EasyProg(tm) Programmer User's Guide
                            20 November 2005

This document describes how to set up and operate a fully assembled
EasyProg PIC Programmer.

The purpose of the EasyProg programmer is to "program" data into
Microchip PIC microcontrollers (PIC is a registered trademark of
Microchip Technology Inc).

Setup the Hardware

  To set up the programmer hardware, do the following:

    1)   Connect the main unit to your computer with the serial cable.
         The cable can only be connected one way.  The female end of
         the cable connects to a 9 pin serial port (COM port on PC
         systems) on the computer, and the other end connects to the 9
         pin female port on the main unit.

    2)   Connect the power supply to the main unit.  Push the small
         round plug on the end of the power supply cord into the socket
         in the back left corner of the main unit.

    3)   Plug the power supply into a normal AC power outlet.

  The EasyProg programmer should now be powered on.  The green STATUS
  light should be lit dimly.

Setup the Software

  Go to the web site http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/sw.htm and follow
  the directions for downloading and installing the software.

Verify the Setup

  The directions in this section assume that the hardware and software
  have been set up as described in the previous sections.

  To verify the hardware and software setup, make sure you are running
  a command shell and enter:


  at the command prompt.  This should report the EasyProg firmware
  version and the name of the organization that created it.  It should
  also indicate that no target chip is plugged into the programming

  Now plug one of the supported PICs into the programming socket by
  following these steps.

    1)   Flip the lever on the ZIF socket into the vertical position.
         This will open all the pins allowing for easy insertion and
         removal of a target chip.

    2)   Insert the target chip into the ZIF socket.  The target chip
         pin 1 is always inserted into the socket pin 1.  The pin 1 end
         of the target chip is usually marked with a semi-cicular
         notch, or a dimple at pin 1, or something similar.  The socket
         pin 1 is the pin in the corner closest to the lever.

    3)   Flip the ZIF socket lever down.  This will close the socket
         pins and clamp the target chip into place.

  Now run the PIC_PROG program again by entering:


  at the command prompt as before.  The PIC_PROG program should again
  start by displaying the firmware version.  This time it should
  identify the particular target chip type and revision.  It should
  also report "No errors" and the elasped time.

Status Light

  The status light is the green LED labeled "Status" near the ZIF
  socket lever.  It indicates 5 different states:


         No power is applied to the unit.  A target chip may be removed
         from or inserted into the programming socket.

    Dimly but solidly lit

         Idle state.  The unit is powered on, but otherwise inactive.
         A target chip may be removed from or inserted into the
         programming socket.

    Flashing at 4 Herz, brightness is low.

         The host is communicating with the unit, but the target chip
         is not powered up.  Do not insert or remove a target chip from
         the socket in this state.

    Flashing at 2 Herz, brightness is medium.

         The target chip is powered up.  Communication with the target
         chip may be in progress, but the target is not being written
         to (no permanent target state changes are being made).  This
         is the normal display during verification or data readback.
         Do not insert or remove a target chip from the socket in this

    Flashing at 1 Herz, brightness is high.

         The target chip is being actively written to.  This is the
         normal display during a "programming" operation.  Do not
         insert or remove a target chip from the socket in this state.

  The status diplays have been deliberately selected so that obvious
  flashing indicates a target chip should not be inserted into or
  removed from the programming socket.  Doing so while the status light
  is flashing may permanently damage the target chip.

  A target chip may be removed or inserted when the status light is
  solid, including completely off.

DBG Jumper

  This is two posts labeled "J1" and "DBG" near the right side of the
  board just behind the five programming line pads.  This jumper should be
  left open for normal operation.

  A jumper may be installed over these pins to short them together.  This
  disables the 5 second host command stream timeout.  The host timeout is
  described in detail in the protocol specification, which is in the
  PICPRG_PROT documentation file in the DOC directory within the software
  installation directory.

  The host timeout is an important feature which allows the unit to
  recover if the host program is aborted or the host connection broken
  during a command.  With the host timeout disabled, the unit must be
  powered down and back up to resume normal operation in such a case.  We
  therefore recommend that the debug jumper not be connected during normal

  The debug pins are provided to aid in debugging host software.  More
  than 5 second gaps can easily occur in the host command stream while
  single stepping the host application with a debugger.  In such cases it
  would be undesirable for the unit to abort the current command and
  reset, and installing the debug jumper can prevent this.  Remember to
  remove the jumper when done debugging because normal operation is less
  robust with the jumper installed.


