Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homemade USB PIC Programmer - PICKIT2 Lite

I was using various programmers for PIC programming.JDM was one of that,which I used for a long time but it's a Serial port programmer.I have used ART2003 programmer for programming 18F using Parallel port.Both of this works kinda well but not very much good.So,I decided to build a USB programmer based on Microchip's PICKIT2.It is very reliable and speedy comparing to other Serial or Parallel port programmers and also have good support as it is based on official PICKIT2 programmer.You can you this with any PC as newer PCs don't have Serial or Parallel ports.This even can be used as a UART tool and Logic analyzer too.It just cost me SLRs 800 to build this.

The Schematic can be found at;

MicroKid's Web site
Use PICkIT2_SCH.pdf on the RAR file
Use 1N5817/1N5818/1N5819 for two diodes on the schematic.
The 680uH inductor can be changed with any inductor,I used 330uH for that.
All other parts are readily available on the market.

You an download the HEX and Programming software from
Microchip Site

After installing this,the HEX file will be located at
C:\Program Files\Microchip\PICkit 2 v2\PK2V023200.hex

You can program this HEX to PIC18F2550 using ART2003 programmer in my previous post.
(enable LVP config bit when programming with WinPIC800)

This is my PICKIT2 lite programmer :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Programming Bootloader to PIC 18F4550

Hope you were able to build the simple PIC 18F programmer and 18F4550 development board with help of my previous posts.Now it's time to program the 18F4550 with bootloader in order to use for our future projects.Using bootloader eliminate the need for a dedicated programmer and also it's really easy to edit our programs and reprogram the PIC while developing.

I'm using the boot loader available at can find the link at the bottom of the page.

You can use WinPIC 800 as described on simple PIC 18F programmer page.If you use any other programmer,please program appropriately using following configuration bits.

When it's succeeded just plug the PIC to development board.Now you can use it's USB port to program PIC and do wonderful projects using the development board.

You can use this little app to program PIC using bootloader and that article give you great information on using that too.

Evans page on USB bootloader
EDIT:Link seems to be dead now.check this backup:
Backup as PDF

Good luck!!! :D

Monday, June 20, 2011

Development board for 18F4550

I have designed a simple development board for 18F4550 to test my projects.I'm using a bootloader to program the uC using USB.It's very easy and fast for doing projects.I'll tell about it in next post.

You can easily build this circuit on a veroboard or a PCB.

This is my completed circuit on a veroboard.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Very simple PIC 18F programmer

I was wondering to use some PIC 18F microcontrollers in my projects.The well known 18F2550 & 18F4550 got USB which is much useful in current environments.But the problem was didn't have a good programmer to program them.My intention was to build a good USB programmer like PICKIT2lite but it also need a 18F2550 which should be programed in order to use this.So,I was looking for a very simple and easy to build programmer for 18F.Luckily I was able to find such,called ART2003 programmer.It just needs a 220 Ohm resistor,a 47uF capacitor and some 1N4148 diodes.All these parts are available at any part of the country.The total cost for this project was below Rs:100/=

Here's my little programmer :)

The schematic can be found at:
Fox Delta

I use WinPIC 800 v3.59 which also can be found on that link to program the microcontroller.Make sure you have enabled Low Voltage Programming(LVP) fuse.
You have to connect PGM,PGC,PGD,MCLR,VDD,VSS pins according to your uC's datasheet.

Now I can build my own PICKIT2lite USB programmer :)
You can also use this simple programmer to programmer a Bootloader and then you can change the program on microcontroller without any programmer by just using USB.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sinhala support on Android

Android has become the OS which powers many smart phones.But as it lacks built in Sinhala support,we have to add it by our own.Even these steps gives you a partial sinhala support in your mobile,the text won't be rendered well in most places.
Currenty,we have partial or full support on following;

1.Sinhala text displaying
2.Sinhala text input
3.Sinhala web browsing

For Sinhala text display in any app,you have to install a Unicode font with Sinhala support,basically you have to replace DroidSansFallback.ttf font in /system/fonts with Sinhala unicode font.(Your mobile has to be rooted for this and there are number of guides on the internet.Just "Google" about your mobile phone rooting.)These are wonderful guides on how to do this.

Kalinga's blog post
GayanX86's blog post

Now you got the "Sinhala text displaying" in your mobile.

There is no input method for Sinhala,hence I've created custom layout based on Wijesekara keyboard layout and submitted it to hackerskeyboard app development team.With there support now it's available on hackerskeyboard v1.16rc3 and above.You can get it from(or android market itself later),

Please note that "Rakaranshaya" and "Kombuwa" is not working yet.If you are an android developer please try correct that problem.

Here are some screenshots of the input:

Even though now you can view sinhala webpages,it lacks proper rendering,There is an great app created by Dhanika,which can render Sinhala in webpages.You just have to install it.

Hope you will able to get Sinhala support on android,if there is any prob please put a comment.I will post more about the input development.