Butterfly on Windows 10 problems.

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Yes, the Butterfly is getting long of tooth and will soon be going the way of all good things passed by time. But, not quite yet - that is, if I can get the poor thing running on the damnable Windows 10 excrement.

 

There seems to be a problem with programming the Butterfly under Windows 10. Of course Atmel has long since walked away from the Butterfly and doesn't support it in Atmel Studio 7. I've loaded AVRStudio 4.18 on my Windows 10 machine and after some serious fiddling managed to get it to compile the code.

 

I even got AVRProg to sort of work a couple of times. It actually downloaded a program once, but mostly it either doesn't open or locks up after loading half the program. There seemed to be something intermittent that would cause it to mostly not open, but when it did open, it would erase the old program, load half the new program and then lock up.

 

I tried using avrdude and got all kinds of weirdness - mostly just locking up. I'm suspecting that there is something in the Win10 USB drivers that just doesn't like what I'm doing. Then again it might be my senescent computer and/or brain.

 

These are the specific questions I am asking:

I'm wondering if anyone else has tried to use the Butterfly with Windows 10 and what your experience has been? 

Has anyone got it working with AVRStudio 4 on Windows 10?

Has anyone got it working with avrdude on Windows 10?

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It's a long time ago but isn't the bootloader just AVR109? If it is then you should be able to use avrdude which takes AVR Studio/AVr Prog out of the picture. As it's communicating to a CDC-ACM then it's just a case of ensuring that the USB-RS232 cable you use to connect to its serial port actually has a driver that works in Windows 10.

 

(sadly I just discovered that my Targus PA088 does not)

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Thanks Cliff, always helpful as usual.

 

My cable works okay with a terminal program, but, none the less, I do think Windows 10 is messing around somehow since even AVRProg sort of worked a couple of times. I've tried avrdude with similar observations.

 

I'll repeat the summary of the question:

I'm wondering if anyone else has tried to use the Butterfly with Windows 10 and what your experience has been? 

Has anyone got it working with AVRStudio 4 on Windows 10?

Has anyone got it working with avrdude on Windows 10?

 

I think I'll spin off that last question, just in case it might jog someone's memory.

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Confession:  I have not been brave enough to risk Windows 10.

 

However,  I suspect there must be many W10 Arduino Users who upload with avrdude every day.

Different protocols but they are still Serial bootloaders.

 

Surely you can just slap a Logic Analyser on the Butterfly TX and RX lines.

 

David.

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David - thanks for the suggestion. I do have access to a logic analyzer, but I'm not sure what I'd learn. My suspicion is that the signal would just stop in mid-transmission based on the outward behavior, but I'll try the logic analyzer in a day or so if nothing simple comes up.

 

I think Cliff's note about the drivers may be the real problem. Windows seemed to have a problem with finding the drivers for my old chinese cable, then found one, but it may be that it isn't a real driver for that device. IIRC a lot of folks had trouble with these USB/RS232 cables when Windows forced us from XP. There was a time you could pick up these things for a song that had 'XP only' attached to the advertisement. 

 

I think what I'll do next is build my own 'cable' using one of my many FTDI F232R boards on a breadboard. That would give me access to all the pins and in is a system I know well.

 

So thanks for jogging my memory - I'll get right on that.

 

Oh jeez... I do hope the FTDI drivers still work with Windows 10. I guess I'll learn in the next few days.

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Smiley, I would definitely like to find out if you can get the AVR Butterfly to work on Windows 10. I just decided to use your AVR C Workshop articles in Nuts and Volts to learn C on AVR's. I plugged in my Butterfly with an eBay FTDI USB-Serial, some different display showed up and then faded out. Now I cannot even get access to the default Butterfly menu. I suspect that whatever I did, it faded out the contrast. The power is still connected but now I just do not know what part, if any part of the menu I am accessing.

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I can not speak for w10.  I did manage to get w8 to be usable with my serial bridges.  None of the holographic stickers associated with the w8 machine would allow for a w10 install.  This machine runs offline anyway.

Curiously I found my box of butterflys.  I also found the patch files that make them into a JTAG dongle.  This was the 1.0 JTAG so not of much modern use.  I made a h44780 emulator that drives a 9 char VFD that is i2c based.  Was thinking I might program the butterfly as a front panel using the emulator.

 

Anyway the recommendations here were for Studio4.18.  I had nothing but trouble getting the JTAG MKII to not crash.  I then 'upgraded' to 4.19 and downgraded the AVR toolchain to what I was using on XP and things started working.  I also have three different serial bridges.  The best results come from FTDI.  The chiphead Chinese bridge and the 'Genuine' UNO bridge work fine under Br@@y.  They will not talk correctly to an old DOS (probably 3.1) program that must be setting the baud rate registers direct.  The other thing is that the 64 bit machines are a lot faster than the old 32 bit ones.  I found a few cases where I had to add in some wait states to give time for the old dos program to process the data.  In other words if I use Br@@y to send a dump command that is hex D300100F followed by a < cr > 0x0D.  This command reads as  dump memory space three 16 bytes from 00x10, my dongle only sees the first three chars and hangs in get_hex waiting for the second 0.  If I send D3, then send 00100F  I get the line of hex back as expected.

 

More annoying is that when I send the next 0 in the hung state, the target device sees the 0x0D. So some how the usb bridge or the AVR is only buffering the 3 bytes.  It then looses the next 5 bytes.  I also noticed in the terminal, that big back dumps are also sent as chunks rather than as single chars.

 

I was also thinking Didn't the Butterfly use a charge pump to sort of fake the +-12 needed for RS232?  What happens when this is bypassed and the bridge chip is connected directly at logic leval?   I have some old arduino duemilanove which I removed the AVR from.  If one connects the serial lines and reset I can connect this to a bare metal AVR with only a crystal and the Arduino bootloader.   This combination has been giving me the most reliable results.

 

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playinmyblues wrote:

Smiley, I would definitely like to find out if you can get the AVR Butterfly to work on Windows 10. I just decided to use your AVR C Workshop articles in Nuts and Volts to learn C on AVR's. I plugged in my Butterfly with an eBay FTDI USB-Serial, some different display showed up and then faded out. Now I cannot even get access to the default Butterfly menu. I suspect that whatever I did, it faded out the contrast. The power is still connected but now I just do not know what part, if any part of the menu I am accessing.

Are you using an external power supply? The Butterfly won't support serial communications with the coin cell battery. If that isn't it, seems I remember posting a tutorial here in the dark ages about common Butterfly problems. I can try to find that if you don't get this figured out.

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jporter - thanks for the suggestions.

 

The Butterfly has a notoriously cheap RS232 converter that can be flakey. I'll be retrying things using an FTDI chip on a breadboard so that I can see all the signals. I'll be reporting back in a few days - I hope - when I get some results.

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I built a breadboarded 3V power supply using an LM317 and a DC wall wart. I tried connecting the power to the power connections beside both the Port B and Port D ports. The USB-serial board shows up on one of the COM ports in Windows. The USB-serial board is plugged into the breadboard with wires going from TXD to Butterfly RXD and RXD to TXD and GND to GND.

 

As another alternative, I wonder if I could solder the ISP header on and program it that way? I could set up an Arduino UNO as a programmer and use a Linux machine. Arduino and Windows 10 do not like each other yet.

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The Butterfly rs232 level shifter works perfectly for me.  I have several little level shifter boards that use the Butterfly circuit.  I use them as in-line, line powered level shifters for my Xmegas.  I've used them all day long for many years.

What do you think is in the little pill bottles?  My worldly possessions?wink