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MiniPro TL866 Upgrade Instructions


Kyle22
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Here's a quick guide to upgrading your TL866 programmer from the CS version to the A version. This operation enables use of the ICSP port (which is easily soldered in).

 

TL866a.zip

 

1: Install the Programmer's software in C:\MiniPro (I used the current version included in the .zip).

2: Plug in Programmer (hope you chose to install the USB driver in the above step).

3: Run Programmer Software and look at the very bottom line. It should show your version TL866CS.

4: Exit back to Desktop.

5: Run the TL866.exe program.

6: Click the browse button [...] and browse for your update.dat file in C:\MiniPro.

7: Select the "Firmware Dumper" button, and hit the "Reflash" button

8: Click "Advanced", then select "A Bootloader", then hit "Write"

9: Unselect "Code protection bit", then hit "Write"

A: Hit OK to exit that menu, then select "TL866A firmware" and hit "Reflash"

B: When reflash is done, hit "Reset", wait, and hit "Reset" again.

C: Exit the TL866.exe program.

D: Run Programmer software again, look at bottom line. It should say TL866A.

E: Have fun :)

 

Please note that I performed the above steps while I was typing this, so I am quite certain everything is correct.

 

Edit: There are some confirmation prompts that I skipped here because they're obvious. Just say "Yes" or "OK" on all such prompts.

Edited by Kyle22
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A but scary, true, but it worked. I'm using xp on Parallels but had no problem. I don't see any obvious differences in capabilities, though you mentioned an ICSP programming ability, do I have to add some hardware to make that? D'oh, I just re-read your first line.

Edited by towmater
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Open the TL866, break out the piece of plastic that says ICSP, then solder a 6 position right angle pin header in.

 

There should be more chips / devices in the menu, and all the ICSP stuff is unlocked.

 

Glad it worked for you. If you can suggest any improvements or clarifications to my instructions, please do.

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Quote from their website:

 

Unique universal serial programming interface ICSP

(Only TL866A can support, TL866CS cannot use this function)
This TL866A programmer can program through the 40-PIN universal socket and is provided with an ICSP serial programming port. For some in-circuit serial programmable chips, you can program MCU by choosing ICSP port. You can get the clear instruction diagram in the programming software for the ICSP port wiring method. That is to say, you can directly program and update the chip soldered on the board.
Note: Now ICSP can in-circuit serial program ATMEL89S51, ATMEL89S52, AT45DBxxx, a whole series of AVR ATMEGAxxx, MICROCHIP PIC10Fxxx 12Fxxx 16Fxxx 18Fxxx, as well as a full serial of SYNCMOS SM59Dxx SM59Rxx. The variety of microcontroller that can be supported in-circuit programming will be continually increased in the future. Six ICSP wires of this programmer, except a ground wire, other wires led full functional I2C, SPI and UART serial main wire, be suitable for all kinds of serial communication. In addition, each wire can supply VCC, VPP or GND with high current.

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Would it be possible for anyone else to comment about their experience? 17 have downloaded it. So far, one person has kindly replied to say it worked even under Parallels :) .

 

I need some feedback to help me to make these instructions perfect and idiot proof (no offense).

 

Thanks :)

Edited by Kyle22
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  • 3 weeks later...

Would it be possible for anyone else to comment about their experience?

 

Worked fine on my TL866CS connected via a crappy USB2 hub to a Mac Mini running Windows 7 under VMWare. If it works under those conditions, it'll work anywhere ... and I followed your instructions to the letter, no worries.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I shall certainly give this a go as I do not fancy my chances of actually getting any warranty support even if the thing did breakdown, un-voided with a year.

 

I do have a few usage questions: On installing a new version of the application software I believe it requires you to update the device firmware when you first open it. When this occurs with the modded device does it properly update to the 'A' firmware or does it shift back to the 'CS' version? Also, is it possible to buy the required cable for ICSP programming from somewhere? Finally, can one change back to the 'CS' firmware if necessary or required?

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Install the latest version. That's the one included in the .zip.

 

Follow instructions exactly!

 

Once you make it the 'A' version, it remains as such unless you use the tool to change it back (why).

 

When autoelectric releases the next update, it will work fine.

 

This is not a "hack' of any kind. It is the complete firmware replacement to the 'A' version.

 

No worries, it works fine.

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Install the latest version. That's the one included in the .zip.

 

Follow instructions exactly!

 

Once you make it the 'A' version, it remains as such unless you use the tool to change it back (why).

 

When autoelectric releases the next update, it will work fine.

 

This is not a "hack' of any kind. It is the complete firmware replacement to the 'A' version.

 

No worries, it works fine.

 

Sounds good Kyle22!!! I'll just add that in regards the newest version of the 'minipro' software I think it was recently ticked up to 'v6.50' on Christmas day itself!

 

Looking at the images which people have posted to the eeVBlog of their mods it seems some used plain right-angled male pin-headers and some have used right-angled female sockets... Which would you recommend for maximum compatibility with ICSP devices?

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Hi Kyle22,

thank you for the upgrade instructions.

Today I upgraded successfully my programmer and also downloaded the 6.50 software (which forced me to update the firmware, but my device was recognized as TL866a, so everything is fine.

I didn't have a header, so I used a row of right angle male headers:

 

post-29824-0-98821300-1452454367_thumb.jpg

Regards

Montezuma

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Yes, I see they have updated to 6.50. I downloaded it and it re-flashed the TL866 firmware to the latest version. It continues to be the 'A' version.

