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Want to make the word clock, but don't have any experience with PICs. Answered

The 16F877 is listed as being used in the part list, what software/hardware do i need to buy to use this PIC. I was thinking of buying PICkit 2 from microchips site, but there are so many packages I don't know which to pick. Theres the PICkit 2 starter kit, also the PICkit 2 debugger express. Also I want to keep cost as low as possible, as I don't think I'll do anymore PIC programming other than this one project. I don't want to learn how to use the software or anything else like that. I have a little bit of C++ knowledge and how to solder. So I think if i follow the instructions that Doug has left I can do this myself. But I need help to know how to program the PIC.


If you decide to go with the logicator route I have put together some tutorials for logicator on you tube. The first video in the series is at the link shown below. The picaxe is relatively inexpensive and much more forgiving for beginners than a pic


thank you for this, but it looks like these mostly use PICAXE which looks like it is something different and might not be able to use the .hex, .c, and .h files that were provided by the author.

altho I do like that there is a USB-Serial Adapter at the bottom, however I don't understand how to use it. If i plug the USB into my computer, then what do I plug the Serial side into? I still don't understand how to move the files.

In my mind, I see the files from the computer, to some piece of hardware (which somehow has the PIC attached), and from that hardware into the PIC. At which point I can remove the PIC from that piece of hardware and attach it to my project's board.

At least thats how I'd do it in my head

This isn't an easy project if you haven't worked with microcontrollers. You have to etch, drill and solder parts to a printed circuit board, and make the clock face, then program the PIC.

You don't need a fancy programmer nor know programming since you will be downloading a hex (hexadecimal) file that is the program. But I don't see a simple PIC programmer on the Internet. My experience with with PICKit 1 (US dollars 36), though there is a lot to learn to use it. I don't know about the PICKit 2, except that it is about 50 dollars US.

If you can find someone to help you who knows PICs and electronics, that would be great.

yeah i see what you are saying, but I think I might be able to get a PCB board that is like a bread board and just wire the components together, rather than going through the whole process of making my own PCB. At least I think I can do that, not sure exactly until I see one in person.

Because I agree that the etch etc would probably take this project past my skills atm, and I have soldered so I think it is do-able.

The way I figure if someone can tell me how to get the software/hardware that will get the .hex, .c, and .h files from the computer into the PIC, then the rest is just soldering. The face of the clock I figure I can probably get some cheap wood and just cut it out.

At least thats how I'd do it all in my head

This would be better posted as a comment on the instructable.

agreed. and i tried that, but no one replied to me. I asked it about 4 days ago, the author (Doug), has replied to other peoples comments since then, but not mine. So I thought I'd see if someone here can help me. I really just need someone to tell me what software and hardware I need to program a PIC16f877