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PICList Thread
'[PIC]:Format of HEX and INX/INHX files'
2000\11\10@081851 by Anton Schoultz

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Hi all,

I am a newbie to Pic's and have just finished my first project
(Digital clock using PIC16c84).

In short, I would like to do my own programmer directly from
HEX and/or INHX files, my reason for this follows...

Can any point me in the direction of the types of files that
the assembler generates, together with descriptions of the
format. (.HEX and INHX formats in particular) I want to
use them in a programmer.

REASON FOR PROGRAMMER..

I found it a pain to develop in Windoze and re-boot to DOS
to program the chip.

The programmer I have does some 'bit banging' on the printer
port and NT gets in the way. Furthermore, moving the PIC to and
fro between the programmer and the proto-board became annoying.

For my next project I want to build a programmer that will run
off a com port instead, ideally accepting the .HEX file produced
from the assembler. So all I need to do to program a chip is to
send the .HEX / .INX etc file to the com port. My programmer
would then decode the file and produce the signals for
in-circuit-programming. I want to make the programmer as
generic as possible, so that it could support all sorts of
flash micros.


Many thanks in advance

Anton Schoultz
spam_OUTantonsTakeThisOuTspamePOS.co.za
tel: +27 11 267-9564

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2000\11\10@084212 by Simon Nield

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almost every file format is covered here:
http://www.wotsit.org/

just type 'hex' in the search box and you are there. the files are standard intel hex.
the only subtlety is that the data for pics is 12, 14 or 16 bit, which gets encoded as two
consecutive bytes, so the addresses are twice what you might expect.


Regards,
Simon

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2000\11\10@084822 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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This link isn't for PIC's, but it does describe the Intel Hex format, and
how to program the ADuC812:

       http://www.analog.com/microconverter/download/uC004.pdf

You did say you wanted to support other processors. I wrote a windows-based
programmer (C++, MSVC 5.0) for this chip, in case anyone out there is
interested.

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\10@100419 by Olin Lathrop

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> I found it a pain to develop in Windoze and re-boot to DOS
> to program the chip.
>
> The programmer I have does some 'bit banging' on the printer
> port and NT gets in the way. Furthermore, moving the PIC to and
> fro between the programmer and the proto-board became annoying.
>
> For my next project I want to build a programmer that will run
> off a com port instead,

Microchip makes such a thing.  The low end unit is called the PicStart Plus,
and supports the whole PIC product line, and it connects via a serial port.
The price is well under two hours billable time, which is a lot less than it
will cost to build one yourself.


*****************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Devens Massachusetts
(978) 772-3129, .....olinKILLspamspam@spam@cognivis.com, http://www.cognivis.com

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2000\11\10@102711 by Bob Ammerman

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----- Original Message -----
From: Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamKILLspamCOGNIVIS.COM>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: [PIC]:Format of HEX and INX/INHX files


{Quote hidden}

Plus,
> and supports the whole PIC product line, and it connects via a serial
port.
> The price is well under two hours billable time, which is a lot less than
it
> will cost to build one yourself.
>
> *****************************************************************
> Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Devens Massachusetts
> (978) 772-3129, EraseMEolinspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcognivis.com, http://www.cognivis.com
>

Unless you're a low-budget student,
or perhaps you are trying to learn something,
or perhaps you are designing a product for sale,
or...

Not everybody is a big bucks "embedded systems consultant in Devens
Massachusetts" or even a
"contract developer of high performance, high function, low-level software"
:-)

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2000\11\10@152802 by w. v. ooijen / f. hanneman

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> In short, I would like to do my own programmer directly from
> HEX and/or INHX files, my reason for this follows...

The fromat is described in an appendix of the MPASM manual, free from
uChip.

> For my next project I want to build a programmer that will run
> off a com port instead, ideally accepting the .HEX file produced
> from the assembler. So all I need to do to program a chip is to
> send the .HEX / .INX etc file to the com port. My programmer
> would then decode the file and produce the signals for
> in-circuit-programming. I want to make the programmer as
> generic as possible, so that it could support all sorts of
> flash micros.

I certainly don't want to discourage you from building you own programer (I
did so myself), but there are already lots of serial-port based programmer
designs on the web, ranging from (almost) 0-components programmers for
flash devices only to more elaborate designs. My  own is at
http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/wisp I'm sure James has gathered a usefull
list of programmer links somewhere on techref. If I remember well there was
at least a plan for a programmer that would accept a raw hex file. Not a
good idea IMHO because it would be difficult to do a verification unless
your device has enough memory to store the complete image...

Wouter

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2000\11\10@164252 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <000601c04b14$0c3bab00$211ea8c0spamspam_OUTlothlorien.co.za>, Anton
Schoultz <@spam@antonsKILLspamspamEPOS.CO.ZA> writes
>I found it a pain to develop in Windoze and re-boot to DOS
>to program the chip.

Why not just run a Windows programmer?.

>The programmer I have does some 'bit banging' on the printer
>port and NT gets in the way. Furthermore, moving the PIC to and
>fro between the programmer and the proto-board became annoying.

