Monday 4 October 2010

dsPIC33 (and PIC18) programming on my EEEPC at last

I've got an EEEPC 701, and although it is annoying in some ways (small screen, limited SSD space), it's great for portability. One of my goals when I got it was to be able to use it to help developing various microcontroller projects I've got on the go, and I especially like that it doesn't take up lots of space on my (tiny) desk when I'm hacking around. It works great with Arduino, but I prefer PICs to be honest. The issue with this is that Microchip (producers of PIC microcontrollers) want everyone to use MPLAB, which only works on Windows. And even if it worked on my Linux-based EEEPC, it probably wouldn't be too great on a 7 inch screen. Anyway, being born before 1980 (but not by much!) I still prefer command lines to IDEs anyway. My first development environment was on MS-DOS, and it's never been bettered :-)

At some point I'll get round to changing the OS (Linux Mint looks like the front runner at the mo...), but for now it's still got the Xandros stock install (though I've removed unionfs).

Rather than mess around with getting the (GCC based) Microchip tools compiled on the machine, I'm using wine - both C18 and C30 install and work without any problems.

For actually burning the image onto the controller, I use and the perfectly-working-without-lots-of-hassle pk2cmd and the brilliant PicKit2, (which was so successful Microchip went and broke it).

The following gives the commands I use to build and download the target .hex file - I've only got a single .c file (this one) for input at the moment, and haven't even got a makefile together yet. But getting this working took a couple of hours, so this is as much for reference as anything else...


# exit on errors
set -e

C30_BASE=/home/user/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Microchip/MPLAB\ C30/

echo "Building..."
wine "${C30_BASE}/bin/bin/pic30-coff-gcc.exe" -o dac_music.coff -mcpu=33fj64gp802 -Wl,--script "${C30_BASE}/support/dsPIC33F/gld/p33FJ64GP802.gld" DacMusic.c

echo "bin2hex..."
wine "${C30_BASE}/bin/bin/pic30-coff-bin2hex.exe" dac_music.coff

echo "burning..."
pk2cmd -Pdspic33fj64GP802 -Fdac_music.hex -Q -M -R -T
For reference, I've also got a similar setup for something on the PIC18. I've had this running from fairly soon after I got my EEEPC, and didn't have problems getting it up and running:

# exit on errors
set -e


echo "Compiling..."
wine ${C18_BASE}/bin/mcc18-traditional.exe -ml -p=18f252 -k -Oi+ music.c

echo "Linking..."
wine ${C18_BASE}/bin/mplink.exe \\MCC18\\lkr\\18f252i.lkr /l\\MCC18\\lib /aINHX32 music.o

echo "burning..."
pk2cmd -P18f252 -Fa.hex -M -R -T

At some point I'll turn them into makefiles, but for now - I can program tiny microcontrollers with my almost-as-tiny EEEPC. Which is nice and cosy.

Some time soon I'll actually write a blog post or two about the projects I'm using this with - mostly synthesizers and other various things to do with MIDI.

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