EEPROM programmer recommendations?

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PRL-89

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Aug 9, 2022, 6:55:48 PMAug 9
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Anyone have a good recommendation for an EEPROM programmer?  I need something that’ll handle large DIP EEPROMs 32 pins or more (I recently came across an EEPROM in a 48-pin DIP package!)

I was planning to build my own, built around a Teensy 4.1, but don’t have the time or interest to do that.  Easier to just throw money at the solution.  💸💸

Thanks,

Paul

rand...@hotmail.com

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Aug 9, 2022, 7:21:40 PMAug 9
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I have had nothing but good luck with cheap:


FYI if you buy from epay don't go cheapest if they haven't been selling long.

There are many much better burners for more money but as I said I have never had any trouble with the TL866's.


Randy

glenn.f...@gmail.com

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Aug 9, 2022, 8:40:14 PMAug 9
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It’s certainly a diverse device and it has provided everything I need, but be prepared to navigate Chinese web sites (with lots of click bait links for download of junkware) if/when you need to update the software.  Unless there’s an adapter that I’m not aware of (which is quite possible) this device can only program up to 40-pin chips.

 

I hope my comment doesn’t start a thread bashing Chinese tech – these are cheap and mostly quite good as a hobbyist tool.  If you want a higher quality product they’re certainly out there… for a price.

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rand...@hotmail.com

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Aug 9, 2022, 8:52:31 PMAug 9
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There are lots of adapters available. 

The electronics world is split into people that put them with Satan and those that appreciate them.

If you don't care what people say spend less than $60 and go, or spend hundreds and tell people how smart you are.

BTW to me it works and I just don't care what people say but just as happy when others say they found the best brand X and got it for less than whatever they paid. As long as people are happy all is good.


Randy

norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 9, 2022, 11:30:07 PMAug 9
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I like the TL866II programmer as it can do the modern IC’s. I bought one at Amazon with several adapters.

 

 

For the older IC’s I have a Optima DATA I/O programmer. I think you can still find such programmer in eBay.

 

Norberto

prl...@comcast.net

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Aug 10, 2022, 1:11:33 AMAug 10
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Thanks Norberto, that’s one of the ones I’ve been looking at.  There’s a newer model, the XGeco T46 (TL866-4G), with a bigger ZIF socket (40 pins) and  a 32-bit MCU running at 120 MHz.  Claims to support over 30,000 chips.  $90 on Amazon.

How’s the software, easy to use?  Run into any issues using it?

Paul
On Aug 9, 2022, 11:30 PM -0400, norberto.collado koyado.com <norberto...@koyado.com>, wrote:

I like the TL866II programmer as it can do the modern IC’s. I bought one at Amazon with several adapters.

 

<image001.png>

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norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 10, 2022, 1:48:57 AMAug 10
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You mean the “XGecu T48”; correct?

 

The software once it is running is fine.

 

Same issue as Glenn: “It’s certainly a diverse device and it has provided everything I need, but be prepared to navigate Chinese web sites

 

Norberto

prl...@comcast.net

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Aug 10, 2022, 2:07:55 AMAug 10
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Yes, that’s the one.  And I read the reviews complaining about getting the software installed.

I think I’ll try downloading their software first, to see how that goes, before shelling out any money.

Paul

David Troendle

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Aug 10, 2022, 1:54:29 PMAug 10
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The TL-866II Plus (note the plus) is a very capable device and should work well for the type of work typically seen in our group.  It currently supports 13,000 devices.   As Glenn points out, getting the latest version can be a challenge.  The English (well, mostly English) version of the support page is here.  There you can find links to the user manual, supported device list and software.  (Don't click on anything that is not in English.)  Note that also included are their follow-on products, the T48 (28,000 supported devices, 40-pin ZIF) and T56 (33,000 supported devices, 56-pin ZIF).

One handy debugging feature is all three devices can also function test CMOS and 74xxx family  ICs.  They do not do electrical (e.g., threshold voltage level, power draw, etc.) or timing tests.

Hope this helps.

David
On Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 7:40:14 PM UTC-5 Glenn wrote:

PRL-89

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Aug 11, 2022, 7:24:26 AMAug 11
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Thanks David, I’m looking at the T48, faster with more supported devices and only a few dollars more than the TL-I66II Plus.

My largest EEPROM is 32-pin 512K x 8, so I need something with a a 40-pin ZIF socket.

All of my EEPROMs are listed in the T48’s Supported Devices list, so it looks like a good match.

Paul

geneb

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Aug 11, 2022, 9:37:37 AMAug 11
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2022, PRL-89 wrote:

> Thanks David, I’m looking at the T48, faster with more supported devices
> and only a few dollars more than the TL-I66II Plus.
>

Is this the "T48" you folks are referring to?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/225060789109

Tnx!

g.

