Process For Getting a Flashing Cable for WP 34S


So the WP 34S bug has bitten me, and I want to jump on that train.

But I don't have a cable, and apparently I don't understand the process of how to get one...

I've sent Gene email 2x via this forum's email capabilities, but have not heard from him to (1) acknowledge the receipt of my request and that I am in the queue and (2) let me know his PayPal info so I can give him the reimbursement that he deserves.

So...what has happened?
a. I did something really stupid or wrong, or just don't have enough patience (quite probable, even likely)
b. Gene is extremely busy and will get to me eventually (very believable)
c. This Forum's email capabilities are not 100% reliable (certainly possible)
d. Something completely different (that could happen as well)

...and what should I do in order to obtain a cable, and know that I will get one in due time?

PS: I am unable to make it to the conference next weekend.


Dan M.


Once those technical issues are resolved, the next step, probably for most of us, is a USB to RS232 converter, since the cable Gene provides is serial, and most of up probably no longer have a serial port.

Is there s known good solution for a specific converter? I read earlier the FTDI was working well. I have one such converter, the AXE027 but unfortunately it terminates in a 3.5mm audio plug (Tx, Tx, Gnd only).


The USB to RS232 adapter that I use is an ES-U-1001-R100 and SAMBA 2.10 with my Windows 7 laptop. It is an FTDI adapter and works fine with re-flashing the WP-34S. So google it and you'll find a vendor for it. I bought mine from Amazon.



See the recommendation in point 1 of the article:

How to get started with a WP-34s


most of us probably no longer have a serial port.

Wouldn't it be super cool if HP provided a native USB flashing cable with the fixed firmware for the HP 15c LE? Buyers that don't have the cable yet would be pleased to learn that they don't have to purchase a port adapter to obtain a flawless calculator.


Getting the cable is the easy part. USING the cable with the software and various Windows version is very very difficult and frustrating!!!


Getting the cable is the easy part.

Well, for someone not knowing this forum and the WP34s project, it's not easy at all.

I assume the normal way for a 15c LE customer would be to stumble upon the firmware bug and contacting HP service. They should have a USB flashing cable and an easy to use software readily available to send out. I think the only acceptable way for a non-geek customer would be to plug the cable in at both ends, start the software and have it take care of the rest, i.e. download the latest firmware from the Internet and install it on the calculator automatically. Ideally, even the erasing and resetting would be done by that software. Anything more complicated than syncing an iPhone to iTunes is not ok.


HP has some software replacing SAM-BA, called MySamba. It hasn't worked for WP 34S. I don't know why but it may have to do with the fact that out firmware is shorter than 128KB and that we don't clear the flash before writing it again. But for a replacement firmware for the 15C LE, MySamba might be the best solution.

A cable which directly plugs into USB instead of a serial port would have been much easier to design and wouldn't have the power draw problems of the current offering. It's basically a single FTDI chip.


I almost always use MySamba for flashing wp34s. I create the full rom, back-up regions and all, according to instructions you provided (copy /b wp34s.bin+wp34s.dat+ etc.).


Jeff, a good trick!

We need the MySamba sources from HP to modify them properly for WP 34S!

Tim? Cyrille?


I have offered it at least twice now. There was one individual I sent it to and was interested in making a command line version.



i did find myself thinking the other day that without too much effort the 15C LE (as well as 12C) could have been provided with software USB support on the processor, and a mini USB socket positioned within the battery compartment.

but then hindsight is a great thing!!


but then hindsight is a great thing!!

Oh well, not too much hindsight needed on this one, in my opinion.

The 50G has a USB port and an SD slot that can be used for firmware upgrades. I keep reading on this forum for quite a long time how wonderful the 35s could have been if it only had a USB port. Bot no one ever asked for a weird pogo stick thingy! ;)


The trouble is that the pogo connector comes for free: no components on the board, just the pads, and just a whole in the back of the calculator. If HP had added an FTDI converter chip and a USB socket, manufacturing costs would have been seriously affected. They could have made the proper pads on the board but then the soldering and cutting of the case would be customer's homework.

