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New Bootloader Article??

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2007-2009 » Archive through 16 May, 2007 » New Bootloader Article?? « Previous Next »

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davy
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Posted on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A suugestion for a new article.
The perennial problem with PICs is the difficulty in communicating with them when they are in test circuits. A working bootloader would be a big help.

I've just spent a couple of days trying to bootload a 16F877 with no success. It is not actually helped by the presence of much bootload software on the net - none of which I could get to work. (Many solutions perhaps indicate that none of them work??)

I am about to try it with an 18F2550 using Mike Hibbetts article of December 2005. This is based on the 18F2420 and any suggestions for mods would be appreciated.}
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pmh
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Posted on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What are the advantages of a bootloader over the In Circuit Programming native to many PICs?

Paul
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 - 03:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

>What are the advantages of a bootloader over the In Circuit Programming native to many PICs?

Bootloaders allow you to use a standard interface, like a USB port or a serial port, rather than a dedicated interface on the target device.

It's also possible to implement a common bootloader across a number of different processor types.

You can also choose when the interface becomes active ( perhaps by a button press, or during power-up ).

Mike.
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joe
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Posted on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 - 04:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They also use code space, need to be programmed into the PIC in the first place and cannot be used on all PIC devices (only those that allow self modifiying code)... so swings and round-a-bouts.
Do one thing each day that scares you – work here !
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davy
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Posted on Sunday, 22 April, 2007 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't get me started on In Circuit Programming!
Just when you want to use it you can't get it to work or it stops working.
Seriously I've given up trying.
The PIC when plugged in to the programmer programs perfectly but connect it with the In Circuit programming no joy!
It can be very frustrating.
The bootloader potentially looks better if I could only get one to work!
BTW Mike's bootloader article I mentioned previously , looks very promising for my intended use with 18F pics. It perhaps just needs more of a "hands-on" guide to be published.
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Sunday, 22 April, 2007 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

>It perhaps just needs more of a "hands-on" guide to be published.

Could you elaborate on what information you need, davy? I'd be happy to elaborate.

Mike
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obiwan
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Posted on Monday, 23 April, 2007 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd hate to think all those people are uploading bootloaders because none of the others work.

Since you seem to be having so much difficulty with them all, bootloaders, in circuit programming, I'd have to say that maybe, just maybe, the problem is on your end?
Do Not Hit The Fly That Lands On The Tigers Head.
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davy
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Posted on Monday, 23 April, 2007 - 03:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that the general problem with PICs is that they are not very communicative. So get just one thing wrong and that is it. So Obiwan may well be right. My negative experiences of in-circuit programming came about using the TK3 programmer with 16F84's. (The 16F877 was rather more reliable as I recall.)
The 18F's look like a good new starting point hence the interest in bootloaders.
Thanks for the offer, Mike. I've been modifying the blconst.inc file for the different PICat 20Mhz.

Code follows:
; Change this to suit the processor you will use.
; Look in C:\GPUTILS\HEADER for list of supported PIC's

#include <p18f2550.inc>


; PC RS232 Interface bits
; Change these six lines to match the I/O pins you will
; use for the bootloader RS232 interface
; Here, we are using PORTA0 for Received Data, PORTA1 for transmit

TRIS_TX_PIN EQU TRISC ; The register that defines the pin as an input or output
TX_PIN_BIT EQU 6 ; The bit, 0..7, that indicated which bit is used in the register
PORT_TX_PIN EQU LATC ; The register that is written to for transmit data
TRIS_RX_PIN EQU TRISC ; The register that defines the pin as an input or output
RX_PIN_BIT EQU 7 ; The bit, 0..7, that indicated which bit is used in the register
PORT_RX_PIN EQU PORTC ; The register that is read from for received data
PORT_RX_MASK EQU 0x01 ; The Mask to AND with the read-register to get the received data


; Change this value to suit for your clock speed. Clock, not crystal, since you may be using a PLL
OSC_FREQ_HZ EQU D'20000000' ; The speed at which the internal clock is running, in Hz


; NO FURTHER USER CHANGABLE VALUES APPEAR BELOW HERE

Mike does this look right! Is that the only file I will need to change?
I haven't put the test circuit hardware together yet but I will let you know how I get on.
I will be using a MAX232 interface which works OK (Tx and Rx connected together with NO flow control mirrors PC keyboard . Thanks Epithumia!

So it is maybe these little bits and pieces which would be useful in an article with maybe some sample blconst.inc files for different 18F pics.
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terrym
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 03:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Must say that I never got on with in circuit serial programming either, even when following Microchips recomendations.

TM
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obiwan
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 04:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From what I gathered from the MC site, the ICP is a bit sensitive to stuff "hanging off" the needed pins.

I'm glad you didn't think I was trying to bust your chops on that or anything. It's just that I have found over and over, in situations like that, it's normally operator error.

Now that doesn't mean some of the third party software you have tried isn't up to snuff. I don't know what you have tried. And if I used a shareware package, first thing I would assume is that it is the software.

