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Gustav Novikov
Gustav Novikov

Flowcode V5 Portable: A Free and Easy Way to Program PIC Microcontrollers Graphically


Flowcode V5 Portable: A Graphical Programming Language for PIC Microcontrollers




If you are looking for a simple and easy way to create programs for PIC microcontrollers, you might want to try Flowcode V5 Portable. Flowcode V5 Portable is a software application that allows you to create programs for PIC microcontrollers using a graphical interface. You can drag and drop icons that represent different functions, such as inputs, outputs, loops, variables, and calculations, and connect them with wires to create a flowchart. You can then simulate and debug your program using various tools, such as oscilloscope, logic analyzer, and LCD display. You can also program your PIC microcontroller using a USB or serial cable.




Flowcode V5 Portable


Download File: https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fmiimms.com%2F2ulxtl&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AOvVaw2aQ5JmJxYCYUSFlz-LTrjY



Flowcode V5 Portable is a free version of Flowcode V5 that has some limitations. It can only produce hex code for a few PIC microcontrollers, such as 16F628A, 16F690, 16F88, 16F84A, 16F877, 18F2220, 18F4431, Formula Flowcode robot, and ECIO board[^2]. It also has a limit of around 50 usable icons and a code size restriction for PIC microcontrollers[^2]. However, it is still suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics of PIC programming or for hobbyists who want to experiment with different devices.


In this article, we will show you how to download and install Flowcode V5 Portable, how to use it to create programs for PIC microcontrollers, how to program different types of PIC microcontrollers with it, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using it. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of Flowcode V5 Portable and whether it is worth trying.


How to download and install Flowcode V5 Portable?




To download Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to visit the element14 community website[^2] and register for a free account. After logging in, you can download the zip file that contains the installation file and the license file. You need to extract the zip file to a folder on your computer.


To install Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to run the installation file and follow the instructions on the screen. You need to accept the license agreement and choose the destination folder for the installation. You also need to copy the license file to the same folder where you installed Flowcode V5 Portable.


After installing Flowcode V5 Portable, you can launch it from the start menu or from the desktop shortcut. You will see the main window of Flowcode V5 Portable that looks like this:


<img src="https://i.imgur.com/8Z7lYmL.png" alt="Flow How to use Flowcode V5 Portable to create programs for PIC microcontrollers?




Flowcode V5 Portable is a graphical programming language that allows you to create programs for PIC microcontrollers using icons and wires. You can think of it as a visual way of writing code, where each icon represents a function or a command, and each wire represents a connection or a data flow. You can create programs for different types of PIC microcontrollers, such as 8-bit, 16-bit, or special devices, by selecting the appropriate target device from the device list.


In this section, we will show you how to use Flowcode V5 Portable to create programs for PIC microcontrollers, using a simple example of blinking an LED. We will cover the following steps:


  • How to create a new project and select a target device?



  • How to use the icons and wires to create a flowchart?



  • How to use the simulation and debugging tools to test and troubleshoot your program?



How to create a new project and select a target device?




To create a new project in Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to click on the File menu and select New. You will see a dialog box that asks you to choose a target device for your project. You can browse through the device list and select the PIC microcontroller that you want to program. For this example, we will choose the 16F628A device, which is an 8-bit PIC microcontroller with 18 pins, 2 KB of flash memory, and 224 bytes of RAM[^3]. You can also type the device name in the search box to find it quickly.


After selecting the target device, you need to click on OK. You will see a new window that shows the main interface of Flowcode V5 Portable. The main interface consists of several parts, such as:


  • The toolbar: It contains buttons for common actions, such as saving, opening, printing, simulating, and programming.



  • The component panel: It contains icons for different components that you can use in your program, such as inputs, outputs, variables, calculations, decisions, loops, interrupts, communications, etc.



  • The properties panel: It shows the properties and settings of the selected component or wire.



  • The flowchart panel: It shows the flowchart of your program, where you can drag and drop icons and connect them with wires.



  • The dashboard panel: It shows the simulation and debugging tools that you can use to test and troubleshoot your program, such as oscilloscope, logic analyzer, LCD display, etc.



How to use the icons and wires to create a flowchart?




To create a flowchart for your program, you need to use the icons and wires from the component panel. You can drag and drop icons to the flowchart panel and connect them with wires to create a sequence of actions. Each icon has a different function and color, depending on its category. For example, the green icons are for inputs, the red icons are for outputs, the blue icons are for variables, the yellow icons are for calculations, the purple icons are for decisions, the orange icons are for loops, etc.


For this example, we will use the following icons and wires to create a simple program that blinks an LED connected to pin RB0 of the 16F628A device:


  • The Start icon: It marks the beginning of the program.



  • The Output icon: It sets the output state of a pin or a port.



  • The Delay icon: It pauses the program execution for a specified time.



  • The Loop icon: It repeats a block of code for a specified number of times or until a condition is met.



