Bus Pirate: Firmware v2.0 released


Firmware v2.0 for all Bus Pirate hardware versions is available from the project’s Google Code page. Version 2 is a major upgrade recommended for all users. Follow our illustrated firmware upgrade guide. The default update speed is a paltry 9600bps, but you might be able to increase it.

Version 2.0 follows the v0g release. V0g is installed on the Bus Pirate v2gos in Hack a Day’s preorders (1&2). We highlight new features after the break, you might find help with issues in the forum.

Firmware V2.0

Firmware v2.0 is a major update. We increased to match the current hardware version and reflect the numerous internal improvements. Overall code structure is much cleaner, many bugs are fixed, and there’s a lot of minor feature enhancements. See the change log for minor fixes, here’s some of the major additions:

  • Added hardware self-test for v2go hardware. Type ‘~’ in the terminal and follow the directions for the self-test. You’ll need to connect the ADC pin to the 3.3volt supply pin, and the Vpullup pin to the 5volt supply pin. Read more about it in the forum.
  • Added ‘#’ reset command. Type ‘#’ in the terminal to reset the Bus Pirate. This command can be used to reset into the bootloader without detaching the USB cable; put a jumper between the PGC and PGD pins, issue the reset command ‘#’, and the Bus Pirate should be ready for a firmware update.
  • Added character LCD library. Currently interfaces HD44780 LCDs using a PCF8574 I2C adapter board. We’ll cover the adapter build in a later post.
  • Compiled with new C compiler/MPLAB version 8.33.

Bootloader V2.0


Firmware v2 is compatible with bootloader v0f and v0g. The 2.0 firmware package includes an updated bootloader, but it’s totally optional. You’ll need to upgrade the bootloader through the ICSP header using a ‘real’ PIC programmer like a PICKIT2 or ICD2, and then load a new firmware using the normal upgrade process. Here’s the major changes to bootloader V2:

  • Code cleanup, removed unused timer code to make room for new bootloader features.
  • The MODE LED (B) lights when the bootloader is active.
  • Probably doesn’t require a restart after firmware upgrade.
  • Completely compatible with previous bootloaders, not a required upgrade.

Check the nightly builds

Not everything scheduled for this release made it in. Several features were pushed back for a later release. You can follow our progress on the Bus Pirate project issue tracker. Download the latest nightly builds from the project SVN repository. Here’s some features to look for in the next release:

  • I2C snooper. Experimental functionality is available in V2.0 using undocumented macro (2) in the I2C library. There are known bugs and limitations. Look for an update in the next release.
  • Additional 1-wire device IDs have been added to the nightly builds.
  • The next release will show the PIC chip revision in the self-test and status report.

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