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Author Topic: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?  (Read 4421 times)

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Offline boybTopic starter

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PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« on: July 29, 2008, 05:37:45 PM »
I have had no problem with uploading programs to my MCU until yesterday and now it seems permanently messed up.

Last night I was uploading the "hold servo" program for the $50 robot tutorial when the program froze and I had to ctrl+alt+delete and close it.

Since then I have been continually getting the error:


I don't know how to fix it.  I have switched MCU's (I originally purchased 5 ATmega8's) and I am still getting the error.  I did not change my setup that had been working before and I swiched the MCU (which i believe is the only electrically damageable part) so I don't know what is wrong.  Since then I deleted ponyprog and reinstalled it with the same set up but no matter what I try I have the same problem.

Can someone give ideas of what they think it is?  I checked the battery and for some odd reason the output is 6V but the output after the voltage regulator is slightly less than 5V (about 4.8V), although this may have been the case prior as well, but I don't know.

Thanks,
Boyd
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 05:47:49 PM by boyb »

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Major problems.
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 05:48:18 PM »
might be a programmer problem. what programmer do you have?
if it's home made, a dangling cable or a broken trace migh be the problem.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline pomprocker

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 05:53:57 PM »
Make sure you do the configure and calibrate step on ponyprog.

also you may get better results if you use a computer with an actual serial port versus using a usb to serial converter.

Offline boybTopic starter

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 06:01:11 PM »
I am using a USB to serial cable with the "AVR STK Serial Port Dongle Programmer", the one below.


Offline pomprocker

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 06:17:48 PM »
yeap thats what i use.


if you use it on an old laptop with a real serial port it programs in like 2 seconds.

if you use it on a new laptop with a usb to serial converter it takes like an hour.



just make sure you have the right com port selected by doing a probe and calibrate in ponyprog

Offline pomprocker

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 06:19:00 PM »
you also need to check your board with a multimeter to make sure your mcu is getting the proper voltage, and a good common ground otherwise it wont show up and be able to be programmed.

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2008, 07:04:34 PM »
yep, and it also needs a clock source, crystal, external, internal, etc.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline boybTopic starter

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2008, 07:26:10 PM »
I checked with a multimeter and it is getting the correct 6/5V to the areas needed.

Is there any way that in programming it or when my computer crashed while programming it that the programming cable or the usb-serial cable were damaged?  Also, is there anything on the board that could have likely been damaged besides the microprocessor?  (which I have several others of).

I haven't changed anything and it had been working just fine for several days, I don't know why this started or how to fix it.  I am just starting to feel frustrated because this really puts a stop to my robot...I can't continue till I figure this out...

Thanks again for the help :)

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2008, 08:04:17 PM »
Do you have the common DB9 connector on your usb converter? If yes, please short pins 2 and 3 (on the DB9 connector). If not, check your datasheet and short TX and RX.

Now, open up a hyperterminal, go to settings and choose the virtual com of the shorted usb adapter. Start typing into the console, and you should see your characters appearing. Unshort TX/RX. Continue typing. Do you still see characters?
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline boybTopic starter

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 12:16:56 AM »
Ok,

Now I feel like an idiot.  The battery wasn't charged enough for my supply, I just put a charged one in place and it seems to work ok again.

Thanks for the help though, sorry to bother everyone about this  :-\

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 09:02:13 AM »
Brutal.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline pomprocker

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2008, 09:59:14 AM »
just like with a computer when all else fails, reboot.

on a robot, when all else fails, its the power supply.

i really recommend building a benchtop power supply out of an old ATX computer p/s. this will give you constant stable voltage for testing.

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2008, 10:10:31 AM »
on a robot, when all else fails, its the power supply.

or the motherboard's caps. that's the nasty reason why it won't boot  ;D
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

Offline extreme.aly

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2008, 04:00:54 PM »
is it good to use a wall wart adapter while programming or battery?
what if the battery gets vvery low during writing the prog? low enough that it is not able to power the MCU up.. does anything goes wrong?

Offline izua

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Re: PonyProg Damaging MicroProcessor Chip?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2008, 05:30:24 PM »
yes. check the poster's initial message to see what can go wrong.
if it dies while programming, your MCU might lock.
use an adapter.
Check out my homepage for in depth tutorials on microcontrollers and electronics.

 


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