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Topic: Firmware update v0h-RC2 (Read 2769 times) previous topic - next topic

Firmware update v0h-RC2

P. and I had a conversation about the new firmware update that might be of general interest:

From P:

Well lets see what have I done today.

First off I downloaded the latest software off the website.
Then I started by programming the boot-loader using the pickit2. For some
reason it didn't work first go. Don't know why. Did a chip erase and
reloaded and verified, this time all good.

Hooked up the USB cable, the green led came on. I assume this means it's in
boot-loader mode.

Fired up the boot-loader software after editing the .ini file. All connected
and uploaded as per the readme.txt file.

Other than being slow due to the 9600 serial speed it was all good.

I would suggest that you look at increasing the boot-loader speed. But it
seemed to work fine.

Oh and also it looks like you might be a little bit lucky with the version
of the pic chip you have. The one I have is the older A3 revision according

So really my only issue is the fact that the pgc and pgd pins seem to be
swapped to the microchip standard. I would have thought even with your icd2
programmer you would need to swap the pins around.
So I would suggest looking into that for any newer board revisions. Also
possibly leave the icsp pins off the board. For the amount of people that
would use em it might be better to leave them as a solder on option. Or just
put the pins into the programmer and "hang the board off the pins. It works
quite well like that.

As a different option I was thinking it might be nice to have a mode on the
bus pirate that works like a small logic analyser. A quick look at the
pinouts suggests that it shouldn't be to hard to do a 6 channel one. Might
need to bump the comms speed up and possibly make a windows gui to be of
much use though. Well maybe a java gui to allow cross platform use but I
guess that's a whole new ballgame.

So thanks again for making such a versatile product. I was looking at
building the first version but then the diff revisions kept poping up so I
thought I would wait a bit. Now im glad that I did. This is much nicer that
any version I would have made.

Hopefully something I have sent you is of some use.

If theres anything you would like tested on this firmware please feel free
to let me know.


Hi Peter,

Thanks for your comments.

I didn't know there was a Microchip standard, I'll use that in the future. I usually used the most convenient order because I usually make my own boards, on a 2-sided professional PCB it's not a problem. I didn't think about leaving the header off, I thought it would be needed for manufacturing, but I'm sure they can use your trick.

I'm glad the new bootloader worked. You can increase the speed to 115200 on most PICs. Some don't have an accurate enough crystal to do high speeds though, I'm waiting on a sample to determine a maximum safe speed. Yours will work at 115200 because the first batch was tested and passed at that speed. You can edit the settings in the .ini, or just click on the speed (or com port) in the bootloader and it gives a drop-down menu (I had no idea until Seeed pointed it out yesterday).




As for the icsp "standard" im not sure if its official but it seems to be
the same order on all there boards and almost everywhere I looked on the
net. So it's at least a defacto standard.

It might be worth grabbing a pickit2 for some familiarisation as they are a
pretty cheap programmer and seem to be rock solid. Also I think you can buy
rj12-6 pin icsp header cables off various places if you don't have one

I guess an issue with removing the header from the board is it makes it
harder to set to bootloader mode. Maybe an option in the software to run the
bootloader will fix that.

FYi, right clicking on the comm. Port changes that as well. Much better than
editing the .ini file.

115k is much better then 9600 , still slower than the pickit2 but workable.
If only there was an option to tell the program not to verify the bottom
part of memory. Ah well  :)


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Re: Firmware update v0h-RC2

Reply #1
All great comments, I'll put them in the forum. I use a telephone screw terminal and a 5 pin SIL plug to connect to projects, that way I can just screw the wires into whatever the correct terminal is.

If the firmware is exported from MPLAB without the lower address space then there isn't an error. Unfortunately, that is also where the reset vectors are stored so any features that use interrupts (there aren't any, yet...) can't be implemented without also updating the first 0x400 bytes.
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