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mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to mlord

Re: Upgrading Firmware on Thompson DCM475

said by mlord:

Heh, looking under the heatsink, one can see that it covers the flash chip when centred on the CPU chip, so one can understand how it might get placed that way.

One repair I got to do the other day, was replacing the heatsink inside a DCM-475 modem. The original ceramic heatsink was cracked, and as a result probably not cooling as well as it ought to.

After much cracking and prying, the rest of it came off in a hundred little bits, and then the incredible double-stick mounting tape was peeled off in strips, revealing the Broadcom chip under it all.

And.. revealing a smaller silk-screened outline for the heatsink as originally designed: a standard aluminium block with a multitude of fins, similar to what one might see covering the southbridge chip on a PC motherboard, or an older low-end video card. There are even two small mounting holes on the PCB for the heatsink spring clips.

I had some salvaged heatsinks of the right size on hand, but no clips, so the replacement got glued in place with "heatsink glue". Looks much neater and tidier than the ceramic monolith did, and the modem survived a 24-hour smoke test without complaint.

No pixs (forgot).

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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said by mlord:

The final version of the flash rig. Pretty darned simple.

I've now got a simplified flashing rig on the breadboard.
Simpler? How?

Well, this one doesn't require a PC at all. I've coupled a raw Atmel ATMega328 chip (aka. "arduino") with an SD Card socket. Put a firmware.img file onto an SD Card and the "arduino" reads it and flashes the modem with it.

No PC, no slow serial connection. So the flashing now takes under three minutes for a 2MB image. Still glacial compared with the theoretical speeds, but 2X the speed of the earlier setup!

I'll probably solder up a board with this one on it, to free up the breadboard for other uses. Some pix coming later.

-ml

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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1 edit

The latest SD-Card based flashing rig.
said by mlord:

I've now got a simplified flashing rig on the breadboard.

This is the latest incarnation of the flashing rig.
Standalone (no Linux PC required), turnkey.
Requires a DC power source (4V - 16V), and not much else.

The firmware.bin file is read from the SD-Card and written automatically to both flash partitions, if not already in each.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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3 edits
Click for full size
The latest SD-Card breadboard arrangement.
SD-Card socket, Atmega328p microcontroller, 3.3V PSU, and a couple of LEDs.


yu13096

@108.171.115.x
Is there anyone doing this near markham, Ontario?


TwiztedZero
Nine Zero Burp Nine Six
Premium
join:2011-03-31
Toronto, ON
kudos:5
You'd have to come into downtown Toronto and find Teddy Boom See Profile


yu130960

join:2005-08-03
Stouffville, ON
Thanks I got a message into him. I wish there was a simpler at home method to force the update, but oh well.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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Well, I could try accepting a "gear deposit" and then mailing the flashing kit (pictured above) to folks, then refunding the deposit (less outbound postage and a $5 wear'n tear fee) when it gets returned.

But probably not economical that way. Postage alone would likely be $8+hst each way.


yu130960

join:2005-08-03
Stouffville, ON
It would work with a trusted group of technically capable people that didn't mess up your stuff. I would get the gear, pay the deposit and then ship direct to the next user rather than going back and forth (saving the expense).

I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.

FYI I am an at home dabbler in electronics having flashed consoles, sat receivers etc over the last 15 years.

Let me know if it makes sense, otherwise I am going to have to make a special trip downtown.

If there are others in Markham, Richmond Hill it may make more sense to pass it around so that mlord makes his money back faster.

stanimal

join:2012-11-04
Thornhill, ON
I'm in Thornhill; if you do decide to do this, I'd be happy to share in some of the cost.

Cory

join:2004-09-28
Canada
Also in thornhill and would be interested in this.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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1 edit
reply to yu130960
Something I could do, would be to make a duplicate of the flash rig, and sell it outright to one of you North Toronto area people. You could then provide the service to others in your area, and quite quickly make back the cost of the rig by charging a modest $5/flash fee.

The rig cost would be around $50, I think.. gotta add it all up.
But there would be a bit of a delay while I source another SD card slot.

Cheers


homer55555

@teksavvy.com
if I plug the modem in the home of a rogers customer for a day would the firmware get automatically upgraded ?


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by homer55555 :

if I plug the modem in the home of a rogers customer for a day would the firmware get automatically upgraded ?

