PICKIT3 Repair success

Over the past few months I have had a steadily increasing pile of broken PICKIT3 PIC programmer / debuggers on my desk. Yesterday I found a few moments to fault find one.

I have seen the connectors fail before but this was different.

They all show the same symptoms, Target Device ID (0x0) does not match expect….

A quick comparison against a working one revealed problems with the programming voltage applied to MCLR. After further investigation I found Q6 a PNP SOT23 packaged MMBT3906 had failed. All I had to hand was a FMMT593 which works perfectly well.

All of the others had the same fault.

Now all that is left to do is work out why they break in the first place.