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2004\11\16@043833 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
I need to source an ICSP programmer for occaisional field upgrades by our
apps engineers. The requirements are:

Must supports 18F series (specifically 18F452 and 18Fx620).
Must support LVP operation.
Must support programming devices at both 3.3volts and 5volts.
Must have robust software with capability of exporting separate memory areas
(i.e. program, configuration, eeprom) much as MPLAB does.
Must cost less than a Promate!

Preferably verify at high/low voltages
Preferably smallish size

Any suggestions?

TIA

Mike

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2004\11\17@001521 by Steve Mercer

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face
I don't know whether it will do everything you asked for but you might try...

<http://www.mikroelektronika.co.yu/english/product/tools/picflashusb.htm>





{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\17@010532 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
It doesn't support LVP. Look at the drawing of how it connects up.
It IS cute though.

The KitsRUs K182A is my favorite: fully assembled, $40 each. Will
do the same thing as the above unit. I know of NO flash PIC it can't
program. Beautiful design by Tony Nixon and Peter Crawford (sp?)
of KitsRUs. Similar to the K128 but with correct USB cable sexing and
smaller size. It doesn't do LVP either, but my clients are using the K128
or the K182A for full firmware updates.

I don't think LVP was a very good idea (steals another pin) and I don't
think it will be with us much longer. Personally, I think PGD and PGC
should be operated through the OSC1 and OSC2 pins- like Ubicom
does- but Microchip is providing very good products overall, so I'm
not complaining.

Why NOT do a "self-programming loader"? I've done 3 for the
PIC16F88 now, and they all work perfectly. You can still protect the
code from external theft. Mine are all driven by the client application,
with a modicum of security (unit serial number used as seeder for decryption
keys). Mine needs only 300 bytes for the loader code, including the I2C
to copy the new firmware files from scratch memory to flash in two designs,
and in the other, the loader simply programs each packet as received into
unused high memory; its a much smaller program, no external scratch ram
needed. In mine, the loader code is updated as well each time, ready for the
NEXT uploading. The new firmware is simply stored, to be updated when
the system is not busy; the F88 sets a flag and when activity is minimal,
it updates its firmware, cleans up the scratch or high memory, then resets
itself and is ready to go. Its even safer than letting a salesman use
the K182A.

--Bob

Steve Mercer wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> ______________________________________________

2004\11\17@035810 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Looked at that and thought it was a great little programmer.  The list of
supported 18F devices looked a little think for my liking though, and of
course no LVP.

>I don't think LVP was a very good idea (steals another pin)
>and I don't think it will be with us much longer. Personally,
>I think PGD and PGC should be operated through the OSC1 and
>OSC2 pins- like Ubicom
>does- but Microchip is providing very good products overall,
>so I'm not complaining.
>

You're right, it's not a great idea and we have now dropped it.  However, we
have a lot of products in the field that only have access to the LVP pin.

{Quote hidden}

Bootloaders are ok, and our next generation of product require a somewhat
special bootloader that allow the product to keep running during a firmware
upgrade, and also give the opportunity to revert back to the previous
version should it go pair shaped.  However, we have a customer with a fairly
large inventory that require some extra features, and they need to be
programmed at the customers premises.

These won't be sales people doing the programming, but applications
engineers who are familiar with programming micros.

I happy to get a commercial programmer rather than a cheap DIY kit.  I just
don't want to get another Promate 2 as 1) They are overpriced, 2) They are
unreliable rubbish.  The Promate3 is much better, but if we have to spend
that kind of money I'll be suggesting a Dataman S4 (if it supports LVP) or
simmilar, which can be used for other applications.

Regards

Mike

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2004\11\17@040816 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

That should have been "thin" rather thank "think" ;)

Just a thought, is the LVP programming protocol essentialy the same as HVP
with the exception of where the programming voltage is applied?  If so it
would seem any normal programmer could be adapted for LVP use by stepping
Vpp down to a suitable value.

Regards

Mike

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____________________________________________

2004\11\17@071821 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Nov 17, 2004 at 09:09:48AM -0000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> [Snippage]
>
> Just a thought, is the LVP programming protocol essentialy the same as HVP
> with the exception of where the programming voltage is applied?