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prl...@comcast.net

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Aug 11, 2022, 3:58:19 PMAug 11
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Yes, that’s the one.  It’s also available on Amazon (with faster shipping) for $92. 

https://a.co/d/6xESMzH

If you only need to program DIP ICs, you can buy just the programmer + USB cable (no plug-in adapters) for $62.

https://a.co/d/9AOmyfX

Paul
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norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 11, 2022, 4:25:51 PMAug 11
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I'm curious about the XGecu programmer. Let me know how it works.

XGecu T48 [TL866-3G]


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Subject: Re: [sebhc] Re: EEPROM programmer recommendations?
 
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geneb

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Aug 11, 2022, 4:53:08 PMAug 11
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2022, prl...@comcast.net wrote:

> Yes, that’s the one.  It’s also available on Amazon (with faster shipping) for $92.
>
> https://a.co/d/6xESMzH
>
> If you only need to program DIP ICs, you can buy just the programmer + USB cable (no plug-in adapters) for $62.
>
> https://a.co/d/9AOmyfX

Thanks. Mostly idle curiosity on my part - I've got a Xeltec SuperPro and
a few Data I/O programmers.

Steven Feinsmith

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Aug 11, 2022, 5:17:21 PMAug 11
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I have used several programmer devices for many years. I do not recommend purchasing any Chinese made as they are pure JUNK. For years, I have warned many SEBHC and S100 group users to avoid the TL866 series or similar types. They were inferior specification requirements to program the chip correctly. I learned many users had been ruined by the Chinese-made programmers regardless they claimed to be compatible.
Unfortunately, many well-known programmers are fading away because PAL, PROM, EPROM, and E2PROM chips were over 50 years old when it released into the market for the first time.
Excellent devices such as Logical Devices, Modular Circuit Technology, Stag, BP Microsystems, and others from 1970 to 1990. Unfortunately, most devices sold on eBay may not work anymore. Some require Windows 3.1 or XP to work and, if lucky, have software to run the machines.
I was lucky to purchase both Logical Devices and BP Microsystems many years ago. I noticed eBay sellers expect to sell for crazy prices they are not worth.
Your best bet is to ask other users willing to program the chips are much cheaper than purchasing the devices.
All of my equipment is wrapped in boxes at storage out of state at this time.

Steven

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Douglas Miller

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Aug 11, 2022, 5:31:58 PMAug 11
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I have had good luck with the TL866II plus (Chinese) programmer, but I use Linux and the github community - which has provided very good support. Seems to work best with modern EEPROM and SEEPROMs, which is all I needed. I don't care for that fancy GUI junk, so that lack of a GUI is of no concern to me.

rand...@hotmail.com

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Aug 11, 2022, 5:37:28 PMAug 11
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When I brought up the cheap chinese programmers I knew it could start a flame war - it usually does.

I do not know why some always says they will end peoples lives and others say they have used them for years with no problems (like myself).

If you hate them provide a link with price for one you suggest and let the buyer decide.

Telling people the world will end if you buy it while most people that responded said they have used them for years and are happy doesn't help your cause.

norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 11, 2022, 7:56:17 PMAug 11
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You can always design your own programmer, so that you can program the old and the new ROM's. 

I do remember when I designed my own programmer using an 8255 to control the ROM and voltages. I used CP/M Basic to do the programming on the H8 system. It worked great for so many years until I was able to buy a great programmer for $500.00 which I still have. It is a "DATAMAN S4" and today they are still very expensive.


Norberto
Universal 40-pin chip programmer with ISP capabilities and USB 2.0 connectivity. Dataman 40Pro is a small, fast and powerful programmer supporting over 38,000 programmable devices. The 40Pro is built to meet the demands of development labs and field engineers for universal and portable programming.


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Subject: Re: [sebhc] EEPROM programmer recommendations?
 

rand...@hotmail.com

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Aug 11, 2022, 9:08:23 PMAug 11
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Yes for $600 you can buy a dataman programmer or buy a cheap Chinese programmer for $60 (~$90 with adapters).

Reminds me of the old mainframe days. Then there were different brands and the rule that allowed IBM to be the most popular was if you spent millions on a non-IBM and it had problems you were fired, if it was an IBM and it had problems it wasn't your fault. 

It's your money, for me I only want to pay $600 if I really need it and my $60 programmer won't do the job.


Randy

Douglas Miller

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Aug 11, 2022, 9:13:20 PMAug 11
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For me, not supporting Linux or MAC automatically disqualifies them. Seems odd that a company which appears to be serious about the technology can't find a way to support Linux or MAC. For that amount of money, I see it as a requirement.

I do wish I wasn't required to support the CCP, though. Or connect spyware to my computer.

Paul Laba

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Aug 11, 2022, 9:27:49 PMAug 11
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Norberto,

Very cool!  I was originally planning to build my own programmer, based on the TommyPROM Arduino-based programmer, but with so many different types of EEPROMs I need to program, I decided against it (I have enough debugging to keep me busy with the P80).

Wow, those DataMan programmers are expensive!

