Getting started with PIC32

New Member
2010/05/08 05:44:15
I'm planning to build a prototype board with PIC32MX360F512L.
I have been working so far with PIC16 and PIC18, and I'm not sure about where I can find the right development tools for PIC32.

1. the programmer
I have a simple home-made RS232 programmer which I used successfully on PIC16 and PIC18 with a sw called WinPic.
Can I use the same programmer for PIC32? WinPic doesn't support PIC32. Is there another software which can drive the RS232 programmer? Can I do it with MPLAB, and what programmer should I select? Or, if I can't, where can I find the schematic of a PIC32 programmer and the sw to drive it?

2. the bootloader
I need a USB bootloader, Microchip Applications Library contains one for PIC32MX460 (the same as MX360 but with USB DMA channels). What should I change to make it work with the MX360? Or where can I find a ready hex file to download on the PIC?

Thank you all!
Super Member
RE: Getting started with PIC32 2010/05/09 07:26:57
1) Buy an ICD 3. If you really want to get cheap, buy the US$35 PICKit 2, but it does not support debugging for PIC32. Or the PICKit 3, but you probably will regret buying it.

2) What do you mean by a USB bootloader? PIC32MX360F512L does not support USB by itself.
New Member
RE: Getting started with PIC32 2010/05/10 00:16:15
Yes, I've just realizaed the MX360 doesn't have usb, but MX460 does, and there is a bootloader in Microchip App Library. So I decided to use the MX460, but I still have the problem of programming.

Does anybody have schematics of PICkit 2? Why can't I use the serial programmer I used for the PIC16? Can it be modified to work at 3.3V instead of 5?

I'd like also to buy a SMD adapter to solder the PIC32 on it, does anybody know where I can find one?

Thank you!

Senior Member
RE: Getting started with PIC32 2010/05/10 01:22:18

Have you seen the Microchip Pic32 USB Starter Kit 2   - it has all the features you are talking about, usb, smd pcb, programmer  etc and comes with all the cables etc.

Trying to use your old serial (JDM?) programmer   - forget it.
Using the Pk2 - possibly - but you will regret not having the debugger feature if you are a serious developer. 
As Xiofan said, the ICD 3 is the one to buy for the current and future high end chips.

Most large suppliers stock ready made smd header boards.

Its the old problem, use rubbish , get rubbish   - so bite the bullet and get some decent kit now which will serve you well for years to come.
If possible buy direct from Microchip then they hold the guarantee should anything go wrong.
post edited by richardc - 2010/05/10 01:23:43
New Member
RE: Getting started with PIC32 2010/05/10 12:34:01
Yes, I have seen the Starter Kit 2, but, rather than buying it, I'd like to build up a prototype board with just the basic components I need: PIC, USB connector, power supply, crystal and nothing else. The board will have an expansion connector to which I'll connect all unused pins of the chip.
The starter kit uses another on-board chip to program the PIC. My board needs in-circuit programming capability with an external device, this is the main reason for which I don't want to use sk2.

I bought some smd adapters from micro4you (USA), hope I'll get them in some day (I live in Italy)

I think I'll start with the Pk2: it's cheap, and I can still switch to ICD 3 if I'll need the debugger tomorrow.

Where can I find the _correct_ schematic to connect the PIC32 to the Pk2? I have read on the Internet there are several problems due to the 3.3V power supply. I don't want to burn my PIC32 at the first time...

I have downloaded the file named:
USB Device - HID - HID Bootloader - C32 - PIC32MX460F512L PIM.hex
(it comes from MC App Library) is this the USB bootloader I need?

I have absolutely no idea about how to connect the PIC32 to the USB connector and which crystal to use. Had a lot of experience with PIC16, but I have never done anything with USB and PIC32.

Does anyone have tested schematic for it ? Is the downldr on the PC side pdfusb or hidbootloader? (I think the 2nd...)

How do I configure C32 to relocate the code to make it suitable for the bootloader?

Sorry for my poor English and thank you all!

Senior Member
RE: Getting started with PIC32 2010/05/10 13:34:24

Be aware that the current  Pickit2 V2.61 stand alone program can only do the pic32mx320 to 460 chips.
Microchip say  they will not be activley supporting it now the Pickit3 is out.
However if you see this recent thread existing users are adding new devices on their own.

As for your development board and circuits etc. all you need do is build your own version of the Pic32 USB starter board, but adding the extra bits and layout you need.
All the ciruit diagrams are at the back of the downloadable PIC32 USB Starter Kit User Guide.

Can see what you are trying to do, but with your existing level of knowledge, might it not be simpler and cheaper to get the Pic32 USB starter kit with all the working software already programmed in and use that as intended as a learning tool for the Pic32 system.

Then when you are confident with it all, adapt that board as the programmer heart of your new pic32 development board. ( basically remove or disconnect its pic32 chip and use it as the programmer - debugger to your target board )
post edited by richardc - 2010/05/10 13:36:01