Ds30 Loader GUI

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This guide describes how to use the ds30 Loader GUI application to upgrade the Bus Pirate firmware over USB. ds30 Loader should work with Windows (.NET) and GNU/Linux and Mac (Mono).

There's also a Pirate-Loader console application for Linux/Mac/Windows that doesn't require .NET or Mono.

We're going to:

  1. Trigger the bootloader by typing $ in the terminal, or with a jumper between the PCG and PGD pins of the ICSP header
  2. Load a new firmware with ds30 Loader
  3. Reset the Bus Pirate

What to get

To upgrade with the ds30 Loader GUI, you'll need:

  • A Bus Pirate with v4+ bootloader installed. Use command i in the terminal to display the current bootloader version
    • Verify version with command i in the terminal (type i then press enter)
    • Hardware v3b comes with v4 bootloader factory installed
    • Hardware v3a and v2go: see the bootloader upgrade guide
  • Firmware archive with v4+ firmware and the ds30 Loader application
 Remember: The ds30 Loader is only compatible with bootloader v4+!


Step 1. Trigger the bootloader

There are two ways to trigger the bootloader for an upgrade.

Old trigger


The old way is to place a jumper between the PGC and PGD pins before plugging in the USB cable. Plug it in, the MODE LED will light indicating that the bootloader is active.

New trigger


In firmware v4.1+ you can just type $ at the Hi-Z mode prompt. The Bus Pirate will reset into bootloader mode without a jumper.

Remember to turn off your terminal to free the serial port before proceeding.

Step 2. Load the firmware


Install a v4+ firmware with the ds30 Loader application. Only firmware v4+ is compiled to work with the v4 bootloader.

  1. Start the ds30 Loader application, it works on Windows with .NET, and GNU/Linux and Mac with Mono (or you can try the Pirate-Loader console application). It will start preconfigured for the Bus Pirate based on the default settings in settings.xml.
  2. Set the correct serial (COM) port for your Bus Pirate. The available ports on your system may be auto-detected.
  3. Select 'BPv3-Firmware-v4.x.hex' with the 'Hex-file' dialog box.
  4. Press the 'Download' button to flash the new firmware to the Bus Pirate. The update should only take a few seconds.

The upgrade is complete.

Pirate-Loader console utility: The ds30 Loader GUI requires .NET or Mono, and doesn't work for everyone on GNU/Linux or MaxOSX. Pirate-Loader is a simple command line utility for firmware upgrades on all platforms, and it doesn't .NET or Mono.

V2go note: after the upgrade to bootloader v4, placing the upgrade jumper between PGC and GND will also activate the bootloader.

Step 3. Remove the jumper and reset the Bus Pirate

Now remove the jumper (if used), and reset the Bus Pirate by removing and attaching the USB cable. The firmware update is complete.


Connect to the Bus Pirate with a terminal program and press 'i' to verify the firmware version.