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PIC programmer advice

  1. Jan 1, 2012 #1

    i have been learning about micro-controllers for about a month now and i have started my own private projects using them. at the moment i am using a PIC micro controller for a alarm clock which is programmed in C. I have ordered the parts and designed the pcb but i have had some problems trying to find out how to upload my program which is compiled using mikroC PRO to my micro-controller. i found that all you need is to upload the .HEX file to the micro-controller once the build is successful is this correct?

    then if this is correct you need a PIC programmer which includes a usb port to connect the computer and install the software to the PIC. but since i am new to this i was wondering what would be a good PIC programmer to buy please advise if you have experience using micro controllers
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    not being totally familiar with pic, I found this article on wikipedia:


    They mention the PickIt2 open source tools as the best set to use.

    From your description, it looks like you must compile your source program in PIC language into
    a .hex file on your development computer and then use another tool to copy the .hex file to the microcontroller eprom. The copying program would also run on your development computer and connect to the microcontroller via a USB cable.

    Does that sound right?

    Also have you checked out Arduino? that platform is getting very popular too with a lot of DIY projects and books.
  4. Jan 1, 2012 #3


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Jan 1, 2012 #4
    i have just been reading up on pickit3 programmer but it seems like it you would have to solder the complete circuit together before you program it using the pickit3 by connecting to the pc via usb and you would also need to provide two I/O pins for the pickit3 to connect to the board is this correct?

    i have also been looking and i found this programmer which i think you plug in the pic microcontroller into the pins shown and then connect it to the pc via a usb and then upload the .hex to the pic and then remove it and solder it on the pcb and it should work fine.

    but before i solder it on the pcb is it a good idea to test it first on breadboard because i know some microcontrollers are static sensitive. the one i am using is PIC16F84AP.
  6. Jan 1, 2012 #5
  7. Jan 1, 2012 #6

    jim hardy

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    now THAT looks like fun.

    i wonder how much trouble it'd be to make a Roman Numeral display...
  8. Jan 1, 2012 #7


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  9. Jan 1, 2012 #8


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    That module is just a ZIF socket adapter for the (ICD2) programmer. The PICKIT is a "In-Circuit Serial Programming" programmer that only needs the chip , 2 resistors , 1 diode and 5 traces to a header to work, it powers the chip while programming. If you plan on working with PIC chips making your boards work with these types of programmers will be a good investment in time and money.

  10. Jan 2, 2012 #9
  11. Jan 2, 2012 #10
    If you are using the DIL package version then don't solder your PIC chips into your pcbs, use a socket. That way you can use them again.
  12. Jan 2, 2012 #11
    thats super cheap and awesome bassalisk i gonna order one after i test the one i am building and colin thanks for the tip i have ordered a 18-pin IC pin socket. do you think it would be safe to put the cct together on a breadboard and connect to my pc via the RS232 female connecter
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