These days I was thinking about a better PIC programmer that can work with Microchip MPLAB IDE software so that I can write my own programs or edit someone else's programs.
I found that there are numerous versions of the famous Microchip PICkit 2 on the web. Some of them are using the original schematic published by Microchip and some are lite versions - with different parts or simplified schematics. None of them satisfied my requirements. So I got the original schematic, removed the memory chips and the input ICSP connector (which I didn't plan to use anyway) and made a new single sided PCB. I used mostly SMD parts.
I found out that I can get all parts for the original schematic from local stores, and only two - MCP6001U and FDC6420C - I had to order from Farnel. I also decided to replace two Schottky diodes BAT54 and ZHCS1000 with SS14 because of more convenient package.
I programmed the PIC18F2550 microcontroller with my Chinese programmer.
Here is the schematic which I used:
In the end the schematic is not exactly like the original one but it is close enough :)
I used the same notifications of the parts like in the original schematic.
PCB which I made is very satisfying:
It is one sided and has only five jumpers. The size is comparatively small - 83mm x 52mm.
And the final product:
I don't want to brag, but I think I made the best one sided PCB for PICkit 2 programmer :) .
It also works without any hiccups. I tested it with an PIC16F628A which I have at hand. It was recognized in both PICkit 2 software and MPLAB IDE.
Here is the picture of the programmer connected to the breadboard with the PIC16F628A on it.
Connecting cable is made from short piece of LAN cable.
Later I will make a separate board with 40 pin ZIF socket for easier programming of various models of the PIC microcontrollers.
If anyone wants to make their own PICkit 2 here are the files of the project: PICkit 2
Inside are the PCB and the schematic in PDF format, parts list and also the latest version of the firmware for the PIC18F2550 and the user guide from the Microchip site.
Use them on your own responsibility.
Update: 25 June 2013
Here how I made the ZIF socket adaptor:
It is very simple approach - necessary connections are made with wires so care must be taken which pin goes where.