Bad Flash on my Firebee

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Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:36 pm

Well all, flashing is something new to me. I decided to update my Firebee and flashed the new Firetos and the other flash files on the firebee.org.
website. Thing were fine. I liked the fact that copying ]files was smoother than before. I did notice the most of the time I kept getting an error on boot up concerning the CF. I was getting a "no answer" error and then it would just stop. I have gotten this error before and all I did was unplug the FB and then then things were fine. Not this time. I had to turn dip switch 5 off, boot the FB, turn dip switch 5 on, then the CF boots.

So I thought it was a driver or TOS problem, so I flashed Didier's firebee driver hex file. Then the fun really began. The firebee boots, but VERY,VERY slowly. Took about 20-30 minutes and then the keyboard and mouse do not work.

I need to run EmuTOS and re-flash the FB. Best Eleectronics think they have a TT keyboard they can sell me. I have an Eiffel, but it is a Falcon version. I am looking to convert it so the FB can use it. I ordered an adapter that has a male rj12 on one end and a 6 pin screw port on the other. I have the pin outs so it should work

The question is: What files do I flash to get the FB back in working order?

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby vido » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:06 am

I recomend you to reflash your FireBee with the firmwares from the firebee.org again: http://firebee.org/fb-bin/support?lng=EN
Just reflash everything in the folowing order: FPGA, BaS, FireTOS. But you have to be very carefull. If something go wrong while you flash firmware you can stay without working FireBee until you get the cable to reflash your FireBee from the PC computer!
You can flash the latest EmuTOS from EmuTOS sourceforge page: https://sourceforge.net/p/emutos/news/2 ... mutos-098/

There are later BaS and FireTOS versions with some improvements but they are not officialy released as they are still wotk in progress. I hope it will be finished and released to public in near future.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:25 pm

vido wrote:I recomend you to reflash your FireBee with the firmwares from the firebee.org again: http://firebee.org/fb-bin/support?lng=EN
Just reflash everything in the folowing order: FPGA, BaS, FireTOS. But you have to be very carefull. If something go wrong while you flash firmware you can stay without working FireBee until you get the cable to reflash your FireBee from the PC computer!
You can flash the latest EmuTOS from EmuTOS sourceforge page: https://sourceforge.net/p/emutos/news/2 ... mutos-098/

There are later BaS and FireTOS versions with some improvements but they are not officialy released as they are still wotk in progress. I hope it will be finished and released to public in near future.

Thanks much for the reply. I will do as you suggested......

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby wongck » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:51 am

vido wrote:I recomend you to reflash your FireBee with the firmwares from the firebee.org again: http://firebee.org/fb-bin/support?lng=EN


i just took a quick look at the URL you provide and did not download anything.
Yes there are lots of latest and previous flash. So I got a bit confused which one or all of them need flashing.
Also I do not see how to flash it and so cannot judge the effort needed.
May be someone needs put a link to How-To flash it.
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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby vido » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:46 am

wongck wrote:i just took a quick look at the URL you provide and did not download anything.
Yes there are lots of latest and previous flash. So I got a bit confused which one or all of them need flashing.
Also I do not see how to flash it and so cannot judge the effort needed.
May be someone needs put a link to How-To flash it.

How to flash is described into README.TXT into FLASHER folder where software to flash your FireBee resides.
Maybe would not hurt to put that on the firebee.org page also.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby fmh » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:25 pm

Gamer sorry you had to go through what I did Flashing my Firebee. You can read about my woes here viewtopic.php?f=92&t=28704 My guess is that there is a bad Flash File still available for download either on the Firebee site or another site. Once I got the proper files I got a stable Firebee again. I still haven't solved the issue of being able to run the latest Netsurf now 3.7 on my Firebee I'll run the older 2.9 and have a running Firebee.

A TT Keyboard was the only thing that was able to allow me to get the Firebee going again. It was a life saver in this case. Though contributing partially to my issues was that I tried too many updates and changes all at one time. I think I know better now :shrug:
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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:15 pm

fmh wrote:Gamer sorry you had to go through what I did Flashing my Firebee. You can read about my woes here viewtopic.php?f=92&t=28704 My guess is that there is a bad Flash File still available for download either on the Firebee site or another site. Once I got the proper files I got a stable Firebee again. I still haven't solved the issue of being able to run the latest Netsurf now 3.7 on my Firebee I'll run the older 2.9 and have a running Firebee.

A TT Keyboard was the only thing that was able to allow me to get the Firebee going again. It was a life saver in this case. Though contributing partially to my issues was that I tried too many updates and changes all at one time. I think I know better now :shrug:



Thanks.... I must have gotten a bad file. If something terrible goes wrong and I need a jtag cable to get things going again, what's the procedure there. Anyone does that sort of thing before???

