Last few weeks, SK40B is out of stock. Sorry for that, but we have come out with great replacement – SK40C, the enhanced version of SK40B.
Before I talk about the enhancements, let’s see what’s the price you need to pay to get it. ONLY RM39.90, if you get it from our website.
For those that have been using SK40B, you know better than me why you use it, because it is plug and use for 40 pins PIC, and it supports both PIC16 and PIC18. Anyway, some might have said that the DB9 for RS232 serial port connection is very bulky and most of laptop and computer does not come with Serial Port anymore. Yup, we agree and thanks for the feedback. In this version, we take the DB9 away, replaced by the optional connection with the UC00A. Not only UC00A, you can also use that port for connection to SKPS, SC16A, or other board that uses UART. Sample source code for SKPS and UC00A is provided, feel free to download it. We also used SMD component to minimize the overall board size, now is compact!
OK, how about crystal? I wanted to use 10MHz, but SK40B come presolder with 20MHz. Yes, we heard that too, now we provide the option to change the external crystal. The package come with a default 20MHz crystal, but is not soldered. You can plug into the turn pin if you want to use it. Or change it to other speed of crystal. Or in some case, you don’t need a external crystal, why? Because Microchip has been producing microcontroller with internal crystal. Save your money in buying external crystal and offer you 2 extra I/O pin. What more can you asked?
Besides that, what else is being improved? We keep the socket for UIC00A, this is very good feature. It offers on board programming and it is very fast.
In other words, you can still use UIC00A or UP00B to program it. Some user complain about the power switch not being robust and reliable enough. We heard that, again thanks for the feedback! We upgraded it with a better toggle switch.
We added 2 programmable LEDs besides the Power indicator LED, you can test your PIC and program easily without the trouble of adding extra component. SK40B have only 1 programmable input switch, SK40C added another push button. OK, that’s the general input output devices, we also add extra goodies, like 2×16 characters LCD option.
We know that LCD is a great output indicator where you can display message for instruction, status, menu selection guide, it can also be used to display result of calculation, value of sensor etc. But adding a LCD on your system is not 5 minutes work, why? Because a parallel LCD (cheapest) has 16 pins, soldering the pin and wiring it to correct IO of microcontroller may take 2 hours of work, or even more. To save your time we make the connection ready for you, provide you the header pin for LCD connection. All you need to do is to get a parallel LCD and solder it. With this option, you can get LCD on your SK40C in 5 minutes. LCD is sold separetedly to lower down the cost.
We even have the option for you to enable the LCD backlight. There are 2 small PCB pads. If you need the LCD backlight, just short this 2 pads,. But bare in mind, the backlight consume high power when enabled. We provide sample source for LCD too.
Em…. what else? What can we think about? Oh… there is another feature, the USB (Universal Serial Bus). Yup, SK40C offer you the USB port for USB development. Using certain model of PIC18F microcontroller, you can actually develop USB application. With SK40C, again you save a lot of work to find the USB socket, solder and wiring the correct pin. We also provide the USB bootloader with is program to suit SK40C and use Microchip Bootloader GUI. But do not forget to program your PIC18F chip with bootloader firmware. All the firmware and sample source can be obtain from SK40C product page, under the “Useful Document” tab. Anyway USB cable is sold separatedly to lower down the cost, it is an option.
Please do read through the User’s Manual as there are too many features, you can get the User’s Manual here.
I myself has been using it for PIC18F4550 and PIC16F887 (Internal Crystal), works perfectly great. No complain yet, but again, maybe I have one, “too many features” 🙂