Programming PICs with a programmer

A new tutorial covers the basics of programming a PIC with a PIC programmer supported by MPLAB, like a PICkit or ICD. This frequently-requested tutorial is geared towards programming the bootloader into a project like the Bus Pirate.

Bootloaders make it easy to upgrade firmware without dragging out (or owning) a programmer. Just activate the bootloader and upload new firmware over USB. If you’re starting with a fresh chip though, or you’ve got bricked hardware, you need to get the bootloader into the chip with a programmer.

This is just one of several new tutorials on the documentation wiki. Learn how to compile the firmware for your DP hardware, and access the latest source in SVN.

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  1. nice tutorial, Ian. Not sure if you wan to touch on a few more points (maybe as troubleshooting at the end so the how-to isn’t cluttered):
    – configuration bits (if they’re not setup in the source code, they can be set in the IDE)
    – “disabling FIFO buffers” for RS232 based programmers – Device Manager –> right click on COMX and click properties–>Port Settings tab–>uncheck “Use FIFO buffers”. A restart is required (based on my experience) after this has been changed.

    1. Thanks for the notes. Can you please add them to the end of the wiki? I’ve never used a RS232 programmer and and didn’t know about that. You can also give me permission to add it (that means a CC-BY-SA license), but anyone’s free to add to the tutorial.

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