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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

Creating A PWM Signal Using A PIC 16F84


There are many small mechanisms, particularly servo motors, that use PWM coding as a
means of input. PWM signals can also be used to vary the voltage applied to a device by
achieving an effective average voltage. With so many applications, it is therefore necessary to
have a reliable means of generating a PWM signal.

MOTIVATION AND AUDIENCE


The focus of this tutorial is to demonstrate a method of generating a PWM signal using a PIC
16F84. This tutorial will teach you:

What a PWM signal is.


How to write code to generate a PWM signal using a PIC 16F84.

To do this, it is assumed that you already:

Have completed "A Fast Track to PIC Programming".

The rest of the tutorial is presented as follows:

Parts List and Sources


Background
Programming
Applications
Final Words

PARTS LIST AND SOURCES


In order to complete this tutorial you must have the circuit from the tutorial "A Fast Track to
PIC Programming" (minus the dip switches and resistor LED circuits). This circuit will be the
only part required for this tutorial. You will also need a DC power supply and access to an
oscilloscope to observe the signal.

BACKGROUND

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

Figure 1
A PWM signal is simply a pulse of varying length, in effect a rectangular wave. This is illustrated
in Figure 1, which also shows how a servo might react to different PWM inputs. For our circuit,
the maximum voltage outputted will be +5 VDC, and the minimum will be 0 VDC. The length of
the pulse generated is some times charcterized by a duty cycle. The duty cycle is the
percentage of the signal that the output remains high. For instance, a constant +5V would be
equivalent to a 100% duty cycle. A typical square wave output from a function generator has a
50% duty cycle. 0V would correspond to a 0% duty cycle.

PROGRAMMING
PWM.asm
;
;
;
;
;

FILE:
AUTH:
DATE:
DESC:
NOTE:

PWM.asm
Keith Sevcik
5/21/03
This program generates a PWM waveform.
Tested on PIC16F84-04/P

;---------------------------------------------------------------------;
cpu equates (memory map)
list
radix

p=16f84
hex

;----------------------------------------------------------------------

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

portb
duty
temp

equ
equ
equ

0x06
0x0c
0x0d

; port b equate
; length of duty cycle
; length of duty cycle

;--------------------------------------------------------------------c

equ

; status bit to check after subtraction

;---------------------------------------------------------------------

rstrt

b0loop

pwma

pwmb

org

0x000

movlw
tris
movlw
movwf
movlw
movwf
movlw
movwf
movf
movwf
bsf
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
decfsz
goto
movlw
movwf
movf
subwf
bcf
nop

0x00
portb
0x00
portb
d'0'
portb
d'157'
duty
duty,w
temp
portb,0

;
;
;
;

load W with 0x00 make port B output


copy W tristate to port B outputs
fill w with zeroes
set port b outputs to low

; Duty cycle length

temp
pwma
d'255'
temp
duty,w
temp,f
portb,0

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
decfsz
goto
goto

temp
pwmb
rstrt

;---------------------------------------------------------------------end
;---------------------------------------------------------------------; at burn time, select:
;
memory uprotected
;
watchdog timer disabled
;
standard crystal (4 MHz)
;
power-up timer on
HEADER AND EQUATES
The first portion of code is the header and register equates. For more information about the
meaning of the header see the previous tutorial.
list
radix

p=16f84
hex

;---------------------------------------------------------------------portb
duty
temp

equ
equ
equ

0x06
0x0c
0x0d

; port b equate
; length of duty cycle
; length of duty cycle

;--------------------------------------------------------------------c

equ

; status bit to check after subtraction

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

;--------------------------------------------------------------------org

0x000

The only equate of signifficance here is PWM. This register will be used to store the length of
the PWM signal to be generated.
INSTRUCTIONS
The next portion of code contains the actual instructions that tell the PIC what to do.
start

movlw
tris
movlw
movwf

0x00
portb
0x00
portb

;
;
;
;

