Pocket Programmer

http://www.bubblesoftonline.com/pocket/pocket.html HOT! Tony Nixons Pocket Programmer. The Pocket Programmer is a stand alone serial programmer that can program most of the PICmicro®MCU range of microprocessors. (12C6xx, 16Cxxx, 16Fxxx, 18Cxxx) It works from a single 18VDC supply or with 2 X 9 volt batteries. Combine this with 64K of on board EEPROM which can store upto 32 HEX files and you have a truely portable programmer / patcher.

This unit is a must for field work!

Here is the schematic from the pdf file as a huge gif or png. The source code for this programmer is open so that the user can customize it for their own purposes or read it to learn how a PIC can program a PIC. Customise the software yourself if you like. PLEASE consider sharing your modifications…

Pocket ProgrammerFeatures:

  • Supports most of the PICmicro®MCU range of microprocessors. (12C6xx, 16Cxxx, 16Fxxx, 18Cxxx)
  • Comes with source code
  • Stand alone – needs no PC to program devices {ed: the download format is documented and simple so support for many operating systems should be forthcoming Brandon Fosdick is starting a Linux version of the GUI at http://terrandev.com/~bfoz/pocket/}
  • Battery or plug pak operated
  • Stores up to 32 programs
  • In Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) port
  • True Margining programmer: Verifies programs with user programmable 2V – 6V supply
  • In built code dissassembler displays code in mnemonic format
  • Code can be modified before programming
  • Can program via bootloader software
  • Simple menu driven commands (SELECT CHIP, PROGRAM, VERIFY, BLANK, READ, FILE MANAGER, etc…)
  • PC Interface for transferring files, etc… (windows source/binary and unix source)
  • Customizable chip data {ed: I hope people who add to the chip data files will share with others}

The original kit did have a few SMT components, but the pads were oversized and so it is not as hard as you might think. Took about 2 hours to put together. The assembly instructions in pdf format (cached 20010523135942) and CSS HTML 20010904105856 and everything else is installed by the Win32 specific install program in the download .zip file (cached 20010523135942). The biggest problem was that the board did not have a solder mask or component placement silkscreen.

Andrew Sorriaux sent some pictures of his version.

New Kit !

With Tony’s blessing, http://www.piclist.com/, in cooperation with http://www.olimex.com/, is producing a new kit with an easy to assemble board (no SMT, with solder mask and component silkscreen) and all parts (except the ZIF socket) for $70. (we are looking for a good, low cost, ZIF socket… please let us know if you know of one). Some possible sources include:

The boards are excellent! Olimex.com has done their normal great job! The clear silkscreen and parts list (see below) makes assembly a snap. Pin one is clearly marked on the silkscreen for all polarized components. The PIC16F876 comes pre-programmed so the unit is ready to go when you power it on. Just do a complete check of the parts for correct orientation and give the PCB another look over and check for possible shorts and joints that have not been soldered before you apply power and switch it on. The LCD is probably still blank, so turn the contrast pot away from the RS232 socket to make the display visible. When turned on without operational data available, the Pocket will display this message.

Pocket Programmer SchematicRUN POCKET.EXE

Turn off the power, download pocket.zip from
http://www.bubblesoftonline.com/pocket/pocket.zip, run the setup program, edit  pocket.dat so that it contains the number of the com port you will use
and run pocket.exe from your installation directory. Read through the help to discover how to set up and calibrate the programmer and then how to use it. DO NOT USE A NULL MODEM CABLE TO CONNECT THE POCKET TO YOUR PC! The correct connector wiring is straight through: Pin 1 to pin 1 etc…

The new pocket programmer kit is available for in the US through this site for $70.00 (+ s&h + tax in CA) Proceeds support the site.


For more detail: Pocket Programmer

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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