Today we have teardown photos of a Sure Electronics PICkit2 clone PIC programmer, the type commonly sold on eBay. Scopria, who took these pictures, reports that his programmer stopped working after a few months.  He recommends a real Microchip PICkit2 because it’s only a couple dollars more.

Teardown photos and a look at the circuit board after the break.


This is the outside of the Sure Electronics PICkit2 clone. It copies the Microchip PICkit2 appearance almost exactly.


The back of the PCB. The six-pin header is how you program the on-board microcontroller.


The board was absolutely covered in flux. Scopria thinks this might have contributed to its early demise.


After a quick clean the board looks much better. This PCB layout is totally different than the Microchip PICkit2 we looked at yesterday, so it’s not an exact clone.

One of the first things we noticed was the missing EEPROM chips (4). This version won’t work as a stand-alone remote programmer. Let’s look at some of the other components.

  1. A PIC 18F2550 USB microcontroller runs the show.
  2. 20MHz crystal for the 18F2550.
  3. Programming header for the 18F2550.
  4. Two 24LC512 I2C EEPROMs that store firmware for remote programming are missing.
  5. A pushbutton to begin programming.
  6. A switched-mode power supply (SMPS) makes a 13volt programming voltage from the 5volt USB supply. You can identify this by the inductor coil and large smoothing capacitor.
  7. Three indicator LEDs.
  8. Level shifting allows the 5volt-powered programmer to work with parts at different supply voltages.