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MPLAB IDE - The project wizard (start here)

program microchips pics

I got asked in the shoutbox about Mplab by Ossipee and I realised there was really too much information to cover in the shoutbox so I thought I'd do a post for a more permanent record for those who would like to use Mplab which has a lot going for it as an integrated development environment, and the best thing is it's free. I know user 'Base over Apex' has done a tip on this somewhere but I can't find it. Firstly if you know absolutely nothing about pics the best reference is Gooligum's pic  tutorials
With your mplab install you should also get a folder of user guides. But if they are missing for some reason the most helpful ones
DS51281G  Mplab Quickstart Guide
DS51519A  Mplab IDE Users Guide
DS51025E  Simulator and editor users guide
DS33014J  Mpasm users guide - assembler users guide good reference for assembler directives, macros and some errors

Once you have downloaded and installed mplab
regardless of whether it is your first application or your hundredth always use the project wizard.
I find it best to make a folder for your new project before you start the wizard
Once you've started the wizard from the Project menu you will be asked to select the device you are using in the project.

Scroll through to the device you are using and click next. By the way you don't actually have to own the part to start using mplab. You can write your code and test it in the simulator.

If you are using assembler select the Mpasm assembler as your toolsuite. If you are using C scroll through the toolsuites to find the c compiler for for your device. Click next.

Next navigate to the folder you created earlier and name your project and the files will be created

Goto your microchip folder and if using assembler the Mpsasm suite folder and scroll to the include file for your device
Click the add button and it will appear in the righthand box. Make sure you click the bold letter on the left of it until it becomes an S for system file

Then go to the template folder and either the code or object folder to select a template file which makes for an easy start to your coding. I usually use the template from the object folder as it allows the compiler to decide where the code is placed in memory.
Now importantly you must also click the bold letter on the left after it appears in the righthand side. It always defaults to A but you need to click it till it is a C for copy. If you don't do this it will copy over the template file in the object folder with whatever changes you make to it. You can also double click on the name 12F683TEMPO.ASM and change it to a name to suit your project. Like first project perhaps. Click next and your nearly done.

When I say double click on the name to rename it it. Don't be surprised if it is more than a double click I find it a bit unresponsive sometimes when I click it.

click finish and your project files will be created

You are now ready to start coding with pics. Next part is here


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merser, many thanks for this tutorial. I didn't know that MPLAB IDE existed and your tutorial helped me get to the stage where I can start to play with it. I used to program PIC16F84A's in assembly before moving over to JAL and recently dusted off a PIC project so I'm going to give MPLAB a whirl with the compiled assembly and see if I can follow what the JAL compiler has done to the code. There's a few bugs I'd like to iron out and perhaps the MPLAB IDE will give me the tools I need to find them.

Thanks Markcra. You might want to use the simulator to see what your JAL generated code is doing. I've been thinking of following this up with a tutorial on the the output window and then the simulator and stimulus workbook. Perhaps in the next week I'll add one about the output window. Understanding the messages given there is important to make error finding easier.