Loading SparkFun Wall Clock Controller with Screamer

Support for Bloader and Screamer

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Loading SparkFun Wall Clock Controller with Screamer

Postby bigsimmo » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:39 am

Hi,

I purchased a SparkFun wall clock controller with PIC 16F877A and am simply trying to load it with the default hex file from the SparkFun website.

The wall clock controller PIC is apparently preloaded with bloader. I powered up the device. Checked with a multimeter that it was actually powered, connected a serial cable to the com port of a windows box. Opened up hyperterminal 9600 baud 8-N-1 and got nothing.

Doesn't bloader transmit 'Ok' continuously down the com port if installed correctly? All I get is "Waiting for Input:" if I transmit a character from hyperterminal or if I hit the reset button on the board.

I attempted loading the hex file with Screamer but it cannot communicate with the board.

Anybody got an idea how to progress from here?
bigsimmo
 
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Postby riden » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:25 pm

Yes, the default Screamer bootloader does have a loop that sends "Ok". There is no mention of the type of bootloader programmed into the device, so it may be a different one. Since it seems like the board is working (you're seeing the 'Waiting for input' message), a quick email to SparkFun support would be in order, unless another owner of this board is following this thread.
Ralph
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Postby bigsimmo » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:15 pm

I've sent a few emails to SparkFun support. They said try the support forum as it's a software issue. I sent the board half way around the world back to SparkFun and they confirmed it was working. They didn't indicate if the board was sending out the default "Ok" message. Their website page for this product says ..... "Board contains the PIC 16F877A TQFP with pre-installed serial boot loader". No mention of some other proprietary bootloader so I can only assume it is SparkFun's bloader, thus should be sending out "Ok" as you mentioned.

Oddly enough, tech support at SparkFun said they had to send a character at the board to be able to get a response. They didn't provide any more detail than that.

Any owners of this board out there? Would like to hear how you got it working.
bigsimmo
 
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Postby riden » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:04 pm

bigsimmo wrote:Oddly enough, tech support at SparkFun said they had to send a character at the board to be able to get a response. They didn't provide any more detail than that.
It sounds like they hooked up the board to a PC, sent some characters to it, and watched what happened. You haven't been talking to the right people at SparkFun. They manufactured the board and the 877A surely didn't come from MicroChip with a bootloader. I'd ask them to talk with the original designer of the board to get the scoop on the bootloader (which one and which version) preloaded on the chip.
Ralph
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Postby bigsimmo » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:36 pm

riden wrote:You haven't been talking to the right people at SparkFun.


Finally found the right people at SparkFun. Now have a new board that is communicating.
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Postby riden » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:50 pm

Glad to hear that you got a replacement board. Now the fun can begin.
Ralph
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Re: Loading SparkFun Wall Clock Controller with Screamer

Postby bizzton3k » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:20 am

I am soon to have the same trouble as the original poster. Can anyone provide guidance on the solution which was reached (was it actually a problem with the original board)? I would like to know what comes loaded on the controller already, and how I'm suppose to go about using actually the controller (the lack of documentation for the controller leaves a lot of guess work!).

Currently, when trying to view my gps through the wall clock controller, by using the Trimble GPS Monitor Software, I get and error that the com port cannot be initialized (my prolific serial to usb cable is successfully installed, but the gps is not being read by the software). I have searched far and wide for a solution to this problem (forums + gps documentation), but alas I cannot find a solution to this problem.

Obviously, any help would greatly be appreciated!!

Thanks!
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