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Everything posted by papry

  1. VGA Wing (6 bit)

    OK Dave. I am not a prolific poster, but it did pass my mind to post some pictures once the project had developed. BTW I do have a habit of not finishing things off. If it is Papilio specific I will post here, otherwise I will post to Stardot (where I am user acory). --Gary
  2. VGA Wing (6 bit)

    Last night I ported my unfinished MC6847 emulator Verilog code from a Altera EPC4 board to my Papilio One. I have the small VGA wing, which has: hsync; vsync; and 2 bits each for R, G and B. When I found the schematic I was surprised to see that both resistors were the same value, which I believe will only allow my 3 levels of luminance for each colour, so only 27 colours in total. Why not use two different values for the resistors, similar to the scheme used on the other MegaWings? To be honest it isn't an issue for this particular project. I know that I could replace one of the resistors, but I am unable to work with that tiny size of SMD resistor.
  3. Why 32MHz XTAL?

    Excellent idea! Like all good ideas they are simple and obvious (in hindsight)! I need 65MHz, but I can see several ways to get there with 2 DCM_SPs. Many thanks Alvieboy.
  4. Why 32MHz XTAL?

    Last night I ported some VGA type Verilog code from an Altera board to my Papilio One. I needed to generate a 65MHz internal clock, but was surprised at the lack of flexibility of the DCM_SP clock generator. I was able to relatively simply generate 64MHz, which was good enough and my old Dell VGA monitor synced correctly, however some of the clock phase controls needed to be tweaked. It occured to me that it might have been better to use a lower frequency reference crystal, such as 10MHz (or even lower if the DCM allows), as it would give more flexibility. I do of course realise that some frequencies will be impossible whatever the reference XTAL. Purely out of curiosity, I wondered why a frequency of 32MHz was selected? I also tried out adding a PLL to my blink Papilio Pro project, and found the same issue. 65MHz was not possible (only 64 or 66MHz). I checked the Altera project and the PLL was more flexible in that 65MHz was possible. I have seen some FPGA dev boards which use a programmable frequency chip, rather than a crystal and I can now see why that might be a really useful feature.
  5. VGA Wing (6 bit)

    Ah! OK. It is not a problem. I probably can get someone at work to replace the resistors. BTW I am in the UK. The MC6847 chip which I am trying to emulate, only supported limited colours anyway. The project is part of emulating an old UK 6502 "Acorn Atom" computer. Someone has already done an excellent full port of this computer to the Papilio (known as Hoglet on the BBC/Acorn forum, and on this forum too). For me it is simply a for fun and learning project. I will connect the Papilio One to a real (3.3V) 65C02, and 64k bytes RAM, rather than emulate them in the FPGA. The only problem is that I will probably run out of FPGA pins (16 needed for the address and 8 for the databus, leaving only 8 for other 65C02 and RAM pins). The idea was to connect to a real (old) X,Y matrix keyboard which I have, but this could be a problem :-). I guess I might have to wait for the Papilio Pro Plus to be released which hopefully will have far more pins!
  6. VGA Wing (6 bit)

    Sorry if I wasn't clear. All 3 VGA colour analogue inputs connect to 2 FPGA pins via resistors of the exact same value (marked 271 - using a magnifying glass). I was expecting one resistor to be half the value of the other. So code 00 is black, code 11 is full intensity (luminance), but codes 10 and 01 result in the same luminance. On the bottom is appears to be make by Sparkfun. On the MegaWing there are 3 resistors for the red and green channels (2k, 1k and 510 ohms). They form a potential divider with the 75 input impedance of the monitor. On the Altera board there are 5 resistors per channel (similarly 500, 1k, 2k, 4k and 8k ohms). I made a project which simply ramped the count from 0 to 31 and viewed the voltage on a scope. I was surprised to see that code 15 (01111 binary) was at a higher voltage than code 16 (10000 binary). In this simple scheme I suspect that the output impedance of the FPGA driver has not been taken into account, and has an impact. I tried different drive strengths and the ramp steps did change in the area of the 15 to 16 transition.
  7. Why 32MHz XTAL?

    I am sure that there are many cases of people wondering "why did they use that part", and the answer is simply, when they made the design, that part was simply the part that was on hand. I am pretty familiar with PLLs and the like, and in the case of the DCM_SP with a 32MHz reference, 65MHz is simply not possible. I checked Mouser and replacement xtal osc modules are around £1, so I will likely go this route.
  8. Contradiction in description

    It's a pity that the FTDI programmer can't be disconnected from the JTAG pins of the FPGA. I was given an old Xilinx FPGA board with the 1mm pitch header, but I was unable to do anything with it, because I didn't have a Xilinx programmer. At least in the UK on Ebay these are quite expensive. There are Altera programmers on Ebay and they are very cheap indeed. I searched for a FDTI 2232 board on Ebay, but suprisingly they are quite rare (although I did spot one for $10 in Hong Kong). If a new Papilio board is ever made, it would be a great feature (for some people at least) if there was a way to use the programmer stand-alone.
  9. Papilio Pro still produced?

