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PICList Thread
'SMD PICs'
2006\08\04@043443 by Tamas Rudnai

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Hi,

Is anybody has experience on SMD sized PICs used as a hobbyist / small
production? Couple of questions pop into my mind:

- There is no socket or whatever, so how do you program it without ICSP?

- I could not find any info on the program memory types, so are they OTP or
Flash or anything else?

- What tool do you recommend for dealing with SMD stuff (small production as
10 maybe 15 a month with 5-10 parts on the board so I would need a bit
cheaper ones no matter if it takes more time or more expensive to build
with)

- Is there any place in Ireland or UK where I have a chance to buy
copper-clad boards that are not as thick (the standard is 1.6mm I think and
I was thinking of having as thin as possible as the size will be really
small -- the lighter is better

Thanks
Tamas


--
unPIC -- The PIC Disassembler
http://unpic.sourceforge.net

2006\08\04@055111 by Mat

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- There is no socket or whatever, so how do you program it without ICSP?

So I have no idea, I have only done ICSP in the past with these devices.
What you could try, is making a small pcb with the chip footprint and ICSP
connections, then hold the chip against it whilst programming and moved it
to the desired board. Cheap and maybe effective.....

- I could not find any info on the program memory types, so are they OTP or
Flash or anything else?

If they say 16F or 18F then they are Flash devices

- What tool do you recommend for dealing with SMD stuff (small production as
10 maybe 15 a month with 5-10 parts on the board so I would need a bit
cheaper ones no matter if it takes more time or more expensive to build
with)

This is coming at it from a cheap perspective, what I have done in the past
is to use a standard kitchen oven. Preheat the oven to 240'C, then apply a
small amount of solder paste along the 4 lengths of the pads, on the pcb,
and position the chip using a pin to move it. Once in place, bake it in the
oven for 2min 30 seconds (this changes depending on the oven), basically
until the solder paste goes shiny. Then remove and let it set, jobs done.
You may have to check the pins and correct if necessary but after a while
you can judge how much paste is needed and you'll find mistakes arnt that
common

- Is there any place in Ireland or UK where I have a chance to buy
copper-clad boards that are not as thick (the standard is 1.6mm I think and
I was thinking of having as thin as possible as the size will be really
small -- the lighter is better

Sorry no idea..

My 2cents,

Mat

{Original Message removed}

2006\08\04@100819 by Mike Hagen

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I use Pic Start+ with adaptors (SMD to Pins for Pstart+) bought from
some vendors here in the US (Logical Systems, Iornwood, ect).
They run about $65, so get an adaptor that will do the most pins and
still fit a shorter package.

You have to watch out, some small SMD Pics are narrow, some are wide
SOIC!  You might have to buy several adaptors, I ran into this going
from the 12C508 to 12F675?

The PicStart+ is the best supported programmer for the small guy!  I got
2 of them, love the fact that they work in MPLAB!

On another project with the 16F77, I put a place for a connector for the
Microchip ICD-2 connection.  I use a real small connector (5 pin),
but do not solder it on.  The PCB pads are laid out tight so I force the
connector, program the Pic, and then remove the connector and use it
for the next board.  If I wanted to, I could even shorten the PCB by
about an 1/8", by cutting the board off on that end?


I use the Microchip adaptor board for the SOT 10F200.  It is a universal
board with ICD and DIP connections, and a good deal.

BUT the DOTTED end on the 10F200 is almost impossible to SEE!

I look under a magnifying lamp, and still have problems.  Microchip
needs to put a bigger dimple at the pin 1 end.

I am going to stop using them (SOT 10F200) until they do something about
it.  It takes me too long to program and solder on the PCB
because I CAN'T SEE which end is PIN 1 !


Mike Hagen
Hagen Engineering
Crestline, Ca.
spam_OUTMikeTakeThisOuTspamHagenEng.com
(909) 338-5521




2006\08\04@110618 by Bob Axtell

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Mike Hagen wrote:
> I use Pic Start+ with adaptors (SMD to Pins for Pstart+) bought from
> some vendors here in the US (Logical Systems, Iornwood, ect).
> They run about $65, so get an adaptor that will do the most pins and
> still fit a shorter package.
>
> You have to watch out, some small SMD Pics are narrow, some are wide
> SOIC!  You might have to buy several adaptors, I ran into this going
> from the 12C508 to 12F675?
>
> The PicStart+ is the best supported programmer for the small guy!  I got
> 2 of them, love the fact that they work in MPLAB!
>  
I have 3, and all 3 are broken. They don't seem to be very reliable.
There are others compatible
with MPLAB that I like better

