Microchip ICD 2 v. PICkit 2

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mwelchhclewm
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Microchip ICD 2 v. PICkit 2

Post by mwelchhclewm » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:20 pm

After reading Mr. Hellebuyck's article in the October 2007 issue of N+V, which briefly discusses the ICSP and ICD capabilities of the PICkit 2 device, I'm left with a question...

What distinguishes Microchip's ICD-2 from its PICkit-2?

I'm sure I must be missing something, but they both appear to be capable of ICSP and ICD. So what's the extra $100 buy you?


Mike.

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jaem
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Post by jaem » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:15 pm

I believe the "D" in "ICD" stands for "Debugger"... That's what's costing you way more. Not all of the PICMicros support debugging, AFAIK, so check on the product tables. You can also get the PICKit2 Debug Express kit. I don't know how that compares to the ICD in terms of functionality, but I'd imagine you'd probably get better PC-side compatibility (e.g. 3rd part software) with the ICD, because it's been around a lot longer. I know that the Linux software for the PICKit2 still doesn't support the latest firmware revision.

I'm not sure what's different between the standard PICKit2 kit, and the Debug Express kit - it may just be firmware, as my normal PICKit2 doesn't allow me to do debugging. (It's grayed out) I'll check into it if I get the chance.

PICKit2 & Debug Express

EDIT: Apparently you can get the PICKit2 Debug version without the whole kit under part# PG164120 from Microchip
Hope that helps,

mwelchhclewm
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Post by mwelchhclewm » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:04 pm

According to Mr. Hellebuyck's article, while the original firmware of the PICkit2 programmer included with the "PICKit2 Starter Kit" is different from that of the "PICkit2 Debug Express", at this point they both (freely) upgrade to the same firmware. With that, the only difference between these packages is the "demo board" that each includes.

The demo board included with the "PICkit2 Starter kit" includes a 20, 14, 8 pin DIP socket as well as a PIC16F690. Other chips can be placed in this socket for programming / debugging purposes. (Since some of the smaller pin count chips don't include debugging circuitry, they may require a "debug adapter".)

The demo board included with the "PICkit2 Debug Express" has a surface mounted PIC16F887. While this is a more capable chip, it may be more difficult to work with manually (i.e. w/o pick and place hardware) and may therefore be less desirable for one working at home.

He suggests the PICkit2 programmer/debugger and a 28-pin (DIP) demo board (DM164120-3), given the popularity of the 28 pin package and that they house more powerful chips their small pin count counterparts.

Personally, I'm more inclined toward the "PICkit2 Starter Kit" and the DM164120-3 demo boards. This would allow one to program and debug most of the 8 through 28 pin chips. I believe that would cover most of the chips in Microchip's Baseline and Mid-Range lines as well as the DIP packaged, High Performance line.


Having said all that my question remains unanswered. At this point, what set of functionality separates the ICD2 from the PICkit2?

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MrAl
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Post by MrAl » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:39 am

Hi there,

As long as you are looking these things up, perhaps you can find
out if the PicKit2 does the USB capable chips too?
The numbers are something like
18F2450, 18F2455, 18F4450, 18F4455 .

Thanks :-)
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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jaem
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Post by jaem » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:23 pm

MrAl wrote:Hi there,

As long as you are looking these things up, perhaps you can find
out if the PicKit2 does the USB capable chips too?
The numbers are something like
18F2450, 18F2455, 18F4450, 18F4455 .

Thanks :-)
Yes, the PICKit 2 programs and debugs those chips. Full list of compatibility here.

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MrAl
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Post by MrAl » Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:08 am

Hi again,

Oh ok. Pickit 2 doesnt sound too bad for the price. I may look into
this sometime in the future so i can support USB without the additional
interface chip i use. The downside is that the PIC chips only
support USB Fullspeed i think, which means slower transfer, but i guess
that would be ok for many things anyway (12Mb/s).
I'll have to re read the data sheets now that i know there is a programmer
available for under 500 dollars :smile:
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Post by jm » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:23 pm

A support engineer at Microchip told me that the Pickit2 was basically designed as a "student" version of the ICD-2. They do the same job but the ICD-2 is definitely faster in loading large programs from MPLAB. The ICD-2 supports the newer 16 bit PIC24's. The ICD-2 also has better debugging support.

Interestingly the more powerful PIC24's are actually cheaper than the PIC18's. Now Microchip is adding 32bit cpu's to further confuse us all.

Ah for the days when men were men and computers used vacuum tubes.

jm

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philba
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Post by philba » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:50 am

lots of good comments so far...

One thing to consider is how you are going to be programming PICs down stream. In general, socket based programmers are a lot less useful that you would think. Most people that do more than a couple of projects quickly switch to in circuit programming (ICSP). i.e. never take the chip out of the circuit. Does the pickit2 have an ICSP header? In general, that is how you will get most chips programmed. I highly recommend you understand this issue.

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jaem
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Post by jaem » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:55 am

Hi,

The PICKit2 has a header facing outwards from the end. It may often be easiest to use a right-angle header on the board, so it can stick out of the side of the case, rather than requiring disassembly.

I would note that the PICKit2 (with the latest firmware, anyways) supports a fair few PIC24s, as well as dsPIC30/33s, EEPROMs, and a few other devices.
I would further note for those that care that Linux support for the PICKit2 is several firmware versions behind, so you'll have to wait a while to program more recent devices with Linux. I haven't tried this yet, but I've heard that the PICKit2 uses the HID (human interface device) driver, so it may be possible to program it from a virtualized Windoze install (e.g. VMware, etc.) I'll post back in a different thread when I have time to try that.

I'm not sure about the firmwares supported, but the ICD2 is also supported by Linux - again, if you care...

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