Microchip has made many changes to MPLAB over the years- now version 8.x. I use Version 8.46 which is still available. I will ignore MPLAB X.

MPLAB version 8.x (I like version 8.46) is available free on the Microchip web site. Finding it is a bit of a challenge because Microchip is promoting their newer MPLAB X and the earlier versions are well hidden. Why version 8 and not X you ask. Version X is more sophisticated, (think, "complicated") and simpler (Easy) is better, in my view. So, how can you find MPLAB 8.46? I tried searching Microchip's web site using their search tool. I got a lot of irrelevant info such as hardware part numbers and no MPLAB references at all. My wife, Wanda, came up with the great suggestion of searching using Google. It worked! Select MPLAB IDE Archives - Microchip. Look in the 32-bit Windows column. I downloaded the compressed MPLAB 8.46 file to my MAC that I use on the internet. I carried it over to my trusty XP (yes, XP!) machine on a thumb drive and double-clicked on the zipped MPLAB file icon and away it went.

The corresponding changes to the procedure in Easy Microcontrol'n , Version 4.1 corresponding with MPLAB 8.X are:

Page 40

Near the bottom of the page, change the paragraph which begins with "Save in the same folder" to:

Save in a folder wherever it is convenient for future access. In the Jump To: box, enter the directory where your folder will be.

Page 41

The Project Wizard works a bit differently in MPLAB 8.x

In the Project Wizard Step 3 dialog box:

  • Click Browse.

    Save Project As dialog box appears.

  • Type file name which is the project name.
    			PICT1 is your project name
    			.mcp means project
  • Save As Type: MPLAB IDE Project Files (*.mcp)
  • Jump To: Where the file is to be stored.
  • Click "Save".

    The Project Wizard Step 3 dialog box is open.

  • Click "Next".


    The "make project" process in MPLAB creates a .HEX file (PICT1.HEX in this case). If you have a PICkit2, the device programming instructions appear using the PICkit2 and PICkit3 link. If you have another programmer, you may need to close the MPLAB program and open the driver software for the device programmer. The driver software and the .HEX file should be in the same directory. Follow the device programmer manufacturer's instructions.

    Using a PICkit2

    To Program A Device

    Click on the link "PICkit2 and PICkit3."

    Click on the link "Programming a PIC16F84A using the PICkit2 and a Simple Programming Adapter."

    "Load your .HEX file into MPLAB's Program Memory (zone)."

    File>Import HEX

    For the example, navigate to PICT1.mcp > Click on "Write"

    To Read A Device

    Click on "Read."

    To Erase A Flash Device

    Click on "Erase".


    Insert the programmed PIC16F84A into the socket on your test board (power off!). Power up the test board. The LEDs connected to port B should be off/on as follows:

    Bit     7  6  5  4  3  2  1  0
    -------------------------------- Status 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
    Controlling LEDs is a BIG DEAL at this point! You now know how to use the computer, text editor, assembler, device programmer and program a microcontroller. Wow! Time to celebrate I'd say.

    If you have questions, contact us by eMail at,


       [TOP OF PAGE]

     Copyright 1996-2016 Square 1 Electronics
    This page last updated April 14, 2016