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PICList Thread
'[PICLIST] [pic] Bootloader & ICE'
2001\07\16@064959 by nrad Labuschagne

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Hi everyone,

Two questions please:

1. I understand the idea of a bootloader, can someone with experience in
that area please supply me some info on implementing a bootloader section
for f873/f877 or point me in good direction.

2. Anybody who has an ICE system please answer some basic undocumented
questions, such as emulation speed, max current sink on pins and some other
behaviour patterns.

I would much appreciate any help.

Conrad

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2001\07\16@121649 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> 1. I understand the idea of a bootloader, can someone with experience in
> that area please supply me some info on implementing a bootloader section
> for f873/f877 or point me in good direction.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/wloader
and of course the f877 datasheet (real men don't need any other
documentation)
btw did you check techref?

Wouter

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2001\07\16@223637 by Antonio L Benci

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part 1 1084 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii (decoded 7bit)

Check out:

       http://www.dontronics.com/rfarmer.html

Cheers...

wouter van ooijen & floortje hanneman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Nino.
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part 3 154 bytes
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2001\07\16@230745 by Byron A Jeff

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On Tue, Jul 17, 2001 at 12:34:14PM +1000, Antonio L Benci wrote:
> Check out:
>
>         http://www.dontronics.com/rfarmer.html

Just a real quick comment or two from looking at the site:

- I have a problem with the fact that it uses the standard USART. That's a
 valuable piece of real estate to dedicate to the bootloader.
- Because it uses the standard USART it requires the addition of serial port
 conversion hardware on board the target.
- It adds a 15 second boot delay to the system. Just a bit too invasive for
 my taste.
- It requires the programmer to move the code out of the reset area instead of
 moving it automatically.

I'm absolutely a true fan of Wloader:

- Instead of the USART, Wloader uses a single I/O pin for it's bit banged
 serial interface.
- The hardware added to the target is only two pullup resistors. Everything
 else can be placed on the programming dongle.
- Instant boot because the pullup resistor on the serial I/O pin indicates
 instantly if the programming dongle is connected to the target. The
 bootloader automatically starts if the dongle is connected.
- Wloader automatically moves the reset vector code so that the loader is
 completely transparent to the development system.
- The wloader serial port can be used as a debugging serial port after the
 application starts.
- Finally the programming dongle consist of 3 resistors and a zener diode
 in its simplest form. A dongle can be wired on a breadboard in about 5
 minutes with a buck worth of common parts. It's totally awesome when the
 auto reset circuit is added to the dongle. It consists of a transistor,
 diode, and a couple of more resistors.

Wloader is unobtrusive to both the hardware and the software of the target.
Secondly it's simple to build and simple to use. That's the two primary
goals of a bootloader in my mind.

In keeping with the simplicity of the system I have a single chip programmer
that programs 16F87X PICs in low voltage mode. It's just a modified Tait
programmer, and it's only purpose for me is to stick Wloader on the chip.

You can find my PIC page here:

http://www.finitesite.com/d3jsys

BAJ
{Quote hidden}

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2001\07\17@073920 by Bob Ammerman

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Byron A Jeff" <byronspamKILLspamCC.GATECH.EDU>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 11:05 PM
Subject: Re: [pic] Bootloader & ICE


> On Tue, Jul 17, 2001 at 12:34:14PM +1000, Antonio L Benci wrote:
> > Check out:
> >
> >         http://www.dontronics.com/rfarmer.html
>
> Just a real quick comment or two from looking at the site:
>
> - I have a problem with the fact that it uses the standard USART. That's a
>   valuable piece of real estate to dedicate to the bootloader.

Can't the app use the USART once it is running? My bootloader supports this
with no problem.

> - Because it uses the standard USART it requires the addition of serial
port
>   conversion hardware on board the target.

Why can't the level converter be on a programming dongle, instead of on the
target board.

> - It adds a 15 second boot delay to the system. Just a bit too invasive
for
>   my taste.

This is a bit excessive, but could probably be tweaked much lower without
trouble.

> - It requires the programmer to move the code out of the reset area
instead of
>   moving it automatically.

