chipKIT® Development Platform

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Update your Max32 sketch via USB stick?

Created Fri, 13 Sep 2013 07:31:44 +0000 by Ian Billing

Ian Billing

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 07:31:44 +0000

I am planning the installation of up to 40 Max32 units distributed throughout an industrial factory environment and linked with WiFi to a dedicated network. Any ideas on how will be best to handle the future requirement of doing the firmware (sketch) upgrades as the project develops? Is there anything available that enables the sketch to be loaded to a USB stick and then taken to each unit and loaded on in that way?

Taking a computer with mpide on it to 40 individual units every time is going to be hectic!


Fri, 13 Sep 2013 07:42:45 +0000

I am not aware of anything like that, although it is something I have considered designing myself - a hardware programmer with LCD and SD card slot for uploading firmware.

The closest facility I know of is the "Programmer-To-Go" facility of the PicKit3 - you upload the firmware to the PicKit3 then you can flash many devices at the press of a button (be careful though, there is a bug in it that means you can kill a PIC32 6xx or 7xx chip if you use it with no firmware loaded).

Of course, that means you'll have to use MPLAB-X, and not MPIDE for your programming, which makes things a little more complex to develop as you don't hve the libraries you'd have in MPIDE...


Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:39:51 +0000

Microchip has a nice USB mass storage bootloader in their MLA (Microchip Library for Applications) download that would do what you want. You could pretty easily set that up to replace the stock MAX32 bootloader and then use it to copy files to your MAX32. The only downside is that it would then become the ONLY way you could get your sketches onto the MAX32.



Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:52:06 +0000

Another option: How about setting up a Raspberry Pi to do the uploading of the firmware for you? You can install avrdude on the Pi, and set up a program that runs at bootup and polls for a button press on the GPIO header, then executes avrdude to upload the firmware for you - it could be completely headless then :)

Ian Billing

Fri, 20 Sep 2013 07:23:24 +0000

Thanks majenko - now that sounds like a great idea. If I can get that to work then it will be perfect. Thanks