As I mentioned a few times on this website, from time to time a PIC is sneaking his way in. So I need a programming tool for them. The best option is the PICkit 2 since it is open source hardware and freeware software and it is easy to build and it uses a PIC18F2550 which I have dozens of.

So I downloaded the data. Since I only have like 4 PICs to choose from (but from those I have hundreds) I already included their sockets on the board, So I don’t have to figure out the ICSP pinout every time I want to program them.

But just in case I included an ICSP header. You newer know when you need it.

After etching and soldering I solved the “what was first: chicken or egg” problem by flashing the 18F2550 with the programmer of my boss. I put it all together, hooked it up to a PC and started the software. After some calibration It worked flawless and I could program my controllers. In my opinion the PICkit 2 is better than the PICkit 3.

Here’s the layout, schematics are plenty on the internet.

And the finished programmer in all it’s glory.