Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Basics, Part 1: The Programmer.

After some serious searching/reviewing, the programmer I ultimately chose to build was the uJDM programmer. Yes. Build. After all, why would anyone ever miss the chance of building something as memorable as his first PIC programmer?

I chose the uJDM because:
0)It uses the serial port.
1) It could program my chip, the 16F84A. (and the 16F628)
2)The schematic was dead simple.
3)Its verroboard layout was already given with its schematic(read: easy as hell to build)

Everything you need to build the uJDM is available here.

Also, I later found out that the uJDM could be very easily modified to program the PIC16F628A. Just disconnect RB4 from the RTS line and connect it instead to Vss. A simple wire link will do the trick.

My (improved..?) version of the uJDM has no socket to put the chip into. In its place, the 5 wires extend from the socket's connection to another small board , dubbed the 'Custom Breadboard Header', onto which 5 pins are soldered. The header then simply plugs around the target chip, while the said chip is seated on a breadboard.

To conclude, here is a snap of the programmer, 'doing its thing', via RS232.