Helpful ReplyHot!magenta icebreaker - no comms

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Huw_Puw1
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2012/05/10 15:29:32 (permalink)
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magenta icebreaker - no comms

Hi, using an icebreaker and a 16f877, I get a comms error, the pc is not communicating with the pic. I don't see any oscillation on the xtal inputs, can someone tell me what the voltage levels should be across osc1 and osc2, or between osc2 and vss?
Given that the oscillator is ok (it looks like a dead ztal to me), does icebreaker have a problem with windows  xp?
Thanks for taking the time to help a newby.
Huw
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/22 15:28:29 (permalink)
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Well thanks a bunch, not one person took the time to suggest a remedy or course of action, even if it's the classic "do the search man"...
Excellent forum this.
Huw
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NKurzman
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/22 17:19:07 (permalink)
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Who Makes the Ice Breaker?  Is it an ICD or an emulator?  I assume you checked the Chip for Power?  Does the config setting match the oscillator?  The Crystal signals are very easy to spot on a scope.  MCLR pulled up LVP disabled?
post edited by NKurzman - 2012/05/23 09:05:04
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WaltR
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/22 17:27:47 (permalink)
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Since I have never heard of an "icebreaker" used with a PIC (only know of the ones in the Arctic Sea) I didn't respond. My guess is that no one else here has heard of it.
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/23 14:49:52 (permalink)
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That's OK, at the end of the day the icebreaker is only a circuit board with a 16f877 socketed onto it, with a few components to allow for in citcuit debugging via some software pre-loaded onto the pic, as well as the serial link to rb6, rb7. Since I can't get a response to the pc probing i have to assume either a comms problem, or that the PIC isnt awake. Hence my question on the crystal voltage. I'm thinking though that scoping the xtal will probably damp out any oscillations I'm looking for?
Thanks for responding, perhaps i'll re-phrase my question.
Huw
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Ian.M
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/23 16:00:38 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
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EPE March 2000 p185... For ICD operation the PIC needs accurate timing. A 20MHz crystal X1 together with capacitors C1 and C2 provide the standard oscillator components. Alternative positions (X2) and (C3, C4) are to be used with 28-pin chips.
Resistors R15 and R16 allow RC oscillator options to be used if required for testing or running fully debugged code, but as RC oscillator stability is poor, this option is not recommended for ICD use. Other crystal frequencies can be used and the computer serial port speed altered accordingly. 20MHz gives the fastest communication (38,400 BAUD) and is best if there are no other special frequency requirements. ...

Partial Icebreaker schematic showing oscillator connections

 
The rest of the article including the Icebreaker schematic is available [here] and PC side software [here]. wink
 
Also please note that the PIC16F876 or '877 on the Icebreaker board MUST be one supplied by Magenta, pre-loaded with the protected Icebreak debug executive in the upper 4 Kword of the chip's flash.  If there has been any attempt to program the chip with any other programmer, it will have wiped the proprietary debug code.
 
You should be able to monitor the signal at OSC2 using a x10 scope probe without stopping the clock.  You could also try a 20MHz xtal oscillator module, injecting the signal at the OSC1 pin with the on-board crystal removed.
 
R15 for RC mode is AFAIK only for use with non-Icebreak PICs as the PIC16 midrange series CANNOT reprogram their own CONFIG word(s) so the oscillator mode of the Icebreak PIC cannot be altered from HS by the user without destroying the debug executive.  There *MAY* have been an option to order non HS Icebreak PICs from Magenta, but the standard one supplied was configured  20MHz HS mode.
post edited by Ian.M - 2012/05/24 02:06:41
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/23 16:49:11 (permalink)
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Ian, thanks for that. I have the documentation from magenta. Scoping pin 10 just gives me mush, no signal of any worth I can see, whether the supply is on or off. Xtal fried, or is it the pic?
I built one of these 10 yars ago, had no trouble, found it really useful, and actually built an engine management system with it.
Now I want to revisit a skill I haven't used since, I have some projects I want to get on with, but have fallen at the first hurdle...
Thanks for helping .
Huw
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Ian.M
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/23 17:16:33 (permalink)
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Pin 14 for PIC16F877 OSC2!
Also check with the scope that the 5V at pins 11 and 32 is stable and reasonably noise free. It should be 5V +/-0.25V.
/MCLR (pin 1) also needs to be logic high before the chip will run, but according to the Midrange Reference Manual DS31002A section 2.7 this should NOT stop the crystal oscillator.
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Ian.M
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/23 17:40:11 (permalink)
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If your PIC is bad, consider making up an adapter lead or modding your Icebreaker board to allow you to use it with a Microchip PICkit 2 programmer/debugger.  Nearly all the connections required are available on PL2 and the only one you will need to add would be PGM - RB3 on PIC16 or RB5 on PIC18 series parts - via a jumper on the back of the board to the spare pin.  The pinout is  scrambled with respect to the Microchip PICkit 2/3 ICSP/ICD connector so DON't try to plug one in direct. You could then drop in most 5V debug capable PIC16 or PIC18 28 or 40 pin parts, without having to obtain a specific PIC programmed with the Icebreak code.  Do not attempt to use the 9 pin D connector or the reset button if using an external debugger with this board.   You *WILL* need to disconnect the Zener on /MCLR if you want to use standard high voltage programming.  With the Pickit 2 Aux pin connected to PGM, low voltage programming should work OK but MPLAB uses high voltage programming for debugging so I would recommend the mod.
 
