How to Program a PIC Microcontroller to Build a Project

The recent trends in the advanced technology are helpful in developing most advanced electronic gadgets. Most of  these electronic devices are developed using microcontrollers. The microcontroller is an electronic component, which is programmed to perform various control operations. There are various kinds of microcontrollers available, such as 8051, AVR, ARM, and PIC microcontrollers, etc., which are programmed by using the integrated development tools.

PIC Microcontroller

The PIC is a family of the microcontroller, which is manufactured by the different companies such as NXP, microchip, etc. The PIC stands for “peripheral interface controller”, which contains memories, timers/counters, serial communication, interrupts and ADC converters built into a single integrated chip.

How to Program a PIC Microcontroller to Build a ProjectThe PIC microcontrollers are found in most electronic devices such as alarm systems, traffic control systems and RFID based security systems, etc. The PIC microcontroller programming can be carried out to perform the huge range of tasks. Even though there are many types of PIC microcontrollers , the best and basic microcontroller is PIC16f877a.


PIC Microcontroller Programming Procedure

The PIC microcontrollers is programmed by the  embedded C language or assembly language by using appropriate dedicated software. Before going to build a PIC microcontroller project, we must become aware of developing a basic microcontroller (like 8051) based project. Once you get the idea, this controller based project building becomes easy, so let us  look at the basic steps to build a PIC microcontroller based project.

Before going to program the PIC microcontroller, first we have to select the right project that you are going program the microcontroller. As of now, consider the LEDs flash light system.


The LEDs flashlight  uses a set of light emitting diodes, and these are advanced to the traditional incandescent lights which consumes more energy and have very less life time. The LED lights on the other hand, consume less energy and have longer life.

Basic Idea of this Project Behind the Design:

The microcontroller generates the output logic pulses so that the LED light is switched ON and OFF at certain intervals. It is a 40 pin microcontroller. The Crystal interfaced to the input pins of the microcontroller  provides  accurate clock signals at the crystal frequency.

Circuit Designing

The PIC microcontroller transmit and receive the data with respect to clock pulses, the PIC microcontroller operates with 4MHz crystal frequency. Two capacitors are connected to the crystal oscillator with range of 20pf to 40pf which is used to stabilize the clock signals. At some times, the PIC microcontroller goes to block state or missing time calculation,at that time we need to reset the microcontroller. If a microcontroller is reset for 3sec time delay, 10k resistor and 10uf capacitor are connected to the respective pins.

Circuit Components

Hardware Components

  • Yellow LEDs
  • Crystal
  • Reset
  • PIC Microcontroller
  • Capacitors
  • Resistors

Software Components

Circuit Connections

The 5v DC supply is given to the 11 pin of the microcontroller which  drives  the circuit. The crystal  is connected to the 13 and 14 pins of the microcontroller. The reset circuit is interfaced at 1 pins of the microcontroller. The Yellow LEDs is connected to the PORTB of the microcontroller.

How to Program a PIC Microcontroller to Build a Project SchematicCircuit Diagram

This circuit is designed with the help of Proteus software. The Proteus is a circuit designing software that contains a database of components, which we can use to build the circuit. Each and every component is available in the component library.

  • Open the Proteus software. A window with a menu bar appears.
  • Click  the file menu.
  • Select ‘new design’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Click  the library menu.
  • Select ‘pick devices/symbol’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the relevant comment by double clicking  it, so that the electronic components list appear on the window.
  • Add all the components and draw the circuit with the proper connections as shown above.


For more detail: How to Program a PIC Microcontroller to Build a Project

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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