Home > Uncategorized > New PICkit 2 Clone

New PICkit 2 Clone

Completed this a while ago, but was too lazy to write a post. Anyways, here it is, my new and (aesthetically) improved PICkit 2 clone. As I’ve mention in this post, I didn’t come up with the circuit but got it from MCU Hobby.

What I did was redo the layout. Everything is surface mounted, even the header that’s not supposed to be.

First, let’s look at how my old PICkit 2 clone looked like:

If you’re observant, you’ll notice that I used an ink tube from a cheap pen as an extension of the switch. The tube had little protrusions near one end (originally kept the pen’s spring in place) which prevented it from slipping out from the casing. The PCB was made via toner transfer method, and there’s even silkscreen, though not very visible in the pics. It was a mistake to use clear-lens LEDs, way too bright. Anyways, this had served me well but I gave it to my brother. So, I needed a new one.

The heart of this programmer is no other than the PIC18F2550. I’ve kept the silkscreen to a minimum, only labelling the header pins and the indicator LEDs. The colors of the LEDs are green (POWER), yellow (TARGET), and red (BUSY). I really should have taken a photo with the LEDs on. The green isn’t true green, more of kelly-green, and the yellow seems to lean more towards orange.

The USB connector is a Mini B instead of the standard Type B on my old clone. This is actually pretty handy when powering a target circuit with the programmer. If you own a portable hard drive, you probably have one of those Y-shaped USB cables. This means the programmer and/or target circuit can draw current from two USB ports simultaneously.

However, I made an error with the pad layout for the USB connector. One pair of the support leads don’t line up with the pads. How did this happen? Long story short, I found a cheaper USB connector but forgot to change the layout.

Hehe…… Noticing a pattern? I like symmetry, hence the layout of the components seen in the photos. The MOSFETs are FDN335N and FDN302P, with a current rating of 1.7A and 2.4A respectively. Got a bunch of these from eBay, great stuff.

Errrr…… just more pictures to share… nothing interesting to say here.


Update (17/9/2012):

The Eagle layout for this board (plus BOM and original schematic from MCU Hobby) can be found here.


  1. Michael McLaren
    July 21, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Very nice looking board. Bravo! What are the dimensions, please?

    • July 21, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Hi there!
      Thanks for visiting and dropping a comment. Don’t get a lot of those here 😉
      Anyways, the board is 2″ by 2″.

  2. January 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Hey, its looking good
    But do you have the PCB layout for your first board ?
    Because I need some programmer, but its hard to find SMD, so i need something in DIP/DIL package

    • January 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      I don’t take credit for the circuit itself as it is from MCU Hobby. You can find the PCB layout there.
      I redesigned the layout for my first board to suit my needs though.
      If for some reason you prefer my layout then I’ll be glad to share it with you.
      Just let me know.

      • Claudiu Pana
        February 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

        Hello, can you send me the full project, PCB layout (your version), part list and all please? MCU Hobby seams to be down.
        Thank you!

      • February 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Hi there.
        I’ve temporarily uploaded what I have to mediafire.
        It’s been quite a long time so that’s all the resources on the PICkit that I have but you’re lucky that I happened to have saved up the MCU page as pdf.
        Hope this helps.

      • August 11, 2012 at 5:17 am

        Can you please send me the .brd and .sch files or gerber files. I would at least like to know the bill of materials if you have it so I know how to convert from TH to SMD.

        Thank you,


  3. Abidjit
    March 18, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Can you upload again?

    • March 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      I didn’t keep the file that I uploaded. Perhaps you could ask it from Claudiu Pana?

  4. April 7, 2012 at 1:02 am

    It’s a bad news as you don’t have those files now as I was just going to ask you for the files, then I read the comments.
    Anyways, your soldering looks so good, I guess you’ve reflowed the PCBs, rather than hand soldering.
    And I guess for taking pictures, you’ve used a flatbed scanner instead of any camera.
    Best wishes for your projects.

    • April 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Seems like a handful of people are interested in the files.
      I’m currently on vacation but when I can find time I might try to dig out those files and host them on a more permanent place.
      And thanks for the complement. The PCB was actually hand soldered so its nice to know that the result is passable as a reflowed PCB.
      Also, the pictures were taken with a camera. A ring light helps a lot when taking macro shots. I have since moved to a more advance setup. Currently I use one of those light tent/cube things you can find on ebay.


  5. viatr0nic
    April 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Did someone found the files for this SMD design?

  6. September 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Hi all, sorry for the extremely long wait.
    You can find the files here:

    • September 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Finally got it.

      BTW the MOSFETs are replaceable by general MOSFETs or the part# is strict?

      I have BSS84 and 2N7002 which I want to use.

      • September 18, 2012 at 12:57 am

        They were originally BS170 and BS250, so any general MOSFETs should be fine. Just be mindful of Q5 (originally IRF9Z34) as it switches the VDD to the target PIC/circuit. You will want Q5 to have a sufficiently high current rating especially if you want to program your PICs in circuit.

  7. November 14, 2012 at 2:37 am

    I just received the PCBs of this board. I got 10 PCBs while I needed only one or two.
    I have some extra PCBs http://i50.tinypic.com/33w34si.jpg
    If anyone wants to buy from me, it will be $5 shipped.
    I’ll build my PK2 in few days. Thanks @thefickletinkerer for sharing design files.

  8. Artur
    January 25, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Hi can you please tell me if this board is capable of in circuit debug

    • May 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      I’ve personally never used that feature, but I believe it works since it relies on the clock and data lines. If nothing else the UART Tool and Logic Tool in the PICkit 2 Programmer software works quite well for me when I don’t have better tools on hand.

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