But, if I tried several packages and still couldn't get one to work, then I'd be looking at myself.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I've done a little bit of ICP using the ICD2 from MC and haven't had any real problems once I got A) a working ICD2 and used a short cable (pic to ICD2).

But that's all I've used and it wasn't all that much. Basically just some testing. Making sure I had the set up working, ICD2 working, cables working and stuff like that.

Plus, it works on all the MC dev boards I have. Sooooo......
Do Not Hit The Fly That Lands On The Tigers Head.
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davy
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 09:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes that is it, Obiwan. Once you have a set up that works you stick with it.
It does seem though, that In Circuit Programming is sensitive to lots of things (lead length, PC speed, programmer type etc etc.)
I am hoping that bootloading will be more rugged.
So over to Mike for his suggestions!
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epithumia
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 09:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've never had any trouble at all with ICSP using Microchip's ICD2.

Using a homebrew programmer I did have trouble. I traced the problem to crosstalk in the ribbon cable. When the PIC drove the data line it induced noise into the clock line.

A better designed cable might have helped, but instead I fixed it with a little termination circuit at the PIC end on the cable (mounted on the cable, not the target board).

It was something like:
1) a 33 ohm resistor in series with the data line
2) a 33 ohm resistor and 330pF capacitor in series, hung between clock and ground.

That fixed it.

Rob
If you need me, Neil and me will be hanging out with the Dream King. - Tori Amos
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Davey,

looks fine. Just make sure you have appropriate config bit settings. Or just try it and see!

Mike.
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davy
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 12:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Mike.
Hardware assembled. PIC programmed with bootloader. I've verified the oscillator is running at 20Mhz. Bload software counts up looking for PIC but no answer from PIC.

The config is very complicated on these 18f's. Am I looking for XT oscillator PLL enabled XT used by USB ?? There seem to be all sorts of internal oscillator options - help1

Does bload when running have a way of showing that the MAX232 interface is OK?

I will also try putting a simple program into the PIC to verify all is well.

If all this is OK it must be the configuration of the bootload software in the PIC.

Thanks for the advice.

Davy
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

>The config is very complicated on these 18f's.

Yes - oddly enough I am just writing a PicnMix article covering the config bits. And you have chosen a quite complicated PIC, but I'm sure we can sort it out.

There are 12 config registers in the PIC18F2550. Can you tell me what the values are that you have written into them? Just post the byte values, and I'll take a look. You should be able to see the values by reading back the contents of your PIC in your programmer.

A picture of your circuit ( as a jpeg attachment ) would be handy too, but not essential.

>Does bload when running have a way of showing that the MAX232 interface is OK?

There is a simple way of checking that the bootloader / max232 interface is running correctly on the PIC, by running hyperterminal rather than the bload program. I can't quite remember the details but will have a look later today. For now, checking the config settings will be a good start.

>I will also try putting a simple program into the PIC to verify all is well.

Actually, thats another reason why I like to use bootloaders. When you start a new project, and have no software, they give you an excellent jump start with getting software running on your target hardware. They do take a little getting used to, however :o) but it shouldn't take you long.

I'm suspecting the config settings at the moment but it is also worth checking that you have connected the serial lead to the correct com port - by default, bload assumes COM1. Your PC may have a different port assignment. You can also check that by running hyperterminal.

Mike
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davy
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Mike,

Config registers read from PIC with JDM programmer (Newly purchased it works but I don't yet understand it fully!)
1 0A3C
2 0018
3 8100
4 0081
5 C00F
6 E00F
7 400F

Circuit is Figure 1 of Part 4 of your C for PICS (That's what I intend to do eventually!) (USB port not connected yet)

RS232 tested OK with Hyperterminal (Tx and Rx connected together with NO flow control mirrors PC keyboard . Thanks to Epithumia! )

Many thanks,

Davy
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 05:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hi Davy,

I've checked the config bit settings and they are different between the two processors, so those will need to change. I'll sort those out tonight, and post a response back in the morning.

Once we get the bootloader going, there is a simple way to prove the code is running.

Run hyper terminal, and set up a connection using com port COM1, set to 115200 baud, and set 'Flow control' to 'None'

connect your PC serial cable (via the max232 interface) to the PCB and switch the PIC on. The hyperterminal window should display a series of X characters. If you type an X back (capital X, not lower) then the PIC will respond with a G character. If you see that, everything is working on the PIC.

But we have to sort out the config bit settings, which I will get back to you with.

Regards,

Mike.
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 06:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, I couldn't wait until later :o)

here are the config bit settings that you should use:

1 0C00
2 0000
3 8100
4 0081
5 C00F
6 E00F
7 400F

You can put those values directly into your bootloader source code. edit the file config.inc, delete the text inside the file and replace it with the following 12 lines:


__config 0x300000, 0x00
__config 0x300001, 0x0C
__config 0x300002, 0x00
__config 0x300003, 0x00
__config 0x300005, 0x81
__config 0x300006, 0x81
__config 0x300008, 0x0F
__config 0x300009, 0xC0
__config 0x30000A, 0x0F
__config 0x30000B, 0xE0
__config 0x30000C, 0x0F
__config 0x30000D, 0x40

(note that there are two underline characters at the start of the word config)

Now rebuild your software and download into the programmer. If you program the chip and then read the contents back again, you should see the config bits displayed as shown in the first listing. All being well, that should work.

