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PICList Thread
'Warp-13 and MacPIC'
1999\10\08@040630 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Hi,

Has anyone used the warp-13 with MacPIC?  I just got my warp-13 and am
having troubles communicating with it.  A communications program gives weird
results:  Here's a screendump when I typed the letter "a" repeatedly:

XXXXXxXXXXXxxXXXXXxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxxxXXXXaXXXxXXxXXxXXxxXXXX

Hmmm... Not very repeatable.  Do I need to do the resistor mods to the
cable?

Thanks heaps,

Ben Hitchcock

1999\10\08@155311 by Anne Ogborn

flavicon
face
>Has anyone used the warp-13 with MacPIC?  I just got my warp-13 and am
>having troubles communicating with it.  A communications program gives
weird
>results:  Here's a screendump when I typed the letter "a" repeatedly:
>
>XXXXXxXXXXXxxXXXXXxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxxxXXXXaXXXxXXxXXxXXxxXXXX
>
>Hmmm... Not very repeatable.  Do I need to do the resistor mods to the
>cable?

You have your timing off. Check your baud rate.


0x61 = 'a'

0x78 = 'x'

0x58 = 'X'

So, your 'a' comes out as   (assuming you've got one start bit)
00000000101010001000000000000000

The patterns you're seeing are 000000001011110000000000000
and
000000001010110000000000000

Your receiver is sampling faster than you're transmitting, I would guess

1999\10\09@011253 by Jim Robertson

flavicon
face
At 17:50 8/10/99 +0000, you wrote:

Ben,

As I told you over the phone this MACPIC is not something I can help with
as it
is not my baby. However I can tell you that you certainly need to use the
resistor mod on the cable as the MAC serial port is not RS232 but RS
something,
something, something  with the differential voltage levels. The resistor
forms a voltage divider required to generate differential levels from the
GND to
5V levels generated from the warp-13.


Typing in "a" should not bring a response from the warp-13. It is not
part of any of the protocols and it is ignored. Type ALT-128 (on the
numeric keypad) and you should receive either , (or * depending on the
firmware version)

Jim



{Quote hidden}

Regards,

Jim Robertson
NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS
________________________________________
Email: spam_OUTnewfoundTakeThisOuTspampipeline.com.au
http://www.new-elect.com
MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.
________________________________________

1999\10\09@210936 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Jim (and others)

Thanks for that.  I did the mod (my serial cable is starting to look like
frankenstein's monster, with a DB-9, two DIN-8's, and a switch all spliced
together) and on the surface the thing appears to work.

Here's what happens when I type in the whole alphabet (lowercase first, then
uppercase) at 19200.

cdefghiqBQT

The letters received match the ones typed in, which is reassuring.

In MacPIC, I can do a blank check but anything else generates a "Serial port
I/O error".  This means that at least the mac is talking to the programmer.
Disconnecting the programmer immediately generates a "PICStart Plus not
found on serial port" which means that at least the computer can figure out
that the programmer is connected.

It seems to be a problem that is related to time - the longer the computer
and board talk to each other, the more chance of an error.

I tried using MPLab in my PC emulator and got much the same results - the
computer found the programmer, but had trouble receiving messages from it.
Disconnecting the programmer immediately generated a "programmer not found"
message.

I'm going to put a MAX-232 in between the computer and programmer, and see
how that goes.  I'll make a webpage to show what to do when I get it
working.

Ben Hitchcock

{Quote hidden}

1999\10\09@212428 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
Speaking of PIC and MACs, does anyone know if it's possible to use one
of the USB->parallel printer "cables" with the cheap parallel port PIC
programmers (and similar devices for other processors?)  I have no idea
whether these things allow any individual bit twiddling, but it's at least
POSSIBLE...

BillW

1999\10\10@045749 by leo.perretti

flavicon
face
Ben,

I'm using MacPIC with PICStart Plus. I experienced the same behaviour of
MacPIC you describe. The message "Serial port I/O error" appears when
the programmer completes writing the chip; I simply skip this message
and all works well. The message "PICStart Plus not found on serial port"
appears from time to time; when it happens I close and restart the
program and all works again. It is a sort of bug; I reported it to Kevin
Coble, the author of MacPIC; he replied he would check the protocols.
The serial port of Macs is RS422; there is a way to make RS422
compatible with the RS232; this is a description of the issue, taken
from Mac literature:

<Macintosh serial ports conform to the EIA standard RS422, which differs
from the more common RS232C standard. While RS232C modulates a signal
with respect to a common ground ("single-ended" transmission), RS422
modulates two signals against each other ("differential" transmission).
The RS232C receiver senses whether the received signal is sufficiently
negative with respect to ground to be a logic "1", whereas the RS422
receiver simply senses which line is more negative than the other. This
makes RS422 more immune to noise and interference, and more versatile
over longer distances. If you ground the positive side of each RS422
receiver and leave unconnected the positive side of each transmitter,
you've converted to EIA standard RS423, which can be used to communicate
with most RS232C devices over distances up to fifty feet or so.>

Nevertheless, I use a common RS232 cable and all works fine with
PICStart Plus.

