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  1. #1
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    Default Mechanique Bootloader

    https://www.mecanique.co.uk/shop/ind...ory&path=25_68

    This is same company that wrote IDE Code Studio for PICBASIC PRO.

    In their Swordfish program their is integrated 'Serial Communicator'.

    I think I've seen that program on MELabs website or in PICBASIC PRO.

    Anybody know about that?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    I use it all the time. It allows you to customize it to the processor you are using, be it 1 com port or 2.
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    EN82fn

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Dave

    Great!

    Have you added it to PICBASIC Pro Programmer list?

    I an cross referencing Bootloader supported chips and supported chips

    in PICBASIC Pro to what chips to get.

    Did you buy the bootloader.

    I can't even get Mechanique to respond to emails to buy it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Yes, I did buy it when I purchased MCSPX. I purchased both PBP3.0 and MCSPX from Melabs. As soon as I compile and assemble it starts the Boot Load process.
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    EN82fn

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Too bad that loader does not recognize the 18FxxKxx series PICs.

    Robert
    Not as dumb as yesterday, but stupider than tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Dave

    Thanks!

    "Yes, I did buy it when I purchased MCSPX"

    What is MCSPX?

    Mechanique Bootloader sounds like it integrates with PBP3.0.

    Is that true that it installs itself into PBP3.0 and can be selected in 'Compile Program"?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    When you buy or download PBP you get an integrated development environment (IDE) called MicroCodeStudio or MCSX for short. There's a Standard version and a "Plus" version. You get the Standard version for free, you need to pay for the "plus" version. The plus version appends a P in the name so MCSPX for short. MicroCodeStudio is developed by Mecanique, PBP is developed by MeLabs.

    The bootloader (called Microcode loader) is not included in the free version of MicroCodeStudio.

    In the MCS(P)X you can install as many programmers you like, the Microcode Loader can be one of them. Pressing the Compile & Program button automatically compiles, assembles and then invokes the selected programmer, passing the newly created .hex file and any parameters you've specified.

    See Mecaniques web site. On the left hand side you can select to read about the Standard and Plus versions.

    /Henrik.

    But remember: For the bootloader (and that applies to all bootloader) you mist FIRST program the blank PIC with the actual bootloader. A bootloader is not a substitute for a proper device programmer.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Robert, What do you mean by "Too bad that loader does not recognize the 18FxxKxx series PICs." It works with ALL the 18F & 16F series chips.
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    EN82fn

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Supported Devices

    MicroCode Loader will program all of the following microcontrollers : 16F870, 16F871, 16F873(A), 16F874(A), 16F876(A) and 16F877(A) 16F870, 16F871, 16F873(A), 16F874(A), 16F876(A), 16F877(A), 16F87, 16F88, 18F242, 18F248, 18F252, 18F258, 18F442, 18F448, 18F452, 18F458, 18F1220, 18F1320, 18F2220, 18F2320, 18F4220, 18F4320, 18F6620, 18F6720, 18F8620, 18F8720, 18F2331, 18F2431, 18F4331, 18F4431, 18F6585, 18F8585, 18F6680, 18F8680, 18F6627, 18F6722, 18F8627, 18F8722, 18F2525, 18F2620, 18F4525, 18F4620, 18F2455, 18F2550, 18F4455, 18F4550, 18F2420, 18F2520, 18F4420, 18F4520, 18F2439, 18F2539, 18F4439, 18F4539, 18F2480, 18F2580, 18F4480, 18F4580, 18F2585, 18F2680, 18F4585, 18F4680, 18F6520, 18F8520, 18F6525, 18F6621, 18F8525 and 18F8621
    From here:
    https://www.mecanique.co.uk/shop/ind...&product_id=64
    Not as dumb as yesterday, but stupider than tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    I think "ALL" 16F and 18F might be taking it slightly too far as the PIC still needs to be able to "self write" AND it needs to have an UART. But what Dave is aiming at is the UMC bootloader in Microcode studio. It provides the "framework" for you to create a bootloader .hex file for any device, there's no longer any need to rely on pre-built files.

    It's something I've yet to play around with but I see there are documentation available, always a good place to start.

    /Henrik.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Henrik, what bootloader do you use?

    Robert
    Not as dumb as yesterday, but stupider than tomorrow!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    I've gotten away with using the "normal" MicroCodeLoader and the stock Amicus/Proton loader on my Amicus18 boards. But after "upgrading" to Windows 10 the Amicus loader no longer works due to its non signed driver so I need to figure the UMC loader stuff out to get those going (or just use a PICKit3 (but it's a lot slower than bootloading).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    What if we buy Mechanique Microcode Loader for 11.95 pounds from Mechanique?

    Can we use the chips IT supports and crossreference that with what PICBasic Pro supports

    and the use THOSE chips?

