WTS: Standalone PDI/ISP Auto Programmers

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#1
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Hi Everyone,

 

I still need to put up a webpage for this, but until then, the latest documentation and pc application can be found in this post.

 

The price for ISP/PDI V4 Autoprogrammers are:

 

$50 - 64K EEPROM

$60 - 256K EEPROM

$70 - 512K EEPROM

 

Plus $7 for USPS Priority Shipping.  I can often airmail to other countries for $10 or so too, contact me and I can check.

 

It automatically supports compression, so you can fit flash/EEPROM images larger than the EEPROM is has.

 

 

Finally, an all new setup utility containing the programming application and manual is here.  It will run on windows x86 or x64, you can download and try the programmer application with a programmer to see if you like it.

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~alank...

 

The old separate download links for manual/programmer are:

http://home.earthlink.net/~alank...

http://home.earthlink.net/~alank...

 

Contact me via PM if you want to buy one.

 

Thanks

 

Alan

 

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 2, 2017 - 03:47 PM
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Nobody wants a super flexible standalone programmer?  I would think anyone who is card carrying "freak", you know ,someone really committed to their AVR's would want to mess around with one of these things!

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Hey Alan!

 

I like your idea and your project - especially how you're using this (sending out to a costumer). For me, as a hobbyist, I'm good with carrying around my PC + my JTAG ICE 3 :-)

 

Max

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Thanks for the comment Max.  I gotta tell you if someone told me before I had this that it would benefit me, I would have said the same thing.  I'll just haul my notebook and atmel ice into the other room.  After using them, they are just so handy to program and take to the board to be programmed.  I never haul my notebook anymore!

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Alright Alan, I'll keep your project in mind. If anyone is looking for this in the future - I'll point him towards your programmer :-)

 

Max

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Here is a video of the V3 programmer which has a 5 segment LED graph to show status and can do PDI/ISP.

 

Video shows 64K being flashed to an XMEGA-A3BU Xplained at 2MHz PDI.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

 

AVR Autoprogrammer Flashing 64K over PDI to XMEGA @ 2MHz

 

Last Edited: Thu. Oct 27, 2016 - 01:50 PM
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Nice looking board. I assume you are doing the assembly. How many per week does it need to ramp up to to get it done at a contract assembler? (just curious, round numbers)

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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Hi Bob,

 

Yep, I make them.  I've never used a contract assembler though I'd love to have a product that sells so many that I need to!  I probably make 10-20 pcb's a month for various projects and I gave reflow a while, but I find that with SMD and being without a pick-n-place I can solder them just as fast by hand for the quantity that I do.

 

Have a great day,

 

Alan

 

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BUMP - link to a new pc application updated in the first post.

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Here is a screenshot of the pc application:

 

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Looks good. I may even buy one one day.

Can I ask what you used to write the PC app?

 

Quebracho seems to be the hardest wood.

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I wrote it with C++Builder which I've been using for many years!

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

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alank2 wrote:

I wrote it with C++Builder which I've been using for many years!

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks.

 

Quebracho seems to be the hardest wood.

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Some questions, how is the board serial number stored?  flash or eeprom?  and where?

My board just arrived, and first impressions are WOW!  It programmed my t25 so fast I didn't believe it was done.

Thanks

Jim

 

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ki0bk wrote:
My board just arrived, and first impressions are WOW!  It programmed my t25 so fast I didn't believe it was done.

 

Excellent; that is the type of feedback I like to hear!

 

ki0bk wrote:
Some questions, how is the board serial number stored?  flash or eeprom?  and where?

 

It is embedded into the flash during programming - so it can't be easily altered or written over in EEPROM.  It also has a crc16 for validating the flash contents.

 

See the attached zip file - it has the tool that can modify hex/elf files to set a serial number and also set the crc properly.  There is a text file that covers how to use it and has some code examples.

 

Thanks,

 

Alan

 

Attachment(s): 

Last Edited: Sat. Nov 5, 2016 - 03:32 PM
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This is a great looking project. May I suggest a few things to help you sell it?

  1. Make some You tube tutorial videos - the video you posted does not do it justice.
  2. The videos should provide an introduction to what it is and what it does.
  3. Take your time making the videos.
  4. Talk on the videos
  5. You need a web site to sell the product.
  6. Try kick starter to help sell it
  7. Lower the price point - also for $50 it should have a TFT to read and control the device. Reading LEDs is soooo 2000. Step it up and add a 2.4 TFT with touch control.

"When all else fails, read the directions"

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One of the primary features of this unique* device is that it can be used by non-technical personnel to perform complex field upgrades on equipment containing *multiple* MCUs of *different* types running *different* firmware and using *both* PDI and ISP interfaces.  Also perfectly suited to production line programming, and a solid bargain at $60

 

 

* nothing like this available anywhere else.  Most existing standalone/keyfob programmers are at least $100 and only do ISP, however Kanda finally did come out with a PDI capable unit for 'only' $200 and you must use a crazy 'squid' cable to connect to a PDI header.  Good luck with that standing in 3 feet of snow on a Connecticut roof top in 15 degree 30 mph wind!

 

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Hi PhillyNJ - I appreciate your thoughts and ideas:

 

#1 / #2 / #3 - you are right, a good video showing basic use of configuring it, programming it, and then it programming some boards quickly is on my to do list!

#4 - I sell them on eBay and here, a website wouldn't hurt, but I wonder how beneficial it is since most people who would use it would be here anyway.  It is a balance of the work to put the site together vs. benefit.

#5 - I think it might be too specialized for kick starter - but perhaps I am wrong.

