Topics

QCX Firmware Update Success

Gregg Myers
 

Hello all,
I just finished my QCX 40m kit yesterday (successfully, yea!). But since my kit was ordered before the new firmware T1.01a.hex was released, I realized I should upgrade it. But I was nervous, since I just finished my kit and didn't want to brick it from the get-go. Also, not being terribly familiar with AVR programming, I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. I ordered a Sparkfun AVR Pocket Programmer (not the cheapest programmer out there, but I could get one fast and I liked the tutorial that Sparkfun has online to help me use it).

Well, I had to do a lot of reading on this because I wasn't sure which way the cables should go, etc, and since I can't remember stuff like I used to, I documented it all in the attached file so I could repeat the process in the future if need be. The command line AVRDUDE method seemed simple as long as you know the command to type!

Anyway, it worked perfectly and now I can enjoy my QCX on the latest firmware. Maybe I shouldn't have been so nervous! :)

73,
Gregg W7GRM

Karl Schwab
 

Thanks Gregg for your work and PDF file on upgrading the QCX software.  I never thought that I could do all of this, so I have been ordering the upgraded chips from Hans, which I don't mind doing, as my purchases contribute to his business. 73, Karl, KO8S

On Saturday, October 19, 2019, 12:53:56 PM EDT, Gregg Myers <gregg.w7grm@...> wrote:


Hello all,
I just finished my QCX 40m kit yesterday (successfully, yea!). But since my kit was ordered before the new firmware T1.01a.hex was released, I realized I should upgrade it. But I was nervous, since I just finished my kit and didn't want to brick it from the get-go. Also, not being terribly familiar with AVR programming, I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. I ordered a Sparkfun AVR Pocket Programmer (not the cheapest programmer out there, but I could get one fast and I liked the tutorial that Sparkfun has online to help me use it).

Well, I had to do a lot of reading on this because I wasn't sure which way the cables should go, etc, and since I can't remember stuff like I used to, I documented it all in the attached file so I could repeat the process in the future if need be. The command line AVRDUDE method seemed simple as long as you know the command to type!

Anyway, it worked perfectly and now I can enjoy my QCX on the latest firmware. Maybe I shouldn't have been so nervous! :)

73,
Gregg W7GRM

Gregg Myers
 

Thanks, Karl. Yes indeed, the very safest path to success is to buy a pre-programmed chip from Hans. I would have done this too, had I not been super eager to get my new QCX with all the new features on the air and not wait for the long shipping time to my QTH. Hans offers the chips at an excellent price! 

Despite being nervous at the time, upgrading the chip myself was an interesting and rewarding experience and I’m glad I learned about it. I think some of the pitfalls that people might fall into is there are too many variants on how to do this with different computer OS and programmer hardware interfaces and possibilities to plug cables in the wrong way, etc. That’s why I tried to be very specific in my pdf. Anyway, I need such instructions for myself, too, as it’s not like I will have to repeat this very often.

73,
Gregg W7GRM

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 6:08 AM Karl Schwab via Groups.Io <ktschwab=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thanks Gregg for your work and PDF file on upgrading the QCX software.  I never thought that I could do all of this, so I have been ordering the upgraded chips from Hans, which I don't mind doing, as my purchases contribute to his business. 73, Karl, KO8S

On Saturday, October 19, 2019, 12:53:56 PM EDT, Gregg Myers <gregg.w7grm@...> wrote:


Hello all,
I just finished my QCX 40m kit yesterday (successfully, yea!). But since my kit was ordered before the new firmware T1.01a.hex was released, I realized I should upgrade it. But I was nervous, since I just finished my kit and didn't want to brick it from the get-go. Also, not being terribly familiar with AVR programming, I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. I ordered a Sparkfun AVR Pocket Programmer (not the cheapest programmer out there, but I could get one fast and I liked the tutorial that Sparkfun has online to help me use it).

Well, I had to do a lot of reading on this because I wasn't sure which way the cables should go, etc, and since I can't remember stuff like I used to, I documented it all in the attached file so I could repeat the process in the future if need be. The command line AVRDUDE method seemed simple as long as you know the command to type!

Anyway, it worked perfectly and now I can enjoy my QCX on the latest firmware. Maybe I shouldn't have been so nervous! :)

73,
Gregg W7GRM

Paul Harrison
 

Hi Gregg,

I have received a new chip from Hans, and I thought I have nothing to lose by first trying to update the
atmega328p myself, if I brick it I have a new one ready.

I ordered for a few Euros from Ebay a USBasp programmer with a 10 to 6 pin adaptor which fits
perfectly on the six pin QCX connector.

