New firmware for the MeeBlip on OSX

James Graham released a new firmware for the MeeBlip, today. For exactly this reason I bought an ISP-Programmer (In System Programmer) couple of weeks ago. Because this whole microcontroler thing is quite new to me, I was a bit worried to brick my Blip, but my worries were for nothing.

The difficulties started before I even bought a ISP-programmer. Almost all tutorials covering the process of reprogramming and updating an AVR microcontroler are for ISP-programmers very hard to get here in Germany or very expensive. And of cause for using Windows. Not a very good starting point if you have no knowledge and work on a Mac. After a bit of search I found a quite cheap one on ebay. To be exact, ebay is crowded with these things.

The only problem, explanation just for Windows. After googleing a bit, I was not sure what to expect. It seems everybody owning such a programmer had problems, but I was hoping that the people with no problems just won´t post anything. The programmer arrived shortly after I ordered it. I put him on side till the release of the new firmware. This was today. So I gave it a try.

First I tried to find some recourses explaining how to install AVRDude (Software for loading up the firmware to the MC) on my Mac. I was able to find a very useful package, installing everything automatically. http://www.obdev.at/products/crosspack/index.html. First step done.

The ISP-Plug on the MeeBlip is 6-pin. The cable on my Programmer is for 10-pins. So I build a quick adapter. The schematic is very easy.

Next was to get the programmer running with AVRDude. First I had to find the actual device that was created by this programmer. Very easy job in Terminal. Disconnect the programmer and enter ls -l /dev/cu.* A list of my devices appeared. Plugin the programmer in and repeated. There was a new device, called “/dev/cu.usbmodemfd521″.

Somewhere I read that the programmer would support STK500v2 standard. So I had my next puzzle-piece.

I found all other ingredient for doing this update in the good tutorial by Peter Kirn on the MeeBlip page.

After an initial : avrdude -c stk500v2 -p m32 -P/dev/cu.usbmodemfd521

I received this dsplay:

avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading |################################################## |100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9502

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK

avrdude done.  Thank you.

I have to mention, I first had to power up the MeeBlip.
Quite a surprise for me, it worked. So I was very optimistic to handle the rest.
I downloaded the .hex file (had to rename it back to .hex, Safari changed it to .hex.txt), changed directory to be in the same folder like the .hex and entered:
avrdude -c stk500v2 -p m32 -U flash:w:meeblip.hex -P /dev/cu.usbmodemfd521
The following appeared.
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9502
avrdude: NOTE: FLASH memory has been specified, an erase cycle will be performed
To disable this feature, specify the -D option.
avrdude: erasing chip
avrdude: reading input file “meeblip.hex”
avrdude: input file meeblip.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
avrdude: writing flash (4250 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 1.02s

avrdude: 4250 bytes of flash written
avrdude: verifying flash memory against meeblip.hex:
avrdude: load data flash data from input file meeblip.hex:
avrdude: input file meeblip.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
avrdude: input file meeblip.hex contains 4250 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.73s

avrdude: verifying …
avrdude: 4250 bytes of flash verified

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK

avrdude done.  Thank you.
Everything went much smoother then expected. 30min. and everything was done. Very easy.

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