PIC16F876A

What all is necessary to program a PIC16F876A? What pins do I have to hook up to what to do high voltage programming? Do I have to go through the whole bootloader install and THEN program it
through the serial port? How do I do that?
I'm getting kind of frustrated. I built a programmer called GPICD and so far have had no luck. It's supposed to program the 876 and has a setting for the 876A, but nothing has worked.
I've read in several places that there is a difference in the way the two are programmed, but nothing gets into any specifics.
Can anybody here help?
Eljin
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It is difficult to believe that you tried very hard to find answers to your questions before posting - Microchip stuff is very well documented, so
goto the microchip website (www.microchip.com)
search for 'PIC16F87XA Flash Memory Programming'
This will return you a list containing a pointer to the document that you need to read and understand - PIC16F87XA Programming Specifications
Also you should look at Application Note AN910
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Eljin wrote:

There are many potential problems here. I notice the device is an open-source project. This is already a red flag for beginners.
1. maybe it doesn't work correctly. 2. maybe you built the h.w. wrong. 3. maybe the s.w. is installed wrong. 4. maybe the OS isn't configured properly, or you have the wrong drivers. 5. maybe it has the wrong programming algorithms for the 'A' chips. 6. maybe your machine is too fast or too slow for the s.w. 7. who knows what else.
You might be better off buying an inexpensive commercial programmer, that is known to work, that supports all the chips, and which has a support person you can talk to. If you don't even know if you should install the bootloader or not, or which pins are which, then you are probably in over your head with this particular device.
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You may want to check out this web page - http://www.winpicprog.co.uk/ .
There are two suggested pcb layouts there. I built the p16pro and it works fine for me. It connects to the parallel port. The software for programming is also there. The program indicates that it can program the 876 and 876a. I used mine for programming the 84a. I'm using the beta version of the program which is version 1.95c found on the site's forum. Only that it works only for windows.
You can try it if you like.
crux
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Can't help with GPICD , never heard of it before.
Usually simple things can be the most frustrating. Bad soldering joint ? Port drivers installed for windows xp ?
see my previous post in your other pic thread.
All depends on what OS you use on your pc.
For linux see gnupic.org
www.winpicprog.co.uk has a design for a simple programmer and good tutorials. Latest beta version has 18f support(download from forum -> announcements) and Nigel is slowly working on support for other 18f chips and 18f4550(usb)
If you are going to use pics quite a bit , it is well worth buying a commerical programmer or an icd2. Something that works with lots of different pics without needing a seperate programmer for different pics.
The kitsrus.com usb programmers are quite good and there is linux and OS X software (note I only use them with windows)
Olimex also has pic programmers and a icd2 clone. Can buy online from www.sparkfun.com who also have lots of nice sensors(accelerometers) and radio links etc
ICD2 will program every possible pic , but you will need an adaptor to connect it to pics. It is the programmer but need an interface between it and your pic. Works from mplab.
You just add a plug and the simple circuit to your boards and you can program the pic/s in circuit and debug if necessary.
Alex
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