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Quick Guide in Using Device Programmer Software

Last Updated: May 01, 2014 03:08PM PDT
Description:  This basic tutorial describes some common steps followed when operating a B&K Precision device programmer.

Applicable Models:  848A, 844USB, 866B, 859


Most of the time, the purpose of a device programmer is for writing information to a chip, or copying contents of a chip into another.  Sometimes, it is also used for the purpose of verification by reading a chip's content and comparing it against another file or program.  The following tutorial is designed to help users get started when using B&K Precision's device programmer and included software.  Before getting started, this documentation assumes that the user already owns one of the models listed above and already installed the latest programmer software from .  If not, please have the latest software installed before proceeding.

Preliminary Procedures to follow

Step 1:
When using a programmer, it is important to first determine what type of chip will be programmed.  There are tens of thousands of chips available in the market, and most of them have variations in programming options.  Some chips allow users to write or erase its contents easily, while some chips are write once only.  Some chips can only be erased with UV EPROM erasers, while some chips have security bits and fuse options that only allow users to write once and are not readable.  Before programming a chip, be sure to know the options and limitations of the chip you are trying to program.

Step 2:
First, when launching the programmer software, PG4UW, click on "select" to find the chip you want to program.  If the chip cannot be found, that means it is currently not supported by our programmers.  Sometimes, a chip cannot be found when searching the entire model number of the chip.  In most cases, it may help to look at the beginning parts of the model number of the chip you want to program, and then verify the remaining model number information using the "chip info" button.  This is done by first highlighting the chip with closest match to the model number, then clicking "chip info" button for details.  A new window will appear, and a "Model Description" tab will show you what the model number represent.  Often, it includes information about the chip's size, speed, temperature rating, and more importantly the packaging type.  Knowing the packaging type will help as the selection list of chips often have listing for multiple packaging next to a model number (i.e. PLCC44, TSOP48, SOIC8).

Step 3:
Once you determine the chip as well as the packaging type of your chip from the model descriptions, double-click the chip model in the list or select and click "OK".  Now the device library for that particular selected chip will be loaded into the programmer software.  Now you may begin using the software.

Programming a blank chip

Step 1:
Programs are usually contained in a file.  Often the file is either a binary (.bin) file or a hexadecimal (.hex) file.  With B&K Precision's programmer software, first follow all the preliminary procedures above.  Then, click on "Load" and find the file in your drive that contains the program.  B&K Precision's programmer software can read most files in binary or hex format, as well as several other common types.  Additional options allow you to control how you want to load and open the file with the programmer.

Step 2:
Once file is loaded, the information of the file can be viewed by clicking "Edit" button at the top menu bar.  This will show the buffer in the software, which will have included the contents from the file just loaded.  Open this to verify that the correct file has been loaded.  If nothing is shown, for example if all the address shows FF or 00 all across, than either the file is not loaded correctly, or the file has corrupted or blank data.

Step 3:
Insert the blank chip into the programmer.  Keep in mind the location of the pins.  Chip should be facing from bottom up, as indicated by the drawing label on the programmer.

Step 4:
Click on "Program" button, select all the programming options required, and select "OK".  The programmer will write all information from the buffer into the blank chip.

Copying a Chip

Note:  Chips can only be copied if they are "readable".  Some chips with security bits or fuse may prevent users from copying the chip.  In those cases, chips cannot be copied.  Please verify with the manufacturer before attempting to copy a chip.

Step 1:
First follow the steps under preliminary procedures above.  Once completed, put the chip that you want to copy into the programmer.  Select "Read" from the menu.

Step 2:
Once read, click "Edit" to see the buffer and verify that the contents of the chip has been read into the buffer.  If it shows FF or 00 all across, that means either the chip was blank or it was not read successfully.  In those cases, it's most likely a setting or configuration that caused the problem, the software is not updated, or the chip does not allow reading of its contents.

Step 3:
Remove the chip that has the program and insert a blank chip of the same type from the same manufacturer and of the same model.  Now, click "Program", and select the programming options as necessary, and click "OK".  The contents in the buffer will be written to the blank chip.  It is also recommended that the file be saved as a binary or hex file as a back up.
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