FIGURE 4. The 16x2 Experimenter block diagram.
Peripheral System) is slightly more restrictive than the
16-bit family’s PPS, the Experimenter 32KB EEPROM
cannot be accessed onboard by the PIC32MX2.
To access it, you must remove it from the board, plug
it into a solderless breadboard, and use the I/O expansion
bus for connection. (If you’d like some help with these
new advanced 16-bit processors, Nuts & Volts is offering a
new book, the Beginner’s Guide to Programming the
PIC24H/dspPIC33 that focuses on these 16-bit parts.)
The PICkit2 originally used with the 16-bit
Experimenter does not support the new PIC32MX parts.
Some low cost options that are available include the
PICkit3 or the new Microstick II programmer/debugger.
The PICkit3 uses the existing 16x2 Experimenter ICSP
interface in the same manner as the PICkit2. It just plugs
in from the side (see Figure 5). The Microstick II is made
FIGURE 6. The 16x2 Experimenter using Microstick II.
FIGURE 5. The 16x2 Experimenter using PICkit3.
for directly plugging into solderless breadboards. With an
adapter, it can plug directly into the 16x2 Experimenter
processor onboard CPU socket and function as the
debugger/programmer (see Figure 6). This adapter (see
Figure 7) is also available from the Nuts & Volts webstore.
As with the PICkit3, the adapter requires external
power to the Experimenter. To use the adapter, you need
to remove the existing Experimenter microcontroller from
its socket to enable plug-in; make sure the Microstick II is
using the PIC32MX2. Both the PICkit3 and Microstick II
with adapter work directly with MPLAB X.
MPLAB X (see Figure 8) has become all the rage with
the electronics community, and has recently received
several industry awards. MPLAB X represents a significant
departure from Microchip’s existing 8.xx IDE series. It is
part of a movement to open source framework based on
Java NETBEANS versus proprietary based custom designed
software. With MPLAB X, a whole new series of tools are
made available, as well as potential enhancements from
third party vendors. MPLAB X is required when using the
new PIC32 MX2 parts. Some new MPLAB X features are:
• One-click make, program, and debug/execute operation.
MPLAB X can reside with MPLAB- 8.x.x installs,
so you can retain both sets of tools. MPLAB X can be
downloaded from www.microchip.com/pagehandler/