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'[PIC] new to this, advise needed'
2006\07\19@164353 by antoniarodri

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Hello,

I've been all the afternoon looking on how to get into pic programming, I'm a linux user.

I've got already gnu pic and other tools downloaded and compiled, as I've also seen PICKit's from microchip.

My question is if is there any tutorial or document that explains how to do a PICKit-alike thing from scratch? I'm using a laptop so an usb interface would be a must.

It's not because of money, probably is gonna be a bit more expensive to buy components separately and assembling them, than buying the actual pickit, but I've always wanted to learn about it, got a bit of time now, and like doing things by my own, though I'm not an expertise in electronics.

I've reading about PIC16F877, it's manual, and on the internet, read good things about it basically. Nowadays, is still a good election for a first pic experience?

Also been asking myself the whole evening what software is used for pcb desing and printing from linux? I know postscript, and probably with the help of sodipodi and tex one could do somecing nice, though there might be some proper option for doing this, just curious about it.

Kind Regards,


2006\07\19@172325 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> My question is if is there any tutorial or document that
> explains how to do a PICKit-alike thing from scratch? I'm
> using a laptop so an usb interface would be a must.

you want to build yourself a pickit clone? the firmware and schematics
for both pickit1 and pickit2 are available, so have a go! been there,
done that.

note that you can use an usb-serial converter with most intelligent
serial port programmers (the ones that contain a PIC).

> I've reading about PIC16F877, it's manual, and on the
> internet, read good things about it basically. Nowadays, is
> still a good election for a first pic experience?

If you want 14-bit core I would go for a 16F917. newer, slightly better
peripherals, cheaper.

But you could consider an 18F or even a dsPIC.

> Also been asking myself the whole evening what software is
> used for pcb desing and printing from linux?

did you try eagle?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\07\19@193044 by Hector Martin [PIClist] n/a

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antoniarodri@canarias.org wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I've been all the afternoon looking on how to get into pic
> programming, I'm a linux user.
Great! So am I :)

> I've got already gnu pic and other tools downloaded and compiled,
> as I've also seen PICKit's from microchip.
>
> My question is if is there any tutorial or document that explains
> how to do a PICKit-alike thing from scratch? I'm using a laptop so
> an usb interface would be a must.
You could build one. I personally just breadboard my stuff, and I use
Wouter's Wisp628 as a programmer. It's serial based, but you could
easily use it with a USB-serial converter.

> I've reading about PIC16F877, it's manual, and on the internet, read
> good things about it basically. Nowadays, is still a good election
> for a first pic experience?
16F877 is OK, I use 16F876 and 16F877 a lot (876 is the 28-pin version).
As Wouter pointed out, one of the updated chips would also be a good
choice, and cheaper. If you want to use the newer 18F's, I'd go for a
18F4550 which has a ton of good stuff, including USB support.

> Also been asking myself the whole evening what software is used for
> pcb desing and printing from linux? I know postscript, and probably
> with the help of sodipodi and tex one could do somecing nice, though
> there might be some proper option for doing this, just curious about
> it.
I use gEDA for schematic design and netlisting, and then use gsch2pcb to
keep changes synchronised with the pcb (which is designed in a program
(sortof aptly) named pcb, see pcb.sf.net). They seem to be the best
open-source tools available. The process usually goes like this: design
schematic in gschem (part of gEDA), transfer using gsch2pcb, design pcb
in pcb, keep changes synchronized from gschem using gsch2pcb, and then
export to postscript or gerber from within pcb, and print or send to fab.

--
Hector Martin (spam_OUThectorTakeThisOuTspammarcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/hector.asc

2006\07\20@012025 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 7/20/06, Hector Martin [PIClist] <hector+.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@marcansoft.com> wrote:

> > My question is if is there any tutorial or document that explains
> > how to do a PICKit-alike thing from scratch? I'm using a laptop so
> > an usb interface would be a must.

> You could build one. I personally just breadboard my stuff, and I use
> Wouter's Wisp628 as a programmer. It's serial based, but you could
> easily use it with a USB-serial converter.
>

I will not recommend that you build PICKit 2 by yourself. It is a bit
complicated.
It is well worth the money to buy it ready made and start the real thing.  To
build a programmer is really not necessary to learn PICs...

If you really want to build a programmer, then I will agree with Hector that
Wisp628 is a good one. But you still need to get a programmed PIC
(16F628A or similar). It is not as convenient as PICKit 2 since you need
a 5V supply and it needs a USB-serial converter. but it is much easier to
build.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\07\20@034519 by Hector Martin [PIClist] n/a

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> If you really want to build a programmer, then I will agree with Hector that
> Wisp628 is a good one. But you still need to get a programmed PIC
> (16F628A or similar). It is not as convenient as PICKit 2 since you need
> a 5V supply and it needs a USB-serial converter. but it is much easier to
> build.
Plus it's tiny :)

--
Hector Martin (hectorspamKILLspammarcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/hector.asc

2006\07\20@101621 by Jan Wagemakers

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antoniarodri@canarias.org schreef:

> Also been asking myself the whole evening what software is used for pcb
> desing and printing from linux?

Take a look at gEDA <http://geda.seul.org/>. I have used it to create a PCB
for my pic3com project <http://www.janw.dommel.be/pic18f452pcb-e.html>.