load W with 0x00 make port B output


copy W tristate to port B outputs
fill w with zeroes
set port b outputs to low

These lines set up port B as outputs. All outputs are then set to low.
rstrt

movlw
movwf
movlw
movwf

d'0'
portb
d'157'
duty

; Duty cycle length

After setting up the ports, the main loop is begun. At the beginning of the main loop, all port b
pins are set to low just incase they are high when they shouldn't be. The duty cycle is then set
to 157 (a 50% duty cycle. 255 corresponds to 100% and 0 corresponds to 0%).
b0loop

pwma

movf
movwf
bsf
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop

duty,w
temp
portb,0

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

nop
decfsz
goto

temp
pwma

The next bit of code is the loop for the PWM signal generated at pin B0. The pwm1a loop
generates the high portion of the PWM signal. The duty cycle is stored in temp and then the pin
is set high. after a pause, temp is decremented and so long as it doesnt reach zero the pause is
repeated and temp is decremented again. After temp reaches zero, the code continues.

pwmb

movlw
movwf
movf
subwf
bcf
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
nop
decfsz
goto
goto

d'255'
temp
duty,w
temp,f
portb,0

temp
pwmb
rstrt

The next portion of code generates the low part of the PWM signal. The value 255 is stored in
temp, and the duty cycle is subtracted from this. This gives the remaining length of signal to be
generated. Temp is then decremented in the same manner as above, this time with B0 set to
low. Once the entire PWM signal has been generated, the code repeats.
This code causes a PWM signal to be generated with a duty cycle proportional to the value set.
The frequency of the signal can also be adjusted by varying the delay (the number of nop's
used).

APPLICATIONS
One common application of pwm signals is motor control. By varying the duty cycle of a pwm
signal sent to a motor, you can vary the effective power of the signal and thereby slow the
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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

motor down or speed the motor up depending on how long of a pulse you send to the motor.
The signal generated by the PIC can not be directly connected to the motor, however, because
the PIC is unable to handle the power required by the motor. It is therefore necessary to use a
transistor to regulate the flow of current to the motor. A transistor is like an electric switch.
When you send a logic high (+5V) to the transistor, it allows current to flow. When a logic low
(0V) is sent, it restricts the flow of current. For digital signals, this means that the signal can be
reproduced exactly, except the new signal is scaled up to a much larger current. Figure 2
shows a schematic for controlling a motor using a TIP31 NPN transistor.

Figure 2
As the schematic shows, the output from the pick is wired to the base. The negative terminal of
the motor is then connected to the base and the collector is connected to ground. When the
PWM otuput from the PIC is sent to the transistor, it will flip the transistor on and off and
subsequently generate the same PWM signal to the motor, allowing you to control the motor
with a PWM signal.

FINAL WORDS
After completing this tutorial you should be familiar with PWM signals and how to program a
PIC 16F84 to generate them.

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PWM Signal with PIC 16F84

If you have questions about this tutorial you can email me at Keithicus@drexel.edu.

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PIC Tutorial

Fast Track to PIC Programming


You may know that when it comes to machines, programming is often used to tell the machine
how to interact with its world. But have you ever wondered how this programming is actually
physically implemented? One way is to use PICs (Programmable Interrupt Controllers). These
chips allow you to write code that reads input signals, performs functions and sends signals to
outputs based on conditions that you define. This tutorial will explain the basic process of
writing programs for PICs and burning those programs to the device.

MOTIVATION AND AUDIENCE


The focus of this tutorial is to get you quickly acquainted with PICs so that you can start using
them in your applications. As such, this tutorial will teach you how to:

Write code to define outputs.


Write code to read inputs and use those inputs to affect outputs.
Write code to react to a clock cycle.
Burn code into the device.

To do this, it is assumed that you already know how to:

Read an electrical schematic.


Construct and solder an electrical circuit onto a protoboard.