I don't view this as a serious issue. You do it -> it's done.

> I'm absolutely a true fan of Wloader:

Yes, indeed an excellent thing!

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

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2001\07\17@090317 by Byron A Jeff

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On Tue, Jul 17, 2001 at 07:35:16AM -0400, Bob Ammerman wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Byron A Jeff" <EraseMEbyronspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTCC.GATECH.EDU>
> To: <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 11:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [pic] Bootloader & ICE
>
>
> > On Tue, Jul 17, 2001 at 12:34:14PM +1000, Antonio L Benci wrote:
> > > Check out:
> > >
> > >         http://www.dontronics.com/rfarmer.html
> >
> > Just a real quick comment or two from looking at the site:
> >
> > - I have a problem with the fact that it uses the standard USART. That's a
> >   valuable piece of real estate to dedicate to the bootloader.
>
> Can't the app use the USART once it is running? My bootloader supports this
> with no problem.

Of course it can. The problem is that if the app wants to connect the USART
to something other than the PC that's programming it, it requires a physical
switch of cables to test. As a quick example, one of the projects on my list
of things to do is a MIDI sequencer. The onboard USART would be one of those
MIDI channels. With the bootloader using the USART, every time I make a program
change I'd have to switch between the MIDI box and the programmer box.
>
> > - Because it uses the standard USART it requires the addition of serial
> port
> >   conversion hardware on board the target.
>
> Why can't the level converter be on a programming dongle, instead of on the
> target board.

Point taken. However how do you manage the situation where the programmer
dongle and the USART target use differering interface technologies? Like
the MIDI example above or the EIA-485 thread that's currently under discussion.

I guess I just feel really strongly in my gut that a bootloader that uses
unique standard equipment is bothersome. If there were two USARTS I probably
wouldn't be so annoyed.

{Quote hidden}

I disagree for two reasons. First is that be making it non-transparent, it
becomes the programmer responsibility to put the code back if/when they move
the code to a traditional programmer. The second problem is that the
programming process will either fail or overwrite the bootloader if the reset
code isn't moved. In short it makes it troublesome and dangerous not to have
it automatically done.

>
> > I'm absolutely a true fan of Wloader:
>
> Yes, indeed an excellent thing!

Which is why I recommend it over the PICLoader.

BAJ

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2001\07\17@113527 by mike

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On Tue, 17 Jul 2001 07:35:16 -0400, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

If you have any switches, buttons etc. on your product, use a power-up
with button(s) held to enter the bootloader, to avoid the delay.
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2001\07\17@174433 by shane

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There is a way to avoid the delay (my bootloader uses this technique)

- Start the Windows bootloader program
- The windows bootloader continually sends 'activate' character / CRC combination out of the serial port
- Reset the PIC
- The PIC checks for an 'activate' character for 100ms, if so, it jumps to the bootloader routine.

In practice, this works very well, avoiding the initial startup delay.

Cheers,
Shane.
http://www.workingtex.com/htpic/PIC_bootloader.htm

> {Original Message removed}

2001\07\17@193736 by Antonio L Benci

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part 1 2531 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii (decoded 7bit)

Bobs right, most issues are minor. I used Rick Farmers boot loader
because it is simple and only requires hyper-terminal or similar. The
bootup delay can be easily shortened as the code is fully commented and
easy to follow...

The serial HW for my particular project was built into a DB9 housing
with a 4pin connector on the main board. Very compact.

Rick Farmers boot loader, V1.3, will automatically move the users reset
vector when the file is dumped to the PIC. I use it with CCS PCW. No
problems so far...

Bob Ammerman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Nino
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| Antonio (Nino) L. Benci                            |
| Professional Officer, Electronic Services          |
| School of Physics & Materials Engineering          |
| Monash University                                  |
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| T: 61 3 9905 3649. F: 61 3 9905 3637               |
| M: 0414 924 833                                    |
------------------------------------------------------


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2001\07\17@194352 by Antonio L Benci

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part 1 1440 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii (decoded 7bit)

Or simply modify the code to shorten the delay. This is very easily done
as the code is fully commented and easily followed.

