No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

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No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:41 pm

Hi. After weeks of fighting this I'm getting pretty close to giving up on ever getting Er9x firmware installed on my 9x transmitter, using a SmartieParts SP Basic programmer board.

The 9x is new and of recent vintage with the programming pads in the required places for the SP board. I've now been through two of these boards (they're both of the current type where you have to use a washer on the left mounting screw to hold the board down, due to a manufacturing defect).

As far as I can tell the pogo pins are aligned on the pads as well as is possible, and I have tried cleaning off the pads.

I'm testing with the 9x powered up and with plenty of juice.
No matter what I do, I get the notorious avrdude:

Avrdude.exe:error:programm enable:target doesn't answer.1
avrdude.exe:initialization failed, rc=-1
error message when I try to read from the 9x (memory read, firmware read, etc.)


This occurs along with a beep from the 9x as it appears to reboot.
Tests with the "Companion" software yield the same.

I have not done anything that should have changed the fuse states, in fact I have not tried to write at all to the unit, only reads.

Steven at SP has been very helpful but says he's at a loss as to where to look.

I did try one read op with -F to see what would come back, and got:

avrdude: error: programm enable: target doesn't answer. 1
avrdude: initialization failed, rc=-1
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions
avrdude: Device signature = 0xc8875f
avrdude: Expected signature for ATmega64 is 1E 96 02


which Steven says he does not recognize. For all I know it's just garbage data. At this stage I'm not even certain that all pins of the SP unit are properly contacting, but I've done what I could to try assure this.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you, and best for the New Year!

L


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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:14 pm

Steven has probably already made this suggestion, have you tried with the -B 100 option, or even -B 1000?

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:30 pm

I should have mentioned that in the OP. Yes, I have experimented with various -B settings up to at least -B 1000. Same error. Thanks.
Last edited by TT0002 on Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by PNaz » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:50 pm

I am having the same problem with the SP Basic. I have tried it on two separate transmitters with the same results. Both motherboards are new and have a 128A CPU installed. I did confirm before installing the SP Basic that they operated with the original Flysky firmware. After trying to read the flash memory to save the original firmware the transmitters will not boot. No video screen, no beeps, and no other sign of life. No writes of any kind were attempted.

Paul

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by kaos » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:56 pm

I think I read some time ago, similar situation. Have you tried to clean up the avrdue installation in your computer and reinstall clean'?
and check if the T9X functions with stock FW in it.


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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:57 pm

PNaz wrote:I am having the same problem with the SP Basic. I have tried it on two separate transmitters with the same results. Both motherboards are new and have a 128A CPU installed. I did confirm before installing the SP Basic that they operated with the original Flysky firmware. After trying to read the flash memory to save the original firmware the transmitters will not boot. No video screen, no beeps, and no other sign of life. No writes of any kind were attempted.

Paul
You probably checked this -- especially with multiple transmitters, but are you certain there was no damage to the wiring harness plug that you need to disconnect to install the SP Basic? This appears to be notably fragile.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:59 pm

kaos wrote:I think I read some time ago, similar situation. Have you tried to clean up the avrdue installation in your computer and reinstall clean'?
and check if the T9X functions with stock FW in it.
These are all clean installs of the eepe/companion/avrdude suites on three platforms -- linux, Win 10, and Win 7. I'm seeing identical behavior on all three. The 9x is operational with its original firmware. Thanks.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by kaos » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:33 am

You said your T9x is new. Does that have a m64 chip or m128 chip? I recently got a new T9x which comes with a m128 chip.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:37 am

kaos wrote:You said your T9x is new. Does that have a m64 chip or m128 chip? I recently got a new T9x which comes with a m128 chip.
I believe I tried configuring for 128, etc. along the way with these testing attempts (with no change apparent). I wasn't able to resolve the printing on the chip well enough to be sure originally. I can take another look at that though. Thanks.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by kaos » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:47 am

OK, good luck and Happy New Year!

