This page is dedicated to everybody needs to program a PIC (Microchip) device via USB port. Looking on the web for ready-to-use projects, I found a good one called Open Programmer, coming with several schematics, PCBs and Open Source code. The original link is http://openprog.altervista.org/OP_ita.html
What concerned me was the need to mount, on the mainboard, a specific socket board depending on the model of PIC being programmed. Moreover, the proposed layout did not meet my personal "compact look" ideas. So, I propose hereafter a small layout version of that circuit, adopting a single smart on-board ZIF socket. This version sacrifices many non-PIC microcontroller models. I will thank everybody proposing a larger range implementation, suitable to program Atmel and other devices. Anyway, if your goal is to program PIC devices, you are on the good site.
A small box, a USB connector, a ZIF socket, two leds. That'all in my compact proposal.
The details are available on the original project mentionned above. Hereafter, I shown my Compact version, with a schematic, PCB layout and instruction for assemby and inserting it in a very common little plastic box. At the bottom of this page, I supply a copy of the program to load on the PIC18F2550 used to manage the programming functions, as well as a copy of the PC side program. I tested the program up to Win-8 without problems. Take into account that, on the original site, a newer version of both Firmware and Software is available.
Download schematic in pdf format
Download the two PCB
Download the PCB + Components image
As said before, the original site offers both the firmware and the PC side software. Anyway, to start using this programmer, I suggest you to use the versions I used at time of project editing, available hereafter for downloading. After some tests, you can try the new updated versions available on the original site. Of course, if you have not a programmer yet, a friend should program the programmer first, for you. After that first step, you will be automous!
Connect the programmer to the PC with a male-male A-Type USB cable. The device is seen as a generic one. The green led blinks speedy first, announcing the connection in progress. Than slowly, indicating that the connection phase is completed. The PC software allows bot writing and reading the EEPROM of any PIC mounted on the ZIF socked. The test functions allow to measure the Vpp high voltage generated by the step-up converter present on the main circuit. That voltage is anyway already verified by the firware itself.
The PIC to be programmed has to be positionned on the ZIF socket as shown by the following picture. An hi-res version of this picture is available HERE for being printed and attached on the back of the programmer itself.