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Developer Kit for PIC16F877A


Developer kit is a tool used for making the development of microcontroller

application easier. Developer kit contains a microcontroller pre programmed with a small
program called bootloader. Developer kit can be used for real time testing of a code for
microcontroller device. Using this tool and the downloader software we can easily
download our hex file to the microcontroller and test it, provided the microcontroller has
bootloader firmware burned into it previously. Bootloading is easily performed in-
circuit, without having to remove the PIC micro from the PCB. A Bootloader is a
program that stays in the microcontroller and communicates with the PC (usually through
the serial interface). The Bootloader can receive a user program from the PC and write it
into the flash program memory, and then launches this program in execution. The
developer kit is connected to PC COM port using serial cable. The developer kit supplied
is intended for the development of application using PIC16F877A and PIC18F4520
microcontrollers although other PIC microcontrollers with similar pin out can utilize this


Key features of the PIC16877A developer kit include:

• PIC16F877A 40-Pin Enhanced Flash Microcontroller

• RS-232 interface
• 2×16 LCD Display
• 4×3 Keypad interface
• 8 LED indicators
• 2 Analog inputs
• 230/12V Power supply

Package Contents:

• 1 PIC16F877A developer Kit in a box with 2×16 LCD Display, power supply
• 1 PIC16F877A uC with Bootloader firmware
• Connecting wires
General info about Bootloaders:

A bootloader is a program that stays in the microcontroller and communicates

with the PC (usually through the serial interface). The bootloader receives a user program
from the PC and writes it in the flash memory, then launches this program in execution.
Bootloaders can only be used with those microcontrollers that can write their flash
memory through software. The bootloader itself must be written into the flash memory
with an external programmer. In order for the bootloader to be launched after each reset,
a "goto bootloader" instruction must exist somewhere in the first 4 instructions; There are
two types of bootloaders, some that require that the user reallocate his code and others
that by themselves reallocate the first 4 instructions of the user program to another
location and execute them when the bootloader exits.

Figure 1 Memory allocation for Boot loader program

Steps involved in developing and testing programs on Developer kit:

1) Write the program in Assembly, C or any other higher level language

2) Assemble or compile the program. And generate the Hex code ( you need a
suitable assembler or compiler for this purpose)
3) Connect the kit to the PC and Power ON the developer kit.
4) In PC, Run “PICdownloader.exe”
5) Use search button to select HEX code
6) Set BAUD rate to 38400
7) Select correct COM port (default case : COM1)
8) Press “write” button
9) After downloading is complete, RESET the developer kit py pressing the reset
switch on the kit.