usefulness of PIC ICD2

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Newz2000
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usefulness of PIC ICD2

Post by Newz2000 » Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:02 pm

I'm saving up for a new programmer... right now I"m using a Pic Kit 1 (support for 8,12,14,20 pin mcu) and I have a JDM style at my Brother's house (because he has a serial port).

I'm considering a new programmer. I'm planning on switching exclusively to 18F series pics, except for the occasional 12F675/12F683 and want to be able to program them.

The Pickit 2 on ebay sells for $35 or less. For a few extra dollars you can get an zif adapter.

A USB ICD2 clone goes for $55 to $85. It to has a zif adapter available.

Neither of these are "Production Programmers" so the main difference between the two seems to be the ICD's built in debugger.

I've decided I want to spend less time building circuits and more time building fun stuff. In your opinions, how useful is the built in debugger on the ICD? Is it one of those things that, once you start using it, you can't imagine how you ever got by with out it? Or is it more like something that you occasionally use but often forget its even there (because you just don't use it)?

What do you suggest?

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philba
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Post by philba » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:55 pm

forgive my lazyness - does pickit 2 support ICSP? If not, I'd pass. pulling the chip to reprogram it is for the birds. The ICD2 supports:
- ICSP
- in-circuit debugging
- most of the Microchip line

You can get a decent clone for $100 from sparkfun. make sure you get one that uses the USB port for communication. there are some being sold on ebay the use USB for power and serial for communications.

You could even build an ICD2 clone for around $30. http://www.stolz.de.be/

debugging is very useful though some lean on it like a crutch. but that is the subject of a different discussion.

by the way, I believe "production" has more to do with the specs/tolerances rather than debugging. it's pretty meaningless in the hobbyist arena.

Newz2000
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Post by Newz2000 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:27 am

Yeah, both of those are icsp only. These boards I've just created are ICSP but to be honest, I'm most familiar with programming using dip sockets.

Phil (and others):
When you layout your board, do you add a connector for an ICSP header, or do you have some way that you can just clip the icsp cable on so that you don't have to add header sockets to every board? Just curious how people handle that, because it seems to me kind of silly to add an extra $1 to every board, since that's how much the 5 pin header costs for my current jdm style programmer. And, ideally, you wouldn't have to program a board too many times, especially now that bootloaders work so nice.

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philba
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Post by philba » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:23 pm

I used to add ICSP headers to my designs but I don't anymore and still use ICSP. It may seem like a good thing to have zif socket based programmer but I always try to use ICSP. OK, so how do I do it then - get a clip for the chip you are using. either a dip clip or soic clip:
Image Image
Then you just hook up to the pins you want for ICSP.

Or, you could build an adaptor board that has an ICSP header and a socket if you absolutely had to program in a socket. Unless you never change your PIC code, you will get very tired of pulling the chip, putting it into programming socket, programming it, then putting it back into the target socket. also, if you use surface mount PICs, the price for a socket is a lot higher

I've built an ICSP header board that plugs into a solderless breadboard - pretty simple and very convenient.

edit: why does it cost $1??? You can use snappable header pins which should cost a lot less. You might have to construct a special cable, depending on the programmer's ICSP connector.

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