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'[PIC]:PSP Comms trouble'
2001\07\15@232916 by Jinx

face picon face
Until recently I've used my PicStartPlus on a 486 but that's now
got a dicky HDD, so I've transported MPLAB over to a 266
Pentium. What a performance to enable the programmer. It
can't transmit, it can't receive, it has to be reset etc etc. Perhaps
1 time in 10 it will program a chip. Talk about fussy. I had this
Pentium trouble when I got the PSP several years ago and never
got to the bottom of it, despite help from several quarters, and
that's why it's been used for so long and painlessly on the 486.
Now though, I have and need the resources of the list, and would
like to know WTH I can do

TIA

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2001\07\16@002409 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>Until recently I've used my PicStartPlus on a 486 but that's now
>got a dicky HDD, so I've transported MPLAB over to a 266
>Pentium. What a performance to enable the programmer. It
>can't transmit, it can't receive, it has to be reset etc etc. Perhaps
>1 time in 10 it will program a chip. Talk about fussy. I had this
>Pentium trouble when I got the PSP several years ago and never
>got to the bottom of it, despite help from several quarters, and
>that's why it's been used for so long and painlessly on the 486.
>Now though, I have and need the resources of the list, and would
>like to know WTH I can do

       Give your PSP away and get a nice programmer from Newfound electronics? :o)


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Alexandre Souza
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2001\07\16@011401 by Bob Barr

picon face
Jinx wrote:
>
>Until recently I've used my PicStartPlus on a 486 but that's now
>got a dicky HDD, so I've transported MPLAB over to a 266
>Pentium. What a performance to enable the programmer. It
>can't transmit, it can't receive, it has to be reset etc etc. Perhaps
>1 time in 10 it will program a chip. Talk about fussy. I had this
>Pentium trouble when I got the PSP several years ago and never
>got to the bottom of it, despite help from several quarters, and
>that's why it's been used for so long and painlessly on the 486.
>Now though, I have and need the resources of the list, and would
>like to know WTH I can do
>

This sounds like the kind of problem encountered running some Borland
language programs on fast Pentiums. It seems that their older run-time
package didn't have a processor speed value large enough to properly handle
time delays on the faster Pentiums. (As I understand it, the program
determines processor speed on start-up with a counting loop. Too fast a
processor overflows the value rendering it useless.)

Are you running the latest version of MPLAB? (5.31 is the latest, last time
I checked.) If you're not, that may be the problem. If the latest version
still exhibits this problem, I'm surprised that it hasn't been more widely
reported on the list. I'm pretty sure that somebody on the list must be
using MPLAB with the picstart on a 700+ MHz PIII.

(If I'm not mistaken, there are separate patch programs available for
programs written in Turbo Pascal and Turbo C.)

Regards, Bob

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2001\07\16@011610 by Jinx

face picon face
> Give your PSP away and get a nice programmer from
> Newfound electronics? :o)

Being immensely wealthy (but you know, I'd trade it all for
just a little more) that's probably what I should do. However,
tight-wad that I am, more info to get the best out of what I've
already paid for

Win3.11 on 486, no problems with PSP and MPLAB 3.99.06
for nearly 7 years

Win98 on Pentium 266, PSP very flakey, with either MPLAB
3.99.06 or 5.30.00

My Mot emulator also works well on the 486 but has similar
comms trouble on the Pentium. Things I've already tried are
checking for conflicts, re-installing COM2, shutting off FIFO,
and a few others I can't recall. Last night PSP didn't work at
all, at least this morning after persisting for 30 minutes I did
finally manage to program an F84A. But there's no guarantee
you can program a second, it's like you start from square one
each time you try to talk to the PSP. I really want to sort this
out, it's more convenient to use the Pentium

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2001\07\16@012409 by Jinx

face picon face
> This sounds like the kind of problem encountered running
> some Borland language programs on fast Pentiums. It seems
> that their older run-time package didn't have a processor
> speed value large enough to properly handle time delays on
> the faster Pentiums. (As I understand it, the program determines
> processor speed on start-up with a counting loop. Too fast a
> processor overflows the value rendering it useless.)

That was an explanation offered to me not long after I bought
the wretched thing. My retort was that if you set the comms at
9600 or whatever then both sides should adhere to that. But
obviously they don't. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the
PSP, see my latest post for comments about a Mot emulator

I've had several Pentium motherboards and never got satisfactory
operation with the PSP

I have been in touch with Microchip. They say comms problems
are not unusual, but they could offer no solution

> Are you running the latest version of MPLAB?

5.30.00 (3.99.06 on the 486)

> I'm surprised that it hasn't been more widely reported on the list.

