Programming Files

MIRE has two programmable devices onboard that might occasionally require updates.

The Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA, on the underside of the blue daughter card) can be updated using a USB Blaster device (currently less than $3 on eBay) and free software from Altera. Archives posted here contain a .pof extension file for that purpose. Plug the USB Blaster into the 10-pin header hanging off the edge of the MIRE PCB. Power up the MIRE. In the software select Active Serial Programming mode, add the file, select "Program" and "Verify" checkboxes, hit "start" and you're done.

I wrote a pretty extensive explanation of this procedure for the MISE and M3SE devices. It works the same for MIRE:

Programming the M3SE FPGA

The PIC processor is updated from a .hex file. If you have a PicKit 3 programmer, use the file with "unified" in the filename and the free MPLAB X IPE software from Altera. The device type is PIC18F26K22.

If you do not have a PicKit 3, you can use the software bootloader program included with MIRE on the MIREUTIL floppy image, and the .hex file without "unified" in its filename.

You cannot use the SD floppy drives while updating the PIC processor. If you are able to store the entire, large hex file on a MISE hard drive or an external double-density floppy drive, rename it and do so, and also copy the utility BOOTLOAD/CMD from the MIREUTIL/DMK image someplace besides the SD card. Just run the BOOTLOAD program with the .hex filename. Reboot when finished.

If you only have single-density external drives, you can split the .hex file into multiple pieces that will fit on your floppies. BOOTLOAD/CMD will prompt for each file, but they must be entered in order, and they must be split on whole-line boundaries. There are many free utilities available that can do this.

Date: July 16, 2017


Back to the main page