You can use your trusty old PICkit2 and PICkit3 with the new
Microchip PIC microcontrollers with PICkitminus program. It
supports all the recent 16F and 18F families which use SPI-based
programming method, e.g. PIC16F153xx or 18F K83 families. There
are GUI and command line versions available. Both will
automatically detect PICkit2 and PICkit3.
Microchip has obsoleted the PICkit2 programmer over ten years
ago. It had very easy to use and reliable stand-alone software,
but Microchip stopped it's development already in 2009. Luckily,
the PICkit2 has always been open source, so anyone can make
modifications and improvements are share them with others. Also,
dougy83 has created a device
file editor which can be used to add support for new parts
for the PICkit2 software. Using this editor, people have added
support for new microcontroller types. However, recent PIC
controllers use SPI-like programming protocol. It isn't possible
to support that only by adding new scripts using the device file
editor. Either the PICkit2 software or firmware must be modified.
I was recently looking a way to program PIC16F15355 using
PICkit2, and came across this
post by bequest333. He had modified the PICkit software to
support SPI-type programming protocol, and created the required
new scripts. I developed his software further, by adding support
for PIC18F SPI -type chips. I also fixed the device ID bit order
for these families, so now it is possible to use the last publicly
available device file from PICKitPlus project. The download
packages below include device file which has new parts added by
me. It has support for 995 parts (listed here), but I
don't know if all of them work with my modified software. All the
parts which I have tried, seem to work OK.
I named the software PICkit2minus, or PICkit2- for short. It is
based on Microchip's original PICkit2 v2.61 software. Many thanks
for bequest333 for making most of the hard work to support the
SPI-type PICs. Thanks also for PICKitPlus team for their
hard work on updating the device file.
Later I made a new version, based on PICkit3 original software. I
modified it to work with both PICkit2 and PICkit3. They will be
recognized automatically. Benefit is, only one software to
maintain. The PICkitminus is available for download below. It
requires .NET framework 4.0, which is available for Windows XP and
later versions. The package without installer includes also .exe
for .NET framework 2.0. That can be used on Windows 2000.
The latest addition is command line tool, PK2CMDminus. It is
based on the last unofficial version from MichaelS
/ Microchip, and updates by Miklós Márton
to add support for PICkit3. The support for SPI-type MSB1st
-family PICs is based on work by bequest333. The PK2CMD Windows
version is 32-bit statically linked application targeted for XP,
so it should run on Windows versions from XP to 10. It compiles
and works fine on Linux and macOS as well. I have tested it on
Ubuntu 16.04 and OSX 10.13 High Sierra. On Linux, you need to
install libusb-dev with apt-get, or alternatively download
libusb-0.1.12 from sourceforge. For Mac, there is also
compiled executable available for download below. It is compiled
on OSX 10.13, I don't know if it works with other versions.
22.7.2021. This package contains PICkit- GUI application installer
for PICkit2 and PICkit3. Latest device file is included.
PICkitminus_3_20_05.zip 22.7.2021. This package contains PICkit- GUI application for PICkit2 and PICkit3, device file and modified source files. Just the .exe, no installer.
pk2cmd_win_1_22_02.zip 18.7.2021. This package contains PK2CMD- command line tool for Windows, device file and compatible firmware for PICkit2 and PICkit3
pk2cmd_mac_1_22_01.zip 11.7.2021. This package contains PK2CMD- command line tool for MacOS, device file and compatible firmware for PICkit2 and PICkit3
PK2CMD_SourceV1_22_02.zip 15.7.2021. This package contains full source of the command line utility. Can be compiled on Win, Linux and Mac.
Below are separate downloads for old, tool-specific versions of
31.5.2021. This package contains PICkit2- application, device file
and modified source files. Only for PICkit2.
PICkit3minus_3_10_01.zip 19.6.2021. This package contains PICkit3- application, device file and modified source files. Only for PICkit3.
kair.us/ projects/ pickit2minus/
page created 29.5.2021
last updated 22.7.2021 email@example.com