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[DPRG] reprogramming PIC controllers

Subject: [DPRG] reprogramming PIC controllers
From: ghsrocketman at gmail.com ghsrocketman at gmail.com
Date: Mon Apr 17 20:13:53 CDT 2006

Okay, first, I apologize if this question sounds dumb.

I have a little altimeter that uses some PIC controller made by Microchip.
The altimeter's original purpose was for use in model rockets, where it
would measure air pressure using an electronic barometer and convert it to
an altitude. Once the altimeter senses the rocket is heading downwards, it
closes a few ciruits, which in turn ignites electrical matches for parachute
deployment.

The creator of this altimeter included a 4 or 5 wire cable that connects the
altimeter to the PC. This connection can be used to either download flight
information to the PC, or upgrade the altimeter's "firmware."

Here's where my question begins:
1) With PIC controllers, is it possible to reprogram the chips?
2) If the model name, number, and manufacture of the controller is known, is
it possible to take a peak at the program flashed onto the chip?

The reason I ask is because instead of having the e-match ignite at apogee,
or when the rocket is heading downwards, I want it to ignite during the
flight, at a specific altitude. I would only change this value once. There
is no altimeter out there that does this. :(

Thank you for your time,
Matt
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