This is a very simple modification that I made to a PICKIT2 so that I could use the programming button without the programmer in reach. I was initally a little wary of opening my programmer (because it's so awesome!!), but it turns out that this was very easy to do without damaging (or disfiguring) my precious programmer. So I thought I'd share, in case anyone else had the same thought and got cold feet.
Step 1: PICKIT2???
So, yeah. I'm using the PICKIT2, now. If you read my second most highly rated Instructable, ever, you might wonder why I switched to the dark side? Well, I had to program a specific part that was not supported by my homemade programmer. And now i'm a convert. Turns out that the PICpgm free software that I was using is almost exactly the same as PICKIT2 software, so the transition was easy. Plus I have a lot of new features to play with.
PS. my only more highly rated Instructable was !?!??!?!?. No way!
Step 2: What's the Point?
By using a long length of programming cable, I had previously enjoyed a clutterfree desk. I had even made my own "programming button" by hacking my mouse and wiring up the mouse button to my programming setup/socket.
After switching to the PICKIT2, I initially liked the programming button, because I didn't have to stick the wires from the mouse to my programming setup. But having two devices daisy-chained on my desk was annoying, and the button was more difficult to press when it wasn't hardwired to my programming setup, like before.
So that's the point. I know I just lost 99% of the readers. :(
Step 3: How To
The case of the PICKIT2 is easily opened up with a small screwdriver. Inside, you'll find that the programming button is grounded to activate. So now, you just need to add one additional wire to your programming port, and you can have a programming button on your programming socket/setup/ICSP device.
The plastic part of the six pin female header on the PICKIT2 is held on only by the friction of the pins inside. It slides right off.
If you widen the opening in the housing with a file, you can slip on a standard length of female header that is seven pins long. Now you can wire up the programming button to the seventh pin.
Step 4: Finished
So now you have a seven pin port, and it doesn't look like the bride of frankenstein.
Step 5: Happy Desk
Now your desk will thank you. Your PICKIT2 can now be shoved off into the distance, never to be seen from again, while your programming cable, alone, can take it's place. Here's my seven pin cable, shown next to another random USB cable that I use a lot... the one for downloading pics off my camera so I can make awesome Instructables.