The rest of the tutorial is presented as follows:

Parts List and Sources


Construction
Programming
Burning Code Into A PIC
Final Words

PARTS LIST AND SOURCES


The majority of the parts will be required to construct a circuit to test your programs on. The
parts listed in Table 1 are consumables used in the circuit:
TABLE 1
PART DESCRIPTION

VENDOR

PART

PIC16F84-04/P

JAMECO

145111 5.95

40-PIN ZIF SOCKET

JAMECO

104029 10.95

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PRICE (2002)

QTY

PIC Tutorial

PUSHBUTTON SWITCH

JAMECO

71642

1.49

8-POSITION DIP SWITCH

JAMECO

38842

0.79

4 MHZ CRYSTAL CLOCK OSCILLATOR JAMECO

27967

1.89

0.1 UF CAP

JAMECO

151116

1.00 FOR BAG OF


1
10

0.1 INCH HEADERS

JAMECO

160881 0.39

SIPP 30-PIN WIREWRAP SOCKET

JAMECO

104053 1.95

T1-3/4 GREEN LED

JAMECO

104256 0.29

100 OHM RESISTOR

10 KILO OHM RESISTOR

220 OHM RESISTOR

3.3 KILO OHM RESISTOR

6 INCH PROTOTYPING CIRCUIT


BOARD

RADIO SHACK 276-170 2.99

2-3/4 X 3-3/4 PROTOTYPING CIRCUIT


BOARD

RADIO SHACK 276-158 2.39

The PIC we will be using (PIC16F84) was chosen because it is a very common PIC and
because it can be programmed and reprogrammed without additional hardware (many PICs
must be exposed to UV light to erase existing programs).
To construct the circuit, you will also need:

a soldering iron with a fine point


materials for soldering (solder, flux, etc.)
small gauge wire
wire strippers
multimeter
DC power supply

The items listed above can all be purchased from an electronics store such as Radio Shack.
Some hardware such as Home Depot carry tools like wire strippers and multimeters.
There are many utilities for writing, compiling and burning PIC code. This tutorial uses the
following software/hardware to program the PIC:

MPLAB for Windows (Microchip)


PICSTART Plus device programmer

The MPLAB software contains the text editor, compiler (MPASM) and device programmer
software (PICSTART Plus) in a single program, thereby centralizing all your PIC programming
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PIC Tutorial

needs. The book Easy Picn by David Benson is also an invaluable resource in learning how to
use PICs. This tutorial refers to the book to clarify some of the code.

CONSTRUCTION
The circuit used to test your PIC programs is depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1
This circuit is set up to test and display basic PIC functions. In this tutorial, Port B on the PIC
(Pins 6- 13) is used as an output. LEDs are connected to all 8 of the Port B lines, and will light
up when the line is set to a logic high, or 1. Port A (Pins 17, 18, 1, 2 and 3) is used as an input.
Its lines are connected to dip switches, which will set the line to a logic high when the switch is
in the On position.
It is recommended that the LED and dip switch circuits be constructed on a separate board and
connected to the PIC via a cable. This allows you to construct more complicated circuits in the
future and easily switch between circuits.
A ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket is used to make repeated installation and removal of the
PIC easy, and to help prevent the pins on the PIC from being damaged.

PROGRAMMING
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PIC Tutorial

What follows are a few sample codes that illustrate the functionality of the PIC. In each
instance, the code will be given, followed by an explanation of how the code works.
Example 1: Outputting to LEDs
In this example you will learn how to define pins as output and how to set those pins to a logic
hi or logic low. The following code sets pins corresponding to B0,B2,B4,B6 to a logic low and
pins corresponding to B1,B3,B5,B7 to a logic hi.
outLed.asm

;
;
;
;
;
;

FILE:
AUTH:
DATE:
DESC:
NOTE:
REFs:

outLed.asm
(Your name here)
(date)
Makes B0,B2,B4,B6 low and B1,B3,B5,B7 hi
Tested on PIC16F84-04/P.
Easy Pic'n p. 23 (Predko p. 173 is bogus?)
list
radix

p=16F84
hex

;---------------------------------------------------------------------;
cpu equates (memory map)
myPortB equ
0x06
; (p. 10 defines port address)
;---------------------------------------------------------------------org
start
movlw
(p. 45)
tris
58)

