KB0P PIC Programming

The first PIC project I had was to program the 16F84 PIC for my homebrew ILink interface board. At this point I had no experience with PICs and I have never programmed one in my life. So, the first thing I needed to acquire was a PIC programmer. Instead of spending money on a commercial programmer, I decided to build my own. Many people have asked for help with this, so I decided to retrace my steps to help as many as I can. I did a lot of internet searching and a lot of hair pulling before I was successful.

F84 Programmer Schematic (click on image for close-up)

First, I had to build a programmer and also look for programming software. This is a schematic of the programmer I used which actually worked. I tried several circuits before I finally found one that would actually perform as advertised. The F84 Programmer is the design I used along the Windows PIC Program, version 1.20 software. Please refer to the link below for more detailed information on this circuit and program. One important thing to remember is to keep your parallel cable very short, or better yet, plug the programmer directly into the back of the computer. I wasted more time with this discovery than anything else.

F84 Programmer


Once I successfully programmed my very first PIC, I caught PIC fever. I have a few friends who have been using PICs for many years, but I felt I never had time, nor an interest to further pursue the PIC. Well, now the interest has begun and it has caught on like wild fire. In the past month (September, 2001) I spent more money on PIC related items than the average person spends on 3 months of groceries. Listed below are some of the steps I have taken.

(1) I purchase the book "Easy PIC'n" by David Benson at www.sq-1.com.
(2) I ordered PICS and 4.00 MHz ceramic resonators from DigiKey at www.digikey.com.