Most modern microcontrollers with flash memory support in-circuit programming. However, it’s not been that long since every self-respecting electronics hobbyist wished they could afford a device for programming PROMs, EPROMs, GALs and microcontrollers. Preferably one that could handle a lot of different types. That used to be out of the question for most of us, but now you can have a universal programmer on your bench at a very affordable price in the form of the MiniPro TL866A. However, as previously mentioned many modern devices can be programmed from a PC using a low-cost USB interface, so you might think that a universal programmer is now an unnecessary anachronism. But maybe not.

For old and new
There are plenty of designs where an ICSP connector is totally awkward, and it can easily happen that you (or another designer) simply forget to provide the interface on a prototype. What’s more, some microcontroller settings (fuses) cannot be modified with ICSP. The TL866A also has an ICSP port, so it can replace or eliminate a Microchip PICkit or an Atmel AVRISP. The TL866 supports programming of more than 14,000 different devices, from the latest microcontrollers to the most ancient PROMs and EPROMS. It can also test the operation of logic ICS (CMOS and TTL), DRAMs and SRAMs.