Native USB inside the processor is not an option because the SAM-BA boot loader expects a serial device. The boot code is in the masked ROM part of the chip and cannot be changed.


I would like to add my comment to Dan's one: but I would like to try making the cables here in Brazil. If I remember, Gene is not making any profit with them beyond a lot of work! So, I could help in at least one cable - the my one - and may be for other Brazilians.
I just need the connection schema...
Best wishes!

I received a link to how to make the cables!
Isn't as trivial as I thought!
Gene, my congratulations!!!! If I still can help, let me know how!

Edited: 16 Sept 2011, 3:03 p.m.


I don't think that Gene actually makes these (does he?) I thought that they are made in China and he's sending them out.

I've posted the link to all the info you need several times on this forum here it is once again (with a big string of search terms)
20b, 30b, 34s, 10bii, 12c+ 15c le ARM flash programming cable schematic

Edited: 16 Sept 2011, 3:06 p.m.


And, nope, I certainly don't make them. I just send out cables from some very large bags HP gave me.

If they had given me postage money :-) I would not ask for the $3/$5 to send them out, but alas... they did not.

I think I'm within $0.25 one way or the other on average with the cables so eh...


thanks, katie, for the link. i have it saved and printed, but it's too much electronics for me. i can do the plug and software stuff, but i don't think i can make one one myself. my soldering skills is zero to none.

maybe somebody (in the us; i'm in reno, nv) would be willing to lend their cable for a couple weeks, then i could return it?


The cable will only cost you $3. Costs you $1.70 to ship there and back. :-)


i can do the plug

Have you seen this plug before, or could you make one?

I can do the electronics, the plug is the real problem. I've never seen anything like it before and the best I could do would be to come up with something you'd need to hold in place while re-flashing. Given the flaky nature of SAMBA and the ARM boot loader, introducing a shaky handed person into the mix is going to be bad news.


oh, no, what i meant was, i can plug the cable to the computer and calculator...that's as much hardware i know. i'm more of a software guy... :)


I don't think that Gene actually makes these (does he?) I thought that they are made in China and he's sending them out.

I've posted the link to all the info you need several times on this forum here it is once again (with a big string of search terms)
20b, 30b, 34s, 10bii, 12c+ 15c le ARM flash programming cable schematic

Hi Katie,

I new it was posted but couldn't find it in a search. I first tried to search on the file name itself "Interfacing to the HP20b V3.pdf". So I'm posting that too.


I have now included it in the How to get started with a WP-34s article as well.


Heh. I'm a popular guy!

Dan, I'm sorry but although I have had about 15 requests for cables in the last week, I do not believe I have seen one from you!

But, send me an email to the stuff that is capitalized in the rest of my post.

GENE is the WRIGHT 143 to send the HOTMAIL cables out DOT COM.

Be sure to include the three digit number after my last name.


Thanks, Gene.


i, too, sent gene an email, but did not get a reply. so i don't know if my email ever got to him, or if it's lost in cyberspace, or if he's quite busy. so i wait...


Troy, please do the same thing. Weird stuff across the internet!


Hey Gene,

Perhaps you can convince HP to distribute cables at HHC2011?



HP / Tim should have quite a few cables at the conference.

Those are free (no postage). Get one there...that's FINE by me. :-)

The postal workers all know me by name. When I walk in, they all shout "Gene!"

(allusion to a TV show implied there).


They were there last year. Everybody got at least 1 and I announced several times if you wanted more you just needed to grab some from the open bag. . .



They were there last year.

That was then and this is now and I bet that 50% or more of this year's attendees will not have been there last year....just sayin'...



Hey Gene,

Perhaps you can convince HP to distribute cables at HHC2011?


No, not only HHC2011 attendees but also any other HP-15C LE owners! :P

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