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PICList Thread
'[PIC] The best programmer you can get!'
2005\04\20@163654 by Tim_webb

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So what I hear is that the PM3 is not as nice as Microchip makes it seem to be..

I guess the majority of the PIC-LIST suggest against the PM3.

It sure would be nice if Microchip monitored the PIC-LIST, they would really benefit by making improvements based on our complaints about their overpriced products lacking the needs of the average and professional users.

I am a little disappointed, maybe some firmware upgrades will come out to fix the problems mentioned.

I'm looking for a reliable programmer that will program the most products and without too much complexity.  My PIC-Start Plus was great when I purchased it new 3-4 years ago when it seemed to support all the most common microcontroller products.

The ICD2 is sounding like the direction I am being pulled, but I want dsPic, rfPic, and the PIC10F series compatibility also.

I also am afraid to loose the compatibility of my current PIC-Start Plus by upgrading it, that is if it is even upgradeable.  

I guess keeping up with microchips new products creates a big cash sucking issue, now if only I could decide what to do.

I still have a few more months to decide, so any further input is still appreciated.
I am tending to steer away from third party programmers unless I can be absolutely convinced that they will meet my needs.

Pretending to ignore the price at this time, I am trying to look from the top of the line down in programmers.  I want a single solution that will provide me with the compatibility for all current products and have the flexibility for all future products.  It may be too much to expect!

Thank you all for your input, I have been learning a lot from your own personal experiences.

Best regards,

Tim

{Original Message removed}

2005\04\20@165435 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2005-04-20 at 14:36 -0600, spam_OUTtim_webbTakeThisOuTspamagilent.com wrote:
> The ICD2 is sounding like the direction I am being pulled, but I want dsPic, rfPic, and the PIC10F series compatibility also.

Just to clarify the ICD2 DOES support the dsPIC, rfPIC and PIC10F lines.
TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\04\20@170708 by Bradley Ferguson

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On 4/20/05, .....tim_webbKILLspamspam@spam@agilent.com <tim_webbspamKILLspamagilent.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

To be fair, I've not brought up my issues with Microchip.  I've not
even posted about them on the Microchip forums; although, I did
search.

I had been under the impression that the vast majority of the PICList
had simply not had any experience with the PM3.  Did you get more
replies off-list?

I ordered the flash upgradeable chip for my PICStart+.  I had to do
this in order to program the A-series parts.  I don't know if that
broke any compatibility with older parts, but it seemed to be
worthwhile.  I can now upgrade the PICStart+ without further
purchases.

I am assuming that the PM3 will be compatible with upcoming parts for
the forseeable future.  I've not opened it up, but the upgrade process
is quite complex with the programmer resetting itself several times to
upgrade the firmware.  I imagine they pack a lot in there.

I don't yet have an ICD2, but I imagine that will be purchased for the
next project.  I've not really looked into it very much.

Bradley

2005\04\20@171024 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Hi !

I've followed this thread, and there are still a few
things I'm not sure about regarding your questions.

Is it hobbyist or professional use ?
Is it for development work or production programming ?
Is it low volume/many types or high volume/few types ?
Where do you draw the line regarding "all current types" ?
Does it include those that are on the "mature products" list ?
Does it include those that are "not for new development" ?
(might be the same selection, but anyway...)

You want a one-solution-fits-all kind of answer, but there have
been very few requirements from your side, *besides of*
"should take all", which I'm not sure will ever be satisfied
anyway...

And you wrote :
> I still have a few more months to decide,...

And what happens after a few months ?

> Pretending to ignore the price at this time, I am trying to
> look from the top of the line down in programmers.

Now, maybe there is one "top of the line" progger for development.
And another "top of the line" for high-volume production programming.
Maybe yet anoter "top of the line" for  other special needs.
Which "top of the line" programmer do you want/need ?

Regards,
Jan-Erik.


> {Original Message removed}

2005\04\20@173210 by Tim_webb

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Hi,

All your questions are good and fair..

It is for both hobbyist and future professional use.
It is for development work and future production programming
It is currently for low volume/many types and may move into high volume/any types

Where to draw the line is also a good question, I would lean towards the more mature products for current and future designs, although, like some of us, we still have a lot of those old parts still laying around, maybe good for hobbyist type projects now.  Would hate to waste them.

As far as having a few months to decide, my need is not urgent at this time.  In a few months, it may be a different story when we finish the construction of our new lab and attempt to expand our capabilities.

I hope this answers your questions sufficiently.

Best regards,

Tim


{Original Message removed}

2005\04\20@173618 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> The ICD2 is sounding like the direction I am being pulled,
> but I want dsPic, rfPic, and the PIC10F series compatibility also.

I don't understand you. If you were seriously considering some of the
very expensive programmers, why not spend a little money to buy
something (Wisp628, EasyProg, ProProg, ICD2, PS+ upgrade, anything) that
will program the chips you need *now* and worry about other chips later,
when (and if) you need them? Are you afraid of having more than one
programmer on your bench? I have four I can see right now (PS+, ICD2,
GALEP-4, Wisp628). And that is counting all the wisp628's around here as
one (my black brick programmer actualy contains two wisp628's, one
programming the second one, to serve as a development platform), and not
counting the various DIY programmers I sell, the pickit1's (both uChip
originals and my DB026 derivate), and the whazzitsname uChip low-end
programmer (AFAIK actually a stripped pickit1). The four on my table are
there because I use them all for some purpose - those who I don't need
for a long time automatically end up somewhere else.