--
Met vriendelijke groetjes         - Jan Wagemakers -

... Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square
   Was fashion the reason why they were there         --System Of A Down

2006\07\20@104352 by Alan B. Pearce

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> Also been asking myself the whole evening what software is used for pcb
> desing and printing from linux?

A number of people on this list use Eagle which is available in a free
version with limited functionality, but generally enough for small projects.
Available for both Linux and Windows from http://www.cadsoft.de/

2006\07\22@170518 by antoniarodri

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Hello everyone!,

Thanks so much for you replies. I've downloaded geda, pcb, eagle, and tried them out. I like Hector's workflow actually.

Confuses me a bit the fact that Hector says is possible to do, while Xiaofan says I might need a programmed (16F628A or similar), appart from a 5 volts power supply, so I guess I might need a programmer to do that Wisp628 programmer? then I couldn't unless I buy one.

As Xiaofan says, my willing of doing a pickit-alike is just stupid, overall not having a clue about electronics. It would be better to buy it, I just thought it would be easier though, given all the examples I could see on the internet.

I think the better way to go is the one pointed out by Hector, where I'd be working within a bread-board all the time, even with a power supply when needed, so I've got the chance of continually trying new things out, whilst don't having to depend on external firmware and complex things I don't really understand yet. I'm just trying to keep it as simple as possible so I can get to know about this from bottom to top.

The 18f4550 suggested by Hector looks alright as well, and the gputils version I installed does have inc and lkr files for this pic.

Indeed, my question should turn to: does it make sense to have such a pic on a breadboard, plus a usb connector (and the needed stuff to make it work) so I could program it "on-site" without the need for a programmer at all? That way I could grow up on different circuitry, always having the pic and it's interface there, statically, and still all in one single piece.

If so, is there anywhere I could find such an example? let's say I just want to connect a led to it, so as an start, I can get familiar with pic's programming by changing this led's state programatically.

If not, could anyone tell me about a similar solution?

Kind Regards,


2006\07\22@184945 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Just a few thoughts...



.....antoniarodriKILLspamspam.....canarias.org wrote :

> Confuses me a bit the fact that Hector says is possible to
> do, while Xiaofan says I might need a programmed (16F628A or
> similar), appart from a 5 volts power supply,...

I guess you are talkning about the Wisp628, right ?

> so I guess I might need a programmer to do that Wisp628
> programmer? then I couldn't unless I buy one.

No, not at all. No matter *what* programmer you decide to
build, you need to get/buy *some* componenets, right ?

Just look at a pre-programmed 16F628A as any other "component".

Wouter are selling the pre-programmed 16F628A in it's own.
Or you can get the complete kit, so you do not have to search
for all parts yourself.

> I think the better way to go is the one pointed out by
> Hector, where I'd be working within a bread-board all the
> time,

Breadboards are find and flexible while learning and while
prototyping later on.

> even with a power supply when needed,...

I use one of these for my breadboards :
www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=114
Easy to use, and easy to move around when one have
multiple breadboards with different projects going on
in parallell.

> I'm just trying to keep it as simple as possible so I can get to
> know about this from bottom to top.

Absolutely !  But,

> The 18f4550 suggested by Hector looks alright as well,...

Nice chip, but IMHO not "as simple as possible".

My *personal* recomendation would be to start
with some simpler chip. There are many candidates,
16F628A, 16F88, maybe 18F1220, but a simpler one anyway.

> Indeed, my question should turn to: does it make sense to
> have such a pic on a breadboard, plus a usb connector (and
> the needed stuff to make it work) so I could program it
> "on-site" without the need for a programmer at all?

What is "on-site" ?
And why the need to use "no programmer" ??

And (again *personaly*) I think that, if you do not
realy *need* all 40-pins, use a smaller package. A 40-pin
chip takes close to half of a standard breadboard. They are
also harder to get in and out of the breadboard, larger risk
of breaking a leg and so on.

> That way
> I could grow up on different circuitry, always having the pic
> and it's interface there, statically, and still all in one
> single piece.

That's how I use my breadboard(s) and my Wisp628.

> If so, is there anywhere I could find such an example? let's
> say I just want to connect a led to it, so as an start, I can
> get familiar with pic's programming by changing this led's
> state programatically.

Again, this talks in favour of starting with a simpler chip
until you've got "familiar with pic's programming", as you say.

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2006\07\22@185643 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/23/06, EraseMEantoniarodrispam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcanarias.org <antoniarodrispamspam_OUTcanarias.org> wrote:

> The 18f4550 suggested by Hector looks alright as well, and the
> gputils version I installed does have inc and lkr files for this pic.

I think it is a good one. The USB stuff can be difficult though. But
it can be used in non-usb applications.

{Quote hidden}

http://www.curdes.com/gnupic/GnuPic.html

If your computer has the parallel port, you can build simple programmers
to bootstrap the 18F4550. Microchip provides the bootloader
example for it.

The bootloader is supported under Linux.
http://www.internetking.org/fsusb/
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=106426
http://www.varxec.net/picdem_fs_usb/

By the way, for Linux PIC development, please go to
GNUPIC (http://www.gnupic.org) and subscribe to gnupic
mailing list.

Regards,
Xiaofan

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