Cannot get programmer version, aborting


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I am the new owner of a Papilio 500 with a Logic Start Mega Wing.  I am eager to dig into the VGA and sound capabilities.  I have taken the following steps and am bumping up against a "Cannot get programmer version, aborting" error when trying to upload the VGA Hello World example.  From the top:

  1. Download Papilio Boot Loader
  2. Run the Erase and Verify operations in the Papilio Boot Loader.
  3. Download ZAP 2.2.0
  4. Set the Board to the Papilio One 500 running the Mega Start Hyperion...
  5. Select the Papilio Programmer
  6. Burn the Bootloader
  7. Upload the VGA Hello World

I would expect the program to upload but I get the following output:


Executing  C:\Users\brent\Desktop\papilio-zap-ide/hardware/tools/zpu/bin/zpu-elf-size C:\Users\brent\AppData\Local\Temp\build1289722314899768199.tmp/Hello_World.cpp.elf
Binary sketch size: 2,036 bytes (of a 12,160 byte maximum) - 1,992 bytes ROM, 52 bytes memory, 16% used
Cannot get programmer version, aborting
Any thoughts on how to get around this issue?  
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Hello mcwbrent,


I'm in the process of completely reworking how things work right now. So there are still remnants of the old way of doing things, but I think you are going to be much happier using the new Papilio Schematic Library way of doing things. The old way was to burn pre-canned bit files to the Papilio using the "Burn bootloader" option. The new way is to go to File/Examples/00.Papilio_Schematic_Library and find the LogicStart MegaWing example sketch.


Read the comment header and you will see a link to view the schematic of what components are contained in the LogicStart bit file and another link to program that bit file to your Papilio board. Clicking on that link, if you are on Windows, will open the Papilio Loader and write the bit file to the Papilio board. Please ensure that the ZPUino bit file is being written to SPI Flash and that you see that an erase, verify, program, verify process happens. If it does not then change to expert mode and ensure all of those options are selected. 


Once you have the LogicStart bit file loaded to the Papilio board you can load the example sketch to the board. You should also be able to run through all of the VGA examples by simply ensuring that the correct wishbone slot is specified in the vga.setup() function. You can look at the LogicStart bit file schematic to see what wishbone slot the VGA controller is connected to.


I hope this gets you on the right path, please let us know of any difficulties you have so we can help you through and make things better for future users.


Also, there are some tutorials at to help you get started. Some of them are already getting dated though due to the heavy development of the Papilio schematic library.





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So I followed the instructions you noted as well as the ones in the heading of the example file.  I loaded the bitfile and tried to run the example.  It compiles successfully but gives me the same error. I am starting to download the ISE design tools so I have not made my own bitfile.  Any thoughts on what I could do to diagnose the issue further?

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Here is the output from the Papilio loader. I had performed an Erase and Verify before this action.


I opened up ZAP 2.2.0 and ran the Logic Start Mega Wing example (From the schematics dropdown).  I received the following output from ZAP:

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Hmmm, everything looks dead on with what you have done... The only thing that is left is whether the correct serial port is selected, if you chose the wrong serial port you will see the same error. You get that particular error when there is no response on the serial port, it usually means ZPUino was not loaded but I would make sure that you are connecting to the second, Channel B, ft2232 port.


The other thing we can do is load the LogicStart Quickstart bit file, if it works and you get video output etc. then that tells us you are loading a bit file correctly.



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