What do I need to put my code onto a microcontroller?

I learned about coding a controller, but never actually put the code on the physical device. I am trying to figure out what I need to order to start developing a basic embedded system.

For example, if I have a PIC18F1330, I have MPLAB IDE and XC8 compiler. Great, so I have the code compiled, and I’m ready to put this on the controller. What do I need to have to have to transfer my compiled code on my PC, onto the controller?

I’ve seen things like an in-circuit debugger, and a PIC kit. I’m just lost at this point.

Usually you need to set up a circuit on a breadboard that provides power and a connection to the PC (USB), connecting to the proper pins of the PIC allow you to flash the contents onto the chip. I have one collecting dust somewhere that I used to experiment with a few years back.
Personally, I like the newer setups like Arduino, where the chip is pre-mounted on a board and all of the power/data/IO pins are both provided and to the Arduino standard. Tutorials abound and the Arduino IDE is the only software you need on the PC.

Have a look at these pictures of devices used to hook to your computer to program them.

My background is electronics but I haven’t messed with this kind of stuff in many years, but the way I’ve always gotten the code unto the chip was via a chip programming interface. They have a zif socket, just put the chip in, run the accompanying software on your computer, and Bob’s your uncle…

1 Like