*How to upgrade
*Documentation (lots of examples, tutorials, etc)
You will always get help fastest from the crowd in the forum. A bunch of people can help, and the answers are available to help other people too. Private messages with support questions are discouraged.
Q. Is my Bus Pirate bricked?
A. Almost never. The bootloader is super duper robust, and good at protecting itself. It takes a miracle to break it, though sometimes miracles happen :) 99.9% of the time you can get into the bootloader manually. Put a piece of metal (wire, paperclip) between the PGC and PGD pins of the ICSP header and plug in the USB. The MODE LED should light, and the bootloader should be ready for another update.
Q. I can't load the bootloader.hex I found in the firmware download.
A. The bootloader.hex is used to program a new Bus Pirate only, it is not an upgrade that can be done over USB.
Q. My Bus Pirate failed ADC and Vpullup checks on the self test.
A. Connect the IO pins as shown to complete the self test.
Q. My upgrade failed, and now I can't get back into the bootloader. Is my Bus Pirate bricked?
A. If you can't get into bootloader mode using the terminal, you can still enter manually. Put a piece of metal (wire, paperclip) between the PGC and PGD pins of the ICSP header and plug in the USB. The MODE LED should light, and the bootloader should be ready for another update.
Q. I tested the bootloader "hello" command, but cannot do an update. What am I missing?
A. The v4 bootloader is one-shot. After you test the hello command you have to reset the Bus Pirate before communicating with the bootloader again.
Older problems and solutions (you should never run into these)
P. My SparkFun Bus Pirate voltage readings are out of whack. Programming fails. Etc.
S. Check VR2, measure between 3.3volts and GND on the ICSP header. It should be 3.3volts, some SparkFun Bus Pirates have a 5volt regulator.
P. My 2009 Bus Pirate v3 preorder 2/3 MODE LED doesn't work.
S. There was a problem with dirty contacts on a reel of LEDs. Most will work if you reheat the LED or add a little solder.
P. My 2009 Hack a Day preorder 2 v2go Bus Pirate doesn't work, is dead (first use).
S. It shipped with a bootloader only. Load firmware v3.6 or earlier, or upgrade to the latest bootloader and load firmware v4+..
P. I can't load firmware v4+. v4+ firmware doesn't work. V4 bootloader upgrade problems
S. v4 firmware and the ds30 Loader require the v4 bootloader.
P. I can't complete the v2 to v4 bootloader upgrade.
S. Read the illustrated upgrade guide or please post in the forum for more help.
Q. PIC A3/B4/B5 revisions - what's the difference?
A. All the features use by the Bus Pirate work on all PIC revisions. Most Bus Pirates shipped since 2010 should be B5 or higher.