel programmer are crap

> Have to disagree with this...

I'll second that disagreement to some extent. Lots (most?) simple
programmer designs on the internet are not very relible, in the sense
that they work perfectly with one PC (presumably at least with the PC of
the designer), but fail utterly on another PC (or another PIC, or on
another continent, or due to some other variation in circumstances). But
for a lot of people they do work fine.

My advice to newbies: if you have little money and much time, do try
some of the simple programmer designs, some might work for you. If not,
or if you don't have the time, or if you have enough money, get yourself
an intelligent programmer. There are plenty to choose from (Wisp628,
Olins simple progger, various DIY kits, PICkit2, etc). If you have even
more money to spend do consider an ICD2.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\04\29@131712 by Picdude

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> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Jan-Erik Soderholm <.....jan-erik.soderholmKILLspamspam@spam@telia.com>
> Now, *not* beeing able to program the quite common
> F628A, isn't that a rather significant "problem" ?
> Generaly speaking...


Not if you don't have a need for the F628A.  I know newbies that will still use F84's because they get them cheap or free from others who have progressed to "oldbies".  Then they want to use *exactly* what the magazine project says since they're most comfortable with that.  And some just want to implement a magazine project and not have to see/change any code, so they will download a hex file and write it to the chip, without having to tweak the code to disable the comparators, etc.  So this is why they start off with homebuilt programmers -- since they don't expect to be using it for much else.

BTW, I've seen places selling ready-built programmers that are just the same old serial and parallel programmer designs.  Some claim to support the F628A IIRC.

Cheers,
-Neil.

2006\04\29@140733 by Mauricio Giovagnini

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Just to be fair, WinPic800 software works good with other programmers.

May be not with the one mentioned Propic2.  Propic2 has many bugs I
experienced myself .
I bought the Propic2 ICSP to the developer itself, previous payment of a
big amount of money.  Then I tested it with my PIC16F72 (which was
listed as one of the devices capable of being programmed with ICSP
Propic2).  It didn't work.  The developer told me that 'it should work
although i haven't tested it'.  You can imagine my face and my mood....  
He sent me a couple of patches that didn't worked.  Im talking about a
simple pic on a protoboard, without anything else, not a pic on a board
with maybe some big loads.  I was encouraged to use Propic2 because it
was fast.
I did this with the original software PropicXP!! not with another one.

Then i have to continue using my old PicstartPlus which is slow but I
could make it work as an ICSP programmer by just wiring the necessary
signals to my board.

Talking more about this topic, I really think the problems is the
Propic2 not WinPic800 software.




Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

__________________________________________________
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2006\04\29@184724 by Maarten Hofman

face picon face
> I am also new to PICs. I have been using those for only a month with
> little prior experience with electrical engineering. I started by
> building my own programmer using a PCB found in a book ("El Cheapo"
> programmer).
>
> Using this home made programmer, I realized that it was difficult to
> program a 16f84a and
> it had the type of problems you are experiencing where I got all kind
> of errors trying first to talk to the parallel ports as specific
> drivers are needed and then I had to try to power and connect the
> programmer in different order. With great difficulty, I was able to
> make it work on Linux and Windows.


Note that Myke Predko (who designed the El Cheapo)'s website has many
updates to the design found in the book (after the book was released many
parallel ports changed in design, using lower voltages, and therefore
certain changes were necessary). I build it according to the latest version
(http://www.glitchbuster.com was kind enough to explain how to modify the
PCB to fit a newer version) and had no real problems hardware wise. Myke's
software is a bit outdated, but fortunately most software that currently
exists has good support for the El Cheapo, which means you can use it to
program a wide variety of PICs. The 16F628A, however, is not one of them (I
was able to program the 16F628, the 16F877 and the 16F88, though). The El
Cheapo also has some strengths compared to most other programmers: it has a
very solid programming voltage supply, which means that it can program most
C parts (OTP), which current programmers can't handle.

I would still recommend the PICkit 2 over the El Cheapo and the JDM
programmers you can get on eBay, but this doesn't mean the El Cheapo or the
JDM are "crap". In fact, if you have the PCB, it gives you a very good
starting point for the PICmicro. And even if it is useless otherwise, you
could still use the El Cheapo to create a bootloading 16F877, or program a
16F628 for the Wisp (I have never built a wisp, but from what I read on the
list, you need a programmed 16F628/16F628A/16F648A for it).

Greetings,
Maarten Hofman.

2006\04\29@205021 by David Segonds

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face
Maarten,

> I would still recommend the PICkit 2 over the El Cheapo and the JDM
> programmers you can get on eBay, but this doesn't mean the El Cheapo or the
> JDM are "crap".

It is clear that some took offense of my use of the word crap and I
now recognize that it was too strong of a word.

I am very grateful for Myke Predko and my hand-made El Cheapo
incorporate the latest modifications and works fine with 16f84a which
I used in the first two weeks. His book helped me get started along
with information found in the archive of this mailing list. I am sure
that I will go back to the book when it is time for me to explore
other PIC features.

Given my level of knowledge, which I admit is quite low, it took me a
few weeks to put together the El Cheapo and make it work. I was happy
to make it work on Linux and Windows. I took time and money to build
this first programmer. Certainly over $40. This was valuable
experience and I don't regret it.

