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RC Tanks Australia Forum • View topic - RCTA Update Cable DIY
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 Post subject: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:04 am 
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King Tiger Commander
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How to make up a RCTA programming cable to update any of the RCTA product line. Using a FTDI Basic Breakout board which are readily available on line (eBay), some wire and headers (plus string , a paper clip and some gum) a cable can be assembled for under $5, $6 tops.



FTDI Basic Breakout boards are readily available on eBay (from $3).
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... ut&_sop=15

Also readily available on eBay are headers:

Machined pin headers (from $1)
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sop=15& ... c&LH_BIN=1

Standard headers (from $0.75)
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=40 ... r&_sacat=0

Dupont cables (if required from $0.75)
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=fe ... t&_sacat=0

Once you have all the parts all the software and files are available below:
FTDI_Pack.zip

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Unzip FTDI pack. Remove all your USB deveices. Get a USB cable and attach the breakout board to your computer. Open the ReAssignCOMPortNumb utility and set your breakout board to ComPort 5. If ComPort 5 is not available use ComPort 3 AND EMAIL US as you will need different update files.

2. Install the FT_Prog utility. Once installed start the program
Wait a bit then
Click -> Devices -> Scan and Parse



Your breakout will appear in the Device Tree
Right Click on it and select:
Apply Template -> From File



Go to wherever you placed "TheWorkingCable" and select it


This template will be applied but you must then program the chip for it to take effect.
Click on the Lightning Bolt and then press Program



You can check the important changes have been made by looking at the state of the RS232 signals



This represents all the Techie stuff done and dusted.


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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:46 am 
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Hi Kevin, can you provide more details on those pin headers? I don't want to wait a month for shipping from HK, so I want to buy it from US, but your searches both show 2.54 headers, I can't make out the difference from the pictures, and when I go to a site like sparkfun.com, digikey.com or proto-advantage.com I get lost trying to find the right things.
Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:04 am 
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Hi Peter

You have both my new and old designs - sirvoe will need the headers above. Asp2 will require JST-ZH connections. The old design works ok for programming once and awhile (what most customers would do). The proper connection with JST plugs offers a much more reliable connection for multiple programming instances.

The headers for sirvoe are machined pin headers (as described) So if you go to sparkfun,com and do a search for "machined pin header" you will find this product

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/117

They are also referred to as "Swiss Pin headers"

BUT having a supply of normal 2.54 headers is always good to have - They are the most common component in my arsenal.

I do not recommend trying to make up the JST-ZH leads. This page is old (anything over 3 months becomes old) so here is an ebay link

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... in&_sop=15

Cheers
KG

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:10 pm 
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King Tiger Commander
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Thanks for the info Kevin. Good thing I asked, or I would've got stuck trying to program asp.
Maan.. what a pain, I spent over 3 hrs trying to find these things (not counting the hours I spent earlier in the day). I found a quicker shipping within US for the headers, but nothing at all for the ZH. So at this point I might as well just get it all from ebay, a little cheaper. But trying to find it all from 1 seller to combine shipping is also impossible. Had to get them from different sellers.. and now will have to wait about a month again...
I wish you had just included 1 of each connectors. Small pieces needed cost pennies. I got to buy way more I'd ever need, and got to wait another month for it...
On the other hand, was able to get the sparkfun FTDI basic breaker from Amazon, so it'll be here in 2 days.
sorry for the rant... it's late, got to get up to work in 5 hrs..

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:05 am 
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King Tiger Commander
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The headers come with the programming boards. So if you buy a programming board it is all set up.

The cost of these will be above $15.

Problem is though that although I have the design and some prototypes there is not enough $$ to put into large scale production.

No you would not have been stuck as you can not program Asp - you can only Update Asp and there are no Asp2 updates available as yet. You have the latest release.

Putting absolutely everything that anyone could need into the pack is probably not possible and I certainly prefer that people buy the FTDI programmers from me.

May seem a few pennies but when you add it all up - it does just that add all up.

The DIY solution is for those who want to save money by building the board themselves.

No you don't have to wait a month - as I just offered a suggestion on the JST-ZH plugs. Even if you do get the JST-ZH plug tomorrow what are you going to do with it?

The only thing that you can update today is your Sirvoe boards. These require the swiss pin headers which you can get right away from Sparkfun. You don't need the JST-ZH plugs yet and maybe not for at least a month anyway as there are NO updates for ASP2 as yet.