Furthermore, I use MPLab with a PC emulator, and PICStart Plus, to
program the 16F877, which is still unsupported by MacPIC; it works fine.

I cannot say what happens with warp13; as a line of priciple, if the
communication with the serial port is regular, all should work well.

To William Chops Westfield: no experience with USB, sorry  :-)

Hope this helps

Regards

Leonardo Perretti

1999\10\10@134658 by J Nagy

flavicon
face
>I'm going to put a MAX-232 in between the computer and programmer, and see
>how that goes.  I'll make a webpage to show what to do when I get it
>working.
>
>Ben Hitchcock
>
>>From: Jim Robertson <.....newfoundKILLspamspam.....PIPELINE.COM.AU>
>>At 17:50 8/10/99 +0000, you wrote:
>>
>>Ben,
>>
>>As I told you over the phone this MACPIC is not something I can help with
>>as it
>>is not my baby. However I can tell you that you certainly need to use the
>>resistor mod on the cable as the MAC serial port is not RS232 but RS
>>something,

       As a long-time Mac user, I always get a little upset when I see
technically oriented people that do not even make an attempt to understand
what is 'under the hood' of something...
       The Mac uses a special version of RS232 known as RS422. This is
almost identical to RS232 except that it uses a dual output (differential)
system for increased noise immunity. There are two outputs the non-inverted
or '+' one, and the inverting or '-' one. In the same manner, there are two
inputs, the inverting and the non-inverting one.
       Standard RS232 inverts the outputs/inputs (check your MAX232 data
sheet), so in order to use the Mac output, only connect to the inverting
(pin 3) output, and leave the non-inverting output open/unused. Similarily,
for the Mac input you must use the inverting Rx pin (5), but since it's a
differential input, the other side of the differential pair must have a
reference connected to it (connect it to ground).
       To summarize, this is a typical cable that I have in use:

Mac (DIN 8)             RS232 (25 Pin DIN)
1       (HSKo)          4       (RTS)
2       (HSKi)          5       (CTS)
3       (TXD-)          2       (Tx)
4       (Gnd)           7       (Gnd)
5       (RXD-)          3       (Rx)
6       (TXD+)  n.c.
7       (GPi)           8       (DCD)
8       (RXD+) short to Mac pin 4
                       short 6 (DSR) to 20 (DTR)

       Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common mode
voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention. Most
models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232. Maybe this is
the cause for misunderstandings.
       At any rate, if you ignore the standards, actual voltages, etc, and
use my simplistic approach to construct the cable I described above, you
may be pleasantly surprised.



       Jim Nagy
       Elm Electronics
 ICs for Experimenters
http://www.elmelectronics.com/

1999\10\10@172132 by paulb

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face
Hello to Jim (Nagy that is).

>  Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
> with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common
> mode voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention.
> Most models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232.

 That's not consistent with what you just described.  Can you explain
more clearly how the Mac does not "adhere"?  I suspect you mean it will
"tolerate" RS-232 rather than "use" RS-232 levels.

 The RS422-to-RS232 conversion works because all standard RS232 chips
have a threshold set at 1.5 volts not 0V as the standard implies.  Since
the RS422/RS485 driver is a simple buffer and outputs a guaranteed 0.5
to 2.5V swing, this works fine.

 The RS232-to-RS422 conversion works because all standard RS422 chips
are rated for a common-mode voltage to well below zero and tolerate up
to the RS-232 -12V input.  A resistor might be nice just in case.

 As long as they can sense with *any* common-mode voltage less than
zero, then a differential of 0V on one line and -12V on the other will
be correctly detected, while 0V on the first line and +12V on the other
is basically within spec anyway.

 Ergo, it works.

 I'd use the resistor, 220 ohms, in the RS-422 input just in case.  I
think these chips *really are* specced to actually use the input
protection diodes, but again, I'm sure some will argue.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\10\10@215814 by Dennis Plunkett

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face
At 07:20 11/10/99 +1000, you wrote:
>Hello to Jim (Nagy that is).
>
>>  Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
>> with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common
>> mode voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention.
>> Most models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232.
>
>  That's not consistent with what you just described.  Can you explain
>more clearly how the Mac does not "adhere"?  I suspect you mean it will
>"tolerate" RS-232 rather than "use" RS-232 levels.
>
>  The RS422-to-RS232 conversion works because all standard RS232 chips
>have a threshold set at 1.5 volts not 0V as the standard implies.  Since
>the RS422/RS485 driver is a simple buffer and outputs a guaranteed 0.5
>to 2.5V swing, this works fine.

