• LCsoft Mini Board CY7C68013A in Sigrok on Mac

    03/07/2017 at 11:00 0 comments

    Four Euros for a 16 channel, 24MHz logic analyzer is a pretty good investment. At least that's what I thought when I read this article on hackaday.com in 2012. It talks about the LCSOFT mini board being a clone of a Saleae 8 Channel logic analyzer, but with the help of the open source software sigrok it can be much more. Sigrok itself is a command line interface only program, but together with pulseview I think you will have the same experience as with the Saleae devices + software.

    You just have to make it work first, especially when you're on a Mac. I've written a nightly rant the other day, but here I'm trying to compress the essentials to make it work.

    First you need to have homebrew [https://brew.sh/] installed. If you do, you need to follow the "unstable" install route - doesn't sound comforting, more on: https://sigrok.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X

    $ brew tap rene-dev/sigrok
    $ brew install python3
    $ brew install --HEAD libserialport
    $ brew install --HEAD --with-libserialport libsigrok
    $ brew install --HEAD libsigrokdecode
    $ brew install --HEAD --with-libserialport sigrok-cli
    $ brew install --HEAD pulseview

    Whenever pulseview(/sigrok) is opened, the firmware get's written onto the Cypress CY7C68013A (FX2LP) chip. For that you need to download the pre-built firmware files from here http://sigrok.org/download/binary/sigrok-firmware-fx2lafw/ and move them to the folder.


    The other stuff I ranted about in here is just me trying to make fxload work, a tool you (probably) don't need for that.

  • burn firmware CY7C68013A on a Mac [nightly brain dump]

    03/06/2017 at 01:50 2 comments

    Warning: Only read if you want to flash and use the CY7C68013A module with sigrok on a mac!

    It all started six years ago with this article, written by @Mike Szczys: http://hackaday.com/2011/12/15/saleae-logic-analyzer-knockoff-hacking/

    Once upon a time I bought a - CY7C68013A dev board [https://sigrok.org/wiki/Lcsoft_Mini_Board], because I read that one could use this shiny cheap thing with the fancy Saleae Software and it actually thinks it's one of their fancy equipment. I never really got it to work though (lack of experience, definitely). Skip forward 4 years and I thought to myself, this time I could make it work. Taking it with me on a vacation, I tried to make it work on a Raspberry PI, fooled around with the firmware, got frustrated, you guessed it, back in the drawer.

    Now I'm fuzzing around with the Game Boy and thought that a logic analyzer would come in very handy, talked to guys in the #Hack Chat and gave it another try, this time with the open source program sigrok and their beautiful pulseview (you want that, not just the command line!) - side note: I'M ON A MAC.

    If you want to have the beautiful GUI, you HAVE TO follow the build instructions called "UNSTABLE" - there is an instruction you can follow here: https://sigrok.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X - you need to have homebrew [https://brew.sh/] installed.

    $ brew tap rene-dev/sigrok
    $ brew install python3
    $ brew install --HEAD libserialport
    $ brew install --HEAD --with-libserialport libsigrok
    $ brew install --HEAD libsigrokdecode
    $ brew install --HEAD --with-libserialport sigrok-cli
    $ brew install --HEAD pulseview

    Do this and you should be fine with a non-tinkered or vacation-flashed EEPROM. Otherwise you're in trouble again, my friend. When I fired up my CYWHATEVER module with the jumper set, I got the module recognized as a Saelae 8 Channel device, but when I tried the 16-channel version, it failed on me. Hmm, bad. So I had to flash the EEPROM somehow with something. K.


    You need a little program called fxload. I found a guy that ported cypress fx2 stuff to work with mac and another guy that wrote a "tutorial", but before the first guy moved the folder in the git. So here's how I "managed" to make it work.

    git clone https://github.com/nall/nexys2-osx.git
    cd nexys2-osx/fxload
    ln -s build/Release/fxload-osx /usr/local/bin/fxload
    I'm not sure if the linking part is correct, I had to unlink and use a direct link from where I downloaded it into. The thing is, xcodebuild will probably fail on you, if you haven't installed the 2GB+ xcode. If you have that, open the downloaded files / main.m and wait for a "we need to fix stuff" - yellow warning thing that you can push, this will fix the issue with a missing path to osx10.5 library thing. After that you should be finally able to use the xcodebuild command (I'm not an xcode guy).

    So "luckily" the guys of sigrok offer a firmware file for everything and we're ready to go, right? Wrong. They're actually something else, you need a hex file for that, and as they say: "To flash the firmware, you will need a hex file containing the firmware, fx2lafw-cypress-fx2.ihx. Since the hex file is a byproduct of the build, you will need to build the firmware from sigrok-firmware-fx2lafw sources".

    I tried to download the sigrok firmware part and compile it, so I can get the needed hexfile, that is not in the precompiled firmware folder. Bummer. But the './configure' script broke down on me, wanting a "sdcc-sdcclib", so I finally gave up and tried googling again, before firing up my rPI. Here is where I found my hexfile "fx2lafw-cypress-fx2.ihx":


    fxload -v -t fx2 -D 04b4:8613 -I fx2lafw-cypress-fx2.ihx

    Now I'm just happy to tell, that Port B and Port D are reading and streaming! - Well. Seems like there's something else wrong and pulseview can't upload the...

    Read more »

  • hey my fellow shermans... wanna buy stuff?

    02/25/2017 at 17:15 1 comment

    I'm currently selling things on eBay, just throwing out what would collect dust otherwise. There's currently no international shipping planned, but if someone reaaaaally needs stuff from my oh so small list, tell me and we can find a solution. I hope it's not too bold to advertise something like this, but hey - it has to pay the hobby ;) Should I sell something else, while I'm on it? Any PCBs or Kits?