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NSDSP Connection

Breadboard connection

NSDSP is designed to fit firmly into a breadboard. It has two connectors. 6-pin Microchip ICSP® connector is used for prgramming and debugging. 4-pin UART connetor provides USB connectivity.


6-pin ICSP connector

Pin NameDescription
1MCLR Output. Connects to the MCLR pin of target device during programming and debugging.
2VDD Positive power supply. Connects to the VDD of target device. NSDSP may either use target's power, or provide USB to power the target.
3VSS Ground.
4ICSPDAT Bidirectional. ICSP Data. Used during programming and debugging.
5ICSPCLK Bidirectional. ICSP Clock. Used during programming and debugging. Configured as output except in Debug mode for dsPIC33E/PIC24E devices.
6LVP Output. Typically not used. Connects to PGM pin on older PIC devices. This is the same pin as UART RTS. Therefore these two functions cannot be used together.

NSDSP's MCLR pin is designed to drive PIC's MCLR pin fast even if significant capacitance is present and therefore does not have any protective resistors.

Typical ICSP connection for programming and dubugging is shown below.

ICSP connection

Some PIC devices require an MCLR circuit which includes capacitor to the ground and pull-up resistor (see datasheet for your PIC). If such circuit is used, isolate the circuit from the PIC's MCLR pin with 1kΩ (or more) resistor, and make sure that NSDSP connects directly to the PIC's MCLR pin without any resistors in-between.

If your PIC has several pairs of PGD/PGC pins, you can use any pair, but you must use it as a pair. Do not combine pins from different pairs.

Do not connect any diodes or capacitors to ICSPDAT and ICSPCLK pins. If there are any devices connected to PIC's PGC or PGD pins during programming or debugging, the impedance of these devices must be 10kΩ or more. Such devices must be able to tolerate high frequency signaling during programming or debugging. Depending on the model of the NSDSP programmer, you may be able to use the PIC's PGD and PGC pins as inputs or as outputs while programmer is connected to the circuit. For details, refer to the description of the model - NSDSP-1-3V3, NSDSP-1-5V, NSDSP-1-U, or NSDSP-1-I. In some cases, you may need to disconnect the programmer while running the PIC. In any case, PGC and PGD pins cannot be used by PIC during debugging.

Wires connecting ICSPDAT and PCSPCLK pins must be short, and preferably straight. For more information on the ICSP cable requiremets, click here.

Depending on the PIC device you use, connection might be slightly different. Aslo, there may be special considerations for your specific PIC device. Please visit the Supported Devices section, find your device and read the documentation.


4-pin UART connector

Pin NameDescription
1CTS Input. CTS (Clear To Send) signal. Used for flow control.
2RX Input. Receive pin.
3TX Output. Transmit pin.
4RTS Output. RTS (Request To Send) pin. Used for flow control. This is the same pin as ICSP LVP. Therefore these two functions cannot be used together.
UART connection


Using UART also requires VDD and VSS connections. If the ICSP connector is used at the same time, VSS and VDD connection is achieved automatically. Otherwise, VSS and VDD pins of the ICSP connector must be connected. CTS and RTS pins are only needed if flow control is enabled.

For more details on UART communicatons, click here

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