A PICkit is a family of programmers developed by Microchip Technology for programming its PIC microcontrollers. The most popular in this series has been the PICkit 3, but there's also PICkit 4 & 5 and other versions.
Here's a general outline on how to program a chip (specifically a PIC microcontroller) using a PICkit:
- Install the MPLAB X IDE and MPLAB X IPE (Integrated Programming Environment) from the Microchip website.
- Connect the PICkit to your PC via a USB cable.
- Ensure the target PIC microcontroller is properly socketed on your development board or connected to your PICkit via the appropriate pins.
2. Connect the PICkit:
- Connect the PICkit to the target PIC microcontroller. The connection can vary depending on your microcontroller and its package (DIP, QFN, etc.), but usually there's a 6-pin ICSP (In-Circuit Serial Programming) header on your development board.
- Ensure the orientation is correct. Typically, there's an arrow or a dot on the PICkit's connector indicating the first pin.
3. MPLAB X IPE:
- Launch MPLAB X IPE.
- Select the correct device (your PIC microcontroller) from the dropdown menu.
- Ensure the PICkit is detected by the software. If not, troubleshoot your connections or drivers.
4. Load the Hex File:
- Click on the 'Browse' button to locate and load your compiled HEX file. This file contains the code you want to program onto the PIC microcontroller OR select from the chip family and chip number.
5. Power Options:
- Under settings or power options, ensure that the source of voltage (VDD) for programming is set correctly. You can choose to power the target device from the PICkit or use the target device's power.
- Click the 'Program' button. The IPE will first erase the chip, then program it, and finally verify that the programming was successful.
7. Verify (Optional):
- If you want to make sure the microcontroller has been programmed correctly, you can run a verify sequence by clicking on the 'Verify' button.
- Once programming is done and you've closed the MPLAB X IPE, you can disconnect the PICkit from the target device.
- Now that your PIC microcontroller is programmed, you can test it in its intended application or circuit.
- Always ensure the connections are secure before programming.
- Make sure your PIC microcontroller is compatible with the version of the PICkit you're using.
- Frequently check Microchip's website for updates to the MPLAB software. They release updates that fix bugs and add support for newer chips.
- If for some reason that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the PIC chip.
Remember, while the above steps provide a general guide, always refer to official documentation or user guides specific to your PIC microcontroller and PICkit version for any specific instructions or nuances. Also, we provide no warranty against the procedures stated here.