It can be thought of that way.

> If so it
> would seem any normal programmer could be adapted for LVP use by stepping
> Vpp down to a suitable value.

But it's on a different pin. And also you still need to sequence MCLR.

It isn't as simple as swapping a wire.

BAJ
____________________________________________

2004\11\17@074548 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Yep, I meant stepping down Vpp to the PIC's Vdd level and applying it to the
LVP pin.  Would this work?

Mike

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____________________________________________

2004\11\17@075258 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Bob Axtell wrote:
> I don't think LVP was a very good idea

It's always made me a bit nervous too.  I've only ever used it once, when
there was another processor on the board that was connected to ethernet.
That processor could update the PIC firmware via LVP.

> and I don't think it will be with us much longer.

Note that the dsPICs don't have LVP.  Yesterday I was in a room with 4
Microchip people talking about future product direction, and none of them
were real hot on LVP either.  I got the feeling that nobody has beat them up
about ditching LVP on the 30Fs, and we will therefore see less LVP support
in future products.


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

2004\11\17@075605 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> Just a thought, is the LVP programming protocol essentialy the same as
> HVP with the exception of where the programming voltage is applied?  If
> so it would seem any normal programmer could be adapted for LVP use by
> stepping Vpp down to a suitable value.

This will only work on those PICs that otherwise require Vdd before Vpp.

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

2004\11\17@080026 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> However, we have a
> customer with a fairly large inventory that require some extra
> features, and they need to be programmed at the customers premises.
>
> These won't be sales people doing the programming, but applications
> engineers who are familiar with programming micros.

Which PIC is in those units?  How many programmers would you need?
Depending on the PIC, LVP might be supported with a custom cable and maybe a
minor firmware change to the ProProg.


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

2004\11\17@082642 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

The PIC in the LVP application is the 18LF452.  The 18LF6620/8620 are used
in normal HVP products.  I don't know the quantities at the moment but not
many. I have just been asked to recommend a programmer for our FAEs in
Ottawa to use.

Regards

Mike

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____________________________________________

2004\11\17@084255 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
IMHO most of the reason for LVP goes away if you have a self-programmable
(i.e.: boot loader capable) chip.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

From: "Olin Lathrop" <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com>
{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\17@095327 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
What I'd like to see them do is to place a 2nd usart receive pin on PGD and
a 2nd Uart TX pin on  PGC so there is an instant external use for the
PGC and
PGD pins, which I normally reserve for ICSP anyway. That would make
production
troubleshooting very easy.

My experience has been that any PIC with an LVP pin was difficult to program
reliably. I normally use the LVP pin as an output, and pull it LOW
externally with
a resistor when programming. Just extra work and expense.

Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>_____________________________________________

2004\11\17@102633 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> What I'd like to see them do is to place a 2nd usart receive
> pin on PGD and
> a 2nd Uart TX pin on  PGC so there is an instant external use for the
> PGC and
> PGD pins, which I normally reserve for ICSP anyway. That would make
> production
> troubleshooting very easy.

You can always bit-bang that serial channel. Note that Wisp628 has a
mode that feeds the PGD/PGC pins to the serial comm line to the PC, for
the same reason: the connection to RGD/PGC exists, so you might as well
use it for other purposes (beside ICSP).

> My experience has been that any PIC with an LVP pin was
> difficult to program reliably.

even with the mandatory pulldown?

Wouter van Ooijen

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


____________________________________________

2004\11\17@182106 by Steve Mercer

flavicon
face
>  >Looked at that and thought it was a great little programmer.
>>The list of
>>supported 18F devices looked a little think for my liking
>>though, and of
>>course no LVP.
>
>That should have been "thin" rather thank "think" ;)

Actually, I think they are a bit behind in their web site updates.
From the forum messages they say they support all currently shipping
16F and 18F PIC's. They add support for newer PIC's as soon as they
arrive from Microchip.
____________________________________________

2004\11\17@204027 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Hi all,

For large quantity stabilized PIC program, we use QTP from
Microchip. We have gang programmer for other programming jobs but the reel
and
de-reel process has to be outsourced and the support is always lagging
and expensive. Two years ago, we moved to ICSP for quite some jobs using
ICSP with Promate II. Two years later, the engineer in charge of the ICSP
resigned because it sucks. The management has decided to scrap the ICSP
idea since it becomes the bottleneck of production. However the R+D here
still preferred to use ICSP since the main advantage for Flash is the
ability to do in array programming.

