PICKit 3 vs PICKit 2 vs clone PICKit 2 … what’s best?

Wow, what a minefield. The new offering from Microchip is the PICKit 3, sounds good until you see Dave Jones’ of www.eevblog.com review:


(check out the funny reply from Microchip too, but then doesn’t help when the PICKit 3 still doesn’t have the PICKit 2’s logic probe and has dropped some support off, of older chips.

Though Microchip has discontinued PICKit 2 production, it’s source, circuit, firmware etc., has all been made open to the public. This has allowed a number of knock offs, clones and enhanced versions. For example from the AU Group, this one:


It’s compatible with the PICKit 2,  has more RAM,  support for low USB voltage – still delivering +5V even when USB supply drops to +3V.

Or MCUMall’s PICKit 2 compatible:


Then there’s always the DIY PICKit 2, for example:


more to follow…