My existing programmer can, at the turn of a switch, be connected to one of three different PICs and this makes developing multi-PIC projects much easier; I don’t have to spend time unplugging and re-plugging cables all the time. My first requirement is to upgrade from a maximum or three, to four PICs.
My existing PIC programmer also allows for serial data to be routed to and from the select PIC to aid debugging via a dumb terminal. Second upgrade is that I want to be able to support two serial ports and select which PIC uses which serial port. This will allow me to, if required, connect the programmer element to one PIC, and the two serial ports to two other PICs.
My final requirement is to support a much wider range of PICs than my current programmer BUT, I don’t want the hassle of having to write and maintain the software so the actual programmer element will be based on two Microchip PIC programmers; a PICKIT2 and a PICKIT3. The reason for using two different programmers is because whilst I prefer the PICKIT2 as it’s MUCH faster than the PICKIT3, there are several PICs that I use that aren’t supported by the PICKIT2. One useful feature of the PICKITs is that you can connect several of them to a single PC.
So, my current clock project got moved to the back-burner and this afternoon I started work on my new programmer.
Once all the buttons are labelled up it will be much clearer, but there are four push buttons per PIC channel. One selects which programmer is connected (PICKIT2 or PICKIT3), and the lower two push buttons select which COM port the serial data is routed to. On the right of the panel are three additional switches. Two of these allow for serial data to be read/written directly to the serial ports via the 4mm sockets, and the third push button is the master reset. Those square buttons have in-built LEDs so it’s possible to see which options are selected. The LEDs on the right are power monitors, and status indicators from the PIC programmers.
Hopefully, I should be able to get this completed during the evenings next week.