Now, with more knowledge, I recognized that it would have been better
for me to buy a $40 programmer that not only would work with 16f84a
but with other models recommended in this list and that better fits my
project needs. This is a recommendation from a beginner to fellow
beginner with low budget in mind. This is only my humble opinion and
what I would have done if I have known better.

I am certainly willing to hear more from experienced engineers and I
am eager to see the type of advice that will be given to Ramzi. I am
going to learn from it.

Sincerely,
David.
--
David Segonds
PGP: 1F7A3E7A Finger: 9949 521B 1B39 CE5A E193  FC49 866A 1255 1F7A 3E7A


'[PIC] Re: winpic800 and propic2'
2006\05\02@204306 by kravnus wolf
picon face
Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum voltage
for programming a PIC,12.5v?

john

--- Maarten Hofman <cashimorspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\05\02@204306 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum voltage
for programming a PIC,12.5v?

john

--- Maarten Hofman <.....cashimorKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\05\02@221205 by Maarten Hofman

face picon face
> Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum voltage
> for programming a PIC,12.5v?


The El Cheapo has very clever power supply circuitry, and does not depend on
the parallel port for this power. It uses a walwart of 16V to supply its
current, which is regulated to 12V using a 7812 and artificially elevated
using two diodes to 13.4V, which suits the entire range of PICmicros it was
meant to program. See http://www.myke.com/elcheapo.htm for all details
(although, as said, it is probably not the wisest choice if you are going to
build a programmer).

Greetings,
Maarten Hofman.

2006\05\02@230424 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Thanks Maarten. I will look back at how did elcheapo
elevated the voltage to 13.4v. If one has the
resources, building an ICD2 clone is a good solution
for home made programmers.

john

--- Maarten Hofman <EraseMEcashimorspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\05\03@064859 by olin piclist

face picon face
kravnus wolf wrote:
> Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum voltage
> for programming a PIC,12.5v?

I'm not really sure what you are asking.  The logic signals making up a PC
"parallel port" are 0-5V.  You also imply that 12.5V is a minimum voltage
for programming a PIC.  This is true of some PICs but not others.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\05\03@104459 by kravnus wolf

picon face


--- Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamspam_OUTembedinc.com> wrote:

> kravnus wolf wrote:
> > Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum
> voltage
> > for programming a PIC,12.5v?
>
> I'm not really sure what you are asking.  The logic
> signals making up a PC
> "parallel port" are 0-5V.  You also imply that 12.5V
Thanks for the clear up for the logic level for the
parallel port.

> is a minimum voltage
> for programming a PIC.  This is true of some PICs
> but not others.
>
 I was not aware of this....... Must be more prudent
in cross referencing more material. Most of my current
development is on PIC16F873A.


Thanks,
John

>
>
******************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.
> #1 PIC
> consultant in 2004 program year.
> http://www.embedinc.com/products
> --

2006\05\03@111627 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > I'm not really sure what you are asking.  The logic
> > signals making up a PC
> > "parallel port" are 0-5V.

IIRC one of the problems of using parallel ports is that
- the high level can be as low as 3.3V
- the pull-ups can be very weak

So if you interface a parallel port to a 5V circuit you'd better use
pull-ups and/or use an HCT (not HC) buffer.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\05\03@113844 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, May 03, 2006 at 06:51:08AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> kravnus wolf wrote:
> > Does the parallel port guarantee the minimum voltage
> > for programming a PIC,12.5v?
>
> I'm not really sure what you are asking.  The logic signals making up a PC
> "parallel port" are 0-5V.

Generally not true anymore Olin. PC parallel ports are TTL and only require
a high signal of 2.4V. Most modern parallel ports output a high signal of
3.3V. This is one of the reasons that older parallel port programmers generally
do not work on current parallel ports.

This fact is the reason that I use HCT parts in my Trivial Programmers. They
level shift the 3.3V that the parallel ports output to nearly 5V, and well
above the 4V (@5V Vcc) threshold that the PIC requires.

>  You also imply that 12.5V is a minimum voltage
> for programming a PIC.  This is true of some PICs but not others.

Correct. I think (and I haven't checked datasheets recently) is that the only
guaranteed voltage is 13V for all PICs across the board. In addition if you
are programming a EPROM based part, you may also need a minimum of 50 mA of
current for Vpp.

BAJ

2006\05\03@120920 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote:
> Generally not true anymore Olin. PC parallel ports are TTL and only
> require
> a high signal of 2.4V. Most modern parallel ports output a high signal
> of
> 3.3V.

Yeah, I haven't built a device that hooks to a parallel port in years.
These are clearly going the way of the dinosaur for good reason.

> Correct. I think (and I haven't checked datasheets recently) is that
> the only guaranteed voltage is 13V for all PICs across the board.

No, there is no single Vpp level that works for all PICs anymore.  13V used
to be good, but it is too high for many newer chips.  Take a look at the
specs for the 18F2520 for example.  I haven't looked at the programming
interface for the new J parts which only run at 3.3V, but I wouldn't be
surprised if they had a lower Vpp max limit too.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

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