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PICList Thread
'Programming the 17C42'
1994\08\08@134955 by Don Lekei

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I use the Baradine Microburner for all PIC programming. It is relatively
inexpensive (a few hundres $CDN) and it uses a standard ASCII interface so
it will work with any computer.

I have also written a command-line interface which is available on the
microchip BBS (3rdparty file area) and a few ftp sites as BURN.ZIP.

Adapters are available for all *EXISTING* PICs (16c64 is comming), I have
them all, It works much better than PICSTART (I have one of them) and
Promaster (have one of those too).

-Don


1994\08\09@120621 by Don Lekei

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On Aug 8, 1994, Alex Freed wrote:

>Could you please explain what do you mean by "It works much better than
>PICSTART"? I have PICSTART and it works. What would be "much better" than
>that? No irony, I'm just wondering.

(What follows is a peeve, so the tone may sound a bit harsh...)

It's just that I find  Picstart programmer is annoyingly slow. The Picstart
and Promaster share the same front-end shell which is all manually driven,
messes with the video mode, and does not provide usable error return codes.
They both communicate with proprietary, un-published protocols, so people
with other computers (mac, unix, etc.), or who use safer developement
practices like makefiles, rcs etc. are left in the lurch.

They work great as toys (to play with settings, etc.) but I'm to
absent-minded to remember to manually set the fuses right each time!

- Don

1994\08\09@214814 by ssmith

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Don Lekei wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I must agree with Don's comments. Having to set the fuses every time is
annoying. In my opinion, a major improvement would be for it to simply
remember the last settings when it starts up.

I have experienced other problems using PICSTART. I find that often
(with 16C71s, at least) it takes 2 or 3 goes to program properly: verification
fails initially, but it will eventually succeed. Is this a problem that others
have found? Something to do with firmare perhaps? (Mine is PICSTART-16B,
Firmware V1.7).

Another point to consider: the programming specs (eg. DS30153D) say that the
devices should be verified at VDD min as well as VDD max, yet I see no
evidence that PICSTART does this. Does anyone know what goes on here? The
PICSTART user's guide is silent on such issues. Seems to me that you could
easily program a device that verifies at 5V, but fails at 3V.

Stewart Smith  (spam_OUTssmithTakeThisOuTspamcsuvax1.murdoch.edu.au)
Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Western Australia.

1994\08\10@010627 by Don Lekei

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Stewart Smith wrote:

>...Having to set the fuses every time is
>annoying. In my opinion, a major improvement would be for it to simply
>remember the last settings when it starts up.

The various spec sheets define addresses for all fuses. ASPIC supports
setting these in the source files, and I prefer to use programmers which
also do.

>Another point to consider: the programming specs (eg. DS30153D) say that
the
>devices should be verified at VDD min as well as VDD max, yet I see no
>evidence that PICSTART does this. Does anyone know what goes on here?

Microchip has pointed out many times (at least on their BBS) that PICSTART
is NOT considered a "production" programmer, however, we only use Baradine
Microburners,
which I don't believe program VDD (I may be wrong).  Getting the fuses
wrong and the
accumulated labour of manually going through all of those menus on
Promaster are more
of a concern than the small chance that a product which passes all other
tests will fail under low voltage (which will reset anyway)!

- Don


1994\08\10@051930 by n0axv%burnmoor

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> I must agree with Don's comments. Having to set the fuses every time is
> annoying. In my opinion, a major improvement would be for it to simply
> remember the last settings when it starts up.
>

If you hit "Read device" before loading in your object code, the fuses are
automatically set to how the current device was last programmed.  Only works
for the EE part (16C84), though. :-)

> I have experienced other problems using PICSTART. I find that often
> (with 16C71s, at least) it takes 2 or 3 goes to program properly: verification
> fails initially, but it will eventually succeed. Is this a problem that others
> have found? Something to do with firmare perhaps? (Mine is PICSTART-16B,
> Firmware V1.7).

I have found that every once in a while our PICSTART refuses to program
properly, but I put it down to the ZIF socket - devices placed centrally
do not program properly but ones placed at the left side program OK.

> Another point to consider: the programming specs (eg. DS30153D) say that the
> devices should be verified at VDD min as well as VDD max, yet I see no
> evidence that PICSTART does this. Does anyone know what goes on here? The
> PICSTART user's guide is silent on such issues. Seems to me that you could
> easily program a device that verifies at 5V, but fails at 3V.

PICSTART is classed as a DEVELOPMENT programmer, and the programming spec.
states that only PRODUCTION class programmers need to have the variable
voltage capability. I suppose it's how they get away with such crappy drive
software as well.

> Stewart Smith  (.....ssmithKILLspamspam@spam@csuvax1.murdoch.edu.au)
> Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Western Australia.
>

Simon
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