SAMBA flashing



#2

Hello,

This site leaves many questions unanswered for me: http://www.wiki4hp.com/doku.php?id=34s:quick_start

Some of the questions I have are:

1) What's the name of the cable mentioned in point 3? It's hard to find it without knowing its name.

2) There's a red warning saying the serial port version only works on Windows XP. USB looks much more convenient to me though. Is there any reason why one would want to do it with serial port? Does the USB way work with HP calculators?

3) How can one get such a cable in Europe?

4) Is it hard to make a ROM for this calculator? Is it done in assembly? Is an emulator available? For Linux? Is a compiler available? Again, for Linux?

Thanks!


#3

To answer one (implied?) question: I certainly could not get it to work under Windows 7 even with all the compatibility mode settings turned on. Maybe someone else has succeeded and can tell me how. Luckily I had a Windows XP desktop available and was able to complete the flashing that way.


#4

Why don't you try installing a virtual WinXP "inside" one of your hard disks, using VirtualBox? VirtualBox works great for me under Linux, but it exists for Windows too... and it can surely emulate XP under 7.

Cristian


#5

Virtual PC from Microsoft is free, too. But you need a copy XP to install within. Why XP? Only Atmel and Microsoft can tell you.

The cable is a custom made one which was originally available through some HP people here in the forum and is now distributed by Gene Wright for the cost of shipping.


#6

Yes, I could do that. I have tried various virtual machines over the years and for this sort of thing they should work great. However, I was hoping for a native Windows 7 solution. As long as I have a WinXP box sitting around I guess I will just live with that. Of course if I had a 64 bit machine and Win7 Pro or Ult. I could simply use XP mode. Ah well, all sorts of solutions when the time comes to ditch XP.

Cheers


#7

I have the soucre code in delphi pascal for our flashing utility. If someone wants to take a look at it for win7 (either to fix or use as a base for a native win version), just contact me.

TW

#8

As far as I know:

Quote:
1) What's the name of the cable mentioned in point 3? It's hard to find it without knowing its name.

It's a special programming cable made by HP, you won't find it for sale. On that same point 3 it says who to ask to, he's in these forums.

Quote:
2) There's a red warning saying the serial port version only works on Windows XP. USB looks much more convenient to me though. Is there any reason why one would want to do it with serial port? Does the USB way work with HP calculators?

I run Linux, and I used the serial cable connected to a good quality serial-to-usb converter, and flashed the calculator using a virtual install of WinXP under VirtualBox. Worked on first try. I don't know if there is a native flasher for Linux...

Quote:
3) How can one get such a cable in Europe?

See point 1! :)

Quote:
4) Is it hard to make a ROM for this calculator? Is it done in assembly? Is an emulator available? For Linux? Is a compiler available? Again, for Linux?

There's a development kit, it is programmed in C (or C++?) and compiled for that CPU. There's an emulator, made for Windows but runs great in Linux using Wine.

Cristian


#9

Ask Gene Wright - cyrille or I don't ship out the cables anymore.

TW

#10

Sounds cool. Virtualbox is quite a fragile program on my PC (for various reasons, such as being the only program which requires special babysitting everytime the kernel upgraded and me being dependent on an older version of it). So it sounds like a pain in the neck to program these HP calculators in Linux :(

Being able to program such devices with such nice keys, and learn some assembly for that kind of CPU, sounds like an interesting hobby project, so I'm pondering. All this windows emulation stuff seems, as I said before, a pain in the neck though, so it seems like it'd be an annoying hobby project.

These cables seem something really mysterious though :/ What do they cost? Gene Wright, are you here? :)

What standard do these cables use? Is it an open standard?

And again, why does only the serial port version, and not the USB variant, of these cables work with HP calculators?

Thanks!


Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 5:11 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#11

Email me through the forum.

Include your email address.

Sadly, my retirement fund will not be appreciably increased by the handling of these cables. :-)

#12

The plug on the calculator side has connections for resetting the processor and for erasing the flash memory. This makes the cable so special. On the PC end it's a plain old serial connection. With a proper FTDI chip it would have been trivial for HP to support USB instead of RS232. I've made a USB connection through a cable available from FTDI (USB to TTL 3.3V) which works fine for serial connections but which does not provide a means to reset the calculator or to erase the flash. With the WP 34S firmware this works also for flashing but it assumes that the firmware is actually working because setting the SAM-BA boot bit is performed through software.

The WP 34S firmware is free, it's on wp34s.sf.net. It's not written in assembly language but in C. HP's firmware and the SDK is partly written in C++ and is based on an expensive toolkit by IAR. WP 34S is compiled with GCC. See yagarto.de for the package we are using.

Writing software for the device is relatively straight forward if you start with HP's SDK or with WP 34S as a basis. Starting from scratch may be fun but will take its time to get the hardware running. On the Atmel site are some base files to get the chip running.


#13

I've been able to flash using Win7 32-bit and SAMBA version 2.6. I have to try this with an FTDI converter but it works fine on my laptop that has a built-in serial port (even though it's a new core i5 machine).

SAMBA 2.6 seems to work the best of all the versions. It's no longer available on the Atmel site but I've got it here. You'll need install to the EXE and then copy the patch files in the ZIP into the correct folders.


Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 5:21 p.m.


#14

Thanks Katie, I'll give that SAMBA version a try on my Win 7 box.

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 5:48 p.m.

#15

I was able to flash my HP-30B (now WP-34S) from my Windows 7 notebook (32 bit OS version), via an USB port. I used a USB to RS232 converter made with an FTDI chip, and with SAM-BA 2.6. Current version of SAM-BA (2.10) doesn't work in my environment.
I also used the special cable, contact Gene Wright about this item.


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