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:05 am

TT0002 wrote:
kaos wrote:You said your T9x is new. Does that have a m64 chip or m128 chip? I recently got a new T9x which comes with a m128 chip.
I believe I tried configuring for 128, etc. along the way with these testing attempts (with no change apparent). I wasn't able to resolve the printing on the chip well enough to be sure originally. I can take another look at that though. Thanks.
Finally managed to read it. ATMEGA64A.

Best for the new year!

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:44 am

Let's just check the version of AvrDude you have. Please add an argument of -v to the AvrDude command, this will cause it to display the version number.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by PNaz » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:16 pm

First attempt was on a Macbook OSX El Capitan with eePe Revision: 420, Aug 2 2015 and AvrDude 5.3.1. On the second transmitter I used a Win 10 Pro computer with eePe revision 419 Oct 25 2015 and AvrDude 5.1 so it was separate computers programming separate transmitters using separate USB cables with the only items common to both was the SP Basic board and myself operating the keyboards. Alignment of the SP Basic board was carefully checked on both installs.

Paul

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:13 pm

MikeB wrote:Let's just check the version of AvrDude you have. Please add an argument of -v to the AvrDude command, this will cause it to display the version number.

Mike.
Avrdude version 6.0.1 here. Thanks.

L

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:01 pm

You could try using V5.1. This version should be (on Windows) in your eepe install directory.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:19 pm

MikeB wrote:You could try using V5.1. This version should be (on Windows) in your eepe install directory.

Mike.
Yep, it's there, but presumably it's the version eepe is using when I've tested on Windows and gotten the same error message.

L

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:35 pm

Only if the path in the burn|configure dialog points to it, although it probably does.
I'm helping as much as I can, but I don't have an SP basic myself, nor do I normally use a USBASP for flashing my radios!

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:00 am

MikeB wrote:Only if the path in the burn|configure dialog points to it, although it probably does.
I'm helping as much as I can, but I don't have an SP basic myself, nor do I normally use a USBASP for flashing my radios!

Mike.
Your suggestions are much appreciated in any case. My main concern is that right now I don't even have a reasonable way to verify that all SP Basic pins are even making correct contact with the 9x pads. Just verified that yes, the avrdude location setting in eepe points at the local folder avrdude version which is 5.1. Thanks again.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:00 am

I'm assuming you have the original (stock) firmware on the 9X.
Now, when you try to flash new firmware, the programmer has to reset the processor, then try to access the processor via the programming pins. So, when you attempt to flash new firmware, can you tell if the processor gets reset?
Idea to test this.
When you power on the radio, does the stock firmware start normally? If you start it with one, or more, switches incorrectly set, do you get "SWITCH ERROR" displayed?
If both of these happen, try:
Power on as a normal start, then change a switch to cause a "SWITCH ERROR" on a restart, then try flashing the firmware. If the processor gets reset, then it should restart and get a "SWITCH ERROR".

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:13 am

MikeB wrote:I'm assuming you have the original (stock) firmware on the 9X.
Now, when you try to flash new firmware, the programmer has to reset the processor, then try to access the processor via the programming pins. So, when you attempt to flash new firmware, can you tell if the processor gets reset?
Idea to test this.
When you power on the radio, does the stock firmware start normally? If you start it with one, or more, switches incorrectly set, do you get "SWITCH ERROR" displayed?
If both of these happen, try:
Power on as a normal start, then change a switch to cause a "SWITCH ERROR" on a restart, then try flashing the firmware. If the processor gets reset, then it should restart and get a "SWITCH ERROR".

Mike.
This is indeed the behavior I see. On normal power on, I get a normal boot of the stock firmware. If a switch is out of position when I boot, I get the repeating switch error message until switches are restored to the correct position. If I try to read firmware or memory using the SP card (again, I have not tried any writes yet) I get the target access error, the transmitter beeps and reboots. If a switch is out of position when that occurs, it will then go into the switch error mode as before.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:03 am

So the reset signal seems to be connecting through OK.
When using the radio normally, can you tell if the MENU button is operating correctly and also the THR-CUT and AIL switches?

