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What is PIC? PIC is microcontroller which can substitute few other IC's. To make PIC work the way you want, you must program it. To do that you'll need to build programmer. There are many variations of programs and programmers, but I'll describe here just one program that I have tested by myself and I was pleased with it's simplicity and functionality.

The program requires a simple programming interface for the serial port. For FLASH-based PICs like the 16F84, the hardware is very simple, for EPROM-based devices like the 16C61 two additional transistors are required.

Supported devices are:

  • PIC16C84, PIC16F84 (tested)

  • PIC16F627, PIC16F628 (tested)

  • PIC16C61 (tested)

  • PIC16C71, PIC16C710, PIC16C711(tested), PIC16C715 (not tested)

  • PIC16F818 (tested)

  • PIC12F629, PIC12F675 (tested Sept. 2002)


programming PIC via serial port

Where red LED is signaling that programming is in progress, and green LED that programmer is turned on. The PIC Programmer for Windows described here is a program that lets you:

program a HEX-file into a PIC microcontroller
read the contents of a PIC and save it as a HEX file
read and modify the configuration word of the PIC

WARNING ! The specification for EPROM-based PICs requires a precise timing which is hard to realize under Windows. Don't let other programs run in the background when programming EPROM-based PICs (16C7xx), and use the fastest PC available. This reduces the risk that windows takes the CPU away for other tasks too long, but is no real cure.


There are many sorts of softwares, some of them working in DOS and others under windows. Software that I am using is called WinPic from DL4YHF and you can download it here. To use this program you will also need Borland's VCL40.BPL to download, extract it and copy VCL40.BPL to your windows system directory (c:\windows\system for example). You can find Borland's VCL40.BPL here (about 1.9MB unpacked).

To program PIC you will need HEX file to program your PIC. Usually you find HEX files together with schematic diagram of device you will make, also named source code. As mentioned above you will be able to program PIC with HEX file, read out contents of PIC and save it as HEX file and read/modify the configuration word of the PIC.


20MHz function generator - by OH3HZB
Digital wattmeter - by OZ2CPU
Frequency counter by OM3CPH - 7 digit frequency counter

You can see my frequency counter here