Explorer 16: running ChipKit software


I have a Microchip Explorer16 board which I used once in a project and since then was forgotten in my parts drawer. Since the release of MPIDE and the ChipKit bootloader I decided to give it a try and maybe develop some new projects using this board.

This blog post is more than two years old.
Explorer16 development board

Explorer16 development board

The first step was to install the bootloader. I have two PIC32MX360F512F PIMs. None of them worked, although the bootloader was supposed to be exactly for these PIMs. It seems that there is some timing problem that crashes when I attempt to communicate with MPIDE. By chance, I tried an PIC32MX460F512L PIM, with the Explorer 16 bootloader. Surprize! It worked. So, the next tutorial refers to the Explorer 16 board with the PIC32MX460F512L PIM, the MPIDE being version mpide-0023-windows-20140821.

After successfully installing the bootloader, I tried to find the pin numbering for this board. For the moment I found the following pin correspondences:

chipKIT Digital Pin 0 – LED D3
chipKIT Digital Pin 1 – LED D4
chipKIT Digital Pin 2 – LED D5
chipKIT Digital Pin 3 – LED D6
chipKIT Digital Pin 4 – LED D7
chipKIT Digital Pin 5 – LED D8
chipKIT Digital Pin 6 – LED D9
chipKIT Digital Pin 7 – LED D10

The following code example will light all LED’s in sequence:

The pins for the LCD are as follows:

 LCD RS pin to digital pin 31
 LCD Enable pin to digital pin 52
 LCD R/W pin to digital pin 53
 LCD D0 pin to digital pin 64
 LCD D1 pin to digital pin 65
 LCD D2 pin to digital pin 66
 LCD D3 pin to digital pin 67
 LCD D4 pin to digital pin 68
 LCD D5 pin to digital pin 69
 LCD D6 pin to digital pin 70
 LCD D7 pin to digital pin 71

And the “Hello world !” code for the LCD in 8 bit interface mode is:

The potentiometer onboard Explorer 16 is connected to chipKIT analog pin A2.
Serial communication port is Serial1 (not just Serial, as in Arduino boards!!!).

The following example reads the potentiometer value and sends it through the serial connection:


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