Like this one:https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/atmel_altprogx_.htm

Downloaded "Extreme Burner avr"
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/extreme_burner.zip

Downloaded "Zadig" needed to install the correct win32 usb driver.
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/zadig.zip

Downloaded the 1.01a.hex file from QRP-Labs, copy and paste into
windows editor. Save file as 101a.hex.

http://qrp-labs.com/images/qcx/firmware/T1.01a.hex

For Windows 10 you might have to copy the file libusb0.dll from the
windows/system32 to sysWOW64
Make sure you only write the flash, not EEPROM.
Read the flash first to make sure all is working.

Good luck and don't blame me if it doesn't work. 

Paul DJ0CU.
 

Gregg Myers
 

Hi Paul,

Glad yours worked, too, using slightly different hardware and software than I used. Your programmer was also less expensive than the one I used. I upgraded mine last week using the hardware I had already bought. My new firmware has since been working great! 

73,
Gregg

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM Paul Harrison via Groups.Io <dj0cu=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Gregg,

I have received a new chip from Hans, and I thought I have nothing to lose by first trying to update the
atmega328p myself, if I brick it I have a new one ready.

I ordered for a few Euros from Ebay a USBasp programmer with a 10 to 6 pin adaptor which fits
perfectly on the six pin QCX connector.

Like this one:https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/atmel_altprogx_.htm

Downloaded "Extreme Burner avr"
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/extreme_burner.zip

Downloaded "Zadig" needed to install the correct win32 usb driver.
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/zadig.zip

Downloaded the 1.01a.hex file from QRP-Labs, copy and paste into
windows editor. Save file as 101a.hex.

http://qrp-labs.com/images/qcx/firmware/T1.01a.hex

For Windows 10 you might have to copy the file libusb0.dll from the
windows/system32 to sysWOW64
Make sure you only write the flash, not EEPROM.
Read the flash first to make sure all is working.

Good luck and don't blame me if it doesn't work. 

Paul DJ0CU.
 

Paul Harrison
 

yeah, also one big advantage of programming the chip in situ is the fact that the stored parameters are not overwritten

using Extreme burner as software presents you with a graphical interface making using it a breeze. 

Paul DJ0CU.

Alan G4ZFQ
 

also one big advantage of programming the chip in situ is the fact that the stored parameters are not overwritten
Paul,

In circuit or removing the chip, programming is the same.
The advantage of programming the chip in situ is that it is only necessary to connect the cable.

73 Alan G4ZFQ

Paul Harrison
 

yes I really meant just updating the chip as apposed to replacing it I suppose, doesn't matter where you update it.

Paul DJ0CU

jmh6@...
 

Hi All,

I have finally gotten around to burning software on my qcx.

Built the ISP cable, etc.

I have 2 unos. The uno with the DIP 328p with ISP software loaded works everytime. The uno with the SMD 328p doesn't read the first time and never figures out how to write ??!!

Perhaps this explains some of the qcx programming difficulties.

Also, I now have my own software loading into and transmitting on the qcx. I am hoping to teach my qcx to send FT8 packets. Lots of shared pins make this especially fun!! Thankfully I have a schematic :).

Lots of fun :).

On Wed, 23 Oct 2019, Paul Harrison via Groups.Io wrote:

Hi Gregg,
I have received a new chip from Hans, and I thought I have nothing to lose
by first trying to update the
atmega328p myself, if I brick it I have a new one ready.
I ordered for a few Euros from Ebay a USBasp programmer with a 10 to 6 pin
adaptor which fits
perfectly on the six pin QCX connector.
Like this one:https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/atmel_altprogx_.htm
Downloaded "Extreme Burner avr"
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/extreme_burner.zip
Downloaded "Zadig" needed to install the correct win32 usb driver.
https://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/zadig.zip
Downloaded the 1.01a.hex file from QRP-Labs, copy and paste into
windows editor. Save file as 101a.hex.
http://qrp-labs.com/images/qcx/firmware/T1.01a.hex
For Windows 10 you might have to copy the file libusb0.dll from the
windows/system32 to sysWOW64
Make sure you only write the flash, not EEPROM.
Read the flash first to make sure all is working.
Good luck and don't blame me if it doesn't work. 
Paul DJ0CU.
 

Frumpus
 

This is KA7QVE: I also had great success updating both my QCX 40 and QCX 20. Things do seem to work better.  The OLG1 can now be plugged in and it does not transmit unaware. Decode is better.  I used an Arduino UNO as ISP with  AVRDUDESS AND THE Arduino as outlined in the updated software.  The only  hitch was looking at the example on AVRDUDESS  IT showed ATMEGA-328 for the setting but it was 328P worked well.

dkwflight
 

Hi
I took the easy way out, buying the chip from Hans.
Seems to work fine.

Paul Harrison
 

Hi,

It turns out that Flashing the prom IS the easy way out. 
Advantages: No removing chip which means disassembly and possible damage to
QCX.
No reassembly.
Save $6 plus postage and wait time.
Parameters in the QCX remain intact.

Using Extreme Burner AVR is a breeze.

Paul DJ0CU.