  The EasyProg programmer is operated by making sure is it powered on
  and connected to the host computer, inserting a target chip into the
  programming socket, and then running a host program to perform the
  desired task.  The various host programs are briefly described
  below.  Consult the documentation of each program for details.  All
  documentation files are stored in the DOC directory within the
  software installation directory.  Documentation files can also be
  viewed using the DOC command.  For example, the command:

  doc pic_prog

  will display the documentation file for the PIC_PROG program.

  The host software (PICPRG software) is not specific to the EasyProg.  It
  works with all Embed Inc PIC programmers and any other programmers that
  adhere to the protocol specification.  This software adapts itself to
  the capabilities of the particular programmer it is communicating with
  at the time.  Different operations and different PICs may be supported
  by different programmers, although the host software is the same.  The
  PICPRG software suite is also backward compatible to old firmware
  versions of the various programmers.  We recommend running the latest
  software available at http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/sw.htm whether
  running an old version of firmware or not.  However, we also recommend
  keeping your firmware up to date.

  The main PICPRG programs are:


         The main purpose of this program is to program a PIC from a
         HEX file.  It can also verify the program in a PIC, and
         display the target chip type and EasyProg firmware version.


         Reads the data from a PIC to a HEX file.


         Allows direct controll over the programming lines from the
         command line.  This is not of much use with the EasyProg except
         for verifying the hardware.


         This is a test program not intended for normal operation.  It is
         included in the PICPRG software because it can be useful in
         diagnosing problems.  If others are trying to help you with setup
         problems, they may ask you to run TEST_PICPRG and report on the
         result of various operations.

Software Updates

  New software is made available from time to time.  Go to the web page
  http://www.embedinc.com/easyprog to check on the latest

Firmwarae Updates

  New firmware is made available from time to time.  Go to the web page
  http://www.embedinc.com/easyprog to check on the latest

  EasyProg firmware is stored in files named PRGxx.HEX in the
  SRC/PICPRG directory within the software installation directory,
  where XX is the firmware version number.  To change to a new firmware
  version, perform the following steps:

    1)   Make sure the EasyProg is powered up and connected to a host
         computer as normal.

    2)   Insert a PIC 16F648A into the programming socket.

    3)   Run the PIC_PROG program with the PRGxx.HEX file of the
         desired version.

    4)   Label the PIC in the programming socket "PRG xx", where XX is
         the version number of the firmware just programmed into this

    5)   Power off the EasyProg.  The STATUS LED should be completely

    6)   Carefully remove the PIC in the socket labeled IC2.  This is
         near the middle of the right edge of the circuit board.  This
         PIC is no longer needed by the EasyProg and can be
         reprogrammed for use with other projects.

    7)   Remove the PIC programmed in step 3 from the programming
         socket and carefully insert it into the socket labeled IC2.
         Double check the orientation.  Pin 1 must be in the lower left
         corner of IC2.  The left end of IC2 is marked with a
         semi-circular notch to indicate the pin 1 end.  The PIC is
         marked with a dimple at pin 1, a notch at the pin 1 end, or
         something similar.

    8)   Power on the EasyProg.  The STATUS LED should be dimly but
         solidly lit.

    9)   Run the PIC_PROG program.  It should indicate the new firmware

Product Support

  This product is not officially supported.  There is no customer
  support phone number or email address, and there is nobody whos job
  it is to answer your questions.  This is one of the reasons the
  EasyProg programmer costs considerably less than other PIC

  However, many of the EasyProg users subscribe to the MIT PIC email
  list (see http://www.piclist.com).  Posting a message there is a good
  idea if you get stuck.

  As with any general newsgroup or email list, keep the following in

    1)   You are not owed an answer.  You are asking about 2000 people
         to do you a favor, and should act accordingly.  Don't demand
         an answer because you have a demo this afternoon, or post the
         same question repeatedly.  This will only annoy people and
         cause them to deliberately ignore you.

    2)   Describe the problem clearly, explain what you have done on
         your own in an attempt to solve it, and what the results
         were.  Others are much more willing to help those who are at
         least trying to help themselves.  Again, you shouldn't ask
         2000 people for a favor until you've taken reasonable steps to
         solve the problem yourself.

    3)   Send the message using PLAIN TEXT wrapped to a reasonable line
         width, like 72 to 80 characters.  There are many people on the
         list using many different mail clients and operating systems.
         The only universally guaranteed useable format is plain text
         with no fancy encoding, like BASE64, quoted printable, or
         whatever.  Don't even think about HTML.  Some people just
         delete HTML messages on general principal or automatically
         filter them as spam.

    4)   When you've done all the above, go ahead and ask.  The list is
         for discussing PICs and related topics.  Maybe you can return
         the favor some day by helping someone else with an EasyProg
         problem or some other PIC issue.