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In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) with the melabs Field Programmer

The melabs Field Programmer can be powered by the target circuit board if the proper connections are made.  The power connections shown on this page may not be appropriate for use with our other programmers.  See the standard ICSP page for details.

Pin Descriptions
1 Vdd input - This pin can be used to power the melabs Field Programmer.  The safe voltage range is 3.3V to 5.5V.  The voltage should match that which is supplied to the target device to be programmed.
2 Programming Voltage (Vpp) - Connect to MCLR/Vpp pin on target device.
3 Reserved - do not connect
4 Alternative Vdd input - No connection by default.  A jumper can be shorted on the Field Programmer PCB that connects this pin to pin-1.
5 Reserved - do not connect
6 Programming Data - Connect to PGD or ICSPDAT on the target PICmicro
7 Reserved - do not connect
8 Programming Clock - Connect to PGC or ICSPCLK on the target PIC MCU.
9, 10 Ground - A ground connection to your target board is required.
Design considerations for ICSP-capable circuits:

If your new design needs to be ICSP-capable, there are some things you should consider.  Details can be found on the standard ICSP support page.

 Powering the melabs Field Programmer:

The Field Programmer does not have an internal power source.  It must be powered with a connection to the 10-pin ICSP connector.  This can be accomplished in two ways.

1.  Power supplied by target board.  As detailed below, the programmer can draw power directly from the target that it is programming.  This makes it very convenient if the target board has the necessary connection.  See the schematic below for wiring details.

2.  Power supplied by in-line Power Adapter.  In some circumstances, it isn't feasible to draw power from the target board.  The target board may not be able to support the current requirements of the programmer or -as in the case of a programming adapter- the target may need to draw power from the ICSP connection.  For these situations, a Power Adapter is available that connects between the programmer and target.  The adapter accepts DC power from a wall adapter (ac adapter) and provides regulated voltage to the programmer and (if desired) the target.  The output of the Power Adapter can be changed to accommodate the target requirements (requires installation of an additional resistor).

Regardless of the method used to power the melabs Field Programmer, the programmer must be supplied with the exact voltage that is required on Vdd of the target PIC microcontroller.  If your PIC runs at 3.3V and you power the programmer at 5V, you risk damage to the target board.

Some of the new PIC microcontrollers cannot by powered at 5V.  If you are programming such a device with the Field Programmer, Power Adapter, and a Programming Adapter, you may need to modify/configure the programming adapter.  See the following link for details:  PIC18FxxJ, PIC18FxxK, PIC24xJ, and dsPIC33FJ 3.3 Volt Programming Information

ICSP Schematic example for use with melabs Field Programmer:

The following schematic shows a typical ICSP connection that could be used with the melabs Field Programmer.  The notable difference from the standard ICSP circuit is the power connection to pin-1 of the ICSP connector.  This supplies power to the Field Programmer.  The Field Programmer may be powered from 3.3V to 5.5V.