Skip to main content
Topic: Buspirate and Pickit 3 (Read 830 times) previous topic - next topic

Buspirate and Pickit 3

Can BusPirate be programmed with a Pickit 3? I had a scare earlier today when trying to revert my firmware to a previous version and couldn't get a response from the bootloader.

The board came with v5.1 but flashrom complained that it needed at least v6.2, so I upgraded to v6.3_r2151 from the community site. Enabling the bootloader required only that I open a terminal and type $. When I tried to downgrade, ds30 was complaining that it was not getting a response from the bootloader. It turned out that after this update I now needed to bridge PGC/PGND as well as go into terminal and type $. I was then able to flash v6.2.

While sorting this out I came across a tutorial on flashing the BP with a Pickit2. I guess this is similar to using an AVR programmer on an Arduino and means I can get out of trouble if the bootloader messes up for some reason, by being able to flash a new one. My Linux distro does not have the p2cmd program so I will need to find and compile it, but I have a look on eBay saw lots of Pickit3 devices. Some came with an additional board with a ZIF socket, but I believe that I only need the programmer?  It seems a retrograde step to get the older hardware if a new version is available. But assuming I can find the software, will the Pickit3 work the same?

Re: Buspirate and Pickit 3

Reply #1
Hi LaForge.
The difference betwhen PICkit 2 and PICkit 3 is that PICkit 2 do not work with newer chip products (i.e. PIC32MX, PIC32MZ, PIC18[L]FxxK22 and so on).
However some of these may be programmed with PICkit 2 and its standalone programming application may be updated with modified device files to handle additional devices, but debugging is much more difficult to handle with devices not supported with debugging in MPLAB by Microchip.
PICkit 2 allows itself to be use as logic analyzer and to monitor diagnostic messages when debugging complicated code, PICkit 3 too can do it but for what I know Microchip never implemented the PICkit 2 style UART mode in the PICkit 3 so it is not possible to use it in a something way like with Logic Tool and UART Tool in PICkit 2.
Bitbanging SPI via HID with the PICkit 3 loaded with the PICkit 2 emulation firmware may be possible but is likely to be very slow.
It would not be able to meet the timing requirements for bitbanged asynch serial at any normal baudrate.
So among the two programmer there is the tiny limitation that untill now for what I know the PICkit 3 does not include UART support while using it as logic analyzer.
In the case of the Bus Pirate the PIC which is welded on the device is supported by both, the PICkit 2 and the PICkit 3, so for that kind of use there is no difference in using one rather than the other.

One last thing.
With the firmware v7.x flashrom is fully working, unless you have for some reason specifically need version v6.2 there is no reason to use such an old firmware.

Be seeing you.


Re: Buspirate and Pickit 3

Reply #2
> The difference between PICkit 2 and PICkit 3 is that PICkit 2 do not work with newer chip products

See: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8871#p67690 for a replacement standalone GUI which gives new life to the trusty PICkit2 by adding the new scripts to allow programming the new enhanced core 8 bit parts and fixes a number of bugs in the old PICkit2 standalone application..


Re: Buspirate and Pickit 3

Reply #3
Thanks for the replies which are very helpful.

For the present I only have a requirement to program one chip on the BusPirate v3 and this is as a backup in case a firmware update goes horribly wrong and I'm left with a bricked board. I had a recent scare with it, which turned out to be a change in behaviour of the newer v6.3 firmware. At some point in the future I may have to purchase the BusPirate v4 but since this can also be programmed with the Pickit 2, I guess for now, I have no real need to go to the 3. In addition, from the replies it would seem that the Pickit 2 is more versatile, so I think I will probably stick with the Pickit 2.

Regarding the BusPirate firmware, I reverted back to v6.2, because 6.3 broke some things, including UART mode which I needed. I am aware that v7 of the firmware exists and will be giving that a try at some point.