    I wonder how many users of this board are frightened or put off using the SDRAM due to the complexity? I am! I have read the datasheet, and I was surprised that this device is a lot more complicated than an old fashioned 64kbit DRAM which at least only needed the refresh. I was tempted by the Duo, mainly because of the use of the Static RAM, but the cost in the UK (from SKPang) has risen enough to put me off. I will be in the US in May, so perhaps I could order one and have it delivered to the hotel??? For my current project (which is stalled somewhat) I am using all the I/O for DAC and ADC connections, leaving no spare pins to wire up a simple DIL SRAM, or even the VGA adapter. I guess I was wondering how many people bought the Pro and then didn't ever use the SDRAM. Given that you possible have to re-work the board to take a different SDRAM, could you make connections for SDRAM on the top layer and SRAM on the bottom layer, allowing you to offer a Pro+ with either SDRAM mounted or SRAM mounted. Just wondering... Anyway Jack, thanks for a great product.
  10. Hi keesj, in case you are monitoring this thread (or get an alert). On Ebay UK at the moment (23-Nov-2017) there is a Papilio set for sale "Papilio Pro Spartan 6 LX9 FPGA + 2 Mega Wing". It is £70 "buy it now". It has been there for a few days. Description in bold. Selling a Papilio Pro FPGA, perfect to learn FPGA with 2 megawing. Papilio Pro - Spartan 6 LX9 FPGA / 64Mbit SDRAM Papilio LogicStart MegaWing Papilio Arcade MegaWing I am not the seller, nor do I have any connection. As usual, let the buyer beware. regards... --Gary P.S. I hate this editor! It seems to insert a paragraph when I hit return. It's just as irratating as the default email behaviour in Thunderbird.
  11. I have used SK Pang Electronics ( which is a company based in the UK. I just checked and they have the Papilio Pro and Duo in stock. They are out of stock of other items. I noticed that prices rose significantly around the time of the Brexit result, and the fall of the UK pound against the dollar and other currencies. Then again you will get a better rate with the euro against the pound, which will offset for you. Buy now while the UK is still in the EU :-) good luck... --Gary
  12. Well this looks like the right thread to ask my question, rather than open a new one. Hopefully people will notice the new posting! I have been given a Spartan 3 based tiny PCB. It has a large SRAM, Flash ROM, 32 pin general purpose header, and a few switches and LEDs. It also has a 14 way header (smaller than 0.1") which I am told is for a standard Xilinx programmer. Well I don't have a Xilinx programmer, although I do have a cheap Chinese Altera programmer. So I wondered if I could use the programming circuitry on my Papilio One/Pro (I believe they are the same). The Papilio programmer appears to be based around the FTDI2232, a dual channel USB to UART. I am guessing that it is not used in serial "RS232" mode, but the JTAG pins are toggled high and low. Given that I cannot isolate the JTAG pins (TCK, TMS, TDI and TDO), the answer must be no. Interestingly there does appear a row of empty vias for soldering in a header for an external programmer, but I can't tap off from this as there would be contention on the TDO connection. Now I have a Sparkfun FDTI breakout board, but when I found it, it uses the single channel FDTI232R chip and not the dual channel chip. I have access to all pins. The question is, will this work with the Papilio Loader? Well I tried it out. Using simple COMMs software it works correctly as COM5 if I connect TX and RX. When I start the Papilio Loader, I get no messages to confirm that any programmer has been seen, nevertheless I loaded a random bit file and hit the "Run" button. For a few seconds the TX/RX (still linked together) light up, and then go out. The "Run" button is still greyed out. So is the Papilio Loader really using this single channel chip as a programmer? If there are multiple FDTI chips plugged into the USB, including a Papilio, how does the software figure out which to use? Note: I am using Papilio Loader 2.6. I think the latest version is 2.8, which I ought to try out. --Gary
  13. Papilio "Sump" Logic Analyzer

    The recent session using the Papilio Pro went much better, in that I didn't suffer any USB/COMM port disconnects. It was really great to have 32 channels for debugging a 16 bit databus processor. I was able to track down a bug in my assembler that makes any long absolute jump actually go to zero which is the reset start address! The OLS client is really impressive, but there are some minor faults. For example when displaying groups of pins (in hex) if they are higher order channels it adds zeroes at the bottom for channels 0-7 or 0,7 and 0-15, making the text field longer. Pity that development appears to have really slowed down, as it is really close to being brilliant. --Gary
  14. Papilio "Sump" Logic Analyzer

    OK Jack, having found the software bug I haven't really used the Logic Analyser much, however I have used ISE to compile the Papilio One OLS sources (which went reasonably pain free), and then port the code to the Papilio Pro (which went much better once I deleted the old memory and DCM modules, and re-made them). Afterwards I also found a posting from someone who had also ported the OLS source to the Papilio Pro. I confirm that the hardware is good for 100MHz, but fails 200MHz timing by quite a margin (for both One and Pro). My intention is to see if the communications with the Papilio Pro are any more reliable, but it is a useful exercise to re-familiarise myself with ISE. FYI, I use Windows7 64-bit. I am using a USB3 connection on the front panel, which then has an extender to reach the board. So the total cable length from the motherboard could be a couple of metres. regards... --Gary
  15. Papilio "Sump" Logic Analyzer

