The manufacturer of the PIC devices Microchip
have a very good set of application notes for designers and programmers of
their products. I have mirrored them here and over time intend to label the
list correctly. As it is now, you have Acrobat pdf files in a big heap. They
are however sorted by the Microchip file references.
You can find them By following this link
David Tait created a lot of material about the PIC, and until about 1999 he had
these available on his site. As the archive was very useful. I have also
duplicated this on this link and will continue to
do so until I either run out of bandwidth (2GB a month) or I have a legal
request to remove it.
I also have a links page (the Internet in general is
one big link, so why should this site be any different?)
Want to see where I went wrong when I migrated my
app from a PIC16F77 to a PIC16F877A?
And finally, a link to some projects I either have been, or am
working on. Which programmer is best for the PIC family.
Whilst there are a great number of these around, it all comes down to a couple
of basic questions.
How much do you want to spend?
Which chips do you want to work with?
Do you want to program the chips in-circuit or out of circuit?
Do you need compatibility with any particular software?
I personally use the Warp-13 from Dontronics
Although they are in Australia, they ship to anywhere in the world. Also they
give all purchasers of the programmer a DT-101 circuit board - This is a PiC
board which fits into a 30 pin SIMM socket.
What do I want from my own Development system?
In no particular order: -
PIC CPU 16F877
IDE Hard Disk Interface (!)
X10 Control (send)
Keyboard Input (PS/2 Compatible)
Ram (128K bytes - 64k x16 words)
Details of this will be found on my Projects Page
The items in Bold on the list are the ones I have squeezed onto my first
generation test board.
The designs have been done using Eagle Schematic
and PCB Design tools.
This package gives you an excellent library based schematic tool, and a first
class PCB autorouting package.
The best thing is, if you can squeeze your design into 80mm x 100mm and on just
two layers, then you can use the freeware version of the program.
If not, then the prices are still very reasonable indeed.
I have previously used Orcad to design schematics and PCBs, and I must say that
once you get used to it, Eagle is a superb, powerful and easy to use program.
My current language of choice: Although I prefer assembler for microcontroller
projects, once the project starts to get any depth to it, I find myself getting
lost in bit and bytes before you know it, the office floor is full of manuals,
schematics, technotes, app notes and the like. I have just bought a licence for
the C2C C compiler and IDE.
This is a very good value for money C compiler. OK it has a couple of bugs, but at the
time of writing these pages, (3rd Feb, 2004) it cost me £43.60 for a two node
licence. (the licence for a single user, two PCs was only £4 more than the single PC
licence so I thought I may as well licence my Laptop as well.)
The compiler is available from PicAnt. It is worth
a mention that they also do a C++ and a Pascal compiler.
The compiler integrates with Microchip's MPLab Assembler and works very well indeed.
At the time of writing, there is one main bug which caught me out to start with; There is an
application wizard that gives you a nice visual interface to define your inputs, output,
timers, interrupts etc and creates a hunk of code with C prototypes.
There is an option within the wizard to create EEProm read and write routines; There is a
bug in the C source code created by the wizard, but once you know it's there, it's a simple
case of changing a set_bit to a clear_bit in the editor - you only need to do this once for
each project and only if you use the Wizard. Update
I outgrew the C2C C Compiler fairly quickly. I realised that some of the things I wanted to do
still involved a lot of hard manual coding. The lack of structures, pointers, and multidimensional
arrays were a little limiting, so I splashed out evern more money on the CCS PICC C Compiler
This compiler comes in a variety of forms, from command line versions supporting only the 14-bit PIC chips. Through to fully integrated IDE versions supporting all 12 and 14-bit chips as well as the PIC18
The compiler wasn't too expensive either, running at $425 dollars, which at todays prices comes to £244.
The only sting in the tail with this one, was the UPS import duty and VAT charges which hit at £53.85
The shipping was extremely quick, the order was placed on Wednesday 11th February, and the package was
delivered on Friday 13th February, just after lunch. - Now that is what I call service.
PIC Programming Languages
This is one subject for PICs (and any other platform) where it can get quite
There are a number of languages available to you if you decide to start
programming the PIC family.
(in order of my personal preferences): -