UAV DevBoard pilots:

SparkFun is out of stock for both their Olimex ICD2s, which is what I've been recommending to program the UAV DevBoard, as well as their Olimex PICPOCKET, which I do not have enough information right now to provide any recommendations one way or another. SparkFun is discontinuing the ICD2, it is their intent to sell the PICPOCKET instead. Those are out of stock right now. As soon as they get some in, they told me they will test a few with the UAV DevBoard to assure compatibility.

In the meantime, there are 4 programmers that I can recommend, that you can buy from Microchip.

ICD2 - Its around $200. I have used it, it works fine. You will need to buy either an adapter from SparkFun or an adapter from Microchip to go from the RJ11 connector on the ICD2, to the ICSP connector on the DevBoard. Microchip discourages you from buying the ICD2, because they are phasing it out, but it works just fine.

ICD3 - Similar to ICD2. Its also around $200. Its the newer version of the ICD2. I have also used it, it works fine. You will need to buy either an adapter from SparkFun or an adapter from Microchip to go from the RJ11 connector on the ICD2, to the ICSP connector on the DevBoard.

PICkit3 - Its around $45. I have not used it. I have heard of some complaints, but there are reports that it works ok with the UAV DevBoard. It has an ICSP connector, and you can plug it directly into the DevBoard. There are various packages that Microchip offers that include the PICkit3, including a "PICkit3 Debug Express" for $70, but all you need is the "PICkit3 only" package.

PICkit2 - Its around $35. I have used it, it works ok. It has an ICSP connector, and you can plug it directly into the DevBoard. Microchip discourages you from buying this one, because they are discontinuing it, but it works just fine. Really, its the best one to go with.

Here is a link to the information on Microchip's website. If you buy any of their programmers, go with just the bare bones programmer. They offer other packages with various accessories, but all you need is a programmer.

Best regards,

Bill Premerlani

Views: 911

Tags: DevBoard, ICD2, UAV, debugger, programmer


Moderator
Comment by Morli on February 17, 2010 at 7:30pm
wish this was there before i bought mine , would have saved almost 100 bucks ::( , any way thanks for putting this up :)

T3
Comment by William Premerlani on February 17, 2010 at 7:41pm
Hi Morli,
I wish I had started with the PICkit, but I did not know about it at first. When I started out, someone pointed me to SparkFun, and I bought everything there, and that is why I recommended their ICD2.
Gradually, I became aware of other programmers, such as the PICkit2, but there were a few reports of trouble with it, so I was reluctant to give it too much visibility. Also, the PICkit2 would not fit onto the polarized connector on the UAV DevBoard, so you either had to make a special cable, or remove the polarizing tab. Since then, we have changed the design of the UAV DevBoard to replace the polarized connector with straight pins, so you can connect a PICkit2 or 3 directly to the board. Of course, without the polarization, there is the possibility that you can get the connection backwards, but it will not cause any harm other than MPLAB will complain that it cannot connect.
From time to time I hear reports of problems with just about any of the available programmers. It is my conjecture that it has something to do with a firmware issue, rather than a hardware issue, because we have generally been able to get the problem cases resolved by trying different versions of the Microchip software tools.
Anyway, if SparkFun discontinues the Olimex ICD2, there will eventually be a market for used ICD2s, you can sell yours then and buy a PICkit2 or PICkit3.
Best regards,
Bill

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 17, 2010 at 8:53pm
Two words for the next version of the board: USB Native. I'm just saying!
Comment by Matthew M on February 17, 2010 at 10:00pm
PICKit2 FTW!

Developer
Comment by Ryan Beall on February 17, 2010 at 11:34pm
Yeah, PICKit2 is pretty useful and cheap but stay away from PICKit 3. They upped the price and took a lot of features away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfIS65mwn8
Comment by Rob Eckel on February 17, 2010 at 11:52pm
I can vouch for the PICkit2. Its an outstanding programmer, and a great deal better than the PICkit3. Microchip developed a very nice software package that not only allows you to program just about any PIC product they produce, but also provides a UART connection and lets you use it as a mini-logic-analyzer. Its tiny, quiet(the olimex that i have is noisy), works perfectly at what its supposed to do and has additional features beyond what you'd expect. The PICkit 3 on the otherhand is basically a gimped PICkit2. It doesn't have that nice software package that adds features, and the thing has to be reprogrammed every time you want to use it on a different chip(just like the ICD2 does).

I highly recommend the PICkit2!
Comment by Rob Eckel on February 18, 2010 at 12:00am
Also, see this video response from Microchip themselves, after the youtube video that Ryan linked generated a lot of buzz in the community. Despite their response sounding like they'd be fixing the problems with the PICkit3, its been months and months now and I haven't seen anything new. My PICKit3 sits in a drawer and never gets used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YUvlrVlNao&feature=response_watch
Comment by abey on February 18, 2010 at 2:04am
For mac users: the Pickit2 is the only programmer for which a Mac native tool exists, if you can deal with the terminal. Along with these instructions for compiling the dsPic gcc compiler, I have a pure Mac workflow: http://vanklinkenbergsoftware.nl/blog/?tag=dspic

Moderator
Comment by Morli on February 18, 2010 at 3:08am
Hi Billu Bhayia, I have no complains, my programmer is fine, The debugging and serial port options is plus which other programmer cannot boost :-). In any case I did not have much of choice unless I split my orders which I avoid & Pickit2 wasn't available from SF.
Comment by Rana on February 18, 2010 at 10:40am
Billu Bhaiya, here is another one in just in $13.95 and works very well with dedicated serial port, not USB to serial converter. I have used it myself.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8

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