Author Topic: Resolved - What am I doing wrong?  (Read 1423 times)

Offline lrhorer

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2016, »
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(1) not sure how you flashed the pic(s) for the zeus
I didn't.  As I said, I purchased these used frm members of the site.

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but any failed attempts to flash can ofter require a reflash of the original PIC firmware ... so if its anything but flash, program with correct ss version ... then you may
    need to start over.
I intend that, but I need to cobble together an adapter or wait for the one I have purchased to arrive.  MEanwhile I can still work on the ETD and the SSC.

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(2) sounds extremely likely you didn't use the correct version of smart string utility ... as your v1->v3mod and the zeus both need a distinct version to work.
Yes, it's not unlikely.  What about the notes in the Wiki vs. what tbone321 is saying.  I know tbone is an experienced member, but when the Wiki repeatedly says something different, it makes me take pause (literally).  I might move forward anyway, but I am getting some results from reading the SSC PIC I don't understand.

Offline lrhorer

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2016, »
I wasn't getting consistent results when I first attached the PICKit 3 to the SSC.  They seem to be stable, now, however.  The checksum reads EE30.  According to the Wiki, it should be either E363 or ED60.  So am I safe to go ahead and use MPLAB to flash the EEPROM with the Smart+String+controller+modded.hex image?  The Wiki talks about loading the PK2DeviceFile profile, but MPLAB wants to see a PK3 file, not PK2, and it seems to recognize the PIC24FJ32GA002 PIC.  I've exported the data read from the EEPROM to a safety file and imported the modded SSC file.  Should I go ahead and write, then verify?  Should I erase, first?

Offline tbone321

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2016, »
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There is no header on the Zeus for the Pickit because there is no practical way to connect it to a particular PIC on the board.
Well, I disagree, there.  The brute force method would be to create the board with 16 individual headers.  A little more elegantly, at least 2 of the 5 pins in use are not carrying data.  A bank of NAND gates tied to a rotary switch could easily route the data to / from one PIC at a time for the 3 (or maybe just 2) pins that don't need to be tied to only a single PIC.  If one of the lines is a serial line, then make that a bank of transcievers.  Of course, any such facilities would increase the cost of the build a bit, but not much.

It is probably more expensive than you think and would make the board much larger and more complicated.  The idea here was to keep it simple and at as low a cost as possible.  Sure, there could have been further improvements and I would have just put a header for each PIC but I didn't take the time and effort to design the board.

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The independent programmer has not been fully developed and is really a thing of the past.
Um, the sentence "Only use the Pickit 3 utility and not MPLAB to program the firmware" is splattered all over the Wiki, including the section for the ETD, the 16 port active hub, and the SSCs.  This makes me really nervous.  Is the Wiki really that far off?

First of all, you don't need the Pickit 3 to program this particular PIC, the Pickit 2 can program that one.  The Pickit 3 was required for the 32 bit PIC that the ETD uses.  You really need to take a look at the dates of many of those entries in the WIKI.  When many of those entries in the WIKI were written, the Pickit 2 was the PIC programmer but could not program 32 bit and larger PIC's.  The Pickit 3 had just came out and while it could program PIC's larger than 16 bit, it was not just a PIC programmer like the Pickit 2, it was actually a low cost programmer / debugger.   MPLAB at the time was a contained program capable of both firmware development and PIC programming.  The problem with using it was that since it was a development product, it was capable of changing registers and memory locations in the PIC that could cause issues that would be difficult to debug, possibly to the point of bricking the PIC or locking in the firmware so no other updates would be possible.  The Pickit 2 had a separate piece of software that was designed for programming only which made loading the firmware much easier and safer. That software was not compatible with the Pickit 3 so there yet another program was created to allow the Pickit 3 to do the same thing.  This is the software that the WIKI is referring to.  The problem with that one was that the Pickit 3 was released in debugger mode and needs to have its firmware reloaded to put it into programmer mode and this software was unable to do that.  This required the user to load MPLAB the first time anyway so that it could update the firmware on the Pickit 3 and many of us would just continue to use it to load the firmware as well since it was already loaded and running and was more than capable of doing it.  Now it appears that MPLAB has been split into a development / debugging version (MPLAB IDE) and a simple programming version (MPLAB IPE) that can work with both the Pickit 2 and 3,  can properly flash the Pickit 3 to put it into programmer mode, and eliminates the need for the other separate programmer programs.
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Offline lrhorer

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2016, »
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It is probably more expensive than you think
Not so much.  I've done a considerable amount of circuit design.  Of course, every penny counts, here, and the additional cost per board would fairly soon overtake the cost of a PICKit.[/quote], so it is an understandable choice.

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First of all, you don't need the Pickit 3 to program this particular PIC, the Pickit 2 can program that one.
OK.

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You really need to take a look at the dates of many of those entries in the WIKI.
Well, I have, of course, but just because they are old does not necessarily mean they are wrong, especially when talking about hardware.  Hardware tends to evolve more slowly than software.  Firmware is somewhere in the middle.

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When many of those entries in the WIKI were written, the Pickit 2 was the PIC programmer

...

Now it appears that MPLAB has been split into a development / debugging version (MPLAB IDE) and a simple programming version (MPLAB IPE) that can work with both the Pickit 2 and 3,  can properly flash the Pickit 3 to put it into programmer mode, and eliminates the need for the other separate programmer programs.
OK, that makes sense.

So I should use the modded hex file and write to the PIC, then verify?

Offline sebjsan

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2016, »
Keep things simple, remove the switch. Pc to etherdongle to zeus. Verify you have the light hooked onto the board from the starting end and not the finish end. Verify the wires arw correct  on the board. Jump the lights onto another terminal block on the board. Verify in vixen the output config is correct. Post any and all pics of the board with wires, software config.
Sebastian from California

Offline lrhorer

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Re: What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2016, »
I found the problem.  When the ZIF adapter came in, I re-flashed all the PICs on the Zeus and then ran the Zeus utility, and everything worked just fine.  Going back to the Hub and SSC, I re-flashed them, and... nada.  I had understood from reading and the comments here the Zeus SSC utility is different from the regular SSC utility.  What I hadn't realized is the SSC utility for the modded V1/2 SSCs is also different from the V1 utility.  I copied the SSC V3 file ove the SSC V1 file, and all is well.  Honestly, the Wiki could be a bit clearer, and better yet, the version numbers on the software should be different.  It would be great if the software also listed right up-front which modules it supports.  Better still would be a single, unified SSC / Zeus utility.