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Thread: Custom Firmware for Fusion Brain

  1. #1
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    Custom Firmware for Fusion Brain

    OK.. finally got the versions right and I have verified that the board works.

    I really like the hardware; its something that I have been wanted to put together myself but have just never had the means.

    I am coming at this from the point of view of a hobbyist, so I hope you don't mind, but I would now like to program this chip with my own code; that's where the real fun is anyway. In any case, I don't want to have to keep the PC connected; seems like a terrible waste to leave the computer running all the time to baby sit this the controller card. I figure that the microcontroller that you have slotted on the FB has enough throughput that most of my apps (ideas) could run on the chip without issue.

    I have another Microchip PIC18f4550 microcontroller chip to play with--I don't want to lose the solution that you guys provided by accidently erasing the flash memory. Now, with your help, I just need to figure out how to get some code in Flash. Which programmer/programmer-debugger did you guys end up using? The ones that operate independent of the demo boards seem kinda pricey for a new hobby. Did you burn a bootstrap loader onto the brain?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by fermentation View Post
    OK.. finally got the versions right and I have verified that the board works.
    Great! Sorry for the confusion...


    Quote Originally Posted by fermentation View Post
    I really like the hardware; its something that I have been wanted to put together myself but have just never had the means.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by fermentation View Post
    I am coming at this from the point of view of a hobbyist, so I hope you don't mind, but I would now like to program this chip with my own code; that's where the real fun is anyway. In any case, I don't want to have to keep the PC connected; seems like a terrible waste to leave the computer running all the time to baby sit this the controller card. I figure that the microcontroller that you have slotted on the FB has enough throughput that most of my apps (ideas) could run on the chip without issue.
    We don't mind at all... feel free to program away.

    We sell preflashed PICs for $10 at the moment. If you mess up your PIC, that's an easy fix.

    We are reluctant to make our firmware open source, as it's really the only way of protecting the hard work we've done.

    Quote Originally Posted by fermentation View Post
    I have another Microchip PIC18f4550 microcontroller chip to play with--I don't want to lose the solution that you guys provided by accidently erasing the flash memory. Now, with your help, I just need to figure out how to get some code in Flash. Which programmer/programmer-debugger did you guys end up using? The ones that operate independent of the demo boards seem kinda pricey for a new hobby. Did you burn a bootstrap loader onto the brain?

    We use an ICD2 programmer. The chips are not flashed with a USB bootstrap.

    Something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-USB-ICD2-5-D...QQcmdZViewItem

    Should work for you, although we do not guarantee other's hardware.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a ton. I had been looking around and figured it was something along those lines.

  4. #4
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    We are reluctant to make our firmware open source, as it's really the only way of protecting the hard work we've done.
    Looking at the spec sheet for the microcontroller, there certainly is a fair amount of setup involved to get data from one of the ports, through the A/D converter, and out the USB! So I can understand that.

  5. #5
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    Did you guys spring for the full-activated version of the C compiler or have you found that the unoptimized code is fast/small enough?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fermentation View Post
    Did you guys spring for the full-activated version of the C compiler or have you found that the unoptimized code is fast/small enough?
    unoptimized is fine for what we do, and should be plenty for you

  7. #7
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    I picked up one of those ICD2.5 units that you suggested. The MPLAD ide complains about a low Vdd voltage when I try to do anything with my chip on the target board. Did you guys have to power the target board externally? Or where you able to somehow configure the ICD programmer to provide the power? Power it from one of those demo boards? Or I am just missing something?

  8. #8
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    I guess the real question is: Is the PIC programmer/debugger that you recommended a stand-alone unit? Or do I have to go and buy a demo board to accompany it to program the chip?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9
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    Standalone unit.

    I had a similar problem. What software are you using? MPLAB?

  10. #10
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    MPLAP IDE 8.0. You use something different? When you select the ICD 2 as your programmer and then view the power tab in the settings menu, do you see 5 v in the Vdd voltage? I am getting .2 volts. The power from ICD checkbox is selected.

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