Open Programmer v0.7.x

in programmers by Ian | 4 comments

Alberto Maccioni designed this multi-chip opensource programmer based on a PIC18F2550. Currently it supports PIC, I2C-SPI-MicroWire EEPROMs, some ATMEL AVRs, and (soon) other devices. It even supports some PIC 24Fs, like the 24Fj64GA002 used on the Bus Pirate.

In the last few years, as serial and parallel interfaces have almost disappeared, electronics enthusiasts find even more difficult to program microcontrollers; old time programmers don’t work any more; common solutions include using USB to serial adapters (which can’t accept direct access but only slow API calls), or add-on interface chips, like FTDIxxxx, which appear substantially as serial interfaces and require custom or proprietary drivers.
So why not use PIC controllers and their native USB interface?
After searching a while I couldn’t find an USB programmer which was at the same time functional, free, and open source, so I decided to design one.
Open source means that all sources and schematics are given free of charge with the rights to modify and release them.

Check out the impressive design documentation. It includes a good overview of PIC programming, and a detailed look at the booster circuit used to get the 13volt PIC programming voltage. The programmer is compatible with Linux and Windows, and is released under the GPL.

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Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Perfect timing, I was looking up PIC programmers last night!

  2. Rob T. (rct) says:

    That looks cool. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Of course he references the chicken-and-the-egg problem of how do you program the programmer’s pic 18F the first time….

    It would be cool to
    a) be able to purchase a kit with the pcb & preprogrammed pic from Seeed or Adafruit.

    b) be able to program the 18F using a bus pirate and some easily breadboard-able circuit to provide the 13V.

  3. Rob T. (rct) says:

    I’d be willingly to pay more for a Bus Pirate++, that could program PICs and AVRs in addition to doing all of the existing bus pirate functions.

    I realize you are generally trying to hit a very low price point like the $30 bus pirate. A hobbyist could wind up needing to buy:

    – bus pirate, for experimentation.
    – pic programmer, like pickit2
    – avr programmer, (or 2nd bus pirate to avoid lots of reflashing)
    – open logic sniffer.
    – bus blaster for jtag/flash programming.
    – function generator/clock.
    – pic based LC meter (ok, not a kit, but another pic to program)

    There are good reasons for some or all of these devices to be separate, but it sure would be nice if a few could be combined. I could be being naive.

  4. indika says:

    very best open robotic controll

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