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Is it possible (and how) to program a PIC32MX chip with a pocket AVR programmer?

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As delivered, no, because the AVR programmers are coded to assume the AVR SPI programming protocol, which is not compatible with the PIC programming protocol.

If you had enough hardware hacking to change the pins around, and enough software development skills to build a new version of the firmware to talk the PIC protocol, and a programmer that had updateable firmware, then it would probably be possible to get from "here" to "there" with enough effort invested.

The Wikipedia article on "in circuit serial programming" gives a brief overview of the differences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-circuit_serial_programming

My advice is: Get a PIC programmer. If money is tight, try eBay or another source of cheap-but-usually-working equipment; perhaps a local hacker swap meet.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ yea, already ordered one. \$\endgroup\$
    – dansch
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 14:19
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As, people before me said, you can't do it with AVR-specific programmer. But a lot of different programmers can be utilised with PIC32MX and pic32prog utility. Some of the supported programmers (both open source and proprietary) include:

  • Microchip PICkit2
  • Microchip PICkit3 with scripting firmware
  • Olimex ARM-USB-Tiny, ARM-USB-Tiny-H and ARM-USB-OCH-H JTAG adapters
  • Olimex MIPS-USB-OCH-H JTAG adapter
  • Bus Blaster v2 JTAG adapter from Dangerous Prototypes
  • Flyswatter JTAG adapter from TinCanTools

For example Bus Blaster is completely open and you can build it yourself.

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