This is available as a PCB and Panel from Division 6. It’s a useful little Eurorack sketchpad, and the recently released V2 firmware adds a bunch of new features.
When I built the module, I stupidly didn’t solder the programming headers on the board, so rather than take it apart, I had to program the PICs on a breadboard.
If you’re in the same boat, here’s how to do it. You’ll need the MPLAB software, a breadboard, a PICKit programmer or clone, and two PIC 16F1788 chips (don’t get the “L” low power variant).
- Download the Microchip MPLAB IDE if you haven’t got it installed already.
- Put the first PIC on the breadboard.
- Give it a regulated 5v supply. I’ve taken this from a Eurorack PSU, plugged into the board using one of Mutable Instruments’s “breadboard friends” PCBs to distribute power (not using the +12 / -12v here).
Connect the ICSPDAT, ISPCLK and VPP/MCLR pins. Connect +5v (VDD) and Ground (VSS) to BOTH the PIC itself and the PICKit programmer.
- Open the MPLAB IDE, and FILE/NEW PROJECT.
- Choose Microchip Embedded in Categories, and Default Project in Projects. Click NEXT.
- Choose your programmer form the dropdown list.
- Select the device (PIC16F1788)
- Click “Browse” and locate the .HEX file for your V2 firmware.
- Click NEXT.
- Click the program icon. You might see a dialog warning you about matching voltages – the PIC used here is 5v so just ignore that.
If all is well, you should see a dialog like this – in which case, just replace the PIC and program the second one.
Take the old PICs out, put the new ones in, paying attention to the notches for the orientation. And you’re done.