I'm off now and will be back online in the morning.

Good luck!

Mike.
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davy
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Posted on Wednesday, 25 April, 2007 - 10:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We are getting somewhere, I think.
I've programmed the PIC and it reads the config back as you show.
Then connected up to Hyperterterminal no response, unless I swap the TX and Rx connections in which case I get five or six X's.
The keyboard gives no response though and Bload gives no response.
I will be back online tomorrow night.
Thanks for all the help and I can see the 18F family opening up its most intersting secrets in the not too distant future!
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davy
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Posted on Friday, 27 April, 2007 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wehayyyyyyyyy!
I've got a bootloader working! PIC recognised and a flashing LED ptogram working.
I'm afraid it is not yours yet, Mike.
It is the Tiny PIC bootloader from the Web. One problem seemed to be having to swap the RX/TX connections. (One devices RX is anothers transmit?
I will come back to Mike's bload once I have re-engaged with ordinary life!

Davy
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Friday, 27 April, 2007 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good stuff. Nice to hear you have something working!

Mike
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davy
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Posted on Monday, 30 April, 2007 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks a lot for the help, Mike. I look forward to the article.

David
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mike_b
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Posted on Thursday, 10 May, 2007 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have found programming trouble with the old reliable 16F877 - it turned out that the Low Voltage Program pin (rb3) needed to be tied to 0V (it never needed to be from what I remember) ....... grrrrr. Come on Microchip ... lets have one programming voltage standard and ditch the rest.

rgds

mb
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boris
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Posted on Friday, 11 May, 2007 - 08:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dare I say PICAXE?
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
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davy
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Posted on Friday, 11 May, 2007 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats an interesting observation on the 16F877 Mike, - maybe I sould get my test circuit out of the bin!

The 18F2550 bootloading hasn't moved on since the last little bit of success. Marking has got in the way! Will report back soon.

Davy
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john_becker
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Posted on Friday, 11 May, 2007 - 01:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike, I've never needed to take that precaution. I suspect you've got your config setting wrong. BIt 7 of the config value is the LVP setting bit - 0 for LVP off.

J
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terrym
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Posted on Friday, 11 May, 2007 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've never had any trouble with them ('877) either. Then again, all the unused pins in my programming setup are grounded anyway.

TM
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Friday, 11 May, 2007 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

>I have found programming trouble with the old reliable 16F877 - it turned out that the Low Voltage Program pin (rb3) needed to be tied to 0V


Only if you have enabled low voltage programming ;o)
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mike_b
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Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have checked my programmer - the LVP bit is off and the LVP option is set to off in the main code - mabye my programmer is feeling unloved.

I wanted to extend the ICSP leads, but I also ran into crosstalk trouble (but I did not think of the termination resistor ... blast!).

rgds

mb
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mikehibbett
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Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like the idea of ICSP, but like you also run into problems, and find that I can never predict if it will work when I design a board. Thats why I like bootloaders now - you design them in, so they work the way you want.

LVP off? Then RB3 should be an I/O pin. I would question whether it is really off... a problem I have found myself. I sometimes forget the correct bit in the config register for it. I've given up using LVP; I either use a bootloader or a 12v programmer. Life is hard enough!
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mike_b
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Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hmmmm ... now thats a perceptive observation Mike .... I may have a tinker .....

rgds

mb
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magnum4
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Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I use an old mouse cable. Its 3 1/2 feet long, or just over a meter. I have used it successfully on TK1,2and 3. and now on an ICD2 clone. Where a few friends made a mistake was to connect the screen to GND at both end`s. I have my 2 leads screen grounded at the programmer end only. works well for me anyway.
Regards,
Jim
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mike_b
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Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 08:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats very interesting Mag.

Is each signal wire contained in an individual screen sheath?

rgds

mb
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magnum4
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Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No Mike. Only one screen. Measured it just now it is 49 inches long. I have no problem with it.

I always use 12V programming.
Regards,
Jim
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magnum4
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Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trying to upload Image, but keep getting connection problems?
Regards,
Jim
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magnum4
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Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ok File size was wrong.
Here it is complete with recycled connectors :-))

Regards,
Jim
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eagre
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Post Number: 140
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Monday, 14 May, 2007 - 01:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike H. -

The problem with LVP pins, in PICs that implement LVP, is that they are active by default in new (unprogrammed) PICs. They can corrupt ICSP programming before config word selections can turn them off. Thus these pins, in PICs that have them, should be tied to ground through 4k7 or 10k during ICSP. Such grounding will seldom cause any problems in subsequent PIC operations.

Ed

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