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USB Bit Whacker - 18F2553 PTH Kit

This is an easy to assemble, through-hole kit version of the popular UBW board. This is a spectacular little development board featuring the PIC18F2553. Based on the work of Brian Schmalz, the UBW is a small board with a command interpreter for basic input and output control. When attached to a Windows/Max OS X/Linux computer, the UBW will show up as an RS232 Com port! You control the individual I/O pins on the PIC through simple serial commands. This is a kit and includes a pre-programmed 18F2553 and both male and female connectors so you can choose which connector you would prefer.

The 18F2553 comes pre-programmed with a USB bootloader. This means you can create HEX files using any compiler or assembler (C18, CC8e, SDCC) and then load that HEX file onto the PIC without an external programmer - directly over USB! Power is obtained over USB.

Please download the Microchip USB Bootloader below. Please see the UBW home page for more information.

**Note: **This product is a collaboration with Brian Schmalz. A portion of each sales goes back to them for product support and continued development.

Kit Parts:

  • 1 x UBW PTH PCB
  • 1 x PIC 18F2553
  • 1 x 28 Pin DIP Socket
  • 1 x 10uF Capacitor
  • 3 x LEDs
  • 2 x Momentary Switches
  • 1 x Breakaway Female Header
  • 1 x Breakaway Male Header
  • 2 x 10K Resistor
  • 3 x 330 Ohm Resistor
  • 2 x 0.1uF Capacitor
  • 1 x 20MHz resonator
  • 1 x ICSP Connector
  • 1 x USB B Connector
  • Reset Button
  • General Input Button (also used to enter program mode during a reset)
  • USB Connection
  • 14 General I/O
  • TX/RX (can be used as a USB to UART converter board)
  • 20MHz Resonator
  • Two Status LEDs
  • Preprogrammed with Bootloader and UBW_D firmware
  • 1.5x2.3"

USB Bit Whacker - 18F2553 PTH Kit Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • What about the same, but with the PIC32?

  • The ICSP header is a nice reason to have the through hole version. But those super-bright LEDs are KILLING my eyes! I replaced them with diffused ones of the correct colors.

  • The ICSP header is a nice reason to have the through hole version. But those super-bright LEDs are KILLING my eyes! I replaced them with diffused ones of the correct colors.

  • You should update this web page and the assembly instructions to use the PTH V2 board which has the ICSP connector installed differently than in the pictures and the assembly drawing.
    Unfortunately the ICSP connector is different than either of my programmers which use a 2x3 connector.

  • All i can say is great work fast too. i look forward to putting these together.

  • I am using an ICD3 with DEV-08108 board.. I fliped the connector and everything works fine now.

  • I think the ICSP is on backwards in the picture.. You guys might want to change that. I soldered mine in the way it is in the picture and it failed to program.. I checked with my meter and the entire thing was on backwards..

    • I guess it depends upon what you're connecting to the ICSP connector. I use PICKit2 and now PICKit3 for my programming/debugging, and I can easily align pin 1 of the programmer with pin 1 of the UBW ICSP connector.
      What programmer are you using that can't be put on properly?

  • More of the obvious:
    This board has mounting holes and the USB-B "non micro" connector if you prefer either.

  • Plus, free headers!

  • What is the benefit of putting together the UBW kit instead of buying the populated board?

    • You mean aside from rescuing RC2 so you can use it for PWM, as it should be?

    • Good question - mostly for modifications and repair. If you blow the PIC (motor EMF throw-back, over draw, etc), it is much easier to replace a DIP.

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