Mike Harrison wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Nino
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| Antonio (Nino) L. Benci                            |
| Professional Officer, Electronic Services          |
| School of Physics & Materials Engineering          |
| Monash University                                  |
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2001\07\18@052601 by mike

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>> Why can't the level converter be on a programming dongle, instead of on the
>> target board.
>
>Point taken. However how do you manage the situation where the programmer
>dongle and the USART target use differering interface technologies? Like
>the MIDI example above or the EIA-485 thread that's currently under discussion.
Easy - the programming interface interfaces RS232 to MIDI (or
whatever) levels.
>I guess I just feel really strongly in my gut that a bootloader that uses
>unique standard equipment is bothersome. If there were two USARTS I probably
>wouldn't be so annoyed.

The beauty of the Pic's self-programming system is that you can
reprogram with whatever interfaces a product has - I've used it on an
infra-red interface to reprogram an environmentally sealed product.
You could even reprogram over MIDI protocols if you really wanted to,
e.g. if you wanted your customers to be able to reprogram in the
field. As reprogramming will usually be a fairly rare, knocing up a
RS232 to MIDI (level only) converter is a small price to pay for the
flexibility that ICP provides.

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2001\07\18@233512 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jul 18, 2001 at 10:27:17AM +0100, Mike Harrison wrote:
{Quote hidden}

But you're right back to the original problem that I pointed out originally
which is physically having to swap cables simply to program.

I think part of the problem is that I'm not viewing this process from an
infield reprogramming standpoint. I'm viewing it from a development standpoint.
When I'm developing, all I want to do is re-edit the code, compile it,
download it, and test. I don't want to have to make any physical adjustments
to my target setup during development. With PICLoader, any target that actually
used the USART would require such an adjustment each and every time I changed
the program.

Wloader has a dedicated programming port pin. During development it doubles as
a debugging serial port. Other than that port pin, it uses no resources on
the chip. Therefore there is no conflict between Wloader and the resources that
the target uses.

All the responses to my original criticisms state that there are workarounds
to the problems that are presented by PICloader. But none of those issues
exists with Wloader, therefore no workarounds are necessary. Because of that
it is my opinion that in terms of bootloaders that Wloader is superior to
PICLoader.

Which BTW is all I wanted to say in the first place.

BAJ

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2001\07\18@234314 by Tony Nixon

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Byron A Jeff wrote:

> Wloader has a dedicated programming port pin. During development it doubles as
> a debugging serial port. Other than that port pin, it uses no resources on
> the chip. Therefore there is no conflict between Wloader and the resources that
> the target uses.

ROMzap also has the option of deciding what pins to use to upload new
code, which leaves the UART free for other uses.

--
Best regards

Tony

mICros
http://www.bubblesoftonline.com
salesEraseMEspam.....bubblesoftonline.com

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2001\07\19@031141 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

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> All the responses to my original criticisms state that there are
workarounds
> to the problems that are presented by PICloader. But none of those issues
> exists with Wloader, therefore no workarounds are necessary. Because of
that
> it is my opinion that in terms of bootloaders that Wloader is superior to
> PICLoader.

I guess I am allowed to say that it has its weeknesses too:
- it uses quite a lot of code (2K)
- the bit-banged UART must work at a lower speed than the HW UART could

I do only (hobby) development work, no production or in-field updates, so
WLoader was made with that situation in mind: I want to hack away at my PC
and be able to compile, download, start and see the debug output without
having to leave my keyboard. (And I do not want do make modifications to
what my compiler produces, even tough it is my own compiler.) It does not
come as a surprise that WLoader appeals most to those who are in the same
situation. Other situations might warrant another choice (for instance with
mainly infield udates: you must swap cables anyway so use the UART, and ROM
footprint might be more inportant).

What I often miss in discussions like this (not blaming anyone in
particular!) is the recognition that different people work under different
circumstances, so what is optimal for one person and his situation is often
sub-optimal for another!

Wouter

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2001\07\19@035910 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I guess I am allowed to say that it has its weeknesses too:
>- it uses quite a lot of code (2K)

Could you  not class this as a strength - it means you will have no code
paging problems with having to set PCLATH?   :))

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