Getting Started with CIKU

*This document explains how to connect your CIKU board to the computer and upload your first program.

1. Get a CIKU board and USB cable

You will need a CIKU board (link) and USB MiniB Cable (2.0) (link) to start.

ciku 2 mini-usb-cable-2-500x500

2. Download the MPLAB X IDE and XC8 compiler.

Download the MPLAB X IDE latest version here and XC8 compiler here. After downloaded finish, please proceed with installation. Install the MPLAB X IDE first followed by XC8 compiler. If you are new to this software, you can refer to Getting Started with MPLAB X IDE tutorial.

3. Download the CIKU library.

CIKU comes with library where you can easily write a coding like Arduino style. You can get the updated library here. After downloaded finish, extract to your PC and please remember the folder path. You can refer to this link for CIKU library reference.

*Note: You will need to have a gmail account. To download it you need to add to your Google Drive first, then you can proceed with download.


4. Power up the CIKU board.

CIKU board will automatically draw power from either USB connection to the computer OR external power supply. To start, just connect your CIKU board to your laptop/computer using USB cable. The PWR LED (green) will turn ON to indicate the board are being powered, also the RUN LED (red) will turn ON to indicate the board is in the user mode.

ciku 6
ciku 5
ciku 7

5. CIKU drivers.

Good news, CIKU board doesn’t need a driver. It will recognize as USB Input Device (in bootloader mode).


6. Open CIKU project.

Open MPLAB X IDE. Go to “File – Open Project…”, point to CIKU library that you have downloaded and open CIKU.X. Under Projects tab, you can open User-Template.c (CIKU – Source Files – user – User-Template.c) to see the user code.


7. Build CIKU project.

Everytime you edit the code and want to upload the program to CIKU board, you need to build it first. Click on the “Build Project” icon (hammer) and make sure there have no errors. It will display BUILD SUCCESSFUL.


8. Enter the bootloader mode.

Before uploading the program to CIKU board, we need to make sure that the CIKU is in the bootloader mode. To enter the bootloader mode, simply press SW button (and hold), then press RESET button (and release), then release the SW. The RUN LED (red) will blink to indicate the CIKU board is already entered the bootloader mode.
*You can refer to video.
*Please be remind that the bootloader only can be entered when there have a USB connection between your CIKU board and your PC.

9. Upload the program to CIKU board.

Open HIDBootloader.exe (..\Bootloader Software\win\HIDBootloader.exe). If your CIKU board is in bootloader mode it will display “Device Attached”, but if your CIKU board is in user mode it will display “Device not detected”. So make sure your CIKU board is in bootloader mode. Click on the “Import Firmware Image” icon and open your HEX file (..\CIKU.X\dist\default\production\CIKU.X.production.hex).


Then click the “Erase/Program/Verify Device” icon. This state will upload the program to CIKU board.


After done uploading, click on the “Reset Device” icon to enter the user mode. Now your LED on CIKU board should blink. Done!



*This video is for easy reference on how to get start with CIKU since it shows a steps on how to open project, build project, enter the bootloader mode, upload the program and run. However the path of the files shown in this video will change from time to time. Please refer the complete tutorial above.


14 thoughts on “Getting Started with CIKU”

  1. Hi Ken, I’m not sure what actually you have done with your CIKU. Based on your case right now, maybe you already overwrite CIKU bootloader firmware on that PIC (PIC18F4550). So, you need to write back CIKU bootloader firmware and then try to upload any code from the provided library (i.e. User-Template.c).

    If you have further question, please post on our technical forum (

  2. Hi Ken, it should be possible to use PIC18F4550 without CIKU. However, you need the basic circuit to operate PIC microcontroller.

  3. Is that possible to remove the pic18f4550 and use it individually (without ciku) ? As i have tried, it fails. Thanks.

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