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PICList Thread
'[PIC] MCP-USB Programmer Firmware'
2007\05\28@120956 by scott larson

picon face
Hi all,

I've been using the MCP-USB programmer from Sparkfun/OLIMEX (a
PICSTART PLUS clone that uses an 18F252 and different firmware) for
quite some time now, and I recently got a sample of some new 18F
parts. They require an upgrade to the programmer's firmware.

MPLAB gave me a warning message saying that I needed to upgrade the
firmware, and I blindly assumed I could use the PICSTART PLUS upgrade
in MPLAB. I am pretty sure I messed up the 18F252 chip in the
programmer.

I have another programmer, an ICD2 clone. I need the HEX file for the
MCP-USB to re-program the 18F252.

Does anyone have this HEX file, or could you possibly read the chip
you have in your MCP-USB programmer to get the firmware for me.

I have the upgrade_v123.exe and UPGRADE-128.exe programs on my computer.

hex files can be emailed to me at spam_OUTgoldscottTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com

Thank you very much,

Scott

2007\05\30@050259 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Hi Scott,

If you go to Olimex site, there is a downloadable firmware upgrade, did you
try it?

http://www.olimex.com/dev/pic-mcp-usb.html

Tamas


On 5/28/07, scott larson <.....goldscottKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\05\30@085948 by scott larson

picon face
On 5/30/07, Tamas Rudnai <.....tamas.rudnaiKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Scott,
>
> If you go to Olimex site, there is a downloadable firmware upgrade, did you
> try it?
>
> http://www.olimex.com/dev/pic-mcp-usb.html
>
> Tamas


Yes, I have the upgrade. The problem is that it requires a bootloader
on the 18F252, and I've overwritten the contents of the chip.
I need the hex file in order to get the bootloader back on the chip so
I can upgrade it.

-Scott

2007\05\30@091614 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
And Olimex does not want to give you that bootloader? Is the bootloader code
protected?

Tamas


On 5/30/07, scott larson <EraseMEgoldscottspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\05\30@124331 by scott larson

picon face
On 5/30/07, Tamas Rudnai <@spam@tamas.rudnaiKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> And Olimex does not want to give you that bootloader? Is the bootloader code
> protected?
>
> Tamas


I haven't contacted Olimex, yet. I posted a message on their forum,
but it's not as active as the PIClist. I'll try contacting olimex
directly.


-Scott


'[PIC] MCP-USB Programmer Firmware'
2007\06\18@144139 by scott larson
picon face
> I haven't contacted Olimex, yet. I posted a message on their forum,
> but it's not as active as the PIClist. I'll try contacting olimex
> directly.
>
>

I contacted Sparkfun, and they can't help. I contacted Olimex and they
said that the firmware is copyrighted and I'd have to pay $30 +
shipping for a new 18F252 with the firmware on it.

Again, does anyone have this programmer and can upload the firmware for me?

Thanks,

Scott

2007\06\18@165130 by olin piclist

face picon face
scott larson wrote:
> I contacted Olimex and they
> said that the firmware is copyrighted and I'd have to pay $30 +
> shipping for a new 18F252 with the firmware on it.
>
> Again, does anyone have this programmer and can upload the firmware
> for me?

Perhaps I'm missing something, but the above certainly sounds like you're a
dirtbag trying to steal $30 worth of copyrighted material.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2007\06\18@171520 by Peter Todd

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On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 04:52:38PM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

He has a peice of hardware, that allows the customer to accidentally
destroy it through a series of commands that really shouldn't be able to
do that.

He wants to fix that peice of hardware, himself, by rewriting the flash
chip that allowed itself to be rewritten with no option of going back.

Dirtbag does not enter into it. Olimex are the dirtbags here by being so
nasty about their firmware. I've run into a similar problem myself,
where I needed to downgrade the firmware on my Olimex programmer,
and they completely refuse to let you.

I'm sticking with PICKit2's myself, Microchip's included enough
information, source code and hardware schematics, to go off and make a
new one, plus they're cheaper and come in a nice case rather than a bare
circuit board.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\18@173630 by Robert Rolf

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Olin Lathrop wrote:

> scott larson wrote:
>
>>I contacted Olimex and they
>>said that the firmware is copyrighted and I'd have to pay $30 +
>>shipping for a new 18F252 with the firmware on it.
>>
>>Again, does anyone have this programmer and can upload the firmware
>>for me?
>
>
> Perhaps I'm missing something, but the above certainly sounds like you're a
> dirtbag trying to steal $30 worth of copyrighted material.

Uhhh, didn't he say in his original post that he HAD an Olimex programmer,
but that he'd toasted the bootloader by using the wrong firmware update?

"I've been using the MCP-USB programmer from Sparkfun/OLIMEX.. "

" I blindly assumed I could use the PICSTART PLUS upgrade
in MPLAB. I am pretty sure I messed up the 18F252 chip in the
programmer."

So he made a mistake and doesn't want to spend $30 for a new chip if
he can just burn the software he HAD ALREADY PAID FOR back into the chip.

How is that STEALING $30 worth of software he supposedly already owned
or licensed by buying the programmer?

