if you cannot find the disk or
just want to check out what
I refer to before buying a
couple of these programmers.
The final setup is shown in
Figure 6. Notice how I added a
small breadboard area to the
low pin count demo board.
This addition makes it easier to
add circuitry to a PIC16F690
project when using this
Another option would be
to use one of the many plug-in modules available for this
type of development. Figure 7 shows the breadboard
EEPROM module I designed many years ago, which is
now sold exclusively through Beginner Electronics (www.
beginnerelectronics.com). The socketed chip allows
you to change the chip to different sized EEPROMs.
The module also has pull-up resistors installed on the data
and clock lines.
Another option is the multi-EEPROM board from ETT,
shown in Figure 8. This module has four EEPROM devices
on the board, along with optional pull-up resistors via
jumpers. Finally, the developer's dream board is the PICkit
Serial I C Demo Board from Microchip, shown in Figure 9
(part number PKSERIAL-I2C1). This board has an I C
EEPROM, I C temperature sensor, I C Analog-to-Digital
Converter (ADC), I C Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC),
and an eight-bit I C I/O expander — all connected to a com-
mon I C bus. Any of these modules make I C development
a lot easier. I'm sure I'll use them in future projects.
Another Microchip tool you might want to check out
for I C development is the PICkit Serial Analyzer (part
number DV164122), shown in Figure 10. This tool uses
the same packaging as the PICkit 2 but is designed strictly
for serial communication including I C, SPI, Microwire,
and USART. The kit comes with its own GUI for the PC
and includes a 28-pin demo board with a PIC16F886
MCU that can also be plugged into a PICkit 2 for
programming. I have recommended this development
board in previous columns.
You can plug the PICkit serial analyzer into the
Microchip I C demo board (see Figure 9) to use it as
a master. You can also send data to the PICkit serial
analyzer from your I C master circuit so that you can
verify your code is communicating properly to a slave.
More information is available at www.microchip.com/
pickitserial The kit shown in Figure 10 sells for $49.95.
■ FIGURE 8. ETT
Once again, PICBASIC PRO makes a software task
very easy to complete. The PICkit 2 comes through once
again to handle the programming and monitoring tasks.
Many PIC MCUs have a hardware I C peripheral on-chip,
so you can run the I C in the background. This becomes
■ FIGURE 7. Beginner Electronics
Breadboard EEPROM Module.
■ FIGURE 6. Final
very handy when running multiple functions from a single
master MCU. For most home projects, though, the bit-banging method — also often officially termed firmware —
is sufficient. The 24LC01B that I used here is only a one
Kbit EEPROM, with 128 bytes of storage space (1024/8
bits = 128 bytes). You can get larger memory parts up to
one Megabit (Mb), but some of the larger memory parts
require a two-byte address sent from the master to the
EEPROM. PICBASIC PRO handles this for you when you
specify the address in the command line. A byte address
will be sent if the address is a byte variable. A two-byte
■ FIGURE 9. Microchip’s PICkit Serial I2C Demo Board.
value will be sent if the address is a word variable. Read
over the PICBASIC PRO manual for additional details.
Hopefully, I taught you something new to expand
your electronics knowledge. Try out some of the other
I C components on your own setup. By doing that, you
can gain a lot of experience that might just prepare you
for an opportunity that keeps you employed or gives
you some extra income in the future. There is so much
to know in the world of electronics, and having hands-on
experience is priceless.
Email your thoughts
to me at chuck@
elproducts.com. If the
spam filter doesn't catch
it, I'll read it. Please put
"N&V" in the subject line
to help me filter the
Check out my
books too, at www.
elproducts.com. I hope
to have more released
■ FIGURE 10. Microchip’s
PICkit Serial Analyzer.
January 2009 71