#6 - I agree that a TFT could make it nicer, but the thought (design goal) was to keep it simple and effective.  Something I won't mind sending to a customer to have them upgrade something and hopefully they'll return it in a return envelope.  I'd rather provide good service and help to my customers than to make it cheaper.

 

Thanks for the positive comments tpappano!!!

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You're welcome, Alan!

 

Something that might be useful would be a simple smartphone application to load the programmer with a config file that a tech could be sent via email.  With that he would not need a laptop to receive and install an update.  Hmmmmm...

 

 

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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tpappano wrote:
... a simple smartphone application to load the programmer with a config file that a tech could be sent via email.

ImageCraft Embedded Systems Tools

ImageCraft InfoBytes Blog

Smart.IO.. coming soon

by

26 October 2016

https://imagecraft.com/company/blog/smart-io-coming-soon

...

In 2016, the obvious state-of-the-art solution is to write an app to more easily use Widget X. The only problem is ...

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Pretty cute, but cheapskate that I am I was thinking of just using the phone's usb port with a "USB OTG" cable (or whatever they're called). I have no idea if this is doable, but I have plugged flash drives into my phone and used them 8)

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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I like the idea of a smartphone programmer application, but it would be quite a bit of work.  I use an older C++Builder IDE, but I think the company that sells this makes a much newer one that supports a multi targeted type project that allows you to compile for PC, mac, smartphone, etc.  I know even if that would work there would be things to work around.

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tpappano wrote:
I have no idea if this is doable, ...
Doable.

AVR programming -

Adafruit Learning System

Programming Arduino with Android and Windows Tablets

https://learn.adafruit.com/programming-arduino-with-android-and-windows-tablets?view=all

Operator interface -

Android has a USB interface API.

Windows 10 - its USB interface was improved; one use case is for communication with MCU.

Microsoft logo

Microsoft Windows USB Core Team Blog

What is new with Serial in Windows 10

by George Roussos

July 29, 2015

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/usbcoreblog/2015/07/29/what-is-new-with-serial-in-windows-10/

...

2.   A Windows Runtime API for communication with Serial devices

Windows 10 includes the Windows.Devices.SerialCommunication universal API designed for these three scenarios:

  1. USB Peripherals like Arduinos – including as a USB Accessory on new Phones and Tablets

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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alank2 wrote:
... a multi targeted type project that allows you to compile for PC, mac, smartphone, etc.
IIRC, Microsoft acquired Xamarin to obtain that capability.

Xamarin is a part of the zero price Microsoft Visual Studio Community.

https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/compare/

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Interesting - I'll have to take a look at that.

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Another cross platform for operator interface development is Qt.

http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/supported-platforms-and-configurations.html (Mobile Platforms: Android, iOS, WinRT)

 

Though the following is not zero price, it shows how to develop Qt for an Android target on a Windows host (Visual Studio) :

Sysprogs

VisualGDB Tutorials

Developing Qt Projects for Android with VisualGDB

February 4, 2014

http://visualgdb.com/tutorials/android/qt/

This tutorial shows how to debug and build Qt 5.1 projects for Android.

...

 


Windows 10 IoT Enterprise for x86 tablets; less expensive than Windows 10 Enterprise.

http://embedded-computing.com/30020-microsoft-returns-to-embedded-with-windows-10/

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I added a give away thread for two of these:

 

http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/c...

 

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I've used an early one, a fair amount.

 

Had an instrument that needed updating at several sites. Users are biologists, not electronikers. I sent them one (which they sent back) and it did the upgrade very simply. Fantastic!

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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Thanks for the feedback Jim! :)

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ImageCraft Embedded Systems Tools

ImageCraft InfoBytes Blog

Smart.IO KickStarter is LIVE!!

by

23 November 2016

https://imagecraft.com/company/blog/smart-io-kickstarter-is-live

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I ike the idea of the Stand alone programmer, we made our own where I used to work. One thing that would worry me is that the programming actions on the spi pins can be monitored and recorded. The targets code would then be available nullifying any other attempt to secure it. The only way round that that I have partially used is to cripple the program until a challenge response enabling feature has been successfully done by the user.

Last Edited: Sat. Jan 7, 2017 - 08:48 AM
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I once thought about this and thought about the idea that you can erase a flash, program some bits, then program some other bits, and so on, and as long as your multiple program requests end up programming all the bits necessary, it will flash properly even though you didn't actually flash the program as is.  Now, someone could still monitor the SPI and put combine the bits back into a single program stream, but that would take some level of skill.  In the end I didn't implement it because it would take X times longer to program.  If someone wants the code bad enough, they could always sent it for someone to defeat the lock bits anyway.  Even monitoring the SPI would take some skill to dig through all the commands and extract the program, but it could be done.

 

If you really want secure, you've got to put a bootloader in that is sent an encrypted stream of program data that it decrypts and flashes.

 

The PC application / manual links above have been updated to 1.10d - this version ignores the 03 and 05 records in the Intel HEX format that it was choking on before!

 

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Finally, an all new setup utility containing the programming application and manual is here.  It will run on windows x86 or x64, you can download and try the programmer application with a programmer to see if you like it.

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~alank...

 

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Well that was fun.

 

 

Even then, it complains after I say "yeah I trust this dude and his software". I am the administrator.

 

 

... and then a few minutes later back comes the verdict: not guilty!

 

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

Last Edited: Wed. Mar 1, 2017 - 01:06 AM
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Windows and its "protections"!  Don't even get me started on VirtualStore!!!  Now that avast is _ok_ with it, does it finally give you access to install it?

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Hi Alan,

 

With my proof reader's hat pulled firmly down over my ears I respectfully submit the following...

 

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Yes installed!

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Glad you got it installed!

 

 

Yep, you got me there in the manual!!!! :)   I've fixed it and re-uploaded a new setup!