Do you have a test meter? I'm wondering if some resistors on the main board have the wrong value.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:55 pm

MikeB wrote:So the reset signal seems to be connecting through OK.
When using the radio normally, can you tell if the MENU button is operating correctly and also the THR-CUT and AIL switches?

Do you have a test meter? I'm wondering if some resistors on the main board have the wrong value.

Mike.
I recall seeing a post about a wrong value resistor but didn't look at it in detail since it didn't seem to relate to my situation. As far as I can tell the THR-CUT and AIL switches are OK (and MENU), but I have not used this unit much because I didn't want to bother programming it and then lose it all when I moved to Er9x -- which of course is how this whole saga began. But yes, I have DVMs.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by jhsa » Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:29 pm

You could also try to do some reads but with the THR and AIL on different positions..

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:06 pm

There are 6 spring pin connections:
5V, Ground, Reset, SCK (MENU), MOSI, MISO.
The SCK, MOSI and MISO connections go to processor pins, but the also have what should be a 200 ohm resistor to a 0.1uF capacitor and either a switch or a button. These are on processor pins 11, 2 and 3. Those are the resistors to check.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:34 pm

MikeB wrote:There are 6 spring pin connections:
5V, Ground, Reset, SCK (MENU), MOSI, MISO.
The SCK, MOSI and MISO connections go to processor pins, but the also have what should be a 200 ohm resistor to a 0.1uF capacitor and either a switch or a button. These are on processor pins 11, 2 and 3. Those are the resistors to check.

Mike.
I assume these are safe to check in-circuit? Thanks.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:41 pm

MikeB wrote:There are 6 spring pin connections:
5V, Ground, Reset, SCK (MENU), MOSI, MISO.
The SCK, MOSI and MISO connections go to processor pins, but the also have what should be a 200 ohm resistor to a 0.1uF capacitor and either a switch or a button. These are on processor pins 11, 2 and 3. Those are the resistors to check.

Mike.
Hope those resistors are correct -- hate to deal with surface mount! I see from a diagram of the main board that the pins I can get a visual bead on from above when the SP is installed are MOSI, MISO, and SCK (and presumably VCC). I can't see GND and RST but we know those have to be making good contact or else the 9x wouldn't be resetting at all when I try to read.

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by jhsa » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:11 pm

VCC, on the capacitor between both voltage regulators. But does the SP board have a pogo pin for VCC? :o
SCK, you can get it on the MENU key (I think).
RESET, maybe only on the processor, pin 20
MOSI, you can get it on the THR switch
MISO, You can get it on the AIL switch

SCK, MOSI and MISO will measure around 200 ohms to the points I indicated..

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:14 pm

MikeB wrote:There are 6 spring pin connections:
5V, Ground, Reset, SCK (MENU), MOSI, MISO.
The SCK, MOSI and MISO connections go to processor pins, but the also have what should be a 200 ohm resistor to a 0.1uF capacitor and either a switch or a button. These are on processor pins 11, 2 and 3. Those are the resistors to check.

Mike.
I haven't actually wedged in to measure, but all of those resistors appear to be properly soldered in place and all are marked 201 (200 ohm).

L

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by TT0002 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:17 pm

jhsa wrote:VCC, on the capacitor between both voltage regulators. But does the SP board have a pogo pin for VCC? :o
SCK, you can get it on the MENU key (I think).
RESET, maybe only on the processor, pin 20
MOSI, you can get it on the THR switch
MISO, You can get it on the AIL switch

SCK, MOSI and MISO will measure around 200 ohms to the points I indicated..

João
Correct, the SP board only has 5 pins (no Vcc pin). It gets its Vcc from the USB connection.

L

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Re: No joy with 9x transmitter and SmartieParts SP Basic firmware programmer for Er9x install

Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:21 pm

Still worth measuring though. It wouldn't be the first time a resistor was not the marked value.

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