Nope, because the modem will still connect to your Teksavvy account regardless of where you plug it in.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to mlord
Click for full size
Updated flashing rig.
Updated version of the flash rig, with a more minimal SD card slot.


Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2
said by mlord:

Updated version of the flash rig, with a more minimal SD card slot.

Geek.

Haha I used to love doing this stuff, but that along with many other enjoyable hobbies went out the window when 2 kids and an ISP run your life.
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by Inssomniak:

Geek.

.. says the person with a penguin for an avatar.
That's my "other" life.

Cheers


yu130960

join:2005-08-03
Stouffville, ON
reply to mlord
Sounds great!

I'd buy it and then resell it locally to the next guy that wants to flash his modem on the understanding that it just keeps getting passed along with postings in this thread.

Let me know when it is ready and I'll send you the cash.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by yu130960:

Sounds great!

I'd buy it and then resell it locally to the next guy that wants to flash his modem on the understanding that it just keeps getting passed along with postings in this thread.

Let me know when it is ready and I'll send you the cash.

Seriously? If so, I think I might glob it in places with some hot-melt glue to keep things from falling off the breadboard. And then just ship the breadboard unit down that way.

Need some kind of "usage instructions" though -- I really ought to take some photographs of how to hook it up to the modem. I can do that for my own modem, but need to find another one with the heatsink obstruction issue as well for this.


random

@teksavvy.com
>If so, I think I might glob it in places with some hot-melt glue to keep things from falling off the breadboard.

I would use a huge heat shrink tubing over the whole thing. That's how I protect some of my homemade PCB. Future Electronics in Nepean sell Polyolefin ones which are soft. Not sure if they sell wide enough one for your breadboards. The transparent ones are good for inspection.

Hobby stores carry PVC based one for making RC battery packs etc., but they are hard and non-flexible.

As for "logic probe" (a few pages back), you can find "dupont wire" in places that sell electronics parts from China. They have proper 1 pin connectors that goes into the clips and 0.025" square post in connectors.

»dx.com/p/single-port-female-to-f···&u=55454
Single Port Female to Female Jumper Wire Set (50-Pack/20CM-Length) for $4.90 US free shipping.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by random :

As for "logic probe" (a few pages back), you can find "dupont wire" in places that sell electronics parts from China. They have proper 1 pin connectors that goes into the clips and 0.025" square post in connectors.

:) You mean, like, the ones in the third photo above in this very thread?


random

@teksavvy.com
Yes. Those types of clips. It works fine with the Tek and old HP clips that I have, except the flat hp logic analyzer clips which uses a crappy pin that are formed by folding.

If you haven't gone so far down the development, I would have suggested reprogramming/re-purposing those $4-$6 "USBasp" cables from China to use as USB to SPI dongles. USBasp is open source programmer for AVR chips, so the Chinese copies would have same design. It uses V-USB, a bit-banging software USB stack. The 10 pin connector has power, AtMega8 SPI port and 1 GPIO line which is pretty much what you need to program SPI Flash. »www.fischl.de/usbasp/


TwiztedZero
Nine Zero Burp Nine Six
Premium
join:2011-03-31
Toronto, ON
kudos:5
reply to mlord
said by mlord:

Something I could do, would be to make a duplicate of the flash rig, and sell it outright to one of you North Toronto area people. You could then provide the service to others in your area, and quite quickly make back the cost of the rig by charging a modest $5/flash fee.

The rig cost would be around $50, I think.. gotta add it all up.
But there would be a bit of a delay while I source another SD card slot.

Cheers

Ideally one guy at each POI area, trained and ready to roll.
I'd prolly be interested in doing this too once I'm shown how a time or two.
--
You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth. Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect.
Twitter:Merv Chat:irc.teksavvy.ca


random

@teksavvy.com
reply to random
There is a parallel port to SPI FLASH programmer that only require 4 resistors and a power source. I guess you have to magically obtain a copy of the firmware which tends to be the hard part.

rayer.g6.cz/programm/programe.htm look under SPIPGM.ZIP

>SPIPGM.ZIP ver. 2.1 [98 kB] (DOS/Win9x/NT/2k/XP/Vista/7/Linux) is a tool for programming serial SPI FlashROM memories attached to PC via parallel port cable. It can identify device, read, write, verify, erase and unlock flash memory. More info about needed hardware (CZ-only but schematics is self-explaining) here.