Bootloaders are another direction for us (program through the sensor output
PNP/NPN/Push-pull) but not suitable for all MCUs. Smaller MCUs will not
be able to use bootloader. Those sensors with relay output can not be
programmed through the output as well.

Is Promate III really better in this aspect? Any other recommendations? How
good is Olin's ProProg? We are also interested to get an ICSP production
quality programmer and no LVP support is needed.

Xiaofan

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 09:02:31 -0000
From: Michael Rigby-Jones <Michael.Rigby-JonesEraseMEspam.....bookham.com>
...
>Bootloaders are ok, and our next generation of product require a somewhat
>special bootloader that allow the product to keep running during a firmware
>upgrade, and also give the opportunity to revert back to the previous
>version should it go pair shaped.  However, we have a customer with a
fairly
{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\18@010212 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
How good is the KitsRUS K182A for ICSP for personal use and for production?

>Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 23:05:20 -0700
>From: Bob Axtell <EraseMEengineerspamcotse.net>
> ...
>The KitsRUs K182A is my favorite: fully assembled, $40 each. Will
>do the same thing as the above unit.
>...
>
>--Bob
____________________________________________

2004\11\18@011817 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
I have programmed many parts with the K128. The new K182A is identical
to the K128
except it is ICSP-only. I NEVER have problems using it; it is VERY
reliable. Has its own
power (from 5V USB port).

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. AND- its fully assembled, NOT a
kit at all.

--Bob


Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>_____________________________________________

2004\11\18@042811 by Lee Jones

flavicon
face
> Is Promate III really better in this aspect?

No idea, I've not used one.

> Any other recommendations?

Olin's ProProg (if you have a serial port on the hosting PC).

> How good is Olin's ProProg? We are also interested to get an
> ICSP production quality programmer and no LVP support is needed.

I'm happy with it.  It verifies at programmable lower & upper
voltage limits.  Easily configurable for special cases.

ProProg has a nice feature for production line use.  It has a
pushbutton switch on the programmer board.  Host software has
a -loop option.  It waits while you hook up a target board via
ICSP cable.  When you press the switch, it programms the board.
Then it loops back to waiting while you change target boards.
You can program multiple units without ever interacting with
the host PC's keyboard or mouse.
                                               Lee Jones

____________________________________________

2004\11\18@042847 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamKILLspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspamspammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Chen Xiao Fan
>Sent: 18 November 2004 01:37
>To: 'EraseMEpiclistspamspamspamBeGonemit.edu'
>Subject: Re: [PIC]: Reasonably priced production programmer
>that supports LVP
>
>
>Is Promate III really better in this aspect? Any other
>recommendations? How good is Olin's ProProg? We are also
>interested to get an ICSP production
>quality programmer and no LVP support is needed.

The Promate 3 is in a different league to the poorly designed Promate 2.
For starters, the ICSP interface is built in, no poorly designed socket
module to buy and no unreliable zebra strip connections.  The device
properly supports large memory 18F devices unlike the work around for the
Promate 2, and the USB interface makes programming much faster.

The memory card is a nice touch, you can put your hex files on an SD flash
card, making a truly stand alone programmer.  However, I didn't get to try
this out on the demo unit we had, and reading between the lines it seems as
though it may use a proprietary filing system. If it does you will not be
able to load the card with files from a standard PC card reader.  I'd be
interested to know if this is the case or not.

My only real dislike is the "reversed" white on blue LED display which has
poor contrast.  A standard green/black STN display is much clearer,
especialy under bright light.

An FAE assured me that Microchip were releasing the interface specification
for the dll's that control the programmers (Promate 2 and 3) which means
proper integration into Win32 based automated test equipment (rather than
shelling out to Procmd). However, this was probably over 6 months ago and
still nothing.