0x000
0x00

; load W with 0x00 make port B output

myPortB

; copy W tristate, port B outputs (p.

movlw
movwf

b'10101010'
myPortB

; load W with bit pattern (p. 45)


; load myPortB with contents of W (p.

goto

circle

45)
circle

; done

end
;---------------------------------------------------------------------; at burn time, select:
;
memory uprotected
;
watchdog timer disabled
;
standard crystal (4 MHz)
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PIC Tutorial

power-up timer on

In evaluating the code above, first and foremost it is important to realize that everything
following a semicolon is a comment, and is ignored by the compiler. The actual code used by
the compiler to program the PIC is shown below:
list
radix
myPortB equ

start

circle

p=16F84
hex
0x06

org

0x000

movlw
tris
movlw
movwf
goto
end

0x00
myPortB
b'10101010'
myPortB
circle

HEADER
The first portion of code is called the header. This information helps the compiler to format the
code correctly. In our case, every header will be identical.
The first line
List

p=16F84

describes the type of device that the program is to be burned to. The line
radix

hex

tells the compiler what format numbers are in unless otherwise specified. In this case, the
format is hexadecimal.
EQUATES
The next section of the program is called the equates. This is similar to variable declaration in
other programming languages. Labels are assigned to addresses. Later, whenever that label is
referred to in the program, the compiler looks up its address.
The line
portB

equ

0x06

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PIC Tutorial

assigns portB to the file register located at 0x06. Port B is always located at this file register.
ORG
In the line
org

0x000

org stands for origin. The org function has a few special uses, but this tutorial only uses the org
statement as shown. When used in this manner, the org statement defines the beginning of the
code.
INSTRUCTIONS
The next portion of code contains the actual instructions that tell the PIC what to do.
start

movlw

0x00

This line is labeled as the start of the code. The function movlw moves a literal (a number) to
the file register W. You can not directly assign values to file registers. All values must first be
passed through the W register.
tris

myPortB

This command is outdated, though its still compatible with the version of software in use. The
tris command tells the compiler that the current W value will map the lines of the selected port
as inputs or outputs (a 1 in W means input, a 0 in W means output).
movlw

b'10101010'

This command moves the binary number 10101010 to the W register.


movwf

myPortB

The contents of the W register are now assigned to Port B, setting the appropriate pins as hi or
low.
circle

goto

circle

This command labels the line of code as circle, and then refers bac to itself, thereby setting the
program in a continuous loop.
END
Finally the compiler is told that it has reached the end of the code with an end statement.

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PIC Tutorial

end
All programs must have an end statement.
Example 2: Inputting from dip switches
Now that you have the fundamentals down, this program will illustrate how inputting is used to
control outputs. In this example, all of the pins in port A are set as inputs (an should be
connected to dip switches). When a dip switch is turned on, its value is passed to the
corresponding output on port B, thereby lighting an LED.
Dip2Led.asm

;
;
;
;
;
;

FILE:
AUTH:
DATE:
DESC:
NOTE:
REFs:

Dip2Led.asm
(Your name here)
(date)
Read Port A DIP switch and display on Port B LEDs
Tested on PIC16F84-04/P.
Easy Pic'n p. 60
list
radix

p=16F84
hex

;---------------------------------------------------------------------;
cpu equates (memory map)
myPortA equ
0x05
myPortB equ
0x06
; (p. 10 defines port address)
;----------------------------------------------------------------------

start
(p. 45)

org
movlw

0x000
0x00

; load W with 0x00 make port B output

tris

myPortB

; copy W tristate to port B outputs

movlw
tris

0xFF
myPortA

; load W with 0xFF make port A input


; copy W tristate to port A

movf
movwf

myPortA, w
myPortB

; read port A DIP and store in W


; write W value to port B LEDs

goto

start

; loop forever

(p. 58)

circle

end
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PIC Tutorial

; at burn time, select:


;
memory uprotected
;
watchdog timer disabled
;
standard crystal (4 MHz)
;
power-up timer on
This code is very similar to the previous code. Port B is declared as outputs in the same
manner. In this case, port A is defined as inputs by the code
movlw
tris

