by William Smith
PICkit 1 Programmer
I often like to visit antique shops to look at old tools and equipment that people used before
electricity was so common. Now that electronics have been around for so long, I’m starting to see
the beginnings of electronic antiques. Old computers and circuit boards can be interesting to look
at; many of the components are so much larger compared to today’s units. Sometimes electronic
development tools can still be functional but considered outdated to experienced users. When you
are a beginner, however, it’s all new to you. Sometimes an old development board might be very
useful to a beginner. The PICkit 1 programmer falls into this category quite nicely.
If you are new to using Microchip PIC microcontrollers, then you have probably seen many different PIC programmer modules to load a software program into
a PIC. Microchip has numerous versions, of course, and
they recently released a PICkit 3 programmer to replace the
PICkit 2. The PICkit 2 was released to replace the PICkit 1.
Along the way, however, some things were left off the
The PICkit 1 only supports a handful of
parts, but it also includes an extra circuit
board to build a design from. None of the
replacement programmers offer that. The
PICkit 1 is a leaded design so you can see
all the components that make up the
programmer, so things can easily be fixed if
something fails on the board. The manual
even includes a schematic so you can try and
build one yourself which is a great home
project for the more aggressive beginner.
I had a PICkit 1 sitting on a shelf and
frankly I never did much with it. After looking
it over though, I thought this could be a
great starter platform. So, let’s take a look at
this future electronic antique and see what
we can do with it.
Figure 1 shows the PICkit 1 in its
complete form with the extra development
board on the side. The programmer circuit
occupies the left side of the main board and
the right side has some LEDs, a switch, and a potentiometer
prewired to the 14 pin socket. The board comes with an
eight pin PIC12F675 microcontroller. A 14 pin PIC and an
eight pin PIC share the same location of many pins, so a
12F675 eight pin microcontroller works in the same 14 pin
socket. Figure 1 has the 12F675 installed.
Even though this programmer is an older model, you
can still purchase it from MicrochipDirect.com under part
Figure 1. PICkit 1 Programmer Board.
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