The Pickit Thread: Updating Firmware & Burning ROMs

Digital Audio Electronics - discussion & support.

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Post by guestt » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:51 pm

I've worked with computers and development environments for a long time s it was kinda second nature to me, I do feel for anyone who doesn't have this knowledge and experience, it is so bloomin confusing if you don't know.

I seem to remember someone doing this from the command line - does anyone know if that right? Might be worth looking into in your case rabbitfur - good luck!

p.s. where do you live? There might be a friendly fellow wiggler who could help you out nearby?

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Post by rabbitfur » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:02 pm

i live around san juan puerto rico and dunno if there's anyone out here. holler if there is, otherwise i guess i'll just wait till the next time i visit the states to try to figure this out. thanks for the help, i'm just on witts end with this right now. :deadbanana:

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Post by guestt » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:04 pm

We could do with an answer to this really, there's two folks experienced this I know of.

Perhaps contact support folks for MPLAB, or Scott, or even the MPLAB forums?

There should be a way to get the Pickit to update without using the default mechanism in the app boot up sequence.

Edit: also, perhaps send your Pickit to someone who could get it through the update bottleneck - after that you should be good to go!

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Post by BlueWolfSe7en » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:30 pm

When I finally got it to work with Windows mplab still listed default, I never saw the serial no.
Also SH did not show 8888 on the display as it did on the Mac. Whole thing is damn weird!
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Post by rabbitfur » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:33 am

Ive been on mplabs forums and there seems to not be a workaround for macs, on pcs you can download a standalone app for the programmer that will update it to the newest version. It seems like this is acommon problem with mplab and mac os and they dont seem to care.

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Post by sempervirent » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:45 am

Has anyone tried using an older (perhaps much older) version of MPLAB with their Mac?

All the old versions can still be downloaded (check the Download Archive tab):
http://www.microchip.com/mplab/mplab-x-ide

Seems like a possible workaround for those who are using a PICKit that has a firmware version incompatible with the latest version of MPLAB.

There are three variables at play (programmer firmware version, OS version, and MPLAB version) but maybe some combination will yield success.

Could also run a virtualization of Windows so you can run the PICKit firmware updater.

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Post by mt3 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:05 pm

Try playonmac.com to run Windows software on a Mac. I updated the post to mention this. Cheap and easy virtualization alternative.

EDIT: Also updated the post to mention Grayscale Algorhythm (I have 3) is updated via Pickit as well. :nana:
Haven't had time to get a Pickit so I can't get in on the beta unfortunately.

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Post by sempervirent » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:21 pm

Yep, first beta tester ran into this very issue: PICKit3 never shows up as a connected device in MPLAB IPE. Downgrading MPLAB didn't seem to work, for the record. We'll give the the PlayOnMac software a try.

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Post by mt3 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:55 pm

sempervirent wrote:Yep, first beta tester ran into this very issue: PICKit3 never shows up as a connected device in MPLAB IPE. Downgrading MPLAB didn't seem to work, for the record. We'll give the the PlayOnMac software a try.
Keep us posted. I'll order up one of these fandangled Picnickits tonight.
Did they use a Microchip brand Pickit or generic white-label one?

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Post by mt3 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:07 pm

Another Windows Emulator for Mac/Lunix:
http://winebottler.kronenberg.org
Need to verify it helps with MPLAB issues.

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Post by mt3 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:02 am

Also note there is a post here where a pickit3 is being shared via mail by a bunch of users:
viewtopic.php?p=2309724

This will provide excellent evidence and support for the various users having pickit issues (so far none). Such positive firmware updates lead me to believe PEBKAC is the most likely source of errors (or a bad off-label pickit).

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Post by sempervirent » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:06 am

mt3 wrote:Did they use a Microchip brand Pickit or generic white-label one?
Not sure where the tester's PICKit was from, but after connecting it to MPLAB X on a Windows PC, the firmware update went through with no problems.

Sometimes what seems like a knock-off counterfeit version is in fact an identical device, made in the same factory as the "real" version.

That said, I do wonder if getting a new PICKit direct from Microchip (not from eBay sellers) would ensure that the firmware is up to date.

Here's a page on the Microchip website that explains why a PICKit might not connect... firmware on the device predates the release of MPLAB X (which is their multi-platform version of MPLAB, previously MPLAB was only for Windows):

https://microchip.secure.force.com/micr ... earch&pn=1
Since PICKIT 3 came out long before MPLAB X, a minimum PICKIT 3 firmware version had to be chosen to work correctly with MPLAB X. The minimum PICKIT 3 firmware capable of working with MPLAB X is version 1.26.10. If the PICKIT 3 has firmware which predates 1.26.10 (as may happen if a tool has been sitting unused on a shelf for years) then downloading the firmware will require one of two things...
FWIW my setup is also Mac-based, but I have an ICD3 and run an older version of Mac OS (and MPLAB X). No problems with this setup. But I'll definitely be implementing Mutable's audio bootloader method for future modules though, because as this thread and the "shipping a PICKit around the world" thread shows, rolling out a firmware update for a PIC-based module is a logistical challenge.