    Over the weekend I made more progress using the Open Logic Sniffer LA. I also started to find some of the features of the software, which weren't immediately obvious (Or apparently documents in the Wiki). I have been using it to debug some old hardware of a 32 bit uP circuit (NS32016). I was able to find the bug in the boot loader software, even though I initially thought that there was a hardware problem. I googled for 16 bit LAs and was shocked at the price. 32 bit LAs seem thin on the ground. So the Papilio with wings really is a great cost effective solution. Unfortunately I am still having problems with the USB locking up. Once it gets into the mode where the Papilio isn't seen by the USB, it is difficult to get it working again. Re-powering the Papilio and unplugging and re-plugging the USB didn't always work. After many minutes of messing around it finally started working again. I was going to upload a screen shot, but It's not clear that this is possible.
  16. Papilio "Sump" Logic Analyzer

    Hi Jack, thanks for the reply. I had a little more success this evening. After trying different USB sockets, and setting the baud in the OLS tool to 115200, it started to work, in that I could "Show device metadata". I was able to capture some waveforms but they all looked like squarewaves, so something was wrong. After a few captures the serial connection appeared to break and "Show device metadata" no longer worked (however the TX LED did flash). I was using a level translation wing, and probing around some of the signals looked strange as if there was contention. All rails were very noisy and the 5V rail dipped to 0V. In hindsight I may have plugged the board into the wrong row! Nevertheless it made me investigate the power supplies. The 5V power from the USB was very low at 4V and the 3.3V was very noisy. Not good. So I found a power supply and used the external power connector. Now all the power rails looked good. The device now seemed a little more stable, and (after plugging in the wing correctly) I was seeing waveforms. Unforunately the serial connection stopped working, and despite plugging and unplugging the USB I couldn't get it to work again. I'll try it tomorrow after a fresh boot.. So progress, and a lesson about taking care plugging into the A/B wing socket, and also a lesson about checking power supplies . I've just loaded the latest version of Design Lab, so I'll be trying this out, and I'll be sure to watch the video. regards... --Gary
  17. Papilio "Sump" Logic Analyzer

    I am trying to get the Papilio One (500k) to work as a logic analyser using two level converter wings. When I first got the Papilio One I spent some time installing software and playing with the device, and had as many problems as successes, so apologies if I am doing something really stupid. I first tried to load the bit file from the webpage ( but it timed out. Not sure what the problem here is, but the link to github above worked a treat. Thank you. When I plugged the board in Windows searched for drivers, and failed on 2 out of the 4 lines (sorry I didn't write down the messages). I clicked on the bit file and the loader (v2.6 - is this now out of date?) came up. Now I wasn't sure whether I should write to the "FPGA" or "SPI Flash" or whether it doesn't matter. If I write to the "SPI Flash" do I need to unplug to allow the board to boot? I tried FPGA first, but this led nowhere, so after plugging and unplugging of the USB and error messages in the log file of the loader, finally the board was seen as COM4 Papilio FPGA serial port. Lokking at properties it has picked up the Papilio driver (and not the FDTI driver???). So I now programmed to "Flash" and this appeared to work, but the following mesages give me some doubt. Programming External Flash Memory with "G:\uP\FPGA\Papilio\bit files\papilio_one_sump_blaze_p1_500k.bit".Found SST Flash (Pages=2048, Page Size=264 bytes, 4325376 bits).Erasing :OkVerifying :.....PassProgramming :..............Finished ProgrammingOkVerifying :.....PassUsing devlist.txtDone.SPI execution time 7663.4 msUSB transactions: Write 2881 read 2164 retries 0JTAG chainpos: 0 Device IDCODE = 0x41c22093 Desc: XC3S500EUsing devlist.txtISC_Done = 0ISC_Enabled = 0House Cleaning = 1DONE = 0I then downloaded and fired up the Logic Sniffer from When I ran the shell script the tool appeared, and looks very smart indeed. I wasn't sure what the firtst step was, but suspected that I needed to tell the tool about the board. I figured out that if I clicked on the down arrow, a window appeared where I could select serial port and device type. I chose COM4 (as seen in the device manager) and "Open Bench Logic Sniffer". When I clicked on "Show device metadata" the message "Detection failed!" appeared. I can only guess that 1) the FPGA/SPI Flash has not been programmed 2) I have some settings in the tool incorrectly set. BTW I did change the baud rate in the device manager to match the value in the tool, although again I'm not sure if this is really required for USB. BTW, do I need to select XON/XOFF by chance?a FYI, I tried a different COMM package, and I do not see the LEDs near the FDTI flicker. Again I have no idea if this is diagnostic. Any pointers and clarifications would be gratly appreciated. I just tried plugging into another port. USB Composite -> OK USB Serial Converter A -> OK USB Serial ConverterB -> OK USB Serial Port (COM5) -> OK USB Serial Port (COM6) -> OK The COM ports are now FDTI and not Papilio. In the tool I tried both COM5 and COM6 and then clicked "Show device metadata", but both failed. regards... --Gary