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Independent Review of 16F877 development tool

One of the hottest new PIC development toosl to hit the market lately has been the DLP-IO26 from DLP designs.

What is the DLP-I026?

Quite simply, this board it makes it extremely simple to develop programs using the Microchip™ PIC16F877 or PIC16F84.

Plug the board into your PC via the supplied USB cable, install the drivers, and you instantly have a working development environment.

From that point on, you can instantly download a program into the development board, and it will run on the 16F877.


I ordered the development board from DLP designs. The board arrived a few days later, via express postage. I eagerly tore open the package, to find a board, some driver discs and a USB cable. The development board was nicely constructed, using surface mount technology.

When I plugged the board in, the following message came up:

I inserted the driver disc, and a couple of minutes later the board was up and running.

After running the download program, I was able to download a new program into the board, just by clicking on 'Program'. The programming is accomplished by an external on-board 16F872. Unlike a bootloader, using this board means that 100% of the program memory is available to the end user. Also, unlike a bootloader, code protection bits and configuration words for the microcontroller can be set at program time.

Notice the row of pins down the left hand side of the picture? These pins are the outputs from the 16F877. Attach an oscilloscope to them, and watch the ports oscillating. You can alternatively solder in some SIP pins, and attach external peripherals or a bread board to the board. The DLP board becomes a prototype board that can handle any amount of hardware attached to it.

My program took 19 seconds to download into the board. This is extremely quick compared to the PICStart Plus and the MPLab-ICD.


  • Worked exactly as advertised
  • Self powered via the USB port
  • 100% of memory is available for programming
  • Reasonably good download program
  • Pinouts for external peripherals
  • Good tech support
  • Fast delivery times from USA
  • Source code to development tools
  • Dont have to worry about reset pins on PIC16F877, crystals, or +5V power
  • Good price - at $US89 for the 16F877 based board (DLP-IO26) and $US69 for the 16F84 based board (DLP-IO16) you cant go wrong
  • Site uses PayPal for payment, a secure and safe way of paying online


  • Needs a quick-start guide. According to the company, this will be released in the near future
  • No plug in support for different crystal speeds. However, this is easily rectified by adding your own crystal


Use this development tool if you want an easy to use, PIC16F877 or PIC16F84 based development tool. This made the PICStart Plus look like a dinosaur.

The supplied system works exactly as advertised.

In over 2 weeks of evaluating this board, it has worked flawlessly, without any problems.

Working Technologies has no affiliation with DLP designs. I wrote this review in order to give people like yourself a window into the latest technology, and because it has made my development so much easier and quicker.

The author received no renumeration for this review.

Shane Tolmie (BEng. Elec. Hons.)


$US89 for the 16F877 based board (DLP-IO26)
$US69 for the 16F84 based board (DLP-IO16)

DLP Design

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We welcome any suggesions or comments! Send them to Shane Tolmie on This site is a completely separate site to, and is maintained independently of Microchip Ltd., manufacturers of the PIC micro. All code on this site is free for non-commercial use, unless stated otherwise. Commercial use normally free, however, it is prohibited without contacting for permission. All content on this site created by Shane Tolmie is copyrighted by Shane Tolmie 1999-2009. Click to advertise on this website - $29.90 for a banner ad which will reach 55,000 user sessions per month. One months free trial!