  • The End icon: It marks the end of the program.



To create the flowchart, we need to follow these steps:


  • Drag and drop the Start icon to the flowchart panel.



  • Drag and drop an Output icon below the Start icon. Double-click on it to open its properties. Set the Port to PORTB and the Pin to 0. Set the State to High. This will turn on the LED connected to pin RB0.



  • Drag and drop a Delay icon below the Output icon. Double-click on it to open its properties. Set the Time to 500 ms. This will pause the program for half a second.



  • Drag and drop another Output icon below the Delay icon. Double-click on it to open its properties. Set the Port to PORTB and the Pin to 0. Set the State to Low. This will turn off the LED connected to pin RB0.



  • Drag and drop another Delay icon below the Output icon. Double-click on it to open its properties. Set the Time to 500 ms. This will pause the program for another half second.



  • Drag and drop a Loop icon below the Delay icon. Double-click on it to open its properties. Set the Type to Forever. This will create an infinite loop that repeats the code inside it.



  • Drag and drop an End icon below the Loop icon.



  • Select all the icons between the Start and Loop icons, and drag them inside the Loop icon. This will create a block of code that blinks an LED every second.



  • Connect all the icons with wires by clicking on their connectors and dragging them to another connector.



The final flowchart should look like this:


How to use the simulation and debugging tools to test and troubleshoot your program?




Before you program your PIC microcontroller with your flowchart, you might want to test and troubleshoot your program using the simulation and debugging tools in Flowcode V5 Portable. These tools can help you check the logic and functionality of your program, as well as detect and fix any errors or bugs. You can access these tools from the dashboard panel, which is located at the bottom of the main interface.


Some of the simulation and debugging tools that you can use are:


  • The Run button: It starts or stops the simulation of your program. You can also use the F5 key to run or stop the simulation.



  • The Step button: It executes one icon at a time in your flowchart. You can also use the F8 key to step through your program.



  • The Reset button: It resets the simulation to the initial state. You can also use the F9 key to reset the simulation.



  • The Oscilloscope: It displays the voltage signals of the pins or ports of your PIC microcontroller. You can use it to monitor the output of your program, such as the blinking of an LED.



  • The Logic Analyzer: It displays the logic states of the pins or ports of your PIC microcontroller. You can use it to analyze the logic of your program, such as the timing of an LED.



  • The LCD Display: It displays the text or data that you send to an LCD module connected to your PIC microcontroller. You can use it to show messages or information from your program.



To use these tools, you need to follow these steps:


  • Click on the Run button or press F5 to start the simulation of your program. You will see the icons and wires in your flowchart change color according to their state. For example, a green icon means that it is executed, a red icon means that it is waiting, and a blue wire means that it is carrying data.



  • Click on the Oscilloscope or Logic Analyzer button to open their windows. You will see a graph that shows the voltage or logic signals of the pins or ports of your PIC microcontroller. You can select which pins or ports you want to monitor by clicking on their labels. For example, if you want to monitor pin RB0, you need to click on RB0 in the Oscilloscope or Logic Analyzer window.



  • Click on the LCD Display button to open its window. You will see a virtual LCD module that shows the text or data that you send to it from your program. You can adjust the size and position of the LCD module by dragging its corners or edges.



  • Observe and analyze the results of your simulation using these tools. You can pause, resume, step, or reset the simulation using the buttons or keys mentioned above. You can also zoom in or out, scroll, or change the scale of the graph in the Oscilloscope or Logic Analyzer window by using the mouse wheel or buttons.



  • If you find any errors or bugs in your program, you can edit your flowchart and run the simulation again until you fix them.



The following screenshots show how these tools look like when simulating our example program:


How to program different types of PIC microcontrollers with Flowcode V5 Portable?




Flowcode V5 Portable can program different types of PIC microcontrollers, such as 8-bit, 16-bit, or special devices, by using a USB or serial cable. You can program your PIC microcontroller with your flowchart by clicking on the Program button or pressing F6. You will see a dialog box that asks you to select the programmer and the communication port that you want to use. You can choose from various programmers, such as PICkit, ICD, ECIO, Formula Flowcode, etc., depending on the device that you are using. You can also choose the communication port, such as COM1, COM2, etc., depending on the cable that you are using.


After selecting the programmer and the communication port, you need to click on OK. You will see a progress bar that shows the status of the programming process. You will also see a message that tells you whether the programming was successful or not. If the programming was successful, you will see your PIC microcontroller run your program. If the programming failed, you will see an error message that tells you what went wrong. You can try to fix the error and program your PIC microcontroller again.


In this section, we will show you how to program different types of PIC microcontrollers with Flowcode V5 Portable, using some examples of devices that are supported by the free version:


  • How to program 8-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 16F628A, 16F690, and 16F88?



  • How to program 16-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 18F2220 and 18F4431?



