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'[PIC] Which in-circuit programmer?'
2009\04\30@234041 by Forrest W Christian

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First a bit of background:   I regularly do multi-target programming.  
That is, programming where I am working on communication between two
PIC's.    I almost always will have two ICD's running at any given time.

Right now, my ICD collection (excluding the non-usb ones), consist of a
PICKit2, a ICD-U40 (CCS), and the mikro-e ICD.

I should also mention that I'm generally not using the *debugging*
features of the tools.   Just not how I program - too many years of not
having it and doing embedded work I guess.   I will occasionally dig it
out, but it's not critical.   So I'm really just using it as an
in-circuit programmer.

I've generally used the PICkit2 when using the microchip tools, and the
U40, when programming in CCS PIC-C.   Unfortunately the U40 I have is
older, and doesn't program the chips I am now starting to work with...
so I have to share the pickit2 which can cause problems when I really am
working on both sides at the same time.

My initial thought was just to buy a ICD-U64... but there are things I
really like about the PICkit2 - mainly that I can set it in auto-program
mode and it just writes the code to the device when it changes.   I also
hear really good things about the programming speed on the ICD3, but not
so good things about the PICkit3 (so far - realize it will probably
improve with age).   And, I've never dove into the whole third-party
clone options.   So, I'm really not sure which option to choose.

So, maybe what I'm asking for is a quick rundown on what people like or
don't like about their programmers, and perhaps a comparison of the ones
they have used.   I am not all that cost sensitive, but would much
rather pick a less expensive tool if it will work for me.

Thanks,

-forrest

2009\04\30@235111 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Forrest W Christian <spam_OUTforrestcTakeThisOuTspamimach.com> wrote:
> I've generally used the PICkit2 when using the microchip tools, and the
> U40, when programming in CCS PIC-C.   Unfortunately the U40 I have is
> older, and doesn't program the chips I am now starting to work with...
> so I have to share the pickit2 which can cause problems when I really am
> working on both sides at the same time.
>
> My initial thought was just to buy a ICD-U64... but there are things I
> really like about the PICkit2 - mainly that I can set it in auto-program
> mode and it just writes the code to the device when it changes.   I also
> hear really good things about the programming speed on the ICD3, but not
> so good things about the PICkit3 (so far - realize it will probably
> improve with age).   And, I've never dove into the whole third-party
> clone options.   So, I'm really not sure which option to choose.

What are the PICs you are using? If you use bigger PICs like some
PIC24/dsPIC33/PIC32, it may be good to go for ICD 3. If not, I think
PICkit 2 is good enough. And you may be able to use pk2cmd within
your CCS environment. Or you can use CCS C inside MPLAB and use
PICkit 2 as the programmer.


--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com


'[PIC] Which in-circuit programmer?'
2009\05\01@000041 by Funny NYPD
picon face
All tools has its own pros and cons.
For a tool that matured enough and easy of use, I would like to say, the PICkit 2 is your best bet.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: Forrest W Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam@spam@imach.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:42:35 PM
Subject: [PIC] Which in-circuit programmer?

First a bit of background:   I regularly do multi-target programming.  
That is, programming where I am working on communication between two
PIC's.    I almost always will have two ICD's running at any given time.

Right now, my ICD collection (excluding the non-usb ones), consist of a
PICKit2, a ICD-U40 (CCS), and the mikro-e ICD.

I should also mention that I'm generally not using the *debugging*
features of the tools.   Just not how I program - too many years of not
having it and doing embedded work I guess.   I will occasionally dig it
out, but it's not critical.   So I'm really just using it as an
in-circuit programmer.

I've generally used the PICkit2 when using the microchip tools, and the
U40, when programming in CCS PIC-C.   Unfortunately the U40 I have is
older, and doesn't program the chips I am now starting to work with...
so I have to share the pickit2 which can cause problems when I really am
working on both sides at the same time.

My initial thought was just to buy a ICD-U64... but there are things I
really like about the PICkit2 - mainly that I can set it in auto-program
mode and it just writes the code to the device when it changes.   I also
hear really good things about the programming speed on the ICD3, but not
so good things about the PICkit3 (so far - realize it will probably
improve with age).   And, I've never dove into the whole third-party
clone options.   So, I'm really not sure which option to choose.

So, maybe what I'm asking for is a quick rundown on what people like or
don't like about their programmers, and perhaps a comparison of the ones
they have used.   I am not all that cost sensitive, but would much
rather pick a less expensive tool if it will work for me.

