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Old 25th August 2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Question ICD-2 clone from China

Does anyone have any experience with this ICD-2 clone from Virtual Village? Do they work? Do they last?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ICD2-ICD-2-Debug...QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks

I_F
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Old 29th August 2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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I guess no one has experience with it.

I received the package yesterday. It looks well made- there is a PCB in the plastic box with one PCB with surface mount parts including two Microchip uCs and some other stuff.

There are two cables for ICSP- one with a a single in-line header socket to plug into boards with a header for icsp and the other is an RJ-11 type plug. There is also a separate board with two zif sockets and an RJ-11 socket for programming uCs off-board.

I note that the ICD2 was wrapped in a bubble-pack bag that does NOT appear to be antistatic material. Hmmmm.

I_F
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Old 29th August 2007, 07:50 PM   #3
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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My programmer also came bubblewrapped off e-bay... worked first time... after weeks of trying to get a programmer to work with anything but a USB one...
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Old 30th August 2007, 12:47 AM   #4
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I have been having static electricity problems- one of the hazards of living in a desert. My Olimex ICD-2 clone (a bare board) was killed by static discharge so I replaced it with a PICKit2, which, inspite of what uChip claims, can't program my 16F877 chips, so now I go to this Chinese device. I never should have sold my PICStart Plus!

I have purchased a large antistatic mat for my work surface, wrist straps, and a humidifier to try to reduce the build-up of static charges. We'll see if all that works.

I_F
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Old 30th August 2007, 03:23 AM   #5
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by I_Forgot
I guess no one has experience with it.
I do with the Microchip ICD2 and Real ICE (from work). As you would expect both work great with MPLAB. The ICE is a LOT faster but costs more too. I would just bite the bullet and buy a real ICD2. It's pretty much bulletproof and is guaranteed to work.


Quote:
Originally posted by I_Forgot
I note that the ICD2 was wrapped in a bubble-pack bag that does NOT appear to be antistatic material. Hmmmm.
I've seen populated PCBs from China come wrapped in regular bubble wrap... They'll do just about anything to cut costs.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 05:39 AM   #6
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The Chinese ICD-2 clone programming/reading functions are working fine! I tested it today and it seems to do its job with aplomb. I am using it to do in-circuit programming on a microscope illuminator controller. I haven't tried the debug stuff yet. I don't know how to use that so I will have to learn so it may take a little while.

I_F
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:25 AM   #7
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I have an ICD2-BR, they are made here:

http://www.labtools.com.br/index.asp...utos&prod=681#

Mine seems to be "bomb-proof", because many nasty things already happened with this programmer and it still working perfect. I already connected the vcc / vpp / gnd wrong with the target microcontroller that was an PIC18F8621 that was killed because of this, but the ICD2 still working I always handle it without any care...
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Old 13th October 2007, 08:26 AM   #8
cyteen is offline cyteen  England
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I_Forgot - Any word on the debugging functionality of this ICD, it looks like a nice package.
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Old 13th October 2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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I haven't had any time to try the debugging capabilities. School is keeping me too busy for hobbies these days.

I_F
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Old 7th November 2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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Hi All,

I have recently bought one of these so-called ICD2 clones. It took about 10 days to arrive from China. It was working fine for a few days but then I started to run into problems and it has now stopped working (USB interface won't enumerate). I haven't fixed it yet and I'm hoping I just have to re-program the 18F4550.

The main problems relate to the fact that it isn't really a clone as such. One of the main points about the original ICD2 is that the programming pin output buffers are supposed to be powered from the target Vdd - so it can operate at 3.3V or 5V (actually supposed to be down to 2V). There is an option under software control to power the target Vdd from the ICD2's 5V supply.

On the virtual village ICD2 (actually made by nbglin.com) the target Vdd is hard-wired to the ICD2's 5V supply which comes directly from the USB connector. This is potentially a serious problem (especially if there's no documentation to warn you) because:

1. There is always 5V on the target Vdd which will inevitably confict with your target's supply if you connect the two up together.

2. The programming signals RB6, RB7 are fixed at 5V logic levels and there are no series resistors in RB6 or RB7. I was working on a 3.3V chip and, as you can imagine, this is now dead (funny enough it did work for several days like this before failing).

In summary, it is useless / destructive for 3.3V chips but probably OK for most 5V chips - especially if you remember that Vdd target is permanently at 5V.

Good points:
1. It's cheap. Mine cost 38 including a dual ZIF socket and shipping.
2. It's compact.
3. It looks fairly well made.
4. It seems to work OK with MATLAB under XP and even Vista 64 after the correct USB drivers are installed.

Bad points:
1. Vdd target is hard-wired to the USB 5V supply.
2. As a result the target RB7 and RB6 outputs are fixed at 5V and there are no series resistors in the outputs so it will probably destroy any 3.3V PIC.
3. The LVP/RB3 output circuitry has a gate enable signal which has been left floating. There is actually space on the board for a 74HCT1G08 but it is not fitted. So the LVP/RB3 part of the programming interface will probably not work.
4. There is no documentation supplied at all. The schematic on the nbglin.com web site is completely wrong - it's just a copy of the potyo2 schematic (see www.icd2clone.com).
5. No filtering on USB supply lines
6. No possibility for adjusting Vpp like on the original ICD2.
7. There is also no feedback path for RB3/LVP pin like on the original ICD2.

Having got this far with it, and assuming I can get it running again, I intend to modify the PCB to fix the Vdd target problems and turn it into a useful tool.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Paul
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