  • How to program special devices such as Formula Flowcode robot and ECIO board?



How to program 8-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 16F628A, 16F690, and 16F88?




To program 8-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 16F628A, 16F690, and 16F88 with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to use a USB or serial cable and a PICkit programmer. A PICkit programmer is a device that connects your computer and your PIC microcontroller and allows you to transfer your program from Flowcode V5 Portable to your PIC microcontroller. You can buy a PICkit programmer from various online stores or make your own using a schematic diagram.


To program your 8-bit PIC microcontroller with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to follow these steps:


  • Connect your PIC microcontroller to a breadboard or a circuit board.



  • Connect an LED and a resistor to pin RB0 of your PIC microcontroller. This is optional, but it will help you see the result of your program.



  • Connect your PICkit programmer to your computer using a USB or serial cable.



  • Connect your PICkit programmer to your PIC microcontroller using five wires: VDD, VSS, MCLR/VPP, PGD, and PGC. You can find the pinout of your PIC microcontroller and your PICkit programmer in their datasheets.



  • Create a flowchart for your program in Flowcode V5 Portable. For this example, we will use the same flowchart that we created in the previous section for blinking an LED.



  • Click on the Program button or press F6 to program your PIC microcontroller with your flowchart.



  • Select PICkit as the programmer and the communication port that matches your cable.



  • Click on OK and wait for the programming process to finish.



  • If the programming was successful, you will see your LED blink every second.



The following diagram shows how to connect your 8-bit PIC microcontroller and your PICkit programmer:


How to program 16-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 18F2220 and 18F4431?




To program 16-bit PIC microcontrollers such as 18F2220 and 18F4431 with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to use a USB or serial cable and an ICD programmer. An ICD programmer is a device that connects your computer and your PIC microcontroller and allows you to transfer your program from Flowcode V5 Portable to your PIC microcontroller. You can also use it to debug your program in real time. You can buy an ICD programmer from various online stores or make your own using a schematic diagram.


To program your 16-bit PIC microcontroller with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to follow these steps:


  • Connect your PIC microcontroller to a breadboard or a circuit board.



  • Connect an LED and a resistor to pin RB0 of your PIC microcontroller. This is optional, but it will help you see the result of your program.



  • Connect your ICD programmer to your computer using a USB or serial cable.



  • Connect your ICD programmer to your PIC microcontroller using six wires: VDD, VSS, MCLR/VPP, PGD, PGC, and PGM. You can find the pinout of your PIC microcontroller and your ICD programmer in their datasheets.



  • Create a flowchart for your program in Flowcode V5 Portable. For this example, we will use the same flowchart that we created in the previous section for blinking an LED.



  • Click on the Program button or press F6 to program your PIC microcontroller with your flowchart.



  • Select ICD as the programmer and the communication port that matches your cable.



  • Click on OK and wait for the programming process to finish.



  • If the programming was successful, you will see your LED blink every second.



The following diagram shows how to connect your 16-bit PIC microcontroller and your ICD programmer:


How to program special devices such as Formula Flowcode robot and ECIO board?




To program special devices such as Formula Flowcode robot and ECIO board with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to use a USB cable and a special programmer that is compatible with the device. A Formula Flowcode robot is a device that allows you to create programs for a robotic car that can move, sense, and communicate. An ECIO board is a device that allows you to create programs for a microcontroller that can interface with a computer or other devices. You can buy these devices from various online stores or make your own using a schematic diagram.


To program your special device with Flowcode V5 Portable, you need to follow these steps:


  • Connect your special device to your computer using a USB cable.



Create a flowchart for your program in Flowcode V5 Portable. For this example, we will use the following flowcharts for the Formula Flowcode robot and the ECIO board:


  • For the Formula Flowcode robot, we will create a program that makes the robot move forward, backward, left, and right using the arrow keys on the keyboard.



  • For the ECIO board, we will create a program that makes the board send and receive data from the computer using the serial port.



  • Click on the Program button or press F6 to program your special device with your flowchart.



  • Select the appropriate programmer for your device and the communication port that matches your cable. For example, if you are using a Formula Flowcode robot, you need to select Formula Flowcode as the programmer and COM1 as the communication port.



  • Click on OK and wait for the programming process to finish.



  • If the programming was successful, you will see your special device run your program. For example, if you are using a Formula Flowcode robot, you will see it move according to your keyboard input.



The following screenshots show how to program your special device with Flowcode V5 Portable:


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Flowcode V5 Portable?




Flowcode V5 Portable is a graphical programming language that can help you create programs for PIC microcontrollers easily and quickly. However, like any other software application, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will discuss some of the pros and cons of using Flowcode V5 Portable for PIC programming.


Advantages of Flowcode V5 Portable




Some of the advantages of using Flowcode V5 Portable are:


Easy to use: Flowcode V5 Portable is designed for beginners and hobbyists who want to learn the basics of PIC programming or experiment with diff


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