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Post by Endorfinity » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:31 pm

please delete

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Post by Endorfinity » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:57 pm

update success report

Malgorithm mkII (later revision with 6-pin header for programmer)

PICkit2 (i got this one exactly)

OS X 10.10.5

PICkit 2 programmer for OS X



dropped pk2cmd and PK2DeviceFile.dat files into /bin folder (come with the app)

with everything connected (usb port - cable from PICkit - PICkit - ribbon cable - Malgo) powered up Malgo from modular PSU

for testing purposes pushed 'Show connected PIC'
Operation Succeeded
Searching for your PIC on board ...
No PICkit 2 found.
while it looked like something was wrong, I chose .HEX file and pushed 'Write HEX' nonetheless - nothing happened

changed pin orientation of the cable - nothing found still, but Malgo's LEDs 2,3 and 4 suddenly went green. after turning modular off and on, with cable disconnected Malgo was working fine

connected programmer directly to Malgo, without ribbon cable - nothing again, maybe wrong orientation just like in the first case

changed orientation of PICkit connection to Malgo - LEDs turned green again, succesful 'Show connected PIC', PIC model showing fine, write procedure went without problems.
Last edited by Endorfinity on Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by echologist » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:56 pm

man oh man, I wanna update my stillson mk2 and my piston mk 2 but the process has got me stressed out :cry:

I guess I just gotta get over it!

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Post by mt3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:03 am

echologist wrote:man oh man, I wanna update my stillson mk2 and my piston mk 2 but the process has got me stressed out :cry:

I guess I just gotta get over it!
Feel free to mention which parts induce fear and stress and I'll try to write those parts up in a more comforting way.

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Post by mt3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:12 am

Endorfinity wrote:update success report

Malgorithm mkII (later revision with 6-pin header for programmer)

PICkit2 (i got this one exactly)

OS X 10.10.5

PICkit 2 programmer for OS X



dropped pk2cmd and PK2DeviceFile.dat files into /bin folder (come with the app)

with everything connected (usb port - cable from PICkit - PICkit - ribbon cable - Malgo) powered up Malgo from modular PSU

for testing purposes pushed 'Show connected PIC'
Operation Succeeded
Searching for your PIC on board ...
No PICkit 2 found.
while it looked like something was wrong, I chose .HEX file and pushed 'Write HEX' nonetheless - nothing happened

changed pin orientation of the cable - nothing found still, but Malgo's LEDs 2,3 and 4 suddenly went green. after turning modular off and on, with cable disconnected Malgo was working fine

connected programmer directly to Malgo, without ribbon cable - nothing again, maybe wrong orientation just like in the first case

changed orientation of PICkit connection to Malgo - succes, PIC model showing fine, write procedure went without problems.
This is gold.
:tu:

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Post by echologist » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:47 am

Thank you kindly. Just awaiting the arrival of the PICkit3
mt3 wrote:
echologist wrote:man oh man, I wanna update my stillson mk2 and my piston mk 2 but the process has got me stressed out :cry:

I guess I just gotta get over it!
Feel free to mention which parts induce fear and stress and I'll try to write those parts up in a more comforting way.
Image

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:33 am

Pickit 2 with Pickit programmer, Windows 10, updated the SHmk2 with no fuss. Couldn't get the MPLAB to work so the pickit program worked just fine for me.
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Post by mt3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:11 pm

sempervirent wrote:
mt3 wrote:Did they use a Microchip brand Pickit or generic white-label one?
Not sure where the tester's PICKit was from, but after connecting it to MPLAB X on a Windows PC, the firmware update went through with no problems.

Sometimes what seems like a knock-off counterfeit version is in fact an identical device, made in the same factory as the "real" version.

...

FWIW my setup is also Mac-based, but I have an ICD3 and run an older version of Mac OS (and MPLAB X). No problems with this setup. But I'll definitely be implementing Mutable's audio bootloader method for future modules though, because as this thread and the "shipping a PICKit around the world" thread shows, rolling out a firmware update for a PIC-based module is a logistical challenge.
Any risk the audio upgrade bricks the module?

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Post by sempervirent » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:27 pm

Not sure, the MI website (i.e. this page and others) do include a disclaimer of sorts:
We provide an “unbricking” (firmware reinstallation and reinitialization) service in the event of a failed firmware upgrade procedure. We do not “unbrick” devices if a custom firmware has been installed on them.
I personally haven't had any trouble updating firmware on MI modules though, it's very reliable in my experience. And there is some built-in CRC error handling to make the process more robust.

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Post by pichenettes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:45 pm

The module is never bricked in the sense that it's always possible to retry the firmware procedure in case it fails. The bootloader can never be overwritten.

But if there's something wrong with your cable/audio interface that causes the update to always fail half way, there can be no other option than trying with another setup... or sending it back to me. This is fairly rare.

Note that you can customize the bootloader to make it completely bullet-proof - use one half of the flash to store the current version of the firmware, the other half to store the newly received version, and mark the new version for boot only once it has been fully received and crc'ed. I don't do this because it "wastes" 50% of the available flash, and most of my modules almost fill up the flash.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:10 pm

pichenettes wrote:The module is never bricked in the sense that it's always possible to retry the firmware procedure in case it fails. The bootloader can never be overwritten.

But if there's something wrong with your cable/audio interface that causes the update to always fail half way, there can be no other option than trying with another setup... or sending it back to me. This is fairly rare.

Note that you can customize the bootloader to make it completely bullet-proof - use one half of the flash to store the current version of the firmware, the other half to store the newly received version, and mark the new version for boot only once it has been fully received and crc'ed. I don't do this because it "wastes" 50% of the available flash, and most of my modules almost fill up the flash.
I've actually bricked one of your modules by stupidly trying to upload a Parasite firmware while the module was a prototype. Totally my fault, but I still feel bad for trying it in the first place, but it's a pity to have it do nothing.
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Post by pichenettes » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:32 am

That's why it was called a prototype :) The bootloader on the first STM32F4 modules out in the wild (this must have been the first 20 Clouds or so) worked differently.

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:47 am

pichenettes wrote:That's why it was called a prototype :) The bootloader on the first STM32F4 modules out in the wild (this must have been the first 20 Clouds or so) worked differently.
:oops: Any chance you can still debrick it ?
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