Use an NT compatible programmer, assuming your programmer is a 'David
Tait' style programmer, I have free NT software on my website.

>For my next project I want to build a programmer that will run
>off a com port instead, ideally accepting the .HEX file produced
>from the assembler. So all I need to do to program a chip is to
>send the .HEX / .INX etc file to the com port. My programmer
>would then decode the file and produce the signals for
>in-circuit-programming. I want to make the programmer as
>generic as possible, so that it could support all sorts of
>flash micros.

If you want to do it, the HEX file formats used to be in the MPASM
documentation, I presume they still are?.
--

Nigel.

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2000\11\10@165544 by jamesnewton

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To cross this over to another thread, have you written (or do you think it
would be possible to write) a NT driver for generic EPP or ECP data transfer
both to and from a parallel port connected device?

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
RemoveMEjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\10@173907 by Bill Westfield

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As long as we're talking about programmers...

Does anyone make a programmer/evaluation board for PICs somewhat similar
to the STAK AVR boards?  Ie something with a bunch of LEDs and switches,
and maybe a protoboard area, so that simple programs can be written,
programmed, and tried out, all without a bunch of socket-swapping?

Thanks
Bill W

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2000\11\10@175539 by Clark, John

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I am impressed with Diversified Engineering's QikStart 16 (pn 905150):

http://www.diversifiedengineering.net


John Clark
Indianapolis


{Original Message removed}

2000\11\11@015859 by Nigel Goodwin
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In message <001001c04b60$8c5072c0$spamBeGone0600a8c0spamBeGonespamefplus.com>, James Newton
<TakeThisOuTjamesnewtonEraseMEspamspam_OUTpiclist.com> writes
>To cross this over to another thread, have you written (or do you think it
>would be possible to write) a NT driver for generic EPP or ECP data transfer
>both to and from a parallel port connected device?

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible, I use a freeware port driver in
my NT version, you could use that to transfer bytes at a time - I
presume if the port was set to EPP or ECP you could access the extra
registers and use those modes.
--

Nigel.

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2000\11\13@013924 by Anton Schoultz

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Thank - you for the many useful responses !

Being in South Africa (2Hrs forward, 20 years back) commercial
programmers such as PicStart etc are not that easy to come by,
and with our exchange rate, they are kinda out-of-pocket for
hobby use. I figure I could build one for less, and get to
learn something in the process.

Particular thanks to -

Simon Nield:
       Wotsit site now book marked, and hex format printed out

Wouter:
       I have already downloaded your design and studied it.

Nigel Goodwin:
       My existing programmer is a Davit Tail derivative, from
       Farsoft. The programmer I wish to build, must support
       In-Circuit programming, and should support other embedded
       micros as well. I'll certainly check out your site for
       the NT version of your software - I presently use the
       DOS version for my Farsoft programmer.

James Newton:
       Writing an NT driver is not a prospect that I would
       cherish ! - and it is not quite the solution I'm after
       (see comments for Nigel)

In response to William's comment re: evaluation boards -
I must say that I concur with his desires, perhaps a few boards
- main PCB      (MPU, crystal, VReg)
- RS232 PCB (SP232A, caps, DB9, switch for DTE/DCE)
- 7Seg PCB      (Mux. & Seg Led, with drive resistors and 1 of N low digit)
- Hex PCB       (TIL hex display unit(s) )
- Key PCB       (Key pad matrix, column driver, pull-ups etc)
- LED PCB       (10 LED Bar display with series resistors, perhaps a latch)
- PROTO PCB     (Proto type board, perhaps laid out the same as a bread-board
               so designs can be migrated from bread board to pcb)
- etc

all with 0.1" space pins for connection; that way if we have a new
project with say 2 RS232 ports, a display and keypad we can fish the
requisite bits out of the drawer, and join them up with cables
(as used in PC Coms ports etc)
Software can then be developed and tested from there.
The smart ones amongst us will build up a library of routines
that go with these building blocks, which we can
then #include in our project ;-)

Once we have the design tried & tested, we can design the project specific
PCB with the necessary bits.


Thanks again for all the help, advise and comments

Anton Schoultz
EraseMEantonsspamePOS.co.za
tel: +27 11 267-9564

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2000\11\13@080208 by Bob Ammerman

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>
> In response to William's comment re: evaluation boards -
> I must say that I concur with his desires, perhaps a few boards
> - main PCB      (MPU, crystal, VReg)
> - RS232 PCB (SP232A, caps, DB9, switch for DTE/DCE)
> - 7Seg PCB      (Mux. & Seg Led, with drive resistors and 1 of N low
digit)
> - Hex PCB       (TIL hex display unit(s) )
> - Key PCB       (Key pad matrix, column driver, pull-ups etc)
> - LED PCB       (10 LED Bar display with series resistors, perhaps a
latch)
> - PROTO PCB     (Proto type board, perhaps laid out the same as a
bread-board
>                 so designs can be migrated from bread board to pcb)
> - etc

Check out SIMMSTICKS!

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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