So for everyone. Don't worry about the JST-ZH plugs you don't need them until there is an update and even by then there may be some programmer boards available.

Cheers
KG

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:38 pm 
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ooo.. ok, i was under impression it was up to us to get the FTDI and the necessary connectors, didn't know you had them available, I don't think you mentioned it or I would've bought it from you when you were sending the ASPs. Well, I already ordered it all, so I guess I don't need to worry about it now since I won't need it until getting to program the sirvoes.
I guess my biggest problem is time. Even though I read something few months ago and totally understood, since I haven't looked into it for few months, now I totally forgot and have to start searching for all details again. So I thought I needed the ZH connector and FTDI just to do initial ASP config for the tank and its features, now I see that's not the case. I need to collect all the asp related info into one document because between the wiki and all different threads it's hard to easily find all the stuff.
BTW, are you updating the ASP wiki to include all details for ASP2 (extra features, extra connectors, etc)? unless it's in one of the threads I missed again. For instance, do you have a complete list of updated channel limits for programming the radio? I know it has changed since ASP, because of the additional sound banks, and probably other new features.

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:05 am 
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King Tiger Commander
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 1:17 pm
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How to make up a RCTA programming cable to update any of the RCTA product line.

Using a FTDI Basic Breakout board which are readily available on line (eBay), some wire and headers (plus string , a paper clip and some gum) a cable can be assembled for under $5, $6 tops.

ATTENTION: DO NOT BUY THESE FTDI BREAKOUT BOARDS FROM EBAY. FTDI chips are expensive chips costing more than the microcontrollers they program as a result the Chinese market place is flooded with counterfeit FTDI chips. Non genuine FTDI chips can be recognised by the FTDI drivers and are simply ignored when connected to your computer. Further if they are recognised you will be unable to program the chips to invert the TX and RX lines (see below). ONLY buy genuine FTDI boards from a reputable source, Sparkfun in the US and Jaycar here in Oz.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9716

http://www.jaycar.com.au/arduino-compat ... e/p/XC4464

I have been unable to edit the first post to make these changes to the first paragraph

Cheers
KG

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:00 am 
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King Tiger Commander
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Like Peregrine I need to have the ASP 2 wiki updated, there are still ports that I dont know what are they for, and Im having problems with the custom bank sounds. And the first three days I was going to shot myself until I discovered the drive Sort program utility. So you can save us and you a lot of headaches just because sometimes we dont know what to do.


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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:02 am 
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King Tiger Commander
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Again Rad there was so much stuff written and lost with the server swap. I had spent half a day doing a guide on the sounds and using Drive Sort which as you can now see is very simple and easy all to have been lost.

Also I will admit things are not running efficiently between forum and personal emails. All the info you now appear to want I have emailed to Pete in the past few days. I am cgoing to do a copy and paste here in the hope that the info will help you too. What I was telling Pete is that the important thing with the sounds are the file numbers. You can see these if you look at the files with file explorer. Here is the email snippet....

-----------------------------------------
Do you know how to create an index text file of a directory? If you look at the files you will see the numbers and you will also see or be able to logically place in the groups of 4 sound that make up the bank. The naming of the banks is not that important (or really relevant) what is important is the file numbers. For example the only info you need is simple (other way round to your example)

Just doing card B for now
Ch6
-100% Engine in idle 51, 52, 53, 54
Engine not idle or off 61, 62, 63, 64

-85% Healthy 69,70,71.72
unhealty 73,74,75,76

-70% 111, 112, 113, 114

70% 115, 116, 117, 118

85% 65, 66, 67, 68

100% 55, 56, 57, 58

Now for the most part these numbers are repeated exactly on module A excepting the 2 new banks 111-114 & 115-118. Because there are less sounds on card A the repeat on A for the new banks had to start at 81-84 and 85-88.

The last two sounds 119 & 120 on B and 89 & 90 on A are the ele motor and airsoft switch sounds which you will not use if you are running airsoft

You can make head way doing this while I put together the info you want (busy day today)

---------------------------------------------------------

That should tell you what is triggered by what. Once you have made the changes you use DriveSort to make sure the files are placed in the correct order. Again all that info had been posted it now needs to be re-posted and re-posted yet again on the Wiki.

Cheers
KG

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 Post subject: Re: RCTA Update Cable DIY
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:29 pm 
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That is exactly what I needed. Thanks


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