 

From the photo it looks like a male pin header is used in the original. http://img.dxcdn.com/productimages/sku_177498_4.jpg

 

Many thanks Kyle22 - looking closely at that image I think the 'MC34646 Multicomp Header' is the authentic part, or very close to it. On the British ebay that comes up as: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MC34649-Multicomp-Header-R-A-PCB-2-54mm-6-Way/131196545938. Do you happen to know if the unpopulated holes are in the standard 2.54mm pitch?

 

To be honest I never realized the arena of electronics connectors and headers was so complicated - its a real minefield!!! I suppose at the end of the day it doesn't really matter so long as the appropriate cable will connect securely. This 'multicomp' connector does look like it is specifically designed to attach to the 'pickit3' cable though and tallies with the one shown, specifically the 'tongue' on the lower face and against the right angle rather than the top. Annoyingly the picture for the eBay auction shows an 8-way part but the blurb specifically gives the pin-count as 6.

 

Hi Kyle22,

thank you for the upgrade instructions.

Today I upgraded successfully my programmer and also downloaded the 6.50 software (which forced me to update the firmware, but my device was recognized as TL866a, so everything is fine.

I didn't have a header, so I used a row of right angle male headers:

 

attachicon.gifIMG_20160110_202943.jpg

Regards

Montezuma

 

I was going to go in exactly the same direction until I finally turned up the part mentioned above.

 

When it comes to getting hold of an ICSP cable then I think this auction, or an equivalent fits the bill perfectly: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PICKIT3-Interface-Kit-90-6-WAY-PCB-0-1-90-degree-2-54mm-ICSP-cable-for-pic-/300677830261. Alternately I guess it is not the toughest job in the world to make your own so long as you have the plugs/sockets and the patience!

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Those ebay items look good to me, just make sure to ask the seller about the number of pins.

 

I didn't measure the pitch of the holes, but they look right. 2.54 is a standard, so it would really surprise me if it were different.

 

Yep, I've just shot off an email asking to confirm the socket has 6 pins and not 8 as in the photograph. I wish sellers would properly illustrate their auctions, especially when it is for a single item as in this case. Still, to be fair I suppose it would be a colossal pain to do that for every auction if you are running a large shop entirely from ebay. Some auctions also allow you to specify one item from a list of several, so there is also that complication to consider.

 

In regards the re-flashing part of the task - I can confirm your instructions worked perfectly! The application software now properly identifies the device as an TL866A and I can select an ICSP chip-type entry from the 'Select IC' dialog. When this is done the 'ICSP Port' radio button is no longer greyed on the main dialogue and the 'ICSP_VCC Enable' checkbox is also enabled.

 

Absolutely first rate work here Kyle22 and many, many thanks!!!

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The 'MC34646' socket finally arrived - despite getting absolutely no response to my question of the pin count - and I have now soldered it in place. Everything buttons up properly and looks identical to the pictures of the 866A. One thing that I especially liked; the ICSP port was only hidden behind a sliding embossed blank, so no fiddly Dremmeling is required to neatly remove it. The thing just lifts out of the case - perfect!

 

Now I just need to get something that I can test the ICSP programming ability on! I think that most PIC chips can be programmed in-circuit, so could anyone suggest a model to buy that would also allow me to learn a little of modern embedded electronics and - more importantly - modern PIC programming along the way?

 

Once again - many thanks to Kyle22. He has really come through with an ultra-simple and effective process here. If you have a 866CS then there is absolutely no reason not to cross-flash it in the manner described above.

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The proof is in the pudding.

 

I just tested the ICSP functionality by erasing, blank-checking, writing, verifying and reading a PIC16F59 - which can only be programmed on the 866 using this method.

 

And... It works perfectly!!!

Thanks so much for the positive report, much appreciated!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

(Thanks to Ralf pointing me to this discussion).

 

Question:

Is it better to order the "A" version (compared to the "CS" version?)

 

Like this one here is better?:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TL866A-High-Speed-Programmer-USB-IC-EPROM-EEPROM-FLASH-BIOS-Programmer-with-Clip-/171474010152?hash=item27eca5c028:g:dQEAAOSwJkJWl3YF

 

In Britain at least there is a serious price differential between the 'CS' and 'A' model - something like £36 for the former and £55+ for the latter. This is especially cynical because the circuit board and case are identical. The only difference between the two is a shiny sticker on the bottom and the firmware written on to the EEPROM inside.

 

I strongly, strongly advise you to buy the 'CS' version and then follow the excellent tutorial laid out by kyle22 above. This literally changes the 'CS' in to the 'A' and if you are interested in ICSP programming of PICs and the like you can buy a 50p pin-header to solder on to the 'CS' circuitboard as I described. This completes the transformation to an 'A' model - the only physical difference between the two is that one easily added part. You don't even have to Dremel an aperture for the socket as the hole is only blocked by a lift-out shield.

 

This is an amazing little piece of electronics, especially useful if you are getting in to the A8 scene and having it allows you a great deal of flexibility and potential. Bad flash? No problem, yank the EEPROM and rewrite it properly in the 866A. Bricked SIDE2? Same deal. Want to patch the stock 800XL OS? Grab a 27128 EPROM and burn a new one. The applications are many and the peace of mind is deep.

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