> I also am afraid to loose the compatibility of my current
> PIC-Start Plus by upgrading it, that is if it is even upgradeable.  

The upgrade is a plug-in replacement of the 17C44 chip inside. If you
don't like it at some point you can always put the 17C44 back.

> Pretending to ignore the price at this time, I am trying to
> look from the top of the line down in programmers.  I want a
> single solution that will provide me with the compatibility
> for all current products and have the flexibility for all
> future products.  It may be too much to expect!

I can read this, but I still don't grok why.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2005\04\20@174835 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:32 PM 4/20/2005 -0600, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>All your questions are good and fair..
>
>It is for both hobbyist and future professional use.
>It is for development work and future production programming
>It is currently for low volume/many types and may move into high
>volume/any types
>
>Where to draw the line is also a good question, I would lean towards the
>more mature products for current and future designs, although, like some
>of us, we still have a lot of those old parts still laying around, maybe
>good for hobbyist type projects now.  Would hate to waste them.
>
>As far as having a few months to decide, my need is not urgent at this
>time.  In a few months, it may be a different story when we finish the
>construction of our new lab and attempt to expand our capabilities.

If you can hold out until July, you should be able to get a good discount
on uChip's products in Phoenix. Just another consideration. ;-)

Best regards,

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




2005\04\20@181458 by Tim_webb

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Wouter,

Thanks for your brain dump!

>I don't understand you.

It is not necessary that you understand me, you are above me!

>Are you afraid of having more than one programmer on your bench?

The only thing I am afraid of is wasting my money on a programmer that I may regret purchasing. I may not be as smart as you, but I too have a large variety of programmers, well over four easily if you also include the ones that I use to support other manufactures products.

>I can read this, but I still don't grok why.

You can ignore my future emails if they bother you and we can end this discussion too if you wish..

This all started with what I thought would be a simple request from experienced people like you (Wouter) as to what type of programmers would suite my needs. I was only inquiring about what was out there from various perspectives so that I could get a broad view and hear about the Pros and Cons of each. I have received an overwhelming response with well over 100 emails at least both on and off list.. It seems like an email every few minutes.

I never planned to become a nuisance to anyone.

I do want to express my thanks to all of you that have provided your input, it is greatly appreciated.

Please send any further responses off-list directly to me, I don't need to overload the PIC_LIST with further debates, complaints, or my personal endeavors.

I look forward hearing from anyone else who has any further useful advice!

Best regards,

Tim

EraseMEtim_webbspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTagilent.com

{Original Message removed}

2005\04\20@200104 by olin_piclist

face picon face
tim_webb@agilent.com wrote:
> I'm looking for a reliable programmer that will program the most
> products and without too much complexity.

I don't think there is a single universal programmer that meets all needs
and programs all existing and future parts.  You must have some idea what
this programmer will be used for.

Is it for engineering use during test and debug?  If so, wide device support
is probably more important that multiple voltage readback, for example.  The
ICD2 is worth a look for this application.

Is it for the production of as specific product?  If so, wide device support
probably isn't that important as long as it supports the devices used in
that product.  Other things become important, like good reliability,
built-in error checking, verification at the Vdd limits, ease of mounting
into a production fixture, and that the software can be automated from
within the larger final test and calibration software.  If these are your
requirements, I think my ProProg (http://www.embedinc.com/products) is worth
considering.

Is it for other uses, like field upgrades to be performed by techinicians?

You are going to buy separate units for these various purposes, so they
don't need to be (probably shouldn't be) the same programmer.  One reason
there are so many programmers out there is that there are so many different
requirements for different situations.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\04\20@200819 by olin_piclist

face picon face
tim_webb@agilent.com wrote:
> The only thing I am afraid of is wasting my money on a programmer that
> I may regret purchasing.

OK, then get a Wisp or EasyProg or some other low cost programmer now and
worry about what to get when a specific situation arises with requirements
the low cost programmer can't handle.  You'll get some use out of the low
cost programmer for now, but even if you completely ditch it later, you
haven't lost much.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\04\20@231321 by Bill & Pookie

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Whatever your choice, you may still be writting the origional program to the
pic chip after fifteen years.  So hope it keeps working.

Bill

{Original Message removed}

2005\04\21@021554 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> It is for both hobbyist and future professional use.
> It is for development work and future production programming
> It is currently for low volume/many types and may move into
> high volume/any types

you missed this one:
- it is both for development / debugging and for production of large
series

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2005\04\21@091143 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I would go ahead & upgrade the PicStart Plus. It is only a chip swap, and it
can be reversed in the future if need be. I have kept all my old ROMs. Also,
the upgrade may not be available forever. The last I heard MicroChip was
taking care of the units that failed the upgrade. That deal might not last
forever.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: <tim_webbspamspam_OUTagilent.com>
To: <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 4:36 PM
Subject: RE: [PIC] The best programmer you can get!


{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

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