Thanks,

-forrest

2009\05\01@000549 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 11:51 AM, Xiaofan Chen <.....xiaofancKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> What are the PICs you are using? If you use bigger PICs like some
> PIC24/dsPIC33/PIC32, it may be good to go for ICD 3. If not, I think
> PICkit 2 is good enough. And you may be able to use pk2cmd within
> your CCS environment. Or you can use CCS C inside MPLAB and use
> PICkit 2 as the programmer.
>

But it seems that CCS ICD-U64 is not expensive either at US$75,
why not buy it to have better integration with your CCS environment?
http://www.ccsinfo.com/product_info.php?products_id=icd_u64

At PICkit 2's price range, nothing beats it. And if CCS's claim
is correct, I would say ICD-U64 is also very good at its price
range, at least for CCS C users. You may need the debugging
occasionally and it is good to have one supported debugger.

In general, I would not recommend ICD 2 or clone ICD 2.
There are some clone PICkit 2 but why buy them unless they
have some enhancements to the original PICKit 2. Funny Nypd's
clone may have some interesting points so you may take
a look at it.

ICD 3 is good that it is faster in both programming and debugging
and have console program as well like PICkit 2.  But ICD 3 is more
expensive.

If money permitted, both an ICD-U64 and an ICD 3. ;-)
If not, buy the ICD-U64.
I do not know any other 3rd party offerings which can beat them.
Most of the 3rd party tool will not have integration with MPLAB.
Most of the 3rd party tool will not have debugging capabilities.

Xiaofan



--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\05\01@004124 by Forrest W Christian

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face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> What are the PICs you are using? If you use bigger PICs like some
> PIC24/dsPIC33/PIC32, it may be good to go for ICD 3.
I knew I missed something critical.   I am going to be using some
PIC24's but just for the USB OTG capability - not because there's going
to be a big huge program running.   Most of the problem is the K and J
parts (The PIC18f26K20 is biting me right now, but I'm also planning on
using

When I use the PICkit2 and CCS, I usually use the CCS ide, and then run
the PICkit2 software in "auto load and program" mode...
Actually easier since hitting the compile button compiles and loads the
code all in one step.   The ICD3 interests me quite a bit.  Does anyone
know if it has a similar programming mode?

-forrest.

2009\05\01@010110 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 12:43 PM, Forrest W Christian <EraseMEforrestcspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTimach.com> wrote:
>> What are the PICs you are using? If you use bigger PICs like some
>> PIC24/dsPIC33/PIC32, it may be good to go for ICD 3.
> I knew I missed something critical.   I am going to be using some
> PIC24's but just for the USB OTG capability - not because there's going
> to be a big huge program running.   Most of the problem is the K and J
> parts (The PIC18f26K20 is biting me right now, but I'm also planning on
> using
>
> When I use the PICkit2 and CCS, I usually use the CCS ide, and then run
> the PICkit2 software in "auto load and program" mode...

> Actually easier since hitting the compile button compiles and loads the
> code all in one step.   The ICD3 interests me quite a bit.  Does anyone
> know if it has a similar programming mode?
>

Could you use the command line pk2cmd within CCD IDE for PICkit 2?
If so, you can use similar with icd3cmd with ICD 3. There is no
ICD 3 standalone PC GUI application like the one for PICkit 2.

I do not have ICD 3. But from the forum, it is much better than
PICKit 2 and ICD 2 as a debugger for PIC24/PIC32. It is also
faster as a programmer.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\05\01@081841 by olin piclist

face picon face
Forrest W Christian wrote:
> So, maybe what I'm asking for is a quick rundown on what people like or
> don't like about their programmers, and perhaps a comparison of the ones
> they have used.   I am not all that cost sensitive, but would much
> rather pick a less expensive tool if it will work for me.

Naturally I use our USBProg and USBProg2 (http://www.embedinc.com/products)
most of the time.  When I'm not using the ICE-2000 or ICE-4000 to emulate
the target PIC, I usually keep a programmer hooked up to the target.  During
development I have several quick scripts that build the project and then
perform some action.  One builds the project and then runs MPLAB with that
project loaded.  Another builds the project and then dumps the result into
the target PIC if the build was successful.  This is also a good way to deal
with developing code for different PICs of the same project.  I keep a
separate programmer hooked to each PIC, and the build and program script for
each project specifies the unique name of the programmer connected to its
PIC.

We haven't done many projects using the 3.3V only PICs yet, like the 18FJ,
24H, etc.  This is where I like to use our LProg because I can't screw up
and specify the wrong thing and have the programmer accidentally zap the PIC
with 13V Vpp or 5V Vdd, both of which would damage a 3.3V only part.  Yes,
the USBProg has fully variable Vdd and Vpp, and can program the 3.3V only
parts too.  And of course it tries the low voltage algorithms first in
attempting to determine the chip ID of the connected PIC.  However,
especially during development, something can go wrong and communication with
the 3.3V part can fail, in which case it will proceed to higher voltages if
I forgot to specify the target PIC type on the command line.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

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