Our department getting grant to buy development board and I do not want them to buy same old FPGA board which we have 100 of and only 10 uses so far.

Need your enormous experiences in helping make good choice of development boards.

Friends with me interested in learning following PIC parts:

  • PIC18F4550
  • PIC18F46J50
  • PIC18F46J53
  • PIC18F47J53
  • PIC24FJ256DA206
  • PIC24FJ256GB106
  • PIC24FJ256GB210

In time we will also be interesting in dsPIC and PIC32 but all these right now together too much load, so beginnning only above.

I see Development Tools Home

Of all this the Explorer 16 100-pin board is interesting.

At $130 Explorer 16 Development Board has the nice option of interchangeable Plug-In Modules.

I assuming this means we can make our own PCB with the above PICs also and just pluggin them as Plug-In Modules?

Also finding the following boards, but confused if it possible to replace the PIC already present on the board?

Development board from Microchip is recommended as easy to make dean agree, budget of around $200 or less per board


closed as unclear what you're asking by Ricardo, PeterJ, clabacchio Jan 24 '15 at 17:07

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The Explorer 16 Development board is very good because you can buy PIMs to evaluate different microcontrollers (PIC24 and PIC32) and expansion boards called PICTail boards to evaluate different technologies like Ethernet, wireless, and graphical LCDs. All without having to create your own boards or mess with a soldering iron.

The PIC18 Explorer board is the same as the Explorer 16 board, but for evaluating PIC16 and PIC18 parts. It too has PICTail cards that can be plugged into it to evaluate additional hardware.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can Explorer 16 Development board be used to evaluate PIC16 and PIC18 if I can make appropriate adapter board myself to connect PIC16 and PIC18 part with PIM layout? \$\endgroup\$ – sekharan Aug 17 '11 at 1:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe. If I understand you correctly you are talking about creating your own Explorer 16 PIM. You will need to remap a lot of the pins and there won't be any demo code for the PIC16 and PIC18 parts that work with the Explorer 16 board. I can't think of a reason it wouldn't work, but make sure you use the PIC18LF parts because the Explorer 16 only supplies 3.3VDC to the PIMs. \$\endgroup\$ – mjh2007 Aug 17 '11 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks you! Can I also try out USB communications using this board? The PICs I use have native USB module but on board I see RS232 coonector \$\endgroup\$ – sekharan Aug 17 '11 at 14:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've used the PIC18 board, it was easy to work with. BTW, The Microchip pages for these boards have links to the boards' user guides, which include detailed descriptions and schematics. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeanne Pindar Aug 17 '11 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I ask - possible to make own PIM for Explorer 16 Development Board with PIC16F or PIC18F with external 5V DC and use this board with it? \$\endgroup\$ – sekharan Aug 19 '11 at 4:05

I would consider other non-Microchip boards as well.


Can I also try out USB communications using this board?

The Explorer 16 Page does mention USB, and I can see what looks like a USB connector in the picture so I'd say yes to the above. There is also the PIC18 Explorer Board to consider, which is pretty much the same for the 8-bit PIC18 series. If you want a versatile development tool for education etc, I think the Microchip boards are probably a good way to go. No doubt you will find many such boards cheaper elsewhere, but it's probably safe to assume Microchip know their own products well enough to produce pretty good dev boards/example code/documentation, with plenty of options, so life will probably be easier that way (if a little more expensive perhaps) You should be able to adapt and produce your own plug in boards quite easily too, using the schematics and documentation as reference. Maybe it would be a good idea to have a look at these before you decide to ascertain whether you can do what you want with them.


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