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µFlash/PICulator Driver User Manual

Introduction

The µFlash/PICulator Driver is a Windows 95/98/ME utility program which accepts a PIC program in the form of an Intel Hex file (produced by a compiler or assembler) and downloads it to either a µFlash876/876B or PICulator target directly over the PC serial port. The bootstrap loader built into the target then burns this program into on chip FLASH memory. Once burned into FLASH your program is run automatically each time the target is reset.

The µFlash/PICulator driver can be launched from a command line, by dragging the hex file and dropping it on the driver icon, or in some cases automatically from inside a compiler IDE.

Because the same driver is used for the µFlash and PICulator, this manual should be read in conjunction with user manual for the appropriate target.

 

Where to get the µFlash/PICulator driver

The driver is available for download from the pond web site (www.pondelectronics.com). It is also supplied on CD with µFlash starter kits.

The driver is supplied on the web in zip format. If you have downloaded from the web you must first unzip this file before installation.

The driver is supplied on CD in both zip and standard file format. The file format can be copied directly to your hard disk for immediate use.

 

Installing the µFlash/PICulator Driver

To install the µFlash/PICulator driver:

  • Copy the directory uFlash to your hard disk. (from CD or unzipped file)
  • Open this directory
  • Create a shortcut to the file uFlash.exe on your desktop (right click and drag, then select create shortcut).

 

Testing the Driver

Connect the com1 serial port of your PC to your target hardware. Please see the µFlash or PICulator user manuals for connection details.

Power up your target hardware.

Launch the driver by double clicking on the shortcut icon on your desktop. A window should open as shown to the right.

The window displays the following information:

  • Driver Version - Should be version 3.11 or later
  • Loader Version - This is the version of the bootstrap loader installed on the target hardware.
  • Program Count - The number of times this target has been programmed.
  • Target Spec - Target hardware specification (see insert)
  • Source File - The hex file you have attempted to download to the target, since no hex file was specified when you launched the driver this will read N.A.

This information is followed by a status text line and progress bar.

If the driver is unable to establish contact with the target, an error window will open reporting the failure. Should this happen, check target power and serial connection to the target hardware.

Target Spec.

Description

µFlash876 WDD

µFlash 876 - Watchdog Disabled

µFlash876 WDE

µFlash 876 - Watchdog Enabled

PIC16F87X WDD

PICulator PIC16F876/877 20MHz - Watchdog Disabled

PIC16F87X WDE

PICulator PIC16F876/877 20MHz - Watchdog Enabled

Current Target Specs.

 

 

To test the connection, launch the driver by double clicking its icon.

 

Downloading a Hex file

The simplest way to use the µFlash/PICulator driver is to drag the hex file (produced by your compiler or assembler) and drop it on the driver icon. Once launched in this manner the driver window will open and it will immediately start to download the hex file to the target hardware. Once the download is complete, the driver will reset the the target and the target program will run. To reprogram the target with a new program simply repeat the step above. Note that each time the chip is programmed the Program Count indicator is incremented.

Once you have downloaded your program to the target you may (if you wish) disconnect the serial cable. Your target program will launch automatically each time the target is reset.

 

 

To program the target drag and drop the hex file onto the driver icon.

Programming the target

 

Programming Complete

 

Launching PICulator from inside an IDE

Some IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) supplied with compilers allow you to launch a command line programming utility from inside the IDE. To support this option the PICulator driver may be launched using command line parameters. To launch the driver using a command line , use the command :

uflash -comn filename

Where:

-comn: is an optional com port specifier (n=1 to 4)
filename: is the name of the hex file (include .hex)

Please refer to your IDE setup manual for instructions on how to configure your compiler to take advantage of this feature.

 

Using the driver with other COM ports

Sometimes, you may wish to connect the µFlash/PICulator to a serial port other than the default COM1. To do this:

  • Create a shortcut to the driver.
  • Rename the shortcut uFCom2 (optional)
  • Using the right mouse button, open the properties window for the shortcut.
  • In the Target field, following the text uFlash.exe , enter a space followed by the text -com2
  • Select the Apply and then the OK button at the bottom of the properties window.
  • If you activate the driver using this shortcut, it will attempt to use COM2 rather than the default COM1.

The driver will recognize com ports 1-4.

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