I have another PK2 programmer update for you. My PK2 design just got a little better. I wanted to try out the new PIC16F1788 in a CHIPINO module because I noticed that Great Cow Basic Compiler supported it. But I quickly realized that the latest device file for PICkit 2 didn't support it. So it gave me reason to try out the Device File Manager by user name Dougy83.
The device file manager is a great tool for updating the Device file for PICkit 2 (and my PK2). I used a PIC16F1784 which was supported and made a copy within the tool. Then I downloaded the PIC16F1788 programming spec to get all
I started a "Links I Recommend" page on my site to hold all the links I use and recommend often. I can't believe I didn't do this before and the list is just getting started. I have a lot to add to it.
If you have a link you would recommend I add, then send me it through my contact page. I check it out and if I like it I'll add it. It has to be related to building electronics but I'll consider anything if you have a good reason. I plan to add
Just got back from a brief vacation at Disney and used the new Disney Arm Bands for everything. They open your room door, you can charge for food and even enter the Fast Pass + lane to get on rides quicker. Each person has their own band so the computer knows who you are and where you are when you use it. It also knows who spent the money and lists it on the bill at checkout.
The most interesting feature is the way it works with the free MyDisneyExperience app on my iPhone. With the app you can link your arm band to your reservations and also your ticket for the parks. Then after everyone in your party is linked you can setup up the Fast Pass+ selections and the times for those Fast Pass+ rides. The app also has maps of the parks and with location service turned on, it will show you where you are at and also which direction you are pointing. I love
I'm slowly getting better at using Inkscape to create laser cut boxes for electronic projects. I've never been a big CAD user but did spend a few weekends learning Sketchup to layout my custom workshop/shed. But for making Laser Cut boxes, it became clear that I had to learn either Corel Draw or Inkscape. And since Inkscape is open source and free, I chose Inkscape to start.
It was not intuitive for me to just start using it. I had to watch a few Youtube videos just to get started. But before long I had the basics down. At first I used it to add features to boxes I created with Makercase but that software kept crashing on my old Mac so I just decided to draw on my own. A friend recommended a tabbed box creator plugin for Inkscape so I tried it out and what a great tip that was.
The plugin is called Boxmaker and you can easily install it by copying the files to the ...\Inkscape\share\extensions folder of your Inkscape install. That's it. Start up Inkscape and its ready to use. This is a great way to get started with a new...
MPLAB® X is the new IDE from Microchip that allows you to create and debug software. This new version (MPLAB® 8.xx was the old version) allows you to use Windows, Mac or Linux where the older version was limited to Windows. At first it may seem a bit confusing but once you learn how to use it, you'll find it quite powerful.
You can download it for free from microchip.com/mplabx and there is a pretty complete user manual you can download there as well. I especially recommend you read Chapter four which steps you through setting up a project.
But for those that prefer online training there is now a great step by step guide for you to teach yourself the basics of MPLAB X at your own pace.
One of the features I like most about the Great Cow Basic (GCB) compiler is it produces a pure assembly file. I've mentioned this before in a previous post, but what I didn't know it did until recently, was that it can transfer the BASIC command to the assembly file as a comment.
The picture below shows a screen capture from the MPLAB screen that has a GCB generated file. The Basic command lines show up as comments in green. The assembly code shows up below it.
It turns out this is just a command line option for the compiler. This feature has been automatically set in the design environment included with the Great Cow Basic download at my Great Cow Basic CHIPINO website. What this
This is just a quick blog post to mention that I've added a shopping cart to the site just for books. I hope to expand it with products that support the books and any kickstarter products but for now I'll rely on Howtronics.com for all that. I have my C Books discounted lower than Amazon though I do charge $5 flat rate shipping even outside USA.
You can see the books by clicking on the Buy Books menu item or just click here.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me 8-Bit micros are dead, I'd have a lot of dollars. Fact is the old 8-Bit still has a strong life. The price has gotten so cheap you can easily build a project with more than one and still not break the bank. I prefer to use Microchip PICs so the PIC10F, 12F, 16F and 18F part number prefixes are the ones I refer to.
The Arduino is based on the 8-bit AVR and that is one of the most popular platforms for hobbyists. But I'm not talking just hobbyists. As the price of the latest 8-Bit micros comes down to below $0.50 in high volume, 8-Bit microcontrollers can be put in places where a micro has never been before.
Consider the 8 pin PIC12F683 which is a rather old device now. It still has so many capabilities in a small 8-pin DIP package. I use it in my book "Programming PICs in BASIC". You can get 100 of them for $1.12 each at digi-key and probably cheaper if you shop around. You can get far more powerful parts now for even less.
I just recently tried to visit the Microchip PICkit 2 site and found it was taken down. This prompted me to make sure I had everything for my own PICkit 2 project covered. Which reminded me that I've been wanting to cover an update, to the PK2CMD command line control, that I found a while ago.
I like using the PICkit 2 with the PK2CMD.exe command line control. I can embedded it into any IDE with ease and automate the programming of the microcontroller through the PICkit 2 programmer. The limitation of the Microchip released PK2CMD vs the PICkit 2 GUI control was they used different device files and the PK2CMD didn't support as many devices as the GUI supported. The GUI supported more of the latest devices but neither supported the PIC18F25K22 which is an awesome device.
But several years ago a Microchip forum post by MichaelS explained that he figured out how to modify the PK2CMD to work with the device file for the GUI. So this meant that the PK2CMD v1.21 by MichaelS could support all the parts that the GUI supported. And if that GUI device list was ever updated, then the PK2CMD would also get updated by that same file.
Unfortunately the PICkit 2 Device file hasn't been updated by Microchip since the PICkit 3 is the officially supported low cost programmer for the newer devices. And now the PICkit 2 site that had all the archived info is no longer up (at least that I can find). MichaelS had also updated the device.dat file to include more parts including the PIC18F25K22. So I've added the MichaelS 's PK2CMD v1.21 and his latest Device File to my PICkit 2 page. But the story continues.....
I uploaded the ExpressPCB files for the PK2 programmer I created. I had the board layout and schematic on my PK2 webpage but didn't have the files. So now you can download them and make your own.
I posted them as non commercial, for personal use only. I actually have a plan to eventually offer this board for sale as a kit and I don't want to compete with my own design. But for those that just want to make a couple of their own PK2 programmers (it's always good to have a couple around), then the files are there to use. If a Boy Scout troop wanted to make them as a project, that's ok too. If a high school wants to use the design as a class project then fine. See where I'm going with this? I want to help ...