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:51 pm

Gamer wrote:... If something terrible goes wrong and I need a jtag cable to get things going again, what's the procedure there ...


A JTAG cable won't help.

The JTAG connector on the board only connects to the FPGA and the FPGA can't flash the ROMs as they are "behind" the ColdFire from its point of view. What you need is a BDM (Background Debug Mode) device that connects to the ColdFire MCU. These are hard to come bye nowadays.

Look out for a TBLCF device.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby vido » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:27 pm

Check this link for TBLCF device: https://community.nxp.com/thread/17542
I think Marcus can tell better if this would flash FireBee.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:47 pm

mfro wrote:
Gamer wrote:... If something terrible goes wrong and I need a jtag cable to get things going again, what's the procedure there ...


A JTAG cable won't help.

The JTAG connector on the board only connects to the FPGA and the FPGA can't flash the ROMs as they are "behind" the ColdFire from its point of view. What you need is a BDM (Background Debug Mode) device that connects to the ColdFire MCU. These are hard to come bye nowadays.

Look out for a TBLCF device.


Oh, I see. Then the JTAG cable would only be able to work on the FPGA chip, correct? Or am I miss understanding...

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:50 am

vido wrote:Check this link for TBLCF device: https://community.nxp.com/thread/17542
I think Marcus can tell better if this would flash FireBee.


It should. The M68HC08 used might be hard to come by already, however. Marked obsolete at many vendors if I remember right.

Gamer wrote:Oh, I see. Then the JTAG cable would only be able to work on the FPGA chip, correct? Or am I miss understanding...


Correct.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:17 pm

mfro wrote:
vido wrote:Check this link for TBLCF device: https://community.nxp.com/thread/17542
I think Marcus can tell better if this would flash FireBee.


It should. The M68HC08 used might be hard to come by already, however. Marked obsolete at many vendors if I remember right.

Gamer wrote:Oh, I see. Then the JTAG cable would only be able to work on the FPGA chip, correct? Or am I miss understanding...


Correct.


Okay, so what hardware and software was used to flash the Firebee?

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:13 pm

Gamer wrote:Okay, so what hardware and software was used to flash the Firebee?


I don't know what others use, but I have a P&E BDM flasher that connects to the parallel port of my PC and several TBLCF' s for my ColdFire machines (so I can leave them plugged to avoid stress to the connectors).

Software: https://sourceforge.net/projects/bdm running on my Linux development machine. Works for me.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:51 pm

mfro wrote:
Gamer wrote:Okay, so what hardware and software was used to flash the Firebee?


I don't know what others use, but I have a P&E BDM flasher that connects to the parallel port of my PC and several TBLCF' s for my ColdFire machines (so I can leave them plugged to avoid stress to the connectors).

Software: https://sourceforge.net/projects/bdm running on my Linux development machine. Works for me.


And your setup allows flashing of the FPGA and other chips on the Firebee? If there a version of the P&E BDM Flasher that connect through USB?

I guess I just want a setup that can flash the FPGA using the s19 file since I was flashing it using the Coldfire program and it crashed in the process which pretty much made the Cyclone III chip unusable.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:43 am

Gamer wrote:And your setup allows flashing of the FPGA and other chips on the Firebee?

Yes. The BDM device downloads a ColdFire code snippet to the µC that can erase and flash paragraphs of the AMD flash chip and remotely executes it while downloading the flash image paragraph by paragraph to the µC. FPGA config, BaS, EmuTOS and FireTOS all reside in different paragraphs on the same flash chip connected to the ColdFire.

Gamer wrote:If there a version of the P&E BDM Flasher that connect through USB?

I think there is (or at least was), but you might not want to pay what they charge for (provided its still available at all). Cheapest available solution that's proven to work is the TBLCF. Even the price for the simple P&E parallel adapter is astronimic. I just own it because it was part of the MCF5484 evaluation kit I have.

Gamer wrote:I guess I just want a setup that can flash the FPGA using the s19 file since I was flashing it using the Coldfire program and it crashed in the process which pretty much made the Cyclone III chip unusable.

Then you probably want a TBLCF. Repeat myself: it's the cheapest solution known to work.

General warning: flashing the FireBee just because you can is always asking for trouble, IMHO. I would only recommend this if there is good reason (e.g. you are a developer or there is an official release that features serious bug fixes or enhancements. Even then things can go wrong to a degree where only a BDM device may be the last resort.