RS 422 and RS 485 are not the same, you will find that 422 will swing to
+6V nominaly on transmit (Can be up to 21V offset (Not used often at all))
This is just the unbalanced version of RS423 which will swing (Nominally)
from +/- 6V (OK so some will argue the ground ref bit too).

Also if the RS 422 driver only puts out 0.5V how woul this fit into the
1.5V min? Also the swing out of an RS 422 driver is dependant on the load
(Around 50 ohms), and must produce more than 200mV lateration at the
termination resistor


>
>  The RS232-to-RS422 conversion works because all standard RS422 chips
>are rated for a common-mode voltage to well below zero and tolerate up
>to the RS-232 -12V input.  A resistor might be nice just in case.
>

Dont need a resistor at all


{Quote hidden}

Need to terminate these, if the driver is RS232 then around 3k will do, so
series resistance is normally required. Not sure about the protection diode
stuff, will have to check up


Dennis



>--
>  Cheers,
>        Paul B.
>
>

1999\10\10@220436 by Dennis Plunkett

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face
At 07:20 11/10/99 +1000, you wrote:
>Hello to Jim (Nagy that is).
>
>>  Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
>> with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common
>> mode voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention.
>> Most models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232.
>
>  That's not consistent with what you just described.  Can you explain
>more clearly how the Mac does not "adhere"?  I suspect you mean it will
>"tolerate" RS-232 rather than "use" RS-232 levels.
>
>  The RS422-to-RS232 conversion works because all standard RS232 chips
>have a threshold set at 1.5 volts not 0V as the standard implies.  Since
>the RS422/RS485 driver is a simple buffer and outputs a guaranteed 0.5
>to 2.5V swing, this works fine.

RS 422 and RS 485 are not the same, you will find that 422 will swing to
+6V nominaly on transmit (Can be up to 21V offset (Not used often at all))
This is just the unbalanced version of RS423 which will swing (Nominally)
from +/- 6V (OK so some will argue the ground ref bit too).


ERROR*****
See end


Also if the RS 422 driver only puts out 0.5V how woul this fit into the
1.5V min? Also the swing out of an RS 422 driver is dependant on the load
(Around 50 ohms), and must produce more than 200mV lateration at the
termination resistor


>
>  The RS232-to-RS422 conversion works because all standard RS422 chips
>are rated for a common-mode voltage to well below zero and tolerate up
>to the RS-232 -12V input.  A resistor might be nice just in case.
>

Dont need a resistor at all


{Quote hidden}

Need to terminate these, if the driver is RS232 then around 3k will do, so
series resistance is normally required. Not sure about the protection diode
stuff, will have to check up



OPPS,
Got it wrong RS 422 is balanced, where RS 423 is unbalanced!


Dennis



>--
>  Cheers,
>        Paul B.
>
>

1999\10\11@015038 by Jim Robertson

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face
At 13:43 10/10/99 +0100, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Jim

Your above remark, to me, "suggests" that you are saying that I have not
discharged my obligations to Ben. I cannot say I am too pleased with this
situation having informed Ben that I do not have a MAC and have never seen
MACPIC. It seems to me that having informed Ben of this position *before*
he purchased a warp-13 I have in fact exceeded what was required of me.

Now before I go and over react perhaps you might want to help me out so I can
be sure I have it right. Having worked so hard at being a "good little
piclist
boy" lately, and God (oops!) knows we need more of them, I wouldn't want to
blow it on a misunderstanding...

Jim

Regards,

Jim Robertson
NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS
________________________________________
Email: newfoundspamspam_OUTpipeline.com.au
http://www.new-elect.com
MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.
________________________________________

1999\10\11@022337 by Lee Jones

flavicon
face
>>  Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
>> with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common
>> mode voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention.
>> Most models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232.

> That's not consistent with what you just described.  Can you explain
> more clearly how the Mac does not "adhere"?  I suspect you mean it
> will "tolerate" RS-232 rather than "use" RS-232 levels.

No.  The Macintosh serial port hardware was designed as RS422
but certain details were chosen to provide easy and complete
EIA/TIA-232 (aka RS232C) compatibility.

See Inside Macintosh, volume III, pages 22 to 25.  I quote:

   Macintosh serial ports conform to the EIA standard RS422,
   which differs from the more common RS232C standard.  While
   RS232C modulates a signal with respect to a common ground
   ("single-ended" tranmission), RS422 modulates two signals
   against eash other ("differential" tranmission).  The RS232C
   receiver senses whether the received signal is sufficiently
   negative with respect to ground to be a logic "1", whereas
   the RS422 receiver simply senses which line is more negative
   than the other.  This makes RS422 more immune to noise and
   interference, and more versatile over longer distances.

