Review: Clicker2 for PIC18FK


The release of the clicker 2 for PIC18FK this April has almost gone unnoticed by me. But then I found myself wanting a Clicker2 board that can be programmed in Microchip XC8. And the Clicker 2 for PIC18FK seems a better choice as compared with the older Clicker 2 for PIC18FJ. The PIC18F67K40 microcontroller on board the Clicker 2 for PIC18FK can be configured using MPLAB Code Configurator.  The PIC18F87J50 that comes on board the Clicker 2 for PIC18FJ has to be configured at register level – no visual tool to assist us.

So, at first glance, it seems that the Clicker 2 for PIC18FJK is a good candidate for programming in XC8.

Let’s take a closer look at the board:

Clicker 2 for PIC18FK

Clicker 2 for PIC18FK

Same form factor as other Clicker 2 boards, the same design of the power supply and battery circuits. Nothing new here.

On this board, we will find the PIC18F67K40 microcontroller, with a 16MHz oscillator. In a 4x PLL configuration the clock frequency is 64MHz, or 16MIPS.

The PIC18F67K40 has 128 KB FLASH program memory with self-read/write capability, 3568 bytes of data SRAM memory and 1024 bytes of EEPROM.

As the PIC18F67K40 has no USB ports, we find here one FT232RL USB-UART chip, connected to the UART4 of the PIC microcontroller.

The clicker 2 for PIC18FK comes preprogrammed with a UART bootloader. This is different than the usual HID bootloader we will find on other Clicker 2 boards, so we have to download and use the dedicated UART bootloader application.

As an advantage here, with the Clicker 2 for PIC18FK it’s easier to perform UART debugging and to communicate with the PC using a simple terminal application.

Obviously, one can skip the bootloader and program the board using either a PICkit 3, a mikroPROG for PIC, or any other PIC programmer.

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