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Hot!Odd Pickit3 problem

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PICkles
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2019/08/22 12:56:06 (permalink)
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Odd Pickit3 problem

Hi all,
 
Using MPLAB X v5.25.  This seems to be a weird variation of the stubborn "Pickit3 is unable to supply 4.x volts..." problem. We've got some brand-new Pickit3's that were ordered a few months ago from Mouser or Digikey. So far 2 of them (and I suspect the rest as well) refuse to program a PIC, giving me that same voltage supply error no matter what voltage is chosen. I believe MPLAB updated their firmware as it usually does, and I'll try to confirm that on the next one. BUT...here's the weird part: I've got an older Pickit3 -- my personal beloved precious one -- and it works just fine in either normal or Progrmmer-to-Go modes. The others...nothing. So it wouldn't seem to be some kind boneheaded configuration thing on my part. All I'm doing is swapping out the Pickit3's and acknowledging the different serial # when MPLAB asks. All report firmware version 01.56.00 (though I've read here that's not always accurate).  
 
So, what's going on here?  I've occasionally had to wrestle with MPLAB to get Pickit3's to set up properly, but this is different since one works and others don't. Is it possible the final batch of Pickit3's were made with parts they swept out from under the SMD machines? Do I need to swing them round my head 3 times and recite a spell? I'm under the gun here to get some of these loaded and sent out to the field in a hurry. Halp!
#1

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    ric
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/22 13:15:39 (permalink)
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    Are they genuine PK3's?
    Do the screen printing, logos etc. look identical to your older one?
     

    I also post at: PicForum
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    NEW USERS: Posting images, links and code - workaround for restrictions.
    To get a useful answer, always state which PIC you are using!
    #2
    PICkles
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/23 08:37:37 (permalink)
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    Looking carefully through the (fortunately translucent) cases, I couldn't find even the slightest notable difference between the old and new.  But I did try again this morning to set up a new one and while there's some activity when it's plugged in, I don't think MPLAB is actually updating the firmware. At least I'm not seeing that particular message displayed, as I used to on previous versions of MPLAB. So maybe that's the issue? In settings, the "Use latest firmware" box is ticked. Offhand I don't know a sure way to force a firmware update. I've seen a couple of suggestions in the forums, but they haven't done the trick. Anybody know how to do it? 
     
    EDIT: I've unticked that box and directed it manually go to where the 01.56.00 firmware is located.  No luck. 
     
    Thinking it over, it *seems* like this trouble started when my hard drive failed and I updated to v5.25 on the new drive, along with going from Win 7 to 10 (it's a company PC - don't blame me). Before that I'd been using an older rev -- probably several revs back -- with no issues.  But I'd swear that I had updated to v5.25 just before the old drive failed, because I was chasing down a separate problem with retaining eeprom during programming and thought updating might help. Right around that same time (just before crash) I successfully set up a new Pickit3 for someone. So if I was in fact using v5.25 at that time then the biggest (only?) difference now would be that I'm running Win 10.  Could that be the problem somehow?  
    post edited by PICkles - 2019/08/23 08:52:51
    #3
    ric
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/23 15:22:06 (permalink)
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    PICkles
    Looking carefully through the (fortunately translucent) cases, I couldn't find even the slightest notable difference between the old and new. 

    The fake ones have noticeably different cases.
    e.g.: https://www.microchip.com/forums/m1087872.aspx
     

    Anybody know how to do it?

    There's two ways:
    [1] Select a PIC from a totally different family, and try to program/erase/ or verify it (don't actually connect to your target board.
    This should first install the firmware for THAT family. Once that's done, you can revert back to the family you are really using.
     
    [2] Force the PK3 back into "bootloader mode"
    Unplug it from your PC. Hold down the button on the PK3, and plug it back into your PC. Release the button.
    Next time you access the PK3, it should reinstall ALL the firmware in it, which will take a couple of minutes.

    I also post at: PicForum
    Links to useful PIC information: http://picforum.ric323.co...opic.php?f=59&t=15
    NEW USERS: Posting images, links and code - workaround for restrictions.
    To get a useful answer, always state which PIC you are using!
    #4
    NorthGuy
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/23 18:37:44 (permalink)
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    Have you tried to see what voltage the PICkit3 is actually supplying? How much current do you draw from it? Does it work if you power the board with external power supply instead of PICkit3?
     
    In theory, it is possible that Win10 may limit USB current, but I guess not very probable.
    #5
    PICkles
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 08:47:14 (permalink)
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    Well, this just keeps getting more and more "fun". Per Ric's advice, I did finally manage to get it to update the firmware by choosing a different family and then back to the original one (I'd tried this before). But succeeded only after several unplugging / re-plugging of the Pickit3 and restarting MPLAB a couple of times. Hurrah? Nope. 
     