   If you ground the positive side of each RS422 receiver and
   leave unconnected the positive side of each transmitter,
   you've converted to EIA standard RS423, which can be used
   to communicate with most RS232C devices over distances up
   to fifty feet or so.


> I'd use the resistor, 220 ohms, in the RS-422 input just in case.

Apple makes no mention of a resistor in the adapter cable.
I've never used such a resistor in over 15 years of Macintosh
network consulting and support.  But then I've connected Macs
to networking hardware, not PIC programmers.


> The RS422-to-RS232 conversion works because all standard RS232 chips
> have a threshold set at 1.5 volts not 0V as the standard implies.  Since
> the RS422/RS485 driver is a simple buffer and outputs a guaranteed 0.5
> to 2.5V swing, this works fine.

The Macintosh, using the cable described, meets both the
transmitter and receiver specs of EIA/TIA-232.  It doesn't
depend on the non-standard input thresholds obtained using
recevier chips with floating threshold control pins.

In the original Macintosh system, Apple's designers used AMD
26LS30 driver and 26LS32 receiver.  The driver's power supplies
were +5V (Vcc) and -5V (Vee) [volume III, page 26, figure 4.
Diagram of Serial Ports].  So the RS422 TxD- output pin was
very close to the letter of the EIA/TIA-232 voltages at the
transmitter pin and certainly met the voltage requirements of
EIA/TIA-232 at the receiver pin with any reasonable cable.

Succeeding Macintosh models have, to the best of my knowledge,
followed this serial port hardware model.

                                               Lee Jones

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jones Computer Communications             @spam@leeKILLspamspamfrumble.claremont.edu
509 Black Hills Dr, Claremont, CA 91711         voice: 909-621-9008
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1999\10\11@061132 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Hi all,

First of all, I would like to point out that Jim Robertson told me a couple
of times that he couldn't guarantee that the board would work on my iMac.
He made sure that I understood that before sending me the product, and as
far as everything else goes, his service was excellent.  The product arrived
promptly, he even rang me up to apologise for using a second-hand box
because his supplier of blank boxes was late!  (Which in my book goes far
and above the call of duty).  The warp-13 looks very professional, I got a
serial cable with it, and I have absolutely no complaints against him.

Unfortunately, and due to no fault of Jim's, I'm still having problems
communicating with the warp-13.  I think this is more a problem of macs
being a bit touchy with their protocols than the board being defective.

Here is what I'm up to at the moment:

I tried putting a MAX-232 in between the programmer and the computer, with
the same result as the voltage divider trick.  (ie. I get a serial port i/o
error in MacPIC when
reading or writing code).  I CAN say that the computer is happy that the
programmer is the correct type - when the programmer selected in MacPIC is
a different one to the PICStart plus, it spits an error straightaway.

And blank checks work fine... so long as they don't take too long.

I tried using my PC emulator running MPLab, and it seemed to connect fine.
It told me that there was a newer version of the firmware available -
which means to me that it connected fine.  (By the way, Jim told me that
the firmware was out of date and I told him to ship it anyway).

However, after a few seconds MPLab told me that it couldn't read from the
PICStart +.  MPLab would then reset the programmer, tell me it had reset,
then try for a response again.  Two seconds later it would tell me that it
couldn't read from the PICStart, reset it.... etc.

Here's part of a previous post:

>         As a long-time Mac user, I always get a little upset when I see
> technically oriented people that do not even make an attempt to understand
> what is 'under the hood' of something...
<SNIP!>
{Quote hidden}

I use the connections given by apple.  You can have a look at them by
opening up the "Apple Modem Tool" in your extensions folder in ResEdit.
There
should be a PICT in there that shows you the correct connections.  They're
not too different to yours.

It might be worth mentioning here that I have used my cable to program an
intel 80c196 board (using my PC emulator) and also my DonTronics AVR
development board (I wrote the software to program it).  I have also
tested it by surfing the net through a modem that I was testing.  All
worked fine.

When I tried putting the voltage divider circuit in, the computer was a
lot happier - ie I could actually connect to the programmer - but I'm
still having the same problems as written above.  Although one of you
suggested that the "Serial port I/O error" message doesn't mean anything,
I'm not convinced.  If that were the case, then shouldn't the programmer
work with MPLab?  Hmmm...

It seems to me that the computer and programmer are getting slightly out of
synch when they are communicating.  Maybe the crystal is just slightly
wrong?