0xFF
myPortA

This fills the W register with 1s, and uses those 1s to declare port A as inputs. Instead of
assigning a literal to port B, port A is read into the W register.
movf

myPortA, w

This command says move the file register myPortA into the W register. And as before, the
contents of the W register are assigned to the LEDs at port B
movwf

myPortB

The code is then told to return to the start and execute again.
Example 3: Reacting to a clock cycle
There is one other important functionality to the PIC that can be extremely useful. The PIC has
a built in counter whose frequency is dependent upon the external oscillator in the circuit and
upon certain options you set. These options along with the calculations for determining the
frequency are explained below.
Clock.asm

;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;

FILE:
AUTH:
DATE:
DESC:
NOTE:

Clock.asm
(Your name here)
(date)
1.0 - Internal timer, blink LED every 32.8 msec
Tested on PIC16F84-04/P.
4 MHz crystal yields 1 MHz internal clock frequency.
"option" is set to divide internal clock by 256.
This results in 1 MHz/256 = 3906.25 Hz or 256 usec.
tmr0 bits 0 through 7 (255 decimal) is checked, thus yielding
255*256 usec = 65.28 msec delay loop
REFs: Easy Pic'n p. 113

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PIC Tutorial

list
radix

p=16F84
hex

;---------------------------------------------------------------------;
cpu equates (memory map)
portB
equ
0x06
; (p. 10 defines port address)
tmr0
equ
0x01
;----------------------------------------------------------------------

start

go

delay
again

org
clrwdt
movlw
option
movlw
tris
clrf
bsf
call
call
bcf
call
call
goto
clrf
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
return

0x000
b'11010111'

; clear watchdog timer


; assign prescaler, internal clock
; and divide by 256 see p. 106

0x00
portB
portB
portB, 0
delay
delay
portB, 0
delay
delay
go

;
;
;
;

tmr0
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again

;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;
;

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

set w = 0
port B is output
port B all low
RB0 = 1, thus LED on p. 28

; RB0 = 0, thus LED off

; repeat forever
clear TMR0, start counting
if bit 0 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 1 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 2 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 3 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 4 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 5 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 6 = 1
no, then check again
if bit 7 = 1
no, then check again
else exit delay

end
;---------------------------------------------------------------------; at burn time, select:
;
memory uprotected
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PIC Tutorial

;
;
;

watchdog timer disabled


standard crystal (4 MHz)
power-up timer on

The first thing notable about this code is a new equate


tmr0

equ

0x01

This is an 8 bit, read/write counter stored at this particular file register. In our case, the internal
clock frequency is 1 MHz (external frequency gets divided by 4). This frequency can be further
divided by setting a prescaler value (the value the internal frequency will be divided by). Based
on the setting of 3 option bits, the prescaler value can be varied between 8 values ranging from
1 to 256. In our case, all 3 option bits are set, dividing the internal clock frequency by 256. This
gives the frequency of the counter to be 1 MHz/256 = 3906.25 Hz. The next command
start

clrwdt

Clears the watchdog timer and the prescaler value. The following commands
movlw
option

b'11010111'

set the option bits. The significance of the option bits are as follows:
Bit
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Purpose
Prescaler Value
Prescaler Value
Prescaler Value
Prescaler Assignment (0=tmr0, 1=watchdog timer)
tmr0 external edge clock select (0=rising, 1=falling)
tmr0 clock source (0=internal instruction cycle, 1=external)
Interrupt edge select (0=falling, 1=rising)
Port B Pullup Enable (0=enabled, 1=disabled)