Nice to see in advance what kind of support one can expect from Olimex (Olin?).

R




2007\06\18@174624 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter Todd wrote:
> He has a peice of hardware, that allows the customer to accidentally
> destroy it through a series of commands that really shouldn't be able
> to do that.

But that doesn't give him the right to steal.  A better course of action
would be to demand a refund for returning the product, although Olimex isn't
obligated to to do that either unless it was specified in the purchase
agreement or perhaps by consumer product laws in Outer Vulgaria or wherever
Olimex is.

> He wants to fix that peice of hardware, himself, by rewriting the
> flash chip that allowed itself to be rewritten with no option of
> going back.

But wanting to do something doesn't make it legal or right.

If he really wants to solve this problem, he needs to convince Olimex it's
in their best interest to fix it for him.  They've obviously decided that
giving out the binary publicly isn't worth it.  If in the end he can't get
satisfaction then the best he can do is chalk it up to a learning experience
and warn others away from the manufacturer and its product.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2007\06\18@175505 by olin piclist

face picon face
Robert Rolf wrote:
> Uhhh, didn't he say in his original post that he HAD an Olimex
> programmer,

I don't know, as I most likely didn't read it.  The part about wanting
someone to steal a copy for him is what caught my eye.

> but that he'd toasted the bootloader by using the wrong firmware
> update?

So that gives him a license to steal?

> " I blindly assumed ...

Excatly.

> So he made a mistake and doesn't want to spend $30 for a new chip

Sure, I understand what he *wants* to do, but that's rather irrelevant.

> How is that STEALING $30 worth of software he supposedly already owned
> or licensed by buying the programmer?

So you're saying if I spill ink all over a book I bought, it gives me the
right to steal one to replace it?

> Nice to see in advance what kind of support one can expect from
> Olimex (Olin?).

This is the real recourse, and may be the leverage to get what he wants from
Olimex.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2007\06\18@175822 by Peter Todd

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On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 05:47:32PM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Had he made a backup of the flash chip, restoring it would be 100%
legal. Of course, Microchip says scary things about breaking the code
protection technology, but there isn't actually anything illegal about
that, it's what you do with the firmware.

Asking someone else for a copy, that may not be legal, but I think it is
right and plenty of other people do. Hell, it may very well be legal if
it went to a judge given the circumstances, the legal code is rather
grey. Said judge might not be very impressed that the device is so easy
to break under an easilly anticipated circumstance.

> If he really wants to solve this problem, he needs to convince Olimex it's
> in their best interest to fix it for him.  They've obviously decided that
> giving out the binary publicly isn't worth it.  If in the end he can't get
> satisfaction then the best he can do is chalk it up to a learning experience
> and warn others away from the manufacturer and its product.

Part of the problem is that Olimex doesn't give full information in the
situation. In my case they don't make it clear that it's impossible to
downgrade the firmware for instance. That's just the sort of environment
where your free market approach works less and less.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\18@182334 by Peter Todd

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On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 03:36:28PM -0600, Robert Rolf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Come to think of it... If this were a common situation, and a company
earned a lot of money from replacement chips, it'd be fascinating to
watch the possible legal reprocussions of developing a cleanroom
implementation of the *bootloader* that after being burned into a chip
would allow the closed bootloader program load up a working firmware.

Love to see judges rule on that one... The issue of if the bootloader
was mainly used for repairs, or making whole copies of the hardware,
would of course be an issue.

Or even, take the scenario where said company uses a commonly available
bootloader code, and someone finds out that you can do that by
accident...

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\18@183012 by Peter Todd

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On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 01:41:38PM -0500, scott larson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Come to think of it, I've got a broken Olimex programmer... It's the
serial type, but I'm sure the firmware is identical, the USB type has a
standard USB->Serial converter on it. The chip still may be good though
and the cost for shipping a single chip wouldn't be more than a dollar
or two. Everything seems to work fine, except programming is flaky and
often doesn't work.

Send me you address off list and I'll send it to ya.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\19@024707 by Peter P.

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I think that supplying a flash-able control chip without a protected boot block
or equivalent and expecting it to be flashed repeatedly as a part of its normal
use is an accident waiting to happen, and should mandate any manufacturer to
warn against this and offer a way to recourse for registered users in case of
oops.

Peter P.


2007\06\19@040759 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Robert Rolf wrote:

Just noticed this, which may had lead to mis-understanding:


> Nice to see in advance what kind of support one can expect from Olimex (Olin?).


Maybe someone meant (understood) that OLI-n was member of OLI-mex, and
thus his answers were interested.

It's not like that.

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\06\19@065902 by Tony Smith

picon face
> Come to think of it... If this were a common situation, and a
> company earned a lot of money from replacement chips, it'd be
> fascinating to watch the possible legal reprocussions of
> developing a cleanroom implementation of the *bootloader*
> that after being burned into a chip would allow the closed
> bootloader program load up a working firmware.
>
> Love to see judges rule on that one... The issue of if the
> bootloader was mainly used for repairs, or making whole


Guess how Compaq got started.

Tony

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