Could I put a different crystal into the programmer?  Maybe half the
frequency?  hang on, that would mean a different baud rate for the
programmer applications.  Maybe I need to put a variable clock frequency
into it and see which gives the most reliable output..

>         At any rate, if you ignore the standards, actual voltages, etc, and
> use my simplistic approach to construct the cable I described above, you
> may be pleasantly surprised.
>
I would LOVE to be pleasantly surprised at this point, however at the
moment I very much doubt it.

Now as for the USB connection:

>Speaking of PIC and MACs, does anyone know if it's possible to use one
>of the USB->parallel printer "cables" with the cheap parallel port PIC
>programmers (and similar devices for other processors?)  I have no idea
>whether these things allow any individual bit twiddling, but it's at least
>POSSIBLE...

I investigated this option for a different sort of programmer, and it's
difficult.    You have to write your own extension to control the
USB-parallel chip.  I started to do this, invested about 20 hours, and
gave up.    Even when you do this, you still have to write all the other
software to go with it - it's a lot easier to create a chip that takes a
serial input/output and converts it to parallel.
If you're interested, the chip that almost everyone uses inside their
USB-parallel converter is a Lucent chip.  I have the specs at home.
You can bit-twiddle but it means a LOT of stuffing around.

Ben

1999\10\11@083134 by paulb

flavicon
face
Lee Jones wrote:

> In the original Macintosh system, Apple's designers used AMD
> 26LS30 driver and 26LS32 receiver.  The driver's power supplies
> were +5V (Vcc) and -5V (Vee) [volume III, page 26, figure 4.
> Diagram of Serial Ports].  So the RS422 TxD- output pin was
> very close to the letter of the EIA/TIA-232 voltages at the
> transmitter pin and certainly met the voltage requirements of
> EIA/TIA-232 at the receiver pin with any reasonable cable.

 Excellent explanation.  Obviously Ben's problems are anything *but*
the RS-232 interface as long as the Warp-13 has an RS-232 interface
chip like the PP1, and the cable is connected as it is supposed.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\10\11@100831 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Sorry if you get this twice.  This message didn't go through after 4 hours,
so I'm sending it again for the third time.

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to point out that Jim Robertson told me a couple
of times that he couldn't guarantee that the board would work on my iMac.
He made sure that I understood that before sending me the product, and as
far as everything else goes, his service was excellent.  The product arrived
promptly, he even rang me up to apologise for using a second-hand box
because his supplier of blank boxes was late!  (Which in my book goes far
and above the call of duty).  The warp-13 looks very professional, I got a
serial cable with it, and I have absolutely no complaints against him.

Unfortunately, and due to no fault of Jim's, I'm still having problems
communicating with the warp-13.  I think this is more a problem of macs
being a bit touchy with their protocols than the board being defective.

Here is what I'm up to at the moment:

I tried putting a MAX-232 in between the programmer and the computer, with
the same result as the voltage divider trick.  (ie. I get a serial port i/o
error in MacPIC when
reading or writing code).  I CAN say that the computer is happy that the
programmer is the correct type - when the programmer selected in MacPIC is
a different one to the PICStart plus, it spits an error straightaway.

And blank checks work fine... so long as they don't take too long.

I tried using my PC emulator running MPLab, and it seemed to connect fine.
It told me that there was a newer version of the firmware available -
which means to me that it connected fine.  (By the way, Jim told me that
the firmware was out of date and I told him to ship it anyway).

However, after a few seconds MPLab told me that it couldn't read from the
PICStart +.  MPLab would then reset the programmer, tell me it had reset,
then try for a response again.  Two seconds later it would tell me that it
couldn't read from the PICStart, reset it.... etc.

Here's part of a previous post:

>         As a long-time Mac user, I always get a little upset when I see
> technically oriented people that do not even make an attempt to understand
> what is 'under the hood' of something...
<SNIP!>
{Quote hidden}

I use the connections given by apple.  You can have a look at them by
opening up the "Apple Modem Tool" in your extensions folder in ResEdit.
There
should be a PICT in there that shows you the correct connections.  They're
not too different to yours.

It might be worth mentioning here that I have used my cable to program an
intel 80c196 board (using my PC emulator) and also my DonTronics AVR
development board (I wrote the software to program it).  I have also
tested it by surfing the net through a modem that I was testing.  All
worked fine.

When I tried putting the voltage divider circuit in, the computer was a
lot happier - ie I could actually connect to the programmer - but I'm
still having the same problems as written above.  Although one of you
suggested that the "Serial port I/O error" message doesn't mean anything,
I'm not convinced.  If that were the case, then shouldn't the programmer
work with MPLab?  Hmmm...

It seems to me that the computer and programmer are getting slightly out of
synch when they are communicating.  Maybe the crystal is just slightly
wrong?

