Development board comes with preprogrammed PIC USB Bootloader. You don’t need any expensive programmer to start your firmware application development. The compiled firmware can be easily uploaded into the demo board with our fw_update application. After upload, bootloader switches to user mode and starts your firmware application.
XTEA encryption protects your firmware application from unauthorized copying. If you need to send a firmware update to client, you can encrypt the hex file with the same XTEA key that was specified in the bootloader. Nobody can use your firmware update with other devices unless he knows the XTEA key. For only $30 USD you can specify your own XTEA key to be programmed with the bootloader. If you order more than 30 demo boards at once, you can choose your own XTEA key for free.
Development board is powered from USB. There is no need to use external power supply. Even more - you can power devices, connected to the demo board if the power consumption doesn't exceed 100mA. You can easily assemble DC-DC converter to power low current (up to 50 mA) high voltage (up to 36V) circuits. See page 2 of demo board schematics for reference design of 12V power supply.
All elements are located at PCB upper layer to ease access with monitoring and/or measurement devices (e.g. multimeters, data loggers, oscilloscopes). Due to use of modern surface-mount elements USB PIC development board is quite small - 85x53.7 mm (3.35x2.11").
24 PIC18F4455 microcontroller I/O pins are accessible through DBH26 connector (as well as VCC and GND). Current limiting resistors are used to protect microcontroller from unintentional short circuits.
PIC USB Development Board can be used in either 3.3V or 5V circuits. Voltage level can be changed with on-board jumper (JP3) or in firmware changing the output value on PD4 PIC18F4455 microcontroller pin. Voltage level can be detected in firmware reading the PE1 pin value.