Saturday I spent the whole day getting my wife’s sewing machine running again. Sunday morning was spend on domestic jobs. Sunday evening I got some time to start back on the the Energy Monitor project. First thing I did was to solver the PIC16F627A SMT parts to prototype adapters. Next I got the chip put down on a breadboard with the crystal and load caps. After that I connected up the PICKit-3 and tried to right the classic blinking LED test program. At first all was working well. But then I stumbled on a few problems.1) I did not realize that not all PICs supported the debugger. Small pin count parts do not provide the debug support without additional circuitry and cost in the form of “headers”. The 16F627A does not support debug and for what I am doing the cost of the headers is not justified.
2) Why is it that after the PIC is programmed, my application does not run for like 15 seconds? I have not gotten to the bottom of this problem yet. could it be the crystal does not startup properly or is the PICKit holding it in reset for that long? Is there a way to get the chip up and running sooner? These questions will have to wait we will have house guests for the next few days.