    Will it even work with PICBasic Pro at all first of all?

    Thanks!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Yes, it'll work with PPB but you still need a real device programmer to get the bootloader into the chip the first time.

    With Microcode Loader comes a bunch of .hex files, matched for specific devices running at specific clock frequencies. You need to take the appropriate .hex file, use a device programmer (PICKit3 for example) and program the PIC with that file. Only from that point and only if you actually run the PIC at the clock frequency the bootloader file was built for will you be able to bootload the chip using the PC application.

    /Henik.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Henrik

    Thanks!

    Okay. It's a worthwhile product then. Good.

    If you go 29.95 for editor you get bootloader and a better editor. We'll leave that alone for the meantime.

    Will Microcode bootloader work with Proton?

    Have not checked supported chips in Proton if their are any at all except their Amicus 18.

    I think it would be a stretch to ask if bootloader worked with Swordfish.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Actually, the bootloader doesn't know a thing about which compiler you used to generate the .hex file so it should work equally well with Proton, Swordfish, C18, MicroPascal or any other compiler but you need to make sure that the compiler you're using knows about the existence OF the bootloader so it offsets the program in order to not overwrite the bootloader startup code/call. With PBP you use DEFINE LOADER_USED 1 to do that for the Microcode Loader.

    In fact, Swordfish is developed by the same people/company (Mecanique) doing the MicroCodeStudio and MicroCodeLoader. The Proton IDE looks VERY similar to MicroCodeStudio so I'm willing to bet that they are pretty much the same with some minor tweaks depending on which compiler is used (ie Crownhill, the developers of Proton (and owners of this site) simply buys the IDE from Mecanique, just like MeLabs is doing). Screenshots on the both the Proton website and Swordfish website shows the same MicroCodeLoader as with PBP.

    The Amicus18 does NOT come preloaded with MicroCodeLoader firmware and does NOT work with the MicroCodeLoader without changing the VID/PID parameters of the FTDI serial port chip on the board. For more information on that, see this thread.

    /Henrik.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Henrik

    Thank you for looking into this.

    Looks like Firewing says it is supported by Picbasic Pro Gold.

    https://www.mecanique.co.uk/shop/ind...&product_id=81

    Wonder why it says 'Gold' version of Picbasic?

    It might be another case of what version of Microcode Loader actually?

    Looks like Microcode Loader can be 'Full Version' or 'Customized for Compiler' version.
    Last edited by PBCGuy; - 24th April 2017 at 15:36.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    The PIC18 version of the Firewing board uses an 18F25K22, so probably either the silver or gold editions of PBP would work.

    Both Swordfish and Proton come with the asm source files\UMCbuilder that let you build a custom bootloader for those environments. The Microcode Loader is branded for use with its respective IDE.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    You're just all over the place aren't you, 3-4 compilers, 2-3 devlopement systems, different IDEs, different bootloaders - it must be confusing. It is for me, trying to follow along what you're trying to acomplish....

    The Firewing board is a PIC18F46K22 loaded with a "special" (ie not MicroCodeLoader) bootloader.
    The AMICUS18 board is a PIC18F25K20 loaded with another "special" (ie not MicroCodeLoader) bootloader.

    The Firewing development board is supported by the free Firewing compiler, just like the AMICUS18 is supported by the free version of the Proton compiler but at the end of the day they are both just a PIC on a PCB and the PBP compiler supports both of those PICs + hundreds of others.

    The "problem" with both the AMICUS18 and Firwing development board is that their respective DRIVER (ie what needs to be installed on the PC) are custom tailored to the specific board (ie, when you plug it in it shows up as an AMICUS18 or a Firewing Communication port (despite it being just Another COM-port)) in the device manager of the PC. This allows the their specific bootloader application on the PC (ie not MicrCodeLoader) to find the board without knowing which COM-port it is but it also means that A) it won't work on Windows 10 (becasue the device driver is not signed and Windows 10 refuses to load it) and B) it won't easily allow you to load ANOTHER, generic, bootloader (like the MicroCodeLoader) into the PIC without first messing about with FTDI chip on the board, changing its settings so the board presents itself as a normal COM-port.

    1) Choose a PIC that can do what you need
    2) Choose a compiler that can generate code for the desired PIC
    2) Choose an IDE that integrates with the compiler (or don't, it's not strictly NEEDED).
    4) Then, optionally, choose a bootloader that works with the PIC you're targeting.

    Don't try to do it all at once.

    /Henrik.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Henrik

    Did not get email alert about your response.

    "Don't try to do it all at once."

    It's more a case of looking into how 'user friendy' and 'wallet friendly' different Basic's are.

    Using a PICKit3 makes them all wallet friendly.

    Just not like the old days of Basic Stamp where you could click and download.

