DIY PICKit-2 Lite

After some years in PIC development, I built and tested DIY programmers. Formerly, I used LPT classic Tratit style programmer. This programmer is very good and stable for most 16F and 18F PIC mid-range series. Later, LPT port is no more option in modern PC and Laptop. I found out serial port programmer and used JDM-2 for a moment. The problem of JDM and it’s style serial port programmer is that they are very buggy with USB-Serial adapter or even in some low power serial port laptop.

Here is my collection of constructed and tested DIY programmers along with my developments. One day, I may be write about these programmers, the good, the best and the urgly :D.


Finally, I considered to use USB programmer and constructed PicKit-2. This is Microchip original successful PIC programmer and compatible with almost all PIC line.

I consider to use Lite version of than original PicKit-2 design. The lite version is a strip down version of original kit-2 because most of original functions are not required for starter and hobbyists.

The main differences between original and lite version are :

– Lite ver don’t use eeprom because they are used only for OTG programming without PC

-Target voltage detection (3.3V and 5V) circuit is removed because most hobbyist stick on only 5V PIC

Since, the first use, I stick all with my PIC development and found that very stable and convenience to use. My design is based on Blueroom-electronics design. The Blueroon website is down now. This is the copy of PicKit-2 lite schematic from Blueroom.


I used BC547 and BC557 transistors in my build. For 680uH coil, I used a small filter coil from ATX power supply secondary output rail. Here is my construction.


For those who interested in 3.3 V target, here is modification of Felixls and Suky for 3.3V targets.

Pickit-2 lite can be used with original Microchip farmware and software without any problem. The resource can be found here.

Updated 16 July 2015: Microchip Pickit-2 link is not working. Here is archived links.


Updated:  Chris point me out that schematic error, PIN-15 is D- and PIN-16 should be D+. I edited and uploaded correct diagram.