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Author Topic: Axon II Bootloader Problems  (Read 2458 times)

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Offline webgeekTopic starter

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Axon II Bootloader Problems
« on: December 24, 2009, 08:48:15 PM »
I'm trying to use my Axon II and having trouble. I'm on Windows Vista 32bit Business Edition. I've compiled the photovore example available here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon2/downloads/Axon2_WebbotLib_Photovore_example.zip
I corrected the ServoPWM include typo while I was at it.

The link to FBoot on this page is broken:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon2/axon2_setup3.shtml

The link it specifies is:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon2/downloads/FBOOT17.EXE

On a hunch, I used this URL instead:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/downloads/FBOOT17.EXE

This is likely the Axon FBoot and I had no idea if it would work or not with the Axon II. Anyways, I tried to use it and it doesn't work. I use this command line:
fboot17 -b115200 -c2 -pTestProject.hex -vTestProject.hex

And it just spins like this with the | symbol spinning away:
COM 2 at 115200 Baud: |

I've left it spinning for more than 10 minutes before giving up several times. I've tried dropping it to 9600 baud - no effect. I've tried using a different physical USB port as well - no effect. I've tried changing the port number on the command line and it fails immediately so I think all the settings are right. Here is what's in the Device Manager:
-------------------------------
Silicion Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM2)
Bits Per Second: 115200
Data Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: None

Using all of those same settings, I've used Putty to connect to the device but I don't know how to tell it's working. It ACTS like I'm connected and doesn't error or anything but I also don't see any output. So where to from here? I'd really planned on using it over this weekend but it's not looking good.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Mike

Offline webgeekTopic starter

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems - frustrated
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 10:19:48 PM »
Got past the problem. Ironically, the issue was actually with the switch that came with the Axon II. It's faulty and was preventing the Axon from getting power. Once I was able to power it, I was able to connect with Putty and see it print out "port 1 port 1 port 1", etc.

Sadly, FBoot still doesn't work - it's apparently totally incompatible with Vista 64. I'm REALLY getting frustrated with all the work arounds necessary to use the Axon on Vista 64. In in my two+ years of using Vista 64 I've never run into compatibility issues until now. The compiler has nasty 64 bit issues with basically illogical errors that magically go away when you do the substantial digging needed to find the faulty DLL from WinAVR and replace it with a patched one from a blog. And now FBoot17 is DOA for the 64 bit OS. To be honest, I'm more than a little miffed at this point. I'd have used an Arduino MEGA or Robodiuno if I knew I'd run into all these compatibility problems. I use Arduino for a lot of things and never had this type of issue on this machine.

Admin: please call out these problems with Vista 64 on the Axon II page. I'd honestly have looked elsewhere if I'd know about them. According to this thread apparently I'm now stuck spending $40 more dollars buying a hardware programmer I don't want or need just to use the dang thing. Yeah, I'm pretty pissed all around to be honest.

-Mike

Offline webgeekTopic starter

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 11:20:21 PM »
Looks like some of my grumpiness might be unnecessary. A post by John (admin) inside of a huge thread over at Trossen's forum says this in reference to a guy named Bingo:
Quote
I did port Peter's program fboot17a to Win32 , supporting up to com6 (seems that max baudrate is 57.600 in my port) , but source is included.

http://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/73196#698193


By going to the specified URL you can find a file attached to the message that contains a FBoot.exe program and some source. The important part though is that it's been ported to Win32 which is what's causing the problem. I was able to run this new FBoot and install the test software onto my Axon. Does it work? I don't know, I don't have the hardware referenced in the program so I can't test it properly, I'll write something using printf tomorrow morning to see what's happening.

Happy holidays everyone!

Mike

Offline webgeekTopic starter

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 10:22:34 PM »
Just an update - I've tested several pieces of hardware with this new fboot program and it all seems fine so I assume it's working. One caveat though - once I used this new fboot program on my Vista 64 machine, I was unable to use the other fboot program on a 32-bit machine. Basically, I've had to use the same fboot program on both machines or they fail. I don't know if this did something tricky to my Axon but it all appears to be working and I'm developing so that's good enough for now.

-Mike

Offline Admin

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 12:40:40 AM »
You're right to complain about the bootloader. Its definitely lacking. I looked at the code to try to improve it, but it wasn't commented very well and I'm not the best of coders . . . so basically I gave up.


Quote
Ironically, the issue was actually with the switch that came with the Axon II. It's faulty and was preventing the Axon from getting power.
Know what was wrong with it? A disconnected wire maybe?


Oh and sorry about the dead link. I was aware of it for over a week, but my host was kind enough to disable ftp access on me for the last two weeks . . . I finally got it fixed today. :-X

Offline webgeekTopic starter

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 10:01:31 PM »
Quote
You're right to complain about the bootloader. Its definitely lacking. I looked at the code to try to improve it, but it wasn't commented very well and I'm not the best of coders . . . so basically I gave up
It certainly appears to be a bit of black magic in the end. Other forums and developers don't really touch it much either. That win32 port has solved all the problems I had with it though I'm not sure why I can't use the old FBoot once I used to new one. It probably glitched something but as best I can tell my programs are all running just fine and I'm not encountering any problems yet.

Quote
Know what was wrong with it? A disconnected wire maybe?
Yup, it had an internal problem where even when on, only the positive leads were actually switched. The negative leads never actually connect to each other in either the on or off state. I just tossed it for a different switch - just a bit of bad luck there. I should have thought to check it earlier :)

As for the broken link, thanks for fixing it - and even more thanks for fixing the AutoCad files, those will be most helpful.

Mike

Offline Admin

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 11:54:48 PM »
Quote
The negative leads never actually connect to each other in either the on or off state. I just tossed it for a different switch - just a bit of bad luck there.
I'm thinking Hitec quality control is the problem. In the latest batch of 500 switches I bought from them, 5% were missing screws. I'll let them know.

Offline Gertlex

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 06:46:38 PM »
Sorry to resurrect this, but it's still a relevant problem, at least for myself.

The specific file that was mentioned above by webgeek is found here:
http://www.mikrocontroller.net/attachment/55768/fboot.exe
For the future, in case the above link dies, pm me and I'll upload it elsewhere.

This one runs for me on Windows 7 x64.  However, I am not going to use this to program my Axon just yet, since I have an XP laptop still.

Admin, could you do us the favor of testing this fboot.exe with Axon(s) you have on hand?  Since webgeek stated that once you use the new fboot, old versions of fboot no longer work with the Axon in question, I'd like to know what is going on first.

Thanks!
I

Offline kl22

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Re: Axon II Bootloader Problems
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 02:28:04 AM »
hey,

check out this post for x64/x86 (64/32 bit) for a programmer, still in beta but should work fine (since I'm in the process of getting all the minor bugs out and adding arduino and a terminal).

   
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=13632.0
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 02:32:59 AM by kl22 »

 


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