Could I put a different crystal into the programmer?  Maybe half the
frequency?  hang on, that would mean a different baud rate for the
programmer applications.  Maybe I need to put a variable clock frequency
into it and see which gives the most reliable output..

>         At any rate, if you ignore the standards, actual voltages, etc, and
> use my simplistic approach to construct the cable I described above, you
> may be pleasantly surprised.
>
I would LOVE to be pleasantly surprised at this point, however at the
moment I very much doubt it.

Now as for the USB connection:

>Speaking of PIC and MACs, does anyone know if it's possible to use one
>of the USB->parallel printer "cables" with the cheap parallel port PIC
>programmers (and similar devices for other processors?)  I have no idea
>whether these things allow any individual bit twiddling, but it's at least
>POSSIBLE...

I investigated this option for a different sort of programmer, and it's
difficult.    You have to write your own extension to control the
USB-parallel chip.  I started to do this, invested about 20 hours, and
gave up.    Even when you do this, you still have to write all the other
software to go with it - it's a lot easier to create a chip that takes a
serial input/output and converts it to parallel.
If you're interested, the chip that almost everyone uses inside their
USB-parallel converter is a Lucent chip.  I have the specs at home.
You can bit-twiddle but it means a LOT of stuffing around.

Ben

1999\10\11@103701 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Sorry if you get this twice.  This message didn't go through after 4 hours,
so I'm sending it again for the fourth time.  It's frustrating seeing people

talking about my problems, but not being able to say anything!

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to point out that Jim Robertson told me a couple
of times that he couldn't guarantee that the board would work on my iMac.
He made sure that I understood that before sending me the product, and as
far as everything else goes, his service was excellent.  The product arrived
promptly, he even rang me up to apologise for using a second-hand box
because his supplier of blank boxes was late!  (Which in my book goes far
and above the call of duty).  The warp-13 looks very professional, I got a
serial cable with it, and I have absolutely no complaints against him.

Unfortunately, and due to no fault of Jim's, I'm still having problems
communicating with the warp-13.  I think this is more a problem of macs
being a bit touchy with their protocols than the board being defective.

Here is what I'm up to at the moment:

I tried putting a MAX-232 in between the programmer and the computer, with
the same result as the voltage divider trick.  (ie. I get a serial port i/o
error in MacPIC when
reading or writing code).  I CAN say that the computer is happy that the
programmer is the correct type - when the programmer selected in MacPIC is
a different one to the PICStart plus, it spits an error straightaway.

And blank checks work fine... so long as they don't take too long.

I tried using my PC emulator running MPLab, and it seemed to connect fine.
It told me that there was a newer version of the firmware available -
which means to me that it connected fine.  (By the way, Jim told me that
the firmware was out of date and I told him to ship it anyway).

However, after a few seconds MPLab told me that it couldn't read from the
PICStart +.  MPLab would then reset the programmer, tell me it had reset,
then try for a response again.  Two seconds later it would tell me that it
couldn't read from the PICStart, reset it.... etc.

Here's part of a previous post:

>         As a long-time Mac user, I always get a little upset when I see
> technically oriented people that do not even make an attempt to understand
> what is 'under the hood' of something...
<SNIP!>
{Quote hidden}

I use the connections given by apple.  You can have a look at them by
opening up the "Apple Modem Tool" in your extensions folder in ResEdit.
There
should be a PICT in there that shows you the correct connections.  They're
not too different to yours.

It might be worth mentioning here that I have used my cable to program an
intel 80c196 board (using my PC emulator) and also my DonTronics AVR
development board (I wrote the software to program it).  I have also
tested it by surfing the net through a modem that I was testing.  All
worked fine.

When I tried putting the voltage divider circuit in, the computer was a
lot happier - ie I could actually connect to the programmer - but I'm
still having the same problems as written above.  Although one of you
suggested that the "Serial port I/O error" message doesn't mean anything,
I'm not convinced.  If that were the case, then shouldn't the programmer
work with MPLab?  Hmmm...

It seems to me that the computer and programmer are getting slightly out of
synch when they are communicating.  Maybe the crystal is just slightly
wrong?

Could I put a different crystal into the programmer?  Maybe half the
frequency?  hang on, that would mean a different baud rate for the
programmer applications.  Maybe I need to put a variable clock frequency
into it and see which gives the most reliable output..

>         At any rate, if you ignore the standards, actual voltages, etc, and
> use my simplistic approach to construct the cable I described above, you
> may be pleasantly surprised.
>
I would LOVE to be pleasantly surprised at this point, however at the
moment I very much doubt it.

