The PIC12F6xx (& PIC18F1840) Board

The PIC12F6xx (& PIC18F1840) Board

Once in a while, I would like to veer myself away from the Breadboards. They do offer convenience for when I want to modify circuits. However, they are a little too big and cumbersome to bring around. Plus, the components can come off when it falls or, get bent when an object falls on it.

The final design for the first version.
It is a very simple design but there were some mistakes as I took some un-verified older components and used it without even testing.

When I am experimenting with a concept, I always start with the PIC Microcontroller in its most minimal design. So, the LEDs would be enough. Once the programming is more or less ready, I expand the design with supporting components. In the beginning, I was using the smallest breadboard but they do have their own issues. Finally, I decided to make my own Board instead. In a sense, I am making my own tool.


THE PIC12F6XX Board

For lack of a better name, let’s call it the Board for now. I have designed the board to run on 5volts so I can get power even from a USB port. And each of the 5 usable ports would have a LED indicator, and can be modified if I want to bypass them, say, for more LEDs. Yes, the LEDs are driven from a ULN2003 Darlington array chip. Port 03 would be connected to both push-button and slide switch wired in parallel.

BUT WHY?

It is semi Development/ Adaptor board and is never a programmer. It is meant for most Microchip’s 8-pin devices. With this Board, it beats unplugging and plugging the chip/ adaptor between the Programmer and Breadboard after every revision of the software. I want to call myself lazy here but after doing this repetitively, it kinda gets to you and you’d really want to flip the table, start a Fire, try to get drunk on water and so on.

BUT, IT IS NOT OK YET…

So far, the board tested fine, except with the USB connections where all the pins are in reverse. I created this component years ago without realising the error, which is, I bought the component where the anchor lugs are upside-down. After some quick rewiring to the +Ve and GND pins, this issue is sorted for now. The next issue would be to remove a small area at the upper left so that the locking pin of the 40-pin ZIF socket can do its job. Version 2 would address these changes. Since I got these done from JLCPCB, I am not in a hurry as I have 5 boards which can last me a long time. Then again, maybe in the near future?

Oh, and just for fun, I had the board done in the usual 1.6mm and in Blue. Blue because all the Modules I got from China are in that colour. Maybe for version 2, I would have them made in Purple as JLCPCB just announced the new colour.

PICKit 4 and ICSP

The PIC programmer I am still using is one of the most reliable of all. But like all mature products, programming newer chips would be an issue. I want to try a new PIC and so, the latest PICKit 4 could be fun. Since it uses ICSP (In-circuit Serial Programming) programming, I have the (untested) ICSP Pins prepared. I hope to have a unit in 2023 so I can confirm the board works on this feature and thus, release version 2 of the board.

The PIC12F6xx (& PIC18F1840) Board
The features of the Board is not much but it is able to do what I want it to do.
Plus, I can also plug it onto a breadboard too. I have to remember to unplug it from the programmer before powering it. Yeah, I could add a power switch (the I forgot to switch it) or some switch-over relay (that would add space to the board).
The Board's USB power lines has been rewired
Some corrective wiring to make up for the inverse boo-boo
The SOICtoDIL sits so comfortably  on the Board
I love these SOICtoDIL adptors which I can, if I so wish, unplug them and then place them onto the programmer.
The Programmer recognises the PIC chip when connected to the Board.
On the first try, the Programmer recognises the PIC chip and I managed to program the chip as well. Just as long as the ZIF socket’s lever pin is able to be upright and allows the pins to connect.
Some test programming to make sure the Chip can be programmed through the Board.
As for ICSP programming, I’ll have to save up for a PICKit4. Soon.
Posted in A Piscean Works Blog, Computers, Design, Electronics, Flowcode, JLCPCB, Microchip PIC, Microcontroller, Printed Circuit Board, Programming, Tools.

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