PIC16F18345 EVB and IDE

A project log for IF sweep from PIC16F18345 NCO

Trying to get a 455kHz sweep signal out of a PIC MCU

bobubobu 03/20/2021 at 17:410 Comments

The PIC16F18345 evaluation board (DM164141) is a MPLAB Xpress evaluation board.  I bought the 20 pin version since it was the smallest and cheapest option.  Several distributors sell the EVB

At first I thought of using a Linux toolchain to program the part, but some of the tools were a bit out of date.  I decided to go with the Linux version of Microchip MPLAB X IDE.  This is proprietary software, but it is offered free of charge.  Microchip has decent installation instructions.  Be aware, it's a huge program and it runs in a specific Java version.  It worked on my old workbench laptop, but it is a VERY busy user interface.  This took some time to understand and use.  This ain't Arduino.  It's a professional IDE with half the features disabled in the free version.  It suffers from cluttered menus.  Some menus did not fit on my crummy laptop screen.

The MPLAB Configurator is really nice and useful.  It's a separate installation, but it's worthwhile.  It's a GUI tool to set up all the system and peripheral options needed for a project.  Again, the user interface was designed for higher screen resolution than my laptop.  The configurator will generate header and C files that get included in the project.  This saved a lot of time reading about peripheral register bits.

The EVB connects by USB and acts like a tiny FAT partition.  The command line or file manager can be used to copy the .hex file.  The EVB has a programmer section and a target section.  Copying the file is all that was needed to program the target.  This is very convenient.

I did have a problem programming the target MCU with the default 3.3V setting.  5V is working fine.  Maybe this EVB has some issue.  I've asked Microchip for technical help.