    After it finally let me load in Programmer-to-Go mode (once only -- read on) which I must have for this application, I noticed I'd apparently left the programming voltage as 3V, which I'd changed while I was experimenting (aka "desperately flailing").  Tried to set it back to the usual higher voltage, but it refuses to even acknowledge the change. No matter if I'm trying to stay in Programmer-to-Go or not, just as it begins to access the Pickit3 it throws the "trying to supply 3V from USB but target VDD is measured at 2.75V" error, and it halts the process.  BTW, I don't have the Pickit3 plugged into a target. It's just sitting there on the desk.  
     
    Also note that even when I unplug the Pickit3 from the laptop and use it with my usual AC-to-USB power supply, it fails to program the target. Red LED of fail. So it's not the laptop's USB supply. 
     
    I'm getting ready to fetch my favorite balky component realignment mallet.   >_<  
    #6
    nigelwright7557
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 11:21:09 (permalink)
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    Might be an MPLAB X problem.
    Since I upgraded to 5.25 I have had a few BSOD's on my pc when using MPLAB X.
    You could try the previous version and see if the problem goes away.
     
    I sometimes find with PICKIT problems if I use old MPLAB (pre x version) sometimes it rights itself.
    PICKIT3's have problems anyway, I have terrible problems trying to get mine to debug.
     
    I did buy a PICKIT4 but that died within a week !
     
    #7
    ric
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 13:14:36 (permalink)
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    PICkles
    Well, this just keeps getting more and more "fun". Per Ric's advice, I did finally manage to get it to update the firmware by choosing a different family and then back to the original one (I'd tried this before). But succeeded only after several unplugging / re-plugging of the Pickit3 and restarting MPLAB a couple of times. Hurrah? Nope. 
     ...

    How are you powering the board you are programming?
    i.e. from the PK3, or a separate supply?
    I have had some weird things happen with a separate supply, becuse that supply was well grounded, but the laptop driving the PK3 was not. There was a lot of AC noise on the laptop's ground connection, induced by its switching charger, that was being conducted to mains ground via the PK3's ground wire.
    Properly earthing the laptop, or at least an independent ground connection between laptop and PIC board can cure this.

    I also post at: PicForum
    Links to useful PIC information: http://picforum.ric323.co...opic.php?f=59&t=15
    NEW USERS: Posting images, links and code - workaround for restrictions.
    To get a useful answer, always state which PIC you are using!
    #8
    PICkles
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 13:21:38 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Well, I've learned a little more.  Finally rounded up a couple more older Pickit3's that I had used for another project with a different PIC family.  For the most part they smoothly loaded the new firmware and my code with no trouble (just the usual minor "stubbornness" glitches). Both programmed the target PIC fine and dandy. For confirmation I repeated the loading process on one and it was again successful. Quickly tried a couple of the new ones again and same as before they either would bomb out with the voltage error message as above or -- via random combinations of restarting MPLAB and unplugging / replugging -- would eventually *seem* to correctly load everything and go into Programmer-to-Go mode...but then would totally fail to actually program the target. 
     
    So...the evidence seems to point to the new batch being inherently screwy. Lovely. 
     
    Anybody want to buy 10 purely-decorative Pickit3's?  They'd make festive holiday ornaments. Or the perfect gift for an annoying coworker to waste many frustrating hours trying to get them to work. Or leave them mint-in-box and set them safely aside as a Microchip heyday collectible, surely destined to increase in value and fund your golden years. 
    #9
    NorthGuy
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 15:16:17 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    PICkles
    Anybody want to buy 10 purely-decorative Pickit3's?  They'd make festive holiday ornaments.



    Contact Microchip. They will replace defective PICkit3 devices with new ones. I think PICkit3 is still in production.
     
    I would still try with external VDD supply (as opposed to supply by PICkit3) to see what happens.
    #10
    Jerry Messina
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/26 16:30:48 (permalink)
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    I'd had the same experience where older R5 versions would work different than newer R7 versions.
     
    I've never been able to get Programmer-To-Go mode working reliably with MPLABX... I've always had to set the PK3 up using the older MPLAB 8.92, which always works.
     
    MPLAB 8.92 also lets me completely download ALL the firmware in the PK3 quite easily. Unfortunately, you then have to download new code to it when using it with MPLABX.
     
     
    #11
    PICkles
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/27 11:17:44 (permalink)
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    Just for my own amusement I'll maybe take a go at supplying VDD externally. But even if that does work, unfortunately for a couple of reasons it's not doable for our field service applications. The Pickit3 must do all the work there.
     
    Guess per above suggestion I'll drop the vendor or Microchip a line about replacing these. Not too confident the replacements would work any better though. In the meantime, I'm ordering a Pickit4 since sooner or later we'll have to bite the bullet and transition to it anyway.  
     
    On that topic, is there a size limit or other specification for the Pickit4 SD card?  I've found nothing official anywhere on that. 
    #12
    NKurzman
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/27 11:24:55 (permalink)
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    Jim Nickerson
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    Re: Odd Pickit3 problem 2019/08/27 11:26:05 (permalink)
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    PICkles
     
     
    Guess per above suggestion I'll drop the vendor or Microchip a line about replacing these. 

    you might try https://www.microchip.com/cisar/Home.aspx
    #14
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