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DIY PIC Programmer

DIY PIC Programmer

Since buying a commercial PIC programmer will often cost more than any single PIC project altogether, the DIY solution well worth the effort. I built my entire programmer for no more than 15 dollars. The programmer is designed by David Tait and modified by Bob Blick. You can get the schematic and rest of the info from

PIC Programmer

So that’s how great it can look! If you’re as lucky as me and find a parallel port female and cable, the programmer can be very sleek. One important thing to notice is the input voltage, it must be over 15 volts or the MCLR voltage will not be high enough. This programmer is very reliable and will work every time once configured correctly.

For burning .hex files I use ICprog. To get ICprog to work do the following;

Download ICprog and NT/2000/XP Driver.

  1. Extract Icprog to any folder

  2. Extract Driver to same folder

  3. Run ICprog, ignore error messages. If hardware setup appears, go to step 7, then step 4.

  4. Settings -> Options -> Misc -> Disable NT/2000/XP driver

  5. Enable Disable NT/2000/XP driver, allow ICprog to restart

  6. Allow driver to be installed

  7. Now after opening the program, press F3, and set the following, if using a 7407.

Required settings for ICprog

You’re set!


Enable MCLR should give 13-14 volts at pin 4

Enable VCC should give 5 volts at pin 14 and light the LED

Enable Clock and Data Out will change the output voltage at either pin 12 or 13.

Test Program

Here’s a little something to make sure that the programmer is working properly. Download blink.hex and burn it to a PIC16F84A, then build the following schematic. If everything works you should have an expensive blinking LED.

PIC16F84A Blinker Schematic


I built the PIC-programmer into a spare floppy disk, greatly improving usability. The pictures describe the construction process. The extra long parallel port cable was made from a standard IDE cable. The I/O for the programmer is soldered to the existing I/O port, after cutting the traces. A small joule thief like boost converter is used to supply 16V for the regulated 13V line.

Small boost converter schematic

This is the boost converter. Inductor is center tapped, and non-critical. The transistor heated on me, so you may want to experiment with different component values.

Completed Programmer installed into floppy drive Programmer being stuffed into floppy shell

 Soldering of IO pins Installed in PC


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Disclaimer: I do not take responsibility for any injury, death, hurt ego, or other forms of personal damage which may result from recreating these experiments. Projects are merely presented as a source of inspiration, and should only be conducted by responsible individuals, or under the supervision of responsible individuals. It is your own life, so proceed at your own risk! All projects are for noncommercial use only.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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