> On another project with the 16F77, I put a place for a connector for the
> Microchip ICD-2 connection.  I use a real small connector (5 pin),
> but do not solder it on.  The PCB pads are laid out tight so I force the
> connector, program the Pic, and then remove the connector and use it
> for the next board.  If I wanted to, I could even shorten the PCB by
> about an 1/8", by cutting the board off on that end?
>
>  
The easiest way to accomplish ICSP is to layout the connections on a 5p
0.1" array of pads, but
do NOT actually install a connector! I then have made up probing pins
(called POGO PINS) on
a 5P molex connector which connects to the programmer. When you need to
program, simply
press the probe array into position and engage the programmer. The
probes are gold-plated and
last about 2000 shots before one or more needs to be replaced. BTW, the
holes of the pads must
not be too big; 0.030" is ideal for "chisel-point" probes.
{Quote hidden}

But its a problem with all SOTs, I can't see any of 'em either!

--Bob
{Quote hidden}

2006\08\04@114647 by Mike Hagen

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Bob,

About programming, Yes, .1" spacing fits the cheap Molex connectors too.
Use an un-soldered header just pushed into pads that are tight.
Those pins are square, so they push and stay in a 0.034-0.036" hole fine
for programming.

I use a smaller programming connector because my boards are usually
tiny.  If you make the pads on the PCB tight, no expensive pogos are
needed.  It is less than 0.5" x 0.2".  Molex from Digikey I think?
Fixturing up pogos and the $3-5 each for them is great for high
production, but a lot harder for small production.

About PicStart+,  mine are '96 versions with the flash mod installed, I
have never had a failure.
I have not heard of them being unreliable.  I have been using them for
10 years now, what failed on yours?
Several hundred Pic of all sorts programmed.  Maybe I don't use them
enough?  I have never tried hooking them to programming on a board.
Always put the Pic into them, so I don't see how they could pop?
Microchip may fix them for free, they replaced my ICD-2 for free?

Other programmer seem always to have connection problem, or drivers
needed.  Over the years, that has been a major topic on the Pic
Websites.
I wasted about a $1K on Parallax programmer and emulator.  Will never by
their stuff again.  Never any support.

I bet the device list on the PicStart is the best too, since it is
updated with each MPLAB?

I have been Picing since the first ones came out and on this list for
years, never seen any PicStart+ threads show up?

Stange news to me!

Mike Hagen
Hagen Engineering
Crestline, Ca.
MikespamKILLspamHagenEng.com
(909) 338-5521




2006\08\04@121638 by Bob Axtell

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Mike Hagen wrote:
> Bob,
>
> About programming, Yes, .1" spacing fits the cheap Molex connectors too.
> Use an un-soldered header just pushed into pads that are tight.
> Those pins are square, so they push and stay in a 0.034-0.036" hole fine
> for programming.
>
> I use a smaller programming connector because my boards are usually
> tiny.  If you make the pads on the PCB tight, no expensive pogos are
> needed.  It is less than 0.5" x 0.2".  Molex from Digikey I think?
> Fixturing up pogos and the $3-5 each for them is great for high
> production, but a lot harder for small production.
>  
Yes, I use a 2mm-center array for smaller PCBs.
> About PicStart+,  mine are '96 versions with the flash mod installed, I
> have never had a failure.
> I have not heard of them being unreliable.  I have been using them for
> 10 years now, what failed on yours?
> Several hundred Pic of all sorts programmed.  Maybe I don't use them
> enough?  I have never tried hooking them to programming on a board.
> Always put the Pic into them, so I don't see how they could pop?
> Microchip may fix them for free, they replaced my ICD-2 for free?
>
>  
Maybe I am just clumsy..?

{Quote hidden}

I always have the strange, unusual ones.

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

2006\08\04@172305 by Gerry Duprey

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Howdy,

> About PicStart+,  mine are '96 versions with the flash mod installed, I
> have never had a failure.

Lucky you -- I've had two fail over the course of about 5 years.  Not
excessive use (in fact, you could say hobby use -- few dozen times a month).

The other thing is they are really, really slow compared to other tools.

After my last one crapped out, I got the EasyProg programmer.  It seems a very
solid programmer and about 4-8 times faster than the PicStart.  It supports a
lot of chips (nearly anything I was likely to run into) including newer chips
and seems pretty rock solid.

In terms of support, the PicStart hasn't had a great history with support for
chips either.  I remember with the 16F628A's came out and the PicStart didn't
offer any support for them for about 6 months.  I also got the flash mod and I
think that with that, they are moving a little faster, but this delay wasn't
all that long ago.

--
Gerry Duprey
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
http://www.cdp1802.org

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