chipKIT® Development Platform

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Arduino IDE and the Chipkit PGM Programmer

Created Wed, 03 May 2017 16:31:32 +0000 by shebychev


Wed, 03 May 2017 16:31:32 +0000

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to program using the Chipkit PGM programmer and Chipkit-core and Arduino IDE. Problem is that my computer does not seem to see the PGM programmer as a COM port, rather as an HID compliant vendor-defined device. It works fine and is listed under "other debugger" when using MPLAB X but Arduino and MPLAB IDE do not see it at all.

When I try to find it under "Devices and Printers" it is listed under "Unspecified devices".. I've tried installing the FTDI drivers to no avail.

Any help is appreciated.



Wed, 03 May 2017 17:42:20 +0000

You can't use a programmer with the Arduino IDE.

UECIDE does, though, provide some support for it with one of its programmer plugins, but it's fragile. Also using a programmer wipes out the bootloader and sketches have to be compiled with the right linker script, which UECIDE does but the Arduino IDE can't.

UECIDE uses the mdb.jar file from an MPLAB-X installation, which you have to manually point to in the settings.


Wed, 03 May 2017 18:06:29 +0000

I see. Thanks! Looks like I'll stick with MPLAB then.

EDIT: Actually, on the product website it does say it can be used to edit MPIDE sketches? How does that work then?


Wed, 03 May 2017 18:54:15 +0000

The Arduino IDE and MPIDE cannot do debug themselves. The pass the task of programming off to another program, which can communicate with the bootloader on the board. The Arduino IDE can't go through the chipKIT PGM, as far as I know, as I don't think the pic32prog tool supports it.

You can use the MPLAB X IDE, with the new chipKIT Sketch Importer plugin, to debug through chipKIT PGM, or any programming/debug tool supported by the IDE. These include:


Wed, 03 May 2017 20:35:18 +0000

Thanks! I actually just did that, I ported my project to UECIDE and compiled it successfully. When I try to install the chipKIT import plugin, it keeps asking for the plugin jna platform and plugin jna (see attached image).


I couldn't find JNA for mplab (or netbeans, for that matter), any idea where i should properly install it? Is it just a matter of setting my PATH variable to the .jar files?

Thanks again! This community is great.


Wed, 03 May 2017 21:16:10 +0000

This is a dependency the plugin currently has with the version of the IDE in use. What version of MPLAB X do you have?


Wed, 03 May 2017 22:08:23 +0000

I'm using MPLAB X v3.60


Mon, 08 May 2017 22:08:29 +0000

We're working to fix it on this end. It looks like the plugins for 3.55 and 3.60 got swapped.

I'll post again as soon as it is working.


Tue, 09 May 2017 09:34:02 +0000

Yeah, I saw this the other day while reinstalling too. You need a proper repository system like UECIDE uses... ;)


Wed, 10 May 2017 23:21:54 +0000

We've posted a new version of the plugin, so you should see an update available in the IDE.

This one won't have the version dependencies, so it will work on any MPLAB X from 3.55 on up.


Sun, 21 May 2017 19:26:39 +0000

Sweet! I actually got it working by manually installing the plugin by downloading the importer from the github repo and importing it via the *.nb project file.

See here for more information: