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Old 07-28-2012, 04:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BLHELI-Setup for small portable programming box project

BLHeli setup will evolve in the future so that a serial interface is supported.
I am concerned here less with the replacement of the "Toolstick" but just to develop a small portable programming box.
BLHeli-Setup should be able to use this box in a "Toolstick"-Mode and should care for the box firmware.
So big goals!

This would allow setting of the ESC's comfortably without a PC or transmitter.
Thanks to user OlliW there's a wonderful diagram of a small box of the company Robbe, which in my judgment might be appropriate here.
It is working in an early beat state, but needs a lot more to do....
Unfortunately, the box but rather only available in Germany,Austria or UK.

The question now is: who knows a cheap box available internationally, which might be suitable.
Condition would be:
- An LCD display 2x16 characters
- An ATMEGA88 or bigger on board
- 4 or more keys
- Would be great if an USB-to-serial controller is on board already.

Tips, information and pictures and more are very welcome.Simply pictures from the inside of such a box would be helpful.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very cool project mate!
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Very cool project mate!
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks...
Code:
Device: atmega88p
Program: 6190 bytes (75.6% Full)
(.text + .data + .bootloader)
Data: 550 bytes (53.7% Full)
(.data + .bss + .noinit)
EEPROM: 495 bytes (96.7% Full)
(.eeprom)
The Booloader needs another 512 Bytes of flash memory.
I hope to get another hint-strings into the memory somewhere.
It shows now: e.g. "Motor Dir 2"
Nice to have: a second line "Reverse" or "Normal".
Text needs much ram... But the messages should not be kept too cryptic, so "rev" and "nor" should be handy.
Protocol will also change to be more slim and effective.

But all in all, I'm happy so far. Both, BLHeli-Setup and the box are working in all funtions.

Of Course, I will integrate a Bootloader interface into BLHeli-Setup will also add the latest Firmware for the box... lot of work.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is really cool!
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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NICE project

I have to admit though that I don't understand the concept and how the pieces should work together (the given pieces of info left more questions than answers LOL). Having used the Robbe Box myself extensively in a number of projects it was natural to consider it also for a BLHeli programing box, but I can't see how it can be made to fit the needs, at least without additional external hardware. So, it will be interesting to watch how your projects unfolds .

As regards a better available hardware than the Robbe Box, that's something I am pondering on for long. I checked a number of boxes at HK but they all were non-AVR. The best call is a comment by user Tomve in the GA250 firmware project at rcgroups (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...0#post21684469) who said that the Turnigy dlux ESC programming box uses an ATmega8. However, I couldn't find backup info and/or get explicit confirmation (as you know Turnigy seems to have moved to Silabs, so I had/have my doubts about this). So, if one could find someone with such a box and could get this person to post photos... ... or wants to throw in a $10 risk and buy it...

Otherwise the only alternative I know of is the Arduino UNO+LCD shield pack... unfortunately not as handy as the RobbeBox...

As regards memory, I am sure you know and use the possiblity to put strings into the flash via PROGMEM, frees ram, helped me a lot in my box developments (but looking at the EEPROM it seems that you are already playing more involved games ).
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlliW View Post
... at least without additional external hardware. So, it will be interesting to watch how your projects unfolds .
As I wrote before: only very small modifications and a serial 1-Wire or 2-Wire Interface , and of course: reflash the Atmega.
Quote:
Otherwise the only alternative I know of is the Arduino UNO+LCD shield pack... unfortunately not as handy as the RobbeBox...
... and without a box and modifications enough to to....
Quote:
... (but looking at the EEPROM it seems that you are already playing more involved games ).
Yes, strings will reside in EEPROM and progmem.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow! Subscribed. You rock 4712!

I have 3 Atmega ESCs for my 250s ! (Turnigy 18, 25 and Plush 25)

And thanks to all of you guys. The brain trust here amazes me.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Dave, sorry this project is for now only for the silabs beased ESC's.
I stated some time ago with Setup for BLHeli / ATMEGA, but did not contiunue it since the BLHeli for SiLabs was released...
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Now the Box is ready for use.
Here the "How to build" info ...
The User instructions and protocol description will follow.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is there any kind of difference between v1 and v2 box?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have no idea. If You open the box and take a picture of the backside with the MCU, this could help to get a clue.
EDIT: I just have read about "software version V2" http://www.robbe.de/programmer-v2.ht..._from_store=it
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4712 View Post
I have no idea. If You open the box and take a picture of the backside with the MCU, this could help to get a clue.
EDIT: I just have read about "software version V2" http://www.robbe.de/programmer-v2.ht..._from_store=it
You used v2, isn't it?
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Yes. I have the v2 boxes. I never found a v1.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you 4712. This is amazing work. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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4712, quick question for you or anyone as advanced as you in this hobby.

I have a Hobbywing program box for a brushless rc car kit laying around the house. It has a good size screen, 4 buttons, a mini usb out port.

I saw you that in your list shown below, the box needs an atmega88 which I have no idea what that is or if my program box has something bigger than the atmega88. Anyway to find out if I take it apart?

The list :

- An LCD display 2x16 characters
- An ATMEGA88 or bigger on board
- 4 or more keys
- Would be great if an USB-to-serial controller is on board already.

Before I go and take hobbywing box apart, it says on the top of the box "2 in 1 professional program box". Im not sure if that may be a hint that this box does not have the capabilities of being moddified to work with blheli app.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The "2 in 1 professional program box", would be nice challenge. And may be I will do it ( a matter of time).
But You should know: it does not have an Atmega on board, but a silabs chip, which uses USBXPRESS and not a USB/serial interface.
A nice challenge indeed!
What makes it less interesting: It has nearly twice the size and twice the weight of the Robbe box;
And still there are some other unresolved questions.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick reply 4712.

I will be looking into purchasing a Robbe Box to give this a try.

Anyone know of a place that has them for a good price shipped?
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Good question...
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