As you can see, in this code, the Prescaler bits are set to 111 (divide by 256), prescaler is sent
to tmr0, tmr0 increments on the rising edge, the tmr0 source is the internal instruction cycle
clock, interrupts occur on rising edges, and Port B pull-ups are disabled.
Proceeding through the code, the next portion defines Port B as outputs, as has been seen in
previous examples. The code following that is the meat of this program.
go

bsf
call
call
bcf
call

portB, 0
delay
delay
portB, 0
delay

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PIC Tutorial

call
goto

delay
go

This loop turns an LED off and on repeatedly. First, the 0 bit in port B is set (made to logical hi).
A delay subroutine is then called (explained later) to pause the program for a bit. The 0 bit is
then cleared (made to logical low). The program is delayed once more, and then the process
repeats. The new concept presented is that of a subroutine
delay
again

clrf
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
btfss
goto
return

tmr0
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again
tmr0,
again

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

When delay is called, the program skips to this portion of the code. tmr0 (the counter) is first
cleared (and then begins to count). The remaining code tests every bit in tmr0 to see if it is set
to hi. If it isnt, it returns to again. If it is set to hi, it skips the next line of code (goto again) and
testes the next bit. This loop continues until the return statement is reached, in which case the
subroutine is exited and the code proceeds from where delay was originally called. As can be
seen, the delay subroutine will continue until all tmr0 bits equal 1, or until tmr0 counts to 255.

BURNING CODE INTO A PIC


Now that you know how to write code, you need to know how to get your code into the PIC. The
process of programming a PIC is often referred to as burning. To burn code into the PIC, we
will be using the windows version of MPLAB.
In the MPLAB program, all the information about your program is stored in a project files.
Project files contain information about the program, the device youre using, one or more
assembly language codes and compiled hex files. The process of burning a PIC contains three
major steps. The first is to write the code in assembly language. Once the code is written, it
must be compiled into a hex file for programming into the device. After successfully compiling
the code, the final step is to program the device.

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Begin by opening up the program MPLAB.


Create a new project by going to Project>New Project. In the new project dialogue box select a
directory to place the project in and give the new project a name. When youve finished, click
Ok.
You will now see the Edit Project dialogue box. Select the appropriate device, and set the
development mode to MPLAB-SIM Simulator. In the project files window click the file that has
the name of your file with a .hex extension. Click on the Node Properties button and in the
window that appears, click Ok. This sets default node properties and allows you to add nodes
later.
Exit the Edit Properties box by clicking Ok.
Now you may create assembly code. Got to File>New. A blank text editor box should appear.
Enter your assembly code into this window. When you are done, save the code (File>Save,
give the code a name and click Ok).
You must now assign the source code you just made to the project. Go to Project>Edit Project.
In the Edit Project dialogue box, click the Add Node button. Browse to find the assembly code
you just found. Select it and click Ok. The file name for the assembly code should now appear
in the window. Click Ok to close the Edit Project box.
Now that the source code is associated with the project, its time to compile the code. Go to
Project>Make Project. If the compile is successful, you will see the Build Results window
appear with the message Build completed successfully. If there were errors they will be listed
in the window. After compiling successfully, save the project (Project>Save Project).
The final step is to program the device. Select Picstart Plus>Enable Programmer. The
Programmer Status dialogue box should appear. At this point, you should have the Picstart
Plus device programmer plugged in and th serial cable connected to the serial port on your
computer. Place the PIC in the ZIF socket with pin 1 in the top left corner, and lock it in place.
The most important part of this step is to ensure the configuration bits are set appropriately. If
you noticed, at the end of each example code was a note indicating how the configuration bits
should be set
; at burn time, select:
;
memory uprotected
;
watchdog timer disabled
;
standard crystal (4 MHz)
;
power-up timer on
Watchdog timer should be set to off, Oscillator should be set to XT (this is the setting for
standard crystal), the memory setting should be set to off and the powerup timer should be set
to on.

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When the configuration bits are set correctly, click Program and wait for the programmer to
finish. If the programmer completes successfully, your code is now in the PIC.

FINAL WORDS
After completing this tutorial you should be able program a PIC to send outputs, read inputs,
and create functions using a clock. After creating a program in assembly code, you should be
able to burn that program into the device for use in your application.
The concepts shown here were presented in relatively trivial situations. However, these
concepts are fundamental to using PICs for larger, more complex applications.
If you have questions about this tutorial you can email me at Keithicus@drexel.edu. Happy
PICn!

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