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User's Guide


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Warp-13a PIC Programmer Quickstart

Warp-13a PIC Programmer These instructions apply to firmware version "Redback 10a" and higher. All Warp-13a programmers sold through the Mark III Store have this firmware - if you have a Warp-13a that you obtained elsewhere with an older version of the firmware then special instructions might apply - please see Newfound Electronics' web site for details.

Before programming, you need a HEX file. The HEX file is the compiled program that you want to burn into your PIC. There are many ways to make a HEX file, see Programming the Mark III for some details. Once you have a HEX file, you need to download it into your PIC so the program can be run.

Warp-13a provides two ways to do this, the way you choose to use depends on your personal preference, the development environment you're using, and the type of PIC you are programming. These two ways are:

  • Download directly from MPLAB by using the PICSTART Plus emulation feature of the Warp-13a
  • Download using Newfound Electronics' stand-alone software.
These two methods are examined in more detail in the next few sections.

Installing the Warp-13a into MPLAB

The Warp-13a PIC programmer is identical to Microchip's PICSTART Plus PIC programmer as far as all communication protocols are concerned. MPLAB considers the Warp-13a to be a PICSTART Plus and as such there is no separate software to install. Getting the Warp-13a to work with MPLAB may be as simple as a mouse click.

First, ensure that your copy of MPLAB is version 5.62 or higher. The Warp-13a firmware is designed to operate with this latest version of MPLAB - previous versions of MPLAB use a slightly different protocol and will be unable to communicate with the Warp-13a. If you don't have this version of MPLAB, you may download it from Microchip's web site. Since Microchip's web links frequently change, we have provided an alternative location to download MPLAB Version 5.70

Once you have installed MPLAB, connect up your Warp-13a and start MPLAB running. To install the Warp-13a programmer into MPLAB click on the "PICSTART Plus" menu and then select "ENABLE Programmer." If you don't get any error messages, your Warp-13a is up and running and ready to use.

If either of the above menu options are disabled or "grayed out" then MPLAB has been installed without the PICSTART plus support files. In this case MPLAB must be reinstalled with the PICSTART plus support files.

To include the PICSTART plus support files run the MPLAB setup program (see Microchip documentation for details.) When the "SELECT COMPONENTS" screen is displayed, ensure the "PICSTART plus support files" option is ticked. This is all that is required. Continue with and finish the MPLAB installation and MPLAB will now be ready to drive your NEWFOUND Warp-13a PIC programmer!

The Warp-13a WINDOWS Software

If you are not using MPLAB or simply want the ease and convenience of a standalone program, Newfound Electronics' Windows 95/98/ME/XP software is available free of charge and is useful for programming all the supported PICs and all the supported ATMEL and serial EEPROMs. This software offers many advanced features but is extremely simple to use. The online help file and extensive use of "tool tips" guide both beginners and advanced users though some of the tricky and difficult to remember PIC and AVR settings.

The Warp-13a programs more types PICs than the PICSTART Plus. Additionally, the Warp-13a provides support for programming ATMEL tiny, AVR, and Mega Microcontrollers as well as I²C and SPI Serial EEPROMs. To take advantage of these features and to be able to program types of PICs that are not supported by the PICSTART Plus, you will need to use the Warp-13a software.

A good number of time saving options are built into this software and with the constant development it is designed to serve you well into the future.

A screen shot of this software is available for you to look at but you will need to download it to see for yourself the range of features and options it offers.

DOWNLOAD the Warp-13a software here

Describe installation procedure/how to use.

The Warp-13a Firmware

Firmware is pre-loaded into the 16F73 chip mounted on the Warp-13a board. This is a Flash PIC, allowing easy upgrading of your Warp-13a with new firmware to support new types of PIC chips or to fix bugs. As mentioned previously, all Warp-13a programmers sold through the Mark III Store are shipped with the latest firmware version. This is currently "Redback 10a". (You can find out what firmware is installed by running the Warp-13a Driver software, selecting the "Help" menu, selecting the "Diagnostic" sub-menu, and pressing the "Firmware Version" button to read this out.

Firmware upgrades will be available from this site. Instructions on how to do this will be posted when the next firmware release is available.

Support for the Warp-13a PIC Programmer

Support for Warp-13a PIC Programmer is available through the members of the MarkIII Discussion Forum on Yahoo! Groups.