    That definitely corrupts people for later work with PIC's.

    Good point about Amicus w/Proton and Firewing w/Swordfish.

    Putting a PIC on a breadboard is very wallet friendly.

    Have you noticed nobody has replaced the Olimex 14 pin PIC boards etc. with USB versions?

    Now on to 'How much are Proton and Swordfish like Basic Stamp Basic?'.

    PICBasic is very much like PBasic and then it has plethora of more specific commands.

    Very much like CCS compilers.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    If you want something that looks like a BASIC Stamp then PBP is what you want.

    All the others are very different.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Tumbleweed

    Thanks.

    Just getting to how the language is. Want to sort out hardware first.

    I could not download Firewing compiler. The link was bad.

    I can see Microcode bootloader is going to become a side project.

    Best plan is to just 'take the .hex file and run'.

    Load it into MPLAB IPE and program chip on board.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    You don't have to use the IPE software to program the chip.

    MPLABX (and the older MPLAB) has command-line drivers for each of the programmers (PK3, ICD3, etc).
    Using these you can add the Pickit3 as a programmer to the MicrocodeStudio IDE and then you can program the chips directly from there.

    That way you don't need a bootloader at all.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    And I've written a post about how to setup the IPE command line tool in MicroCodeStudio, here it is. It then becomes a seamless one click compile and program that works with any and all PIC that compiler supports. It just tends to be a little slower than using a bootloader.

    /Henrik.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    program that works with any and all PIC that compiler supports
    except the newer ones like pic16f1615,pic16f1619 ,pbp3 supports them pk3 ipe does not.
    I have not tried with mplabx version past 2.35 [the latest version that works with pbp3 afaik ]
    This is more entertaining than Free to Air TV

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    I know you can compile PBP in later versions of MPLABX... I just tried it using MPLABX V3.60 and it works.
    Not so sure about using things like the debugger or simulator, but I haven't used PBP much in a long time.

    You need to keep MPLABX updated to support newer chips. You can choose to install just the IPE and that should get you newer part support for programming. MPLABX allows you to install multiple versions so you can always keep v2.35 around too.
    Installing the IPE should get you the command-line tools.

    MPLABX/IPE is the only programming tool (from microchip) that will be updated, so we're sort of stuck with it you want to use the Pickit3.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    For the 16F1615 and 1619 you need MPASM 5.59 or higher.
    I've got MPASMX v3.55 installed, it comes with v5.72 of the assembler and the assembler works fine with PBP3 as far as I can see. The Device Support document for IPE lists full support (program and debug) for the PICKit3 for both these devices.

    Using MPLABX as the IDE for PBP might be a completely different story, I'm still hoping PBP3.1 will ship with proper support and documenation for that but I'm not feeling lucky.

    /Henrik.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    You need to keep MPLABX updated to support newer chips. You can choose to install just the IPE and that should get you newer part support for programming. MPLABX allows you to install multiple versions so you can always keep v2.35 around too.
    Installing the IPE should get you the command-line tools.
    confirmed . I bit the bullet and installed ide/ipe ver 3.55 and version 2.35 still works [yeah]
    and the pk3 can pgm the new chips from mcspx.

    the pbp toolchain does not work with mplabx 3.55 as suspected [for me anyway],code will still compile though.

    for reference the icsp (no connector fitted) port on the "Curiosity Board" will not actually work as programmer ,I guess the pkob interferes with the process ,making mplabx pkob the only programmer that works but only for ide versions that the pbp3 plugins don't function in . would have been nice to use the board with pbp3 easily.


    progress is over rated

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    I haven't tried the curiosity board yet so I don't know how the ICSP connector fits into the picture.

    making mplabx pkob the only programmer that works
    There's an mplabx command-line tool 'ipecmd.exe' supposedly similar to 'pk3cmd.exe' that sounds like it should work with any of the programmers,
    and it has a PKOB setting. There's a readme in the docs folder. Might be worth trying that w/the curiosity.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    There's an mplabx command-line tool 'ipecmd.exe' supposedly similar to 'pk3cmd.exe' that sounds like it should work with any of the programmers,
    and it has a PKOB setting. There's a readme in the docs folder. Might be worth trying that w/the curiosity.
    thanks it's alive
    the ipecmd command line utility can be used to program your curiosity board from mcs ide

    programmer filename ipecmd.exe
    command line -tSBURxxxxxxxxx -p$target-device$ -f$hex-filename$ -e -m


    where BURxxxxxxxxx is the serial no of your curiosity pkob

    it works very nicely
    This is more entertaining than Free to Air TV

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Mechanique Bootloader

    Guys

    Couldn't connect to this site or Proton for the last two days.

    Bootloader has become a side project. I have serial and parallel port hardware programmers as side projects too.

    Thank you for the comments.

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