Me too, in fact I've been slightly envious of some of the flash
machines people have said they're using

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2001\07\16@015529 by Tony Nixon

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picon face
Jinx wrote:
>
> > Give your PSP away and get a nice programmer from
> > Newfound electronics? :o)
>
> Being immensely wealthy (but you know, I'd trade it all for
> just a little more) that's probably what I should do. However,
> tight-wad that I am, more info to get the best out of what I've
> already paid for
>
> Win3.11 on 486, no problems with PSP and MPLAB 3.99.06
> for nearly 7 years
>
> Win98 on Pentium 266, PSP very flakey, with either MPLAB
> 3.99.06 or 5.30.00

I always seem to get problems when running 16 bit apps with Win98.
Protel V2x Schematic is a good example of how a 16 bit app can screw up
a 32 bit system. It's a real pain in the a*** developing code, when you
scratch your head for hours over a bug and find out something deep in
the bowels of the PC has caused it.

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Tony

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2001\07\16@021227 by Bob Barr

picon face
Jinx wrote:

>That was an explanation offered to me not long after I bought
>the wretched thing. My retort was that if you set the comms at
>9600 or whatever then both sides should adhere to that. But
>obviously they don't.

The 9600 baud rate only applies to the bit rate of each character. The
Borland/Pentium problem can drastically change delays between characters,
timeouts, etc. (Feeding the characters too quickly or timing out too quickly
can blow up a comm protocol pretty easily.)

>
>I've had several Pentium motherboards and never got satisfactory
>operation with the PSP

I run mine on a 133MHz Pentium laptop all the time and have never seen any
comm problems. I've never tried it on anything faster.

Regards, Bob

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2001\07\16@021230 by Jinx

face picon face
> I always seem to get problems when running 16 bit apps
> with Win98.

Haven't heard the 16 - 32 idea before Tony, perhaps that's
something to look into. It still puzzles me why I've had the
same comms trouble anytime I try the PSP with any Pentium,
yet others apparently don't. Is there something in MPLAB
that could be tweaked I don't know about ?

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2001\07\16@023056 by Tony Nixon

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picon face
Jinx wrote:
>
> > I always seem to get problems when running 16 bit apps
> > with Win98.
>
> Haven't heard the 16 - 32 idea before Tony, perhaps that's
> something to look into. It still puzzles me why I've had the
> same comms trouble anytime I try the PSP with any Pentium,
> yet others apparently don't. Is there something in MPLAB
> that could be tweaked I don't know about ?
>
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I'm using a PentiumII here and I just opened up a brand new PSP that the
boss bought me cos I'm such a nice guy, and it appears to work ok with
MPLAB V5.31.00. I've been using my own programmers here for quite
awhile, so I'll see how this goes in the future.


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2001\07\16@024759 by Tony Nixon

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picon face
Jinx wrote:
>
> > I always seem to get problems when running 16 bit apps
> > with Win98.
>
> Haven't heard the 16 - 32 idea before Tony, perhaps that's
> something to look into. It still puzzles me why I've had the
> same comms trouble anytime I try the PSP with any Pentium,
> yet others apparently don't. Is there something in MPLAB
> that could be tweaked I don't know about ?

The only things I could find are what you probably already tried.

" Try changing Flow Control to Hardware and/or turning off the FIFO for
the serial port "

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2001\07\16@040351 by Jinx

face picon face
> >I've had several Pentium motherboards and never got satisfactory
> >operation with the PSP
>
> I run mine on a 133MHz Pentium laptop all the time and have
> never seen any comm problems. I've never tried it on anything faster.

The 486 is 100MHz. The slowest Pentium I've tried it on was 200

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2001\07\16@041846 by Jinx
face picon face
> I'm using a PentiumII here and I just opened up a brand new PSP
> that the boss bought me cos I'm such a nice guy,

Me nice guy too - address to follow

> and it appears to work ok with MPLAB V5.31.00

Well, see, now that's exactly what I mean. There must be some
common thread through all my PCs to stop them comming with
the same PSP. Something in MPLAB or Control Panel would
be my suspects, but what ? It looks as though I will just have to
persist and keep looking

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2001\07\16@090650 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Until recently I've used my PicStartPlus on a 486 but that's now
> got a dicky HDD, so I've transported MPLAB over to a 266
> Pentium. What a performance to enable the programmer. It
> can't transmit, it can't receive, it has to be reset etc etc. Perhaps
> 1 time in 10 it will program a chip. Talk about fussy. I had this
> Pentium trouble when I got the PSP several years ago and never
> got to the bottom of it, despite help from several quarters, and
> that's why it's been used for so long and painlessly on the 486.
> Now though, I have and need the resources of the list, and would
> like to know WTH I can do

The only problem I ever had communicating with a PicstartPlus was a few
versions of MPLAB ago.  There was some bug in how the programers were
handled.  You had to load the support files for the Promate whether you had
one or not, then the PicstartPlus worked.  More recent version of MPLAB
fixed this.  If you aren't running the latest version, then I would upgrade.
You might also make sure the PicstartPlus firmware is at the latest
revision, although that probably isn't the problem.