Now as for the USB connection:

>Speaking of PIC and MACs, does anyone know if it's possible to use one
>of the USB->parallel printer "cables" with the cheap parallel port PIC
>programmers (and similar devices for other processors?)  I have no idea
>whether these things allow any individual bit twiddling, but it's at least
>POSSIBLE...

I investigated this option for a different sort of programmer, and it's
difficult.    You have to write your own extension to control the
USB-parallel chip.  I started to do this, invested about 20 hours, and
gave up.    Even when you do this, you still have to write all the other
software to go with it - it's a lot easier to create a chip that takes a
serial input/output and converts it to parallel.
If you're interested, the chip that almost everyone uses inside their
USB-parallel converter is a Lucent chip.  I have the specs at home.
You can bit-twiddle but it means a LOT of stuffing around.

Ben

1999\10\11@110646 by J Nagy

flavicon
face
>
>>  Strictly speaking, the RS422 voltage levels should be more in line
>> with typical RS485 signals (differential on top of a positive common
>> mode voltage), but the Mac doesn't seem to adhere to this convention.
>> Most models seem to use asymmetrical signals about 0v, like RS232.
>
>  That's not consistent with what you just described.  Can you explain
>more clearly how the Mac does not "adhere"?  I suspect you mean it will
>"tolerate" RS-232 rather than "use" RS-232 levels.
>

       I wouldn't bet much money on it, but I was always of the impression
that  RS422 and RS485 operated with a positive common mode voltage. The
schematics that I have (for the early Macs anyway) show AM26LS30 type
RS422/RS423 drivers powered from +/- 5V supplies, leading to my comment.
       Actually I haven't thought about this a great deal. I was too cheap
to buy an (overpriced) Mac cable about 10 years ago, made one and it
worked. When I went to a 28.8 modem ~5yrs ago, I remember having to fiddle
a bit with the handshaking, but wrote down what I did, and this is what
I've passed on.
       My initial comment in my post was meant as a dig at that large
component of the computer world that fails to realize that there are other
units out there besides the ones powered by Intel. The Macintosh is a major
player in that other world just as Mercedes is in North America to the
General Motors users. If manufacturers just did a little homework, they
could include instructions for connection to Macintoshes and immediately
open the doors to perhaps 10% more market. I still remember being so
pleased when I opened my first 68HC11 EVBU (gasp!) and found directions and
software for both IBMs and Macs.


       Jim Nagy
       Elm Electronics
 ICs for Experimenters
http://www.elmelectronics.com/

1999\10\11@164052 by Keelan Lightfoot

flavicon
face
Ben wrote:
-chop-
>First of all, I would like to point out that Jim Robertson told me a couple
>of times that he couldn't guarantee that the board would work on my iMac.
>He made sure that I understood that before sending me the product, and as
>far as everything else goes, his service was excellent.  The product arrived
>promptly, he even rang me up to apologise for using a second-hand box
>because his supplier of blank boxes was late!  (Which in my book goes far
>and above the call of duty).  The warp-13 looks very professional, I got a
>serial cable with it, and I have absolutely no complaints against him.
-chop-

You say that you are using it with your iMac.. The iMac has only USB ports,
does it not? You would have to use an additional serial port card, or a USB
to serial converter to connect your iMac to the Warp-13... Maybe the problem
is not in hardware, but in software... Many devices (Serial Quickcams, for
example) made to work with a mac's internal serial port will not work with
serial port expanders, and their like.

I am using a Picstart+ with a US Robotics modem cable and a DB25-DB9 gender
changer and it works perfectly.

Maybe you could hunt down an old SE-30, and an Ethernet card for it, so you
could do all your programming with your iMac & MacPIC, then use the SE-30
for writing the code to the device...

- Keelan Lightfoot

1999\10\11@183005 by Ben Hitchcock

flavicon
picon face
Hi,
>
> You say that you are using it with your iMac.. The iMac has only USB ports,
> does it not? You would have to use an additional serial port card, or a USB
> to serial converter to connect your iMac to the Warp-13... Maybe the problem
> is not in hardware, but in software... Many devices (Serial Quickcams, for
> example) made to work with a mac's internal serial port will not work with
> serial port expanders, and their like.

That's right.  I have a Keyspan USB-serial adapter, which has worked for
everything else so far (my 80C196 board, and my AVR programmer) and a
number of modems and routers.

But I also have ye olde Mac LC, which I tried before posting these
messages.  For example, my Quicktake camera only works on my mac LC, not
on my iMac.  THis is a problem with OS 8, not the hardware... but anyway,
I did try it on my LC first.

> I am using a Picstart+ with a US Robotics modem cable and a DB25-DB9 gender
> changer and it works perfectly.

Hmmm.... anyway I'll keep trying.

