IDE

For working with PICs i recommend an IDE. With the IDE you can write programs for your microcontrollers. In case you want me to help troubleshooting, I recommend MPLAB X. It is freeware and can be downloaded from the Microchip website. You will need the XC8-compiler, too.

In order to use the bootloader for programming, you have to download the program “AN1310 v1.05” from Microchip. This is the IPE for the bootloader.

Bootloader

The bootloader handles the connection between PC and PIC. It also flashed the controller without a programming device.

If you get the PCBs from me, you’ll get a µC already programmed with the bootloader (and tested). But if you made a mistake and the bootloader is corrupted, get the customized MPLAB-projects here and program your controller again. Don’t change anything in the projects, otherwise it might not work.

Please notice that the bootloaders are a bit old and still in MPLAB-8 format. Open up MPLAB X, go to File -> Import -> MPLAB IDE v8 to import the projects. The finished and compiled hex-file is in the dist-directory.

Project template

In order for you to successfully program a µC a few things must be initialized in the code. I made project templates for you, so you don’t have to learn everything about fuse-bits and preprocessor commands immediately. The most important things are set and all the ports configured, The project templates are made in MPLAB X, just open them.

Since the bootloader itself needs storage space on the controller, you have to protect the area from overwriting. If it got overwritten it can’t boot anymore and you have to reprogram the controller. To prevent this, I configured the templates accordingly, so that the storage space for the bootloader is reserved (different adresses for 16F and 18F).