Regards

Mike

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____________________________________________

2004\11\22@012754 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Sorry I forget to change the subject.

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 13:56:24 +0800
From: Chen Xiao Fan <RemoveMExiaofanKILLspamspamsg.pepperl-fuchs.com>

Thanks a lot Mike for the reply. The Promate 3 looks good to me. Maybe
I will borrow one from local Microchip and evaluate the performance. :)

Releasing the interface specification will of course help since
quite some testing programs are using something like Labview.

Xiaofan

{Quote hidden}

------------------------------
____________________________________________

2004\11\22@013153 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Thanks for the reply. Does ProProg support SQTP? Does
it have command line tools like procmd for the Promate
II and III?

The other thing I worry about is the long term support
for third-party tools. Of course Microchip also discontinues
their product (the old PicStart), but quite rarely.

{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\22@013744 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Thanks for the reply. Looks like a good candidate for personal use.

The other thing I worry about is the long term support
for third-party tools. That is why I also look at the PicKit 1.
Currently it does not support those above 14 pins but maybe
they will extend it. (see my other post regarding this).

{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\22@075308 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
> Does ProProg support SQTP?

I don't know.  What is SQTP?

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

2004\11\22@100347 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: @spam@piclist-bounces@spam@spamspam_OUTmit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of .....olin_piclistspam_OUTspamembedinc.com
>Sent: 22 November 2004 12:54
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [PIC]: Reasonably priced production programmer
>that supportsLVP
>
>
>Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
>> Does ProProg support SQTP?
>
>I don't know.  What is SQTP?

Serialised Quick Turn Programming.  Essentialy the programmer automaticaly
programs each PIC with a unique serial number.  The Promate programmers
support this.

regards

Mike

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____________________________________________

2004\11\22@130859 by olin_piclist

face picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
>> I don't know.  What is SQTP?
>
> Serialised Quick Turn Programming.  Essentialy the programmer
> automaticaly programs each PIC with a unique serial number.  The
> Promate programmers support this.

This is not currently supported.  I did a one-off for a specific customer
for this, but found it hard to come up with a generalized scheme.  Only the
host software, not the programmer firmware would need to be enhanced to get
this feature.


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

2004\11\22@135203 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
I wrote one of these Serial Number Installer programs and it worked well.

Most serial numbers are installed as 2 to 4 RETLW h'??', so I created the
HEX32 output as usual. My program then searched through the Hex32
file until it located 4 RETLW h'00' in a row, or located it by the address.

The program then changed the RETLW values as needed to form the serial
number, corrected the checksum for that line(lines), then sent that to
the programmer.
If the programmer was successful, that number was installed into a
Serial Number
Database; if it failed, the same number was tried on the next one, etc etc.

Unfortunately, my sources for this have been lost (DOS Turbo Pascal) but
I am planning
to make another for Win32. It'll probably be in Delphi 5.

Anybody else have something like this in Win32 already written?

--Bob

Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>_____________________________________________

2004\11\23@005452 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Thanks for the help, Bob. Hopefully you can get your Turbo Pascal
program back or get the Win32 program out soon. :)

Just one suggestion: a Win32 console (command line) version will be more
helpful than a GUI program. Actually I was thinking of writing a
simple C program to change the Hex file and use it within a batch file
with procmd. But my software programming is really lousy and I am
also lazy to learn.

Xiaofan

{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\23@125007 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Chen Xiao Fan wrote :

> ... and use it within a batch file with procmd...

Now, this "procmd", is that some batch oriented script
tool so the Windows environments realy gets usable ?
I'm definitly going to take a look at that one ! :-)

Thanks for the pointer !
Jan-Erik.

____________________________________________

2004\11\23@130754 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Chen Xiao Fan wrote :

> ... and use it within a batch file with procmd...

Sorry !
Procmd is a command line interface to the ProMate, right ? :-) :-)
Anyway, I'm still looking for a good scripting/batching tool
usuable under Windows...

Sorry for the confusion.... :-)
Jan-Erik.

____________________________________________

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