ATXMEGA256A3 - Failed to Enter Programming Mode - please help!

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#1
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Hi all - I am new to AVR and all this gizmo and have been having some trouble trying to program my chip (simple blink LED).

 

This is the current setup we have:

  • Chip: ATXMEGA256A3-AU
    • hooked up to a power supply at 3.3V, with all VCC & AVCC pins and GND pins tied together, respectively
  • Programmer: AVR ISP XPII
    • PDI, RST, VCC and GND should be hooked up correctly to the chip. LED indicates green.
  • Atmel Studio V7 (very recently downloaded)

 

Whenever I attempt to read the Device Signature, the following error message pops up:

Failed to enter programming mode. Error status received from tool: 0x03.

Unable to enter programming mode. Verify device selection, interface settings, target power, security bit, and connections to the target device.

And the following in the details:

Timestamp: 2018-01-27 18:47:15.007

Severity: ERROR

ComponentId: 20100

StatusCode: 1

ModuleName: TCF (TCF command: Device:startSession failed.)

 

Failed to enter programming mode. Error status received from tool: 0x03.

This project is for a myoelectric hand where we will eventually be taking data from EMG sensors and controlling small DC motors, with the hopes of implementing safety features such as limit switches and current sensing. We are basically picking up the work of a teammate that designed a board but then is no longer unavailable to work, and we don't have much experience so we are trying to take small steps.

 

After digging through many posts on this forum and not being able to resolve this issue, we decided to just ask about it - any help, tips, or advice is greatly appreciated!

 

 

Mavis Tsoi
Cal Poly SLO
Computer Engineering Student

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Perhaps there is a problem with the circuit.
Can you publish only the circuit diagram around the PDI?
A common mistake is that a capacitor is connected to the reset pin.

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Omg, I am an idiot! I even read about removing the cap from the reset line on another thread, but totally forgot that I had one connected.

Removing the capacitor (and resistor) connected to the reset pin worked! Thank you so much!!

 

If you don't mind, could you explain why many would initially put a capacitor (and resistor) there, and why that doesn't work?

Mavis Tsoi
Cal Poly SLO
Computer Engineering Student

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The cap provides noise immunity for the reset when running applications; however, many  programmers cannot override the cap for programming.

 

Edit: Also, depending on configuration, the cap may keep the uC in reset longer to allow the power supply to stabilize.

 

David (aka frog_jr)

Last Edited: Mon. Jan 29, 2018 - 04:04 AM
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David - ah, I see. Would it be okay to just leave the reset line open when not programming the board then? That is, when we ship the final product. 

Mavis Tsoi
Cal Poly SLO
Computer Engineering Student

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In most cases that should be fine since the device has an internal 20K (typical) pull-up on the reset pin.

If the product is to be used in environments where exposed to electrical disturbances (e.g. heavy machinery, inductive loads on power lines, etc.) then an external pull-up and/or cap may be beneficial (or necessary).

 

David (aka frog_jr)

Last Edited: Mon. Jan 29, 2018 - 03:19 PM