PICkit 2 programmer is open source, so you can build your own:
PICkit 2 was originally built by Microchip as open design programmer with the schematic, source code and firmware available to boost the popularity of the PIC devices. Because of that it is easy to build a clone version of the original device. Most of the clones will produce unregulated 5 volt VPP where the original Microchip PICkit 2 provides adjustable VPP output to allow 3.3 and 2.5 volt parts programming. The schematic I have used is based on the original PICkit 2 without programmer-to-go functionality. That functionality allowing a hex file to be downloaded to the PICkit 2 to later program PIC microcontrollers without a PC with a simple pressing programmer’s push button. I do not think that functionality is required for a hobbyist but allows simplify the schematic by omitting two 24C512 EEPROM chips. The Eagle Files designed using only thru-hole mounting parts.
Build your own PICkit 2 programmer - [Link]
Johan von Konow writes:
A miniature breakout board for rapid development of microprocessor projects
- ICSP connector for quick programming and power (PICkit compatible)
- All pins available on standard .1” pin headers
- Single sided PCB (easy to manufacture)
- 4 debug led’s
- 1 generic switch
- Connector for serial communication
- Power led
- On board crystal with decoupling caps
- Miniature size
Ultimate PIC16F628/627 breakout board - [Link]
Recently I was fortunate to receive a Microchip PICkit 2 from Newark.com to write a review on. I was very excited to get it because I have always wanted to learn about PIC microcontrollers. Why? Well, so far I have been quite experienced with Atmel’s AVR family chips, thanks to the Arduino that first got me into electronics. But it’s time to try something new in a new year PICs offer several nice appeals including their product variety and functionality (e.g. support for USB, Ethernet, touch sensing etc.) and they have very competitive pricing. I know there are tons of debates about AVRs vs. PICs online. For now I am going to put them aside and make my own comparisons later after I get a good grip of both.
Review of Microchip PICkit 2 - [Link]
Some time ago there was this blog post about the PICkit 2 clone. A few weeks ago I bought the PICkit 3 clone from the same manufacturer – here is my experience with it.Until then my experience with PIC programmers was a homebuilt JDM serial programmer (about a decade ago…) and a loaned Microchip ICD 3 that I used for an uni project.
This clone is really cheap – I could get about two for the price of a single genuine Microchip PICkit 3. Nevertheless it comes in a sturdy box and includes both a single row 6-pin female to female and a 6-pin modular connector ICSP cable. There’s also a 1×6 pin male header, a right-angle 1×6 female header and the Mini-USB cable included.
Sure Electronics PICkit 3 clone review - [Link]
The PICkit™ 2 Programmer/Debugger is a low-cost development tool with an easy to use interface for programming and debugging Microchip’s Flash families of microcontrollers. The full featured Windows programming interface supports baseline, mid-range, PIC18,8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit microcontrollers, and many Microchip Serial EEPROM products. With Microchip’s powerful MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) the PICkit 2 enables in circuit debugging on most PIC microcontrollers. In-Circuit-Debugging runs, halts and single steps the program while the PIC microcontroller is embedded in the application. When halted at a breakpoint, the file registers can be examined and modified.
Pickit 2 clone The Universal Microchip PIC Programmer / Debugger - [Link]