Programming PIC Chips

Amazon has many choices for PICkit 3 (and 2 and 4) programmers. Please advise which one to purchase, on Amazon or elsewhere. Or should I make an Arduino PIC programmer? Or would DMS be willing to buy one for our lab?

What specific chips should I buy and where? Can you recommend any on

If you know how to program and use PICs, please let me know if I can contact you for advice.

If I get the hang of this, are you interested in taking a class?

I own the books PIC Robotics, PIC Microcontroller Project Book, and Brilliant LED Projects (which uses PICs by page 14). I’m willing to share.

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I’m PMing you.

Some while back there was donation of Microchip PicKits / pgmrs / misc parts. Don’t recall all the details without checking. Interest in using Pic parts seems to come and go. We’re looking into some universal
pgmrs in the upcoming Mouser donation. Choosing adapters to go with the pgmr for the different ic packages out there will get interesting.

The EPROM programmer I put on the Mouser list should handle PICs just fine.

These are awesome PIC dev boards. Integrated programmer.

I’m not really plugged into the uC ecosystem but I do use STM32s at work (and coding for one right now). STM32 is serious overkill for a lot of hobbyist projects where a PIC is a much simpler and cheaper option.

Whether PIC is appropriate really depends on his application. I’m working on a personal project now that involves nothing more than a couple of phototransistors and a bunch of LEDs that flash patterns when a beam is broken. This is a perfect application for a 35-cent 8-pin PIC.

ST Micro has some pretty nice high bang-for-the-buck 32-bit parts, but if you want really low power and no OS and need very little program and data space (i.e., you only need a micro-controller), they are overkill. And they have extra overhead for simple projects. Since they have lots more resources, there is extra work to configure the non-used sub-systems and peripherals.

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Have only done a very brief look at the STM32CubeIDE.
Looks like you pick the micro / board, assign pins / lines, etc and the IDE takes care of the rest at compile time.

There is nothing wrong with working with the Microchip PICs. I have worked with the PIC 18 and PIC32 for several years. It may not be as popular as the Raspberry PI, Arduinos, etc., but still a very good processor.

A source for inexpensive PIC programmers and development boards are at Olimex. Olimex products are also sold by Digikey.

I can’t believe I’m going to agree with Zach here but Microchip is not the be all end all they might have been in the past. They purchased atmel and have branched into the arm world themselves.

For many applications the focus is pretty much all on arm at the moment. ST, NXP, Microchip, TI, they all have some arm lines to chose from. It’s nice that they’re all relatively similar, so you can jump between an ultra low power processor and a big multicore chip and it won’t be like learning a whole new architecture.


Jerry never said this was for a commercial product to be mass produced so obsolescence is not an issue. He should choose whatever he finds to be a good fit with the needs of his project.

Older PICs are very easy to build into a circuit and are dirt cheap. Programming one, on the other hand, especially in assembly language, tends to be a frustrating experience.

I think the PIC24 is a nice processor; unfortunately, it never got popular to bring the prices down.

I bought a PICkit 3 from DigiKey to use on a project but ended up using an ICD 3 instead. I cannot find the PICkit 3, I never used it and may have loaned it out.

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I knew I’d get push-back.

I do not claim that PIC is the ultimate micro-controller. I used a bare metal Atmel part (ATTiny104) for my last battery powered design. The main power consumption is a periodic LED flash. The first iteration ran for 7 days on 3 AA batteries. After getting the low power mode optimized, it now runs for 4-1/2 months on a set of batteries. When I was working for others, I tended to think about what would be fun and powerful, but only the last five years involved end user products. That is where I worked on multiple PIC-based products plus lots of ARM based SOC’s. If your goal is to maximize your marketability, ARM based SOC’s are probably a good idea, but I contend that there is a cost to the overkill beyond the cost of the part.

Now, if you tell me that you’re working on an IOT application, I would change my tune completely!