N.B I understand that the Icebreaker software is incompatible with newer MPLAB / MPASM versions (and with newer compilers) due to changes in the debug file format.  Also there are issues reported with it under XP.   Buying a PICkit 2 + some PIC16F877A chips (very compatible with PIC16F877 code but cheaper!) is *really* the best way forward if you want to resurrect your old projects and don't want to have to maintain a legacy Win9x PC to run the old software reliably.
post edited by Ian.M - 2012/05/24 02:19:14
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/24 14:23:32 (permalink)
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Yes, I was aware that there were issues with icebraker and later mplab, as well as win xp. I have this damn board, and if it will work, I intend using it, along with my old laptop (one of a few). I do understand and appreciate your comments though..
As for this pic, still no signal on pin14, what sort of voltage level should I be looking for?
Pin 1 was at 1V, not the 5v I was expecting. unplugging the comms lead allowed it up to 5v. I wonder if my pc comms port is duff??
regards,
Huw
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Ian.M
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/25 01:24:08 (permalink)
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The problem is that replacement Icebreaker PICs are AFAIK 'unobtanium' with no mention whatsoever of this product on Magenta's current site so even if you get it going, one false move will destroy it beyond repair - as a Magenta/EPE Icebreaker.   Hence my advice to convert it to an ordinary target board using an external programmer/debugger.   Its really quite a nicely thought out board and at the time was revolutionary.
 
OSC2 should have a near rail to rail approximately sine wave at the crystal frequency.  If not, either the PIC is bad, the crystal + caps are bad or the Icebreak code has been wiped.  You can swap in just about any crystal in the 4 to 20MHz range for testing in standalone mode.
post edited by Ian.M - 2012/05/25 16:51:52
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/25 15:08:42 (permalink)
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Mmm, you have a point, though I only bought this a year or so ago (perehaps 2?).
I have a new 16f877, it needs to be programmed before the thing will oscillate? that surprises me, I was going to swap it in to try...
If i can get it working I'll use it, otherwise I'll take your advice.
Thanks,
Huw
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Huw_Puw1
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/25 15:24:26 (permalink)
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Had a look at the pickkit2, so I just need the programmer,or do I need the demo board as well (I guess not), just mod my icebreaker?.
It does look like a good deal, especially with the fast comms and usb compatable. I'm also guessing it would be supported directly from mplab, not requiring a seperate programming "programme".
Thanks,
Huw
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Ian.M
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2012/05/25 16:53:59 (permalink)
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The default CONFIG word for a blank '877 has the oscillator set to RC so will NOT oscillate with a crystal.
 
All you really need is a PICkit 2 + a breadboard or home made/modded target board though the Debug Express bundle with a PIC16F887 (smd) demo board or the Starter kit bundle with a board for the baseline or standard midrange PIC12/PIC16 series 8,14 or 20 pin parts (not 18 pin or PIC10) can be a convenience if you want to work through the tutorials. There is no difference between the Pickit 2 supplied on its own or as part of a bundle.
 
It is supported directly in MPLAB both for programming and debugging though there is also an external programmer software that supports a greater range of PICs than MPLAB does with the same PICkit 2 hardware and there is also a standalone command  line utility.
 
 
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golfpilot
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2018/05/15 12:50:27 (permalink)
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I don't suppose anyone has the complete schematic for the icebreaker do they?
I would like to build my own PCB but based on the original icebreaker.
 
Many thanks,
GP
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jack@kksound
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2018/05/16 14:13:25 (permalink)
+2 (2)
Why would you want to do that?
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Jim Nickerson
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golfpilot
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Re:magenta icebreaker - no comms 2018/05/18 01:23:44 (permalink)
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Thanks Jim,
 
I've been looking for that article on the EPE website but couldn't find it!! I thought it would be there somewhere but it didn't show up.
 
Cheers again,
GP
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