QCX firmware upgrade instructions for USBASP and Extreme Burner #qcx #firmware

Ted 2E0THH

I've just successfully upgraded to 1.02b. I couldn't find definitive instructions for my particular setup so before I forget here they are. I hope someone else gains benefit from them. The only cost was the USBASP which totalled just over £2!

  • QCX 40
  • Win10 (32 bit)
  • 10 Pin Convert to Standard 6 Pin Adapter Board+USBASP USBISP AVR Programmer USB
    Extreme burner
  • Zadig USB driver for above
  • Latest QCX firmware
10 Pin Convert to Standard 6 Pin Adapter Board+USBASP USBISP AVR Programmer USB
Extreme burner
Zadig USB driver 
QCX 1.02b Firmware

Preparation - PC
  • Install Extreme Burner
  • There is an extra .xml file in the zip called chips.xml which contains the support for the QCX ATmega328 chip. Copy this file to the program files/extreme burner - AVR/data and overwrite the existing chips.xml file in there
  • Open Extreme Burner and select the ATmega328 from the top menu "chip"
  • Plug the USBASP into a USB port (I used a USB extension lead so I could easily connect it to the QCX) The USBASP  red LEDs should light up
  • Install the Zadig software and install the driver
  • Download and extract the QCX firmware .hex file onto your desktop or somewhere you can easily find it, don't load it yet. 
Preparation - QCX
  • Power off the QCX
  • Expose the 6 way ASP header (if the QCX is in a case), it is situated next to the power connector on the top of the PCB
  • Insert the 6 to 10 pin converter onto the header, the 10 way header keyway slot should face into the middle of the PCB
  • Carefully connect the ribbon cable between the USBASP  and the 6 to 10 pin converter 
The firmware upgrade
  • Power up the QCX
  • Firstly, check Extreme Burner is communicating with the ATmega328 chip by pressing the READ ALL Icon in Extreme Burner, this action should successfully download the current contents of the ATmega328 chip
  • Now load the QCX firmware .hex file using the OPEN icon in Extreme Burner, you will see all the addresses populate as it loads 
  • You should not have adjusted any other parameter in Extreme Burner, the Flash tab should still be displayed
  • Press the WRITE ALL icon and wait until Extreme Burner indicates success
  • Power off the QCX
  • Power on the QCX and 1.02b (or which ever firmware you uploaded) should display during boot - you are done!
  • During Read and Write, Extreme Burner always displayed the message "Incorrect chip found, continue?" which I did. It could be just my setup or ignorance but it did not affect either read or write.
  • This was performed on a 32 bit PC. I started on a 64 bit machine but I found that I had to disable a security element regarding unsigned drivers. If you only have a 64 bit machine this is easily done, I just happened to have a 32 bit machine available.
I hope this is of some help to others, this was my first upgrade attempt and frankly very easy indeed.

73s Ted

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