The FireBees get delivered with the latest proven firmware so there should be absolutely no need to reflash anyway. If your FireBee doesn't do what it is supposed to it's probably caused by the software on CF or a (very rare) case of hardware failure but not defective flash contents. If you flash using the flasher tool from such "screwed up" OS, it's very likely to fail.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:34 am

Ok, I see now. I went to the P&E website and saw the hardware. They connect to the PC via USB and have various ports to connect to a target device. I saw they offered 3 levels of hardware. Which one do you have? Also where do I get a TBLCF and where on the firebee does it connect?

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:50 pm

Gamer wrote:Ok, I see now. I went to the P&E website and saw the hardware. They connect to the PC via USB and have various ports to connect to a target device. I saw they offered 3 levels of hardware. Which one do you have?

None of those that are still available. I think they called it "Cable CF".

Also where do I get a TBLCF

No idea. I got mine from a German dealer as kit. I don't think they still sell them.

and where on the firebee does it connect?

On the 26-pin pin header close to the CPU.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby wongck » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:53 pm

Looks like flashing FB is hair raising....
worst than for my CT63 ??
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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:19 am

mfro wrote:
Gamer wrote:Ok, I see now. I went to the P&E website and saw the hardware. They connect to the PC via USB and have various ports to connect to a target device. I saw they offered 3 levels of hardware. Which one do you have?

None of those that are still available. I think they called it "Cable CF".

Also where do I get a TBLCF

No idea. I got mine from a German dealer as kit. I don't think they still sell them.

and where on the firebee does it connect?

On the 26-pin pin header close to the CPU.


What about a Windows compiled version of BDM tools?

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:19 am

wongck wrote:Looks like flashing FB is hair raising....
worst than for my CT63 ??


Tell me about it. Things were great until I just to update my FB.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby mfro » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:43 am

wongck wrote:Looks like flashing FB is hair raising....
worst than for my CT63 ??


No, it's nearly the same thing. And it usually just works (I've done this like several hundred times successfully). Nobody knows what gamer did wrong and he doesn't tell.

You replace essential software on the board. If you manage to screw up the wrong part, the Bee might end up bricked.
In the CT60 case, you still have a fallback (as you can flash from 030 mode as well, AFAIK). No such thing on the FireBee. Depending on what failed, it won't boot. If it doesn't boot, you can't flash from the desktop anymore.
The FireBee's safety net is the BDM interface. Thus my recommendation: don't flash if you don't need to (and only do it very carefully if you must and don't have such).

Gamer wrote:What about a Windows compiled version of BDM tools?

https://community.nxp.com/thread/27963

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:15 am

mfro wrote:
wongck wrote:Looks like flashing FB is hair raising....
worst than for my CT63 ??


No, it's nearly the same thing. And it usually just works (I've done this like several hundred times successfully). Nobody knows what gamer did wrong and he doesn't tell.

You replace essential software on the board. If you manage to screw up the wrong part, the Bee might end up bricked.
In the CT60 case, you still have a fallback (as you can flash from 030 mode as well, AFAIK). No such thing on the FireBee. Depending on what failed, it won't boot. If it doesn't boot, you can't flash from the desktop anymore.
The FireBee's safety net is the BDM interface. Thus my recommendation: don't flash if you don't need to (and only do it very carefully if you must and don't have such).

Gamer wrote:What about a Windows compiled version of BDM tools?

https://community.nxp.com/thread/27963


Thanks....

Here is basically what happened. I went under EmuTOS (with Mint booted), ran the CF version of the Flasher program, loaded in the FPGA s19 file and ran the flasher. It then crashed. So that screwed up the Rom Flash chip. I can only say if I cannot recover from this and the Firebee is bricked, then I will chalk it up to my own stupidity and just order another one.

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby wongck » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:47 am

Are there detailed steps for flashing ?
Like the one for CT63 on the wiki here?
It tells you when to power on/off, have it on 030 or 060 mode, where & what to click etc.

for this task, i would keep mint at pole's length.
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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby Gamer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:37 pm

Okay. I am going to get the Multilink BDM/Jtag cable from P&E. I have CF Flasher 3.1 all setup on the PC. One question. In the CF Flasher there is a space that needs to be filled with the Target. Would I choose the Coldfire-PC?

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Re: Bad Flash on my Firebee

Postby vido » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:25 pm

Gamer wrote:Here is basically what happened. I went under EmuTOS (with Mint booted), ran the CF version of the Flasher program, loaded in the FPGA s19 file and ran the flasher. It then crashed. So that screwed up the Rom Flash chip. I can only say if I cannot recover from this and the Firebee is bricked, then I will chalk it up to my own stupidity and just order another one.

I advise you the next time flash new firmware from plain FireTOS with firmware files stored on the SD card.
This is the way I do it after I had similar or the same problem as you. For now it works ok.


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