Thanks,
Ben Hitchcock

1999\10\12@014950 by Heinz Czychun

flavicon
face
Hi Ben,

       I've been using a Warp-3 with MacPIC (version .98b) to program
PIC16F84s, and 16C71s.

       I also had a little bit of trouble initially to get everything working.

       As I understand it your using a Warp-13, and an iMAC, and have an
LC to also play with.

       Here are a few areas that I think may be problematic.

1.      On my version of MacPIC, there is no selection for Warp-13 ( of the
'Warps', only Warp-3 or Warp-17 are selectable.). I'm not sure if Kevin has
added more selections to the latest version of MacPIC. At any rate it
sounds like you have PICStart Plus selected, as that's the error message
your getting back.
       As I'm not familiar with Warp-13. Does it provide the same
programming interface as either the Warp-3, -17, or PICStart Plus ? (a
question Jim should be able to answer) If not, and if there is no selection
for Warp-13 with the newest version of MacPIC, I would say that's the
problem and you need to get a programmer that is compatible with MacPIC.

2.      Baud rate, as Annie indicated,this may be at least part of the
problem. Again I'm not sure if this is applicable to the Warp-13, but with
the latest version of the Warp-3 firmware, Jim had increased the baud rate
for the Warp-3. In response Kevin has made provisions for this increase in
the latest version of MacPIC. As I haven't used this version I'm not sure
how the speed selection is made. So again you have to find out from Jim,
what speed the Warp-13 needs, and set MacPIC accordingly.

Hope this helps,
Heinz

At 1:50 PM 10/8/99, Ben Hitchcock wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\10\12@120942 by miked

flavicon
face
{Quote hidden}

I think they may be now using the National DS8925 which intergrates the
26LSxx functions and does RS422 and RS423(which is supposed to be
interoperable with RS232). This device runs off +-5V giving around 8 volt
swing in differental mode. By connecting grounds you get a +- swing(using
just the inverting output of the driver). For RS232 Rx you tie RxD + to
ground and input thru RxD-. The 2 handshake inputs have their RxD+
connected to Gnd internally and the handshake output is single ended.
I came across this while trying to control a Kodak DC50 digital camera via
RS422 (They have a MAC serial port, the MAC cable is simpley a twisted
cable) instead of RS232(same as a MAC to PC cable). When connected to
a standard RS422(75179) chip it loads the driver's -Vee enough to to blank
the camera's LCD(-Vee contrast). I had to but a blocking diode in series on
the RX+ line on the 75179.

1999\10\12@160425 by Mark Willis

flavicon
face
The Warp-13's a PicStart Plus clone, so he's set correctly there.

 Mark

Heinz Czychun wrote:
> ...
>         As I'm not familiar with Warp-13. Does it provide the same
> programming interface as either the Warp-3, -17, or PICStart Plus ? (a
> question Jim should be able to answer) If not, and if there is no selection
> for Warp-13 with the newest version of MacPIC, I would say that's the
> problem and you need to get a programmer that is compatible with MacPIC.

1999\10\12@233426 by Jim Robertson

flavicon
face
At 01:44 12/10/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi Ben,
>
>        I've been using a Warp-3 with MacPIC (version .98b) to program
>PIC16F84s, and 16C71s.
>
>        I also had a little bit of trouble initially to get everything
working.
{Quote hidden}

MACPIC II is planned and will add the warp-13 explicitly.


At any rate it
>sounds like you have PICStart Plus selected, as that's the error message
>your getting back.
>        As I'm not familiar with Warp-13. Does it provide the same
>programming interface as either the Warp-3, -17, or PICStart Plus ? (a
>question Jim should be able to answer)


Yes, the warp-13 should work as both a warp-3 and a picstart plus but if
selected as a warp-3 the setting should be for the PM4 protocol and not the
TM4. I do not know how Kevin has implemented this on MACPIC. I have not
seen MACPIC unfortunately.


>
>2.      Baud rate, as Annie indicated,this may be at least part of the
>problem. Again I'm not sure if this is applicable to the Warp-13, but with
>the latest version of the Warp-3 firmware, Jim had increased the baud rate
>for the Warp-3. In response Kevin has made provisions for this increase in
>the latest version of MacPIC. As I haven't used this version I'm not sure
>how the speed selection is made. So again you have to find out from Jim,
>what speed the Warp-13 needs, and set MacPIC accordingly.

19200 8N1 same as picstart plus and the older TM4 firmware.


>Hope this helps,
>Heinz

Thanks for your efforts Heinz.

Regards,

Jim


{Quote hidden}

Regards,

Jim Robertson
NEWFOUND ELECTRONICS
________________________________________
Email: KILLspamnewfoundKILLspamspampipeline.com.au
http://www.new-elect.com
MPLAB compatible PIC programmers.
________________________________________

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