Have you tried all the available serial ports?


********************************************************************
Olin Lathrop, embedded systems consultant in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, olinspamspam_OUTembedinc.com, http://www.embedinc.com

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2001\07\16@091307 by George Tyler

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face
You probably need to reprogram the 17c44 in the programmer with the latest
code .(included in the mplab package). I also had that problem.
{Original Message removed}

2001\07\16@091727 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
Jinx wrote:
>
> > I'm using a PentiumII here and I just opened up a brand new PSP
> > that the boss bought me cos I'm such a nice guy,
>
> Me nice guy too - address to follow
>
> > and it appears to work ok with MPLAB V5.31.00
>
> Well, see, now that's exactly what I mean. There must be some
> common thread through all my PCs to stop them comming with
> the same PSP. Something in MPLAB or Control Panel would
> be my suspects, but what ? It looks as though I will just have to
> persist and keep looking


Hi Jinx, as I know you are in a 240vac country and
using the awful PSP switchmode "power brick", I suggest
replacing the electros in it. The symptom you mentioned
about "it worked once, then started playing up", sounds
like what I experienced from a bad psu brick, to do
with heating and time. It started giving some REALLY
weird faults before I fnally pulled it apart and replaced
the electros. :o)
-Roman

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2001\07\16@101127 by Jinx

face picon face
> The only problem I ever had communicating with a PicstartPlus was
> a few versions of MPLAB ago.  There was some bug in how the
> programers were handled.  You had to load the support files for the
> Promate whether you had one or not, then the PicstartPlus worked.

There's definitely something that's stopping (and always has done
on any of my PCs) from talking to a PSP properly. I'm sure MPLAB
and PSP are OK

> More recent version of MPLAB
> fixed this.  If you aren't running the latest version, then I would
upgrade.

5.30.00 should be alright ? And as I mentioned, 3.99.06 has been
faultless for a long long time

> You might also make sure the PicstartPlus firmware is at the latest
> revision, although that probably isn't the problem.

With reference to George Tyler's suggestion about upgrading
the 17C44, that's on the "to do" list as I need to start using a
wider range of chips. Upgrading a PSP that doesn't work is a
Catch-22 (and EPROM 17C44's aren't yet in stock at Arrow yet
so I couldn't do it even if I were able to)

> Have you tried all the available serial ports?

I think it's got to the stage where I need to do try some left field
ideas. Anything "sensible" I've had a go at so far hasn't made a
lick of difference. If I still strike out then I'll just get a new HDD
for the 486, defeatist as that sounds

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2001\07\16@101326 by Jinx

face picon face
> Hi Jinx, as I know you are in a 240vac country and
> using the awful PSP switchmode "power brick", I suggest
> replacing the electros in it

After much patience and profanity I did eventually manage
to get the one F84 done, so that job's shipped out. That
gives me time to whip out those caps, whether they need to
go or not, and replace them

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2001\07\16@102141 by Herbert Graf

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face
Hmm, this is a problem I've encountered before with older parallel port
devies.. Usually it is fixed by changing the mode of the port form ECP or
EPP to standard. I'm not at all familiar with the PSP so I don't know what
MChip recommends but it can't hurt to try. Usually these settings can be
changed in the peripheral section of the BIOS. TTYL

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\16@103613 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
Please never mind my last post, I thought the PSP used the LPT port,
obviously I was wrong. TTYL

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\16@112534 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> With reference to George Tyler's suggestion about upgrading
> the 17C44, that's on the "to do" list as I need to start using a
> wider range of chips. Upgrading a PSP that doesn't work is a
> Catch-22 (and EPROM 17C44's aren't yet in stock at Arrow yet
> so I couldn't do it even if I were able to)

I bought two UV erasable versions for just this purpose a year or two ago.
These are fairly old chips.


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2001\07\16@113421 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Hmm, this is a problem I've encountered before with older parallel port
> devies.. Usually it is fixed by changing the mode of the port form ECP or
> EPP to standard. I'm not at all familiar with the PSP so I don't know what
> MChip recommends but it can't hurt to try. Usually these settings can be
> changed in the peripheral section of the BIOS. TTYL

The PicstartPlus connects via a COM port, not a parallel port.


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