A few weeks ago we wrote about a PICkit3 clone from Olimex available on eBay for $30. Compared to the original it is considerably smaller and at first glace it looks sturdier as well. We like that Olimex decided to use the large type-B connector which seems more reliable then the original mini-B.
The ICSP programming header doesn’t have any markings referring to the first pin. This was an immediate annoyance that lead to repeated use of a multimeter to figure out which pin is which. The fact that the supplied cable uses the same color for all six pins didn’t help either.
The board is two sided, and there’s lots of components. This wouldn’t be simple to remake in all through hole like our favorite ICD2 clones.
The pin spacing of the USB connector doesn’t seem to quite fit the board, it’s too large. This could be a potential cause of problems with excessive use.
All in all, the Olimex PIC-KIT3 seems as a well designed piece of kit. So far it functions like the original on the PIC 24F and 32s that we tested.