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I'm very new to the electronics stuff. I've spent most of my discovering things so far, however there is something that I'm stuck on.

I want to get a PIC18F4550 to begin with, and I'm wondering if I can use a PL2303HX USB to TTL UART module to connect the chip to the programmer (image here).

If yes, would I need to connect RXD to RX/DT and TXD to TX/CK pins?

Yes, I know PICKit exists. I'm trying to find a way around that.

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Why do you want a way around using a programmer? –  trygvis Dec 5 '12 at 10:00
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I just took a look at the datasheet for the PIC18F4550 (link). It does support EUSART (Enhanced Universal Sync/Async Receiver Transmitter), thats what they call it I guess. You would simply have to setup transmit and receive (pg 244, 245) properly. Setup your baud, enable transmit/receive, etc. Then hookup your PL2303HX and you should be set. Specifically pin-26 and pin-25 for the 40-pin pdip diagram.

Some advice seeing that you are new to this stuff. Get a microcontroller with as much timers as you can afford (higher bit timers i.e. 16-bits are ideal). Also be careful of the suppliers you buy from, some of them sell after market parts that may have different vendor/device IDs that will render them useless unless you use their programming software. Also buy 2 of those TTL receivers, you will need it when the other burns out.

Hope this answers your question.

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Well, the reason I asked was to avoid importing a PICKit from the US, however it took shorter than the answer I could get here. I have several PICs by now (PIC18s, dsPIC24s and PIC32s) and am working on my quadcopter project. –  Ozbekov Mar 2 '13 at 3:36
    
Wow, when I first started with microcontrollers I actually started building a quadcopter myself. I use mainly AVRs so I really cant say much about PICs however from what I have seen, they are all very similar. –  1337holiday Mar 3 '13 at 19:51
    
To be honest -- I don't really care about the hardware part of it, I just want to write an autopilot for it! –  Ozbekov Mar 4 '13 at 3:40
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