Bus Pirate: Firmware v5.0

Bus Pirate firmware v5.0 is now available for download. This is the first release with Sjaak’s newterm overhaul. This version has a completely reworked core with lots of new features to make prototyping easier than ever.

We encourage you to take a walk around the new interface, go further north, and explore it. As with any major new release, there are bound to be a few bugs, please let us know if you find any via the v5.0 release party.

Here’s a short list of changes. There are screenshots of the development version here. Over the next few weeks we’ll release new feature guides and update the manual for v5.

  • h – see a history of recent commands and replay them
  • s – a script mode that runs simple BASIC-like commands
  • i – an updated info menu with probe color hints, mode specific pin labels, and pin direction/state display
  • ? – updated, reformatted help screen
  • Completely revamped command line processor that gives more feedback about syntax errors
  • Accepts strings of commands at once (configure a mode in one line)
  • Removed sub-menus for pull-up resistor configuration (now uses P/p, like power W/w)
  • ASCII values can be sent to directly to a bus using “quotes”
  • A few secrets and hidden treasure :)
  • Too many other improvements to list

Read about the firmware update process for the ds30 Loader GUI (Windows/Linux) and pirate-loader console app (Windows/Linux/Mac). This firmware requires the v4+ bootloader, be sure you upgrade to the v4 bootloader first if you still have bootloader v2.

Package includes firmware for Bus Pirate v3 and v1a. Use the v3 firmware for v2go Bus Pirates. v0a and v2a are no longer supported, but there’s an end-of-life v3 release somewhere here.

Get a Bus Pirate for $30, including worldwide shipping at Seeed Studio. Adafruit also has the Bus Pirate and probe cables in stock and ready to ship.

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  1. The link’s url to the forum topic about newterm should begin with /forum instead of ../forum

  2. Two questions – I have seen bootloader HEX v4.4 and bootloader update v4.3, what is different?
    Is available loader update v4.4?

    1. There is no difference, except 4.3 is installed by the upgrade app and 4.4 through a PIC programmer. Functionality wise they are equal. We made it this way to distinguish the way it is installed.

      (and because of Ian like versionnumbering ;))

  3. Is possible to control Bus Pirate via AutoHotkey?
    I like to use some GUI for rapid development. :)

    1. I personally think the spririt of the buspirate is not to use a GUI, but use diehard console access.

      You could do a search for the Pirateship gui ( http://dangerousprototypes.com/2010/04/18/pirateship-bus-pirate-gui/ )(although I think we broke a command or two :D). Alternatively the buspirate has a binairy mode which is more suitable for interacting with apps/GUIs IMO.

      But I have an aversion against most GUIs (they tend to hide too much for the user) and I grew up with msdos/unix prompts….

  4. Successfully upgraded to V5FW and V4.4BL. I accidentally bricked it last week uploading BL, my fault. Just used PICKIT3 to write it back in. :)
    – Adam

  5. Well, I either bricked my BusPirate v2go, or it was never working to begin with… Looking for thoughts.

    (I know this probably isn’t the best thread for this topic, so please point me to a more appropriate place if there is one.)

    The FTDI chip works, but it doesn’t talk to the PIC. I tried programming it with my ICD2-POCKET to no avail. MPLAB says it wants to see 0x442 (or some similar number), but only sees 0x00. So, my PIC chip may be dead.

    I may have reversed the ICSP header and borked it, or, since it’s never worked, it may have been dead on arrival. Dunno. (it’s been a while since I gave up on it last)..

    I have a couple of replacement PICs, but before I reflow it off and put a new one on, are there any suggestions as to how to check if there’s life in the PIC? Maybe it just needs to be rescued with a high-voltage programmer?

    I just got the Open Logic Sniffer working, so maybe I could use that to check a few points on the PIC to see if it can be rescued.

    Any thoughts anyone?


    1. Hi Slinky – The original v2go shipped with the v2 bootloader. You’d need to upgrade to the v4 bootloader before you can load the latest firmware. (the instructions are linked somewhere above).

      If it was a preorder 2 v2go, it also shipped with just the bootloader, no firmware. That might explain why it seemed not to work.

      The ICSP header is also backwards on the v2go, so be sure that the PGC and PGD pins are swapped from the standard PICKIT2 output or the PIC will not be detected.

      Since you have a programmer the best thing is probably to program the v4 bootloader (found in the firmware upgrade archive) with the PICKIT and then load the v4 firmware over USB with ds30 Loader or pirate loader.

      Give me a shout in the forum if you need more help.



      1. Thanks for the info Ian! That certainly leaves room for my unit not to be dead. One point of clarification needed on the v2go ICSP pinout:

        Is the whole header backwards, or just the PGC and PGD pins?
        Is the pin labeling for the ICSP header on the bottom of v2go correct, and I just didn’t pay attention, or is the labeling incorrect?


      2. No problem. The labeling is correct. It’s just the PGC and PGD pins that are swapped from the standard PICKIT2 header. I had only used ICD2 when I designed it, so I didn’t know there was an ‘official’ PICKIT2 pin order. All projects since are the right way around.

  6. Ian: Thanks much for the tips. I was able to get it working!
    I downloaded the 5.0 firmware zip file, which had the 4.4 bootloader in it. I used the PIC-ICD2-POCKET to program the 4.4 bootloader (being careful to note the proper PGC and PGD pin-swappage).

    Once I had the 4.4 bootloader on there, it was as simple as jumpering the PGD and PGC pins together, re-starting the buspirate to get in bootloader-mode, and then using the ds30 loader (included with v5.0) to splat the 5.0 bootloader onto the buspirate.

    (I figured I’d be verbose here in case someone else has run into the same issue).

    Thanks again!

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