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PICList Thread
'What to buy?'
1996\09\04@035751 by Nikolai A. Zaharugin

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Hello all,
I am starting up to study PIC microcontrollers and I don't know which
programmer to buy.

PICSTART+ : Does fit well for me if I intended to programme 100-150 chips per
month? (i.e. for a serial product)
May be PRO MATE? But may be not worth to spend money? I don't understand what
does it give really...quality programm?...verifications? or still anything?

Many thanks.


--

Nikolai A.Zaharugin          LOGIKA Corp.,
                             Kurliandsckaya str.,1
                             St.-Petersburg, 198103, RUSSIA
                             Phone (812) 259 4319
spam_OUTzanTakeThisOuTspamlogika.spb.su            Fax   (812) 251 4493

1996\09\04@045641 by Andy Errington

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>Hello all,
>I am starting up to study PIC microcontrollers and I don't know which
>programmer to buy.
Hi Nikolai,

If you are interested from a hobbyist point of view you should perhaps
use the PIC16C84 as your development processor, and build your own
programmer.  If you have a PC you can put together a development system
for less than 10GBP (approx 15US$).  If you have never used a PIC this
will allow you to play around without costing too much.

The PIC series of chips have many features in common, so anything you
learn with a PIC84 can be applied to any other PIC chip, the only
differences being extra on-chip functions, e.g. ADC input, SPI port,
serial port etc., and memory paging (aargh!).

However if you intend to program many chips you will need a commercial
quality programmer for two reasons:

1) They have support for most (if not all) PIC chips
2) They are certified to program and verify at the extremes of the
programming specification, so you can be sure your code is correctly
downloaded to the chip.  (a home-built PIC84 programmer cannot be
guaranteed like this)

Take your time, and ask plenty of questions on the PICLIST.  You are
sure to get helpful, correct and consistent replies.

Best wishes,

Andy (the other one)

PS You can find some beginners stuff on my Web page at

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/cpaame/pic/pic.htm
>

1996\09\04@063233 by Alexej Vladimirov

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Hello Nikolai,

04 Sep 96, .....zanKILLspamspam@spam@logika.spb.su writes to all:

P> I am starting up to study PIC microcontrollers and I don't know which
P> programmer to buy.

P> PICSTART+ : Does fit well for me if I intended to programme 100-150
P> chips per month? (i.e. for a serial product)
P> May be PRO MATE? But may be not worth to spend money? I don't
P> understand what does it give really...quality programm?
P> ...verifications? or still anything?

The main difference between development programmers (PICSTART+, COMPIC-1/5X and
many others) and production quality programmers (PROMATE-II, COMPIC-PRO and
also some others) is variable Vdd and Vpp during programming and verification.

As noted at Microchip's programming specifications, for production
quality programmers Vdd should be varied from 2.0 till 6.5V with 0.25V
granularity (DS30190D, p.3), Vpp should be varied from 12 till 14V with
0.25V granularity (DS30337A, p.1).

The main reason for variable Vdd is the following: Vdd in the real device can
be different, than during programming/verification.

Below is very simplified description.
For example, you want to have Vdd=6V in some application. You program PIC on the
development programmer with Vdd=5V. For example, some cells programmed to the
2.8V level. This cells readed as "1"(programmed) at Vdd=5V, but possibly will
reads as "0"(unprogrammed) at Vdd=6V. This will lead to hard-to-find errors (I
have this experience).
Second case. You want to have Vdd=2V. In this case some program cells,
readed as "0"(cleared) at Vdd=5V, possibly will reads as "1"(non-cleared)
at Vdd=2V. This error occurs, when you partially clear UV erasable development
chip. For example, some cells cleared to the 1.5V level. It reads fully cleared
at Vdd=5V, but reads as "1" at Vdd=2V.

Conclusions: You can use development programmer, if you use Vdd=5V+-5% in your
            applications. You should use production quality programmer in any
            other cases.

Best regards.

Alexej Vladimirov  avladspamKILLspammail.ormix.riga.lv
http://www.ormix.riga.lv/eng/mchip/mchip.htm
...more than 160 Microchip-related links now...

--- GoldED/2 2.50+

1996\09\25@162939 by Alex I. Torres

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> 04 Sep 96, Alexej Vladimirov writes to Nikolai Zaharugin :

> The main difference between development programmers
> (PICSTART+, COMPIC-1/5X and many others) and production
> quality programmers (PROMATE-II, COMPIC-PRO and also some
> others) is variable Vdd and Vpp during programming and
> verification.

>
> As noted at Microchip's programming specifications, for
> production quality programmers Vdd should be varied from 2.0
> till 6.5V with 0.25V granularity (DS30190D, p.3), Vpp should
> be varied from 12 till 14V with 0.25V granularity (DS30337A,
> p.1).
>
> The main reason for variable Vdd is the following: Vdd in
> the real device can be different, than during
> programming/verification.

Yes, I'm agree, but what is the reason to use variable Vpp ?

-------------------------------
  Best Wishes, Alex Torres.
  Kharkov, Ukraine, exUSSR.
  E-Mail To : .....altorKILLspamspam.....cook.kharkov.ua   via InterNet
              or 2:461/28             via FidoNet

---  GoldED 2.50.A0531+
* PICLAB->Semi-Production-Quality Programmer
* for 16Cxx,24xx,93xx - OK.
* 14000 - implemented but not tested.
* only $40 !!!
* no external power, MsDos and Windows software.

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