Re: PIC16F84A and "... PICSTART PLUS question

Started by Dave Mucha June 10, 2004
--- In , "Jason Hsu" <mailinglist@j...> wrote:
> I'm new to the world of microcontrollers, so bear with me.
> I'm trying to program a PIC1684A with my new PICSTART PLUS
> and MPLAB IDE v6.40 software. I have selected the PIC16F84A under
> Configure -> Select Device and PICSTART PLUS under Programmer ->
> Select Programmer. When I try to enable the programmer, I get the
> message "This device requires firmware version 2.1.0 or higher".

The question revolves around the PICSTART PLUS programmer and the
software it uses.

You mentioned you are new to all this, so a couple of background

Have you been able to program any chips with this set-up ?
If so, which ones.

Also, what chips do you have to try ? some may be generic enough
that any version will recognise that chip.

The problem you have may be in software selection or set-up and not
version or revisions.

Is the PicStart Plus a purchase or was it made from plans ? (I'm
pretty sure MicroChip offers the schematic for this so it is possible
it is a home-made unit)

Have your read the note on Microchip about it and the upgrades ?
Hardware Ver R20 appears to be the latest version.

The error message mentions FIRMWARE. Check what you have on versons
of the software and firmware and hardware of all the pieces as you
may have more than one software package involved.

Firmware is a programed chip, or is may be in software.
explains the version numbers and if you need a new chip or can use
software to upgrade.

> Exactly where do I get the software I'm supposed to download? I
> downloaded "PICSTART Plus Firmware 3.11(last upgrade for 17C44-
> obsolete for Flash Module" to the "C:\Program Files\MPLAB
> IDE\Programmers" directory. It didn't help.

Just because you can upgrade, does not mean you should. If the
problem is in something else, all the upgrades won't fix anything.

Since everything else in youer set-up is so mainstream, you should be
able to program some chips with the existing system. Can you program
anything ?

> Also, how do I know if my computer is
> trying to load my .asm file or .hex file
> onto the microcontroller?
> I know that the .hex file is
> what the microcontroller uses.
> (Fortunately, I haven't had trouble
> converting the .asm to .hex.)

Ah.... Now I think you're on the right track !

Maybe someone who has the same set-up can offer some advise ?

Is there a test routine that would go thru the motions without a chip
installed ? That should be an option to verify the code does not
have problems.
> Is there a FAQ that answers questions like this one? I'm trying to
> implement those simple starter programs, and I can't get anywhere
> right now.