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The Compact-Sized Zero Pin Loader

Zero Pin Loader, do you have any idea what this stuff for? To be honest, some of you here might haven’t hear or use it before.

Actually, the Zero Pin Loader is a bootloader for the PICmicro 18F series. Its main function is to avoid the use of I/O pins, by simply exploiting the /MCLR pin as the only interface between the host PC and the PICmicro. It uses the PIC16F877 microcontroller as the main part, where is having the ability to write to their own code memory.


The Zero Pin Loader is unique, as the interface between the PC serial port and the target uses six components! The standard /MCLR is one of the six components. The interface circuit can be put in a common DB9 shell and with a DIP clip for the connection to the target.

There’s some downfall for this Zero Pin Loader and you have to get it solved. Most of the development environments have the transparent bootloader, but the limitation being that the highest 384 instructions are not available to the application. Hence, you have to ensure that the bootloader puts a jump to its own code at the very first address to overcome the problem!

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