PicKit3 in-circuit debugger

    So, without what almost any device on a microcontroller can do? Right, without a microcontroller! But, alas, it will not be possible to program it without a programmer (unless of course it is Arduino ).
    So, let’s take a look at the PicKit 3 in-circuit debugger programmer, of which I am the lucky owner.


    I will not describe the functionality of this device here, since you yourself can read here http://pickit2.ru/doku.php/what. Such. Pickit3 which you actually already did. And my goal is to convey information to you from the point of view of an ordinary user.

    When ordering this device in the online store, I thought for a long time, thought about PicKit2 or PicKit3. At that time I knew little about these programmers, except that they work via USB and are in-circuit, plus you can debug the program directly in the microcontroller using PicKit 2 and 3.
    In-circuit programming ICSP (In-circuit serial programming) directly on the end the device we are building on the PIC controller. And we do not have to pull it out of the programmer programmed microcontroller and stick it back into the final circuit. And it would be difficult to debug it in such conditions? So the ICSP thing is very convenient and practical. The only thing you need is to provide an ICSP / ICD connector on the end device to connect the programmer.

    I knew little about the differences between PicKit 3 and Pickit2, but I reasoned logically. PicKit 2 tested by time and people, reliable and convenient. And PicKit 3 should be the next version, more refined, more powerful, modern and functional than PicKit 2. In addition, PicKit 3 was not much more expensive than the programmer of the previous version. And although the functionality of Pickkit 2 was completely enough for me, in the end it was decided to buy PicKit 3 with the expectation of the future, so to speak, "for growth."


    They sent me this beautiful box by mail. Inside the programmer itself, USB-miniUSB wire. A couple of some pieces of paper, including a poster explaining how and where to connect the programmer and disk with MPLAB 8.36 and examples. Naturally, everything is in English.
    We get it, connect it to the computer through the attached lace. The computer detects the connected HID compatible device. This means that DT is not needed for the programmer. 3 lights come on - it seems to work.
    Next, install MPLAB IDE 8.38. There will be certain problems with newer versions until the bug is fixed in newer versions. I will talk about the problems and their solutions in new versions a little later.
    Installed, run! We climb into the menu Programmer - Select Programmer - Pickit 3. MPlab must determine the programmer, but if it is not connected to the controller, or the controller is not supplied with power, then it will swear about it. When connecting for the first time, MPlab said that he had found a newer firmware for the programmer on the Internet and offered to download and upload it - we agree!
    I would like to separately focus on the power of the microcontroller. There are 2 options:
    1. Power from an external source;
    2. powered by the programmer.
    If you do not have an external power source, then select Programmer - Settings ... in the settings and go to the Power tab. Put a tick and change the value of the voltage value if required.

    Most PIC controllers will normally be 5V., But in some cases, the controllers can be powered by a lower voltage and setting it to 5V can damage it. If you are not sure, it is best to familiarize yourself with the specification of the controller.

    If you decide to power the circuit from an external source, and at the same time connect the voltage from the pickit, then nothing bad will happen - the programmer will measure the voltage and if it is + 5V. then it will not let the voltage pass through itself and will not supply additional power to the controller, despite the set setting in MPlab. At least that's what it says in the datasheet, but just in case, the external power and the power from the programmer are turned off with a fixed button.

    Now about a barrel of tar in a spoon of honey. In the meantime, PicKit3 has more disadvantages than PicKit2. To begin with, there is Russian documentation for the second pickit, but I did not find the third one. In addition, programming via PICkit 3 is only possible in the MPLAB IDE environment, and for the second pickit, besides the MPLAB IDE, there is a special compact and convenient PICkit 2 Programmer utility. And in conclusion, I want to say that in Linux (not everyone can sit under Windows), I did not find any programs for programming through PICkit 3, but there are PICkit 2. And although these problems can be solved in the future, but now, in my humble opinion, this programmer is not worth the money and therefore it will be better, more reliable and cheaper to purchase PICkit 2.

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