Thanks,

Paul
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norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 11, 2022, 10:13:53 PMAug 11
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Paul,

The only time to build your own ROM programmer will be to support the old PROM's that used the 25V to get programmed. For the new +5V ROM's , any programmer will do. What I love about the TL866II, is the capability to do the flash parts, SPI (with adapter), and the GALS at such low price. 

Which type of EEPROM are you using for the P80 project?

Norberto 

Steven Hirsch

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Aug 12, 2022, 12:45:39 AMAug 12
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I recommend the Andromeda programmer:

https://www.arlabs.com

Don't let the 90s website throw you. This is a well designed and well
supported device that can handle just about anything besides PLD devices.

Requires a machine that can run MS-DOS with a real parallel port. But, so do
a lot of the vintage units with no support.

PRL-89

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Aug 19, 2022, 9:13:57 AMAug 19
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Hi Norberto,

I’m using mostly Atmel EEPROMs, varying in size from 16K (2K x 8) through 2M (256K x 8).  I’m also using Microchip 4M (512K x 8) EEPROMs.  (Atmel also makes a 4M EEPROM, but I could only find the slower 150 nsec ones.)

Currently 24 EEPROMs in all.  Many are combined as n x 8, n x 16, etc. to generate more outputs (the primary CPU controller consists of five 256K x 8’s to form a 256K x 40; the secondary controller uses four 256K x 8’s to form a 256K x 32).  

I’ve created the binary files for all the EEPROMs (except the 8K x 8 EEPROM that will hold the program monitor) and downloaded them into ROMs in the Logisim Evolution simulator where the p80 is running.  I wrote a C# app to generate the binaries for each EEPROM.  The code for the primary CPU controller is 
 a complete Z80 emulator in itself as it must generate the correct signals and timing for the 1,792 opcode/prefix combinations.

Paul

norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 19, 2022, 1:11:36 PMAug 19
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Very impressive design!  The Winbond EEPROMS are faster and between 70-120nS.



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prl...@comcast.net

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Aug 19, 2022, 1:18:31 PMAug 19
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Thanks Norberto,

I hadn’t come across that brand of EEPROMs before.

I was able to find the EEPROMs I need with 70-90 nsec access times (I stayed away from the slower 150 nsec ones).  That important because I have signals passing through multiple EEPROMs.  Based on my timing design, that should allow me to run the P80 at 1 MHz or higher.

I don’t have a lot of experience designing with EEPROMs; I don’t know how they actually perform compared to their published timings.  Guess I’ll find out!

Paul
On Aug 19, 2022, 1:11 PM -0400, norberto.collado koyado.com <norberto...@koyado.com>, wrote:
Very impressive design!  The Winbond EEPROMS are faster and between 70-120nS.

<image.png>

norberto.collado koyado.com

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Aug 19, 2022, 1:40:49 PMAug 19
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Rather than EEPROM's, can you use RAM as it will give you the best speed? Then on power-on, have a simple microcontroller upload the RAM. Similar to a memory DMA. I think it is simple way to update the board to debug it. Taking an EEPROM out one at a time to reflash, it is a lot of work during debug.

prl...@comcast.net

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Aug 19, 2022, 5:09:16 PMAug 19
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I had considered something like that but it didn’t seem very “retro”.

With all the EEPROMs programmed and running in the simulator, I’m hoping to have them fully debugged before I start playing with the actual chips.  Then again, I’m an optimist.

The 8K memory ROM, which contains the P80 startup code and program monitor (which doesn’t yet exist), is designed so some or all of its code can be copied to RAM and then disabled under program control, remapping it’s address space to RAM.  Similar to how the H8/H89’s ORG0 feature works.

I also thought about flashing that one EEPROM in circuit, as I expect it will require a lot of debugging and reflashing compared to the others.  But I’m not sure the P80 can feed the sectors fast enough.  I’ll at least use a ZIF socket for that one.

rand...@hotmail.com

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Aug 19, 2022, 5:36:57 PMAug 19
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Normally burning can be any time above the specified time. The timings are for the fastest programming not the slowest so it should be trivial for a slow processor to program them.


Randy

dwight

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Aug 20, 2022, 4:01:43 PMAug 20
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Why not program in place? That is what I did for my 6530 replacement board for the KIM-1. I only needed 1K so much of the chip was wasted. But the KIM-1 only needed that much.
It would be about as fast as a programmer. To keep from accidental overwriting, one could add a jumper on the write enable.
Dwight


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Paul Laba

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Aug 20, 2022, 6:03:41 PMAug 20
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Hi Dwight,

That would certainly be feasible for the 8K memory ROM, whose address pins are already tied to the address bus and data pins tied to the data bus through a bus transceiver that’s configured as a unidirectional/output-only buffer.

The program monitor could include an option for re-flashing the chip from a file on the PC or Mac (with safeguards like the jumper you suggested).

But this would be much more difficult for the other EEPROMs, whose address and data pins are tied to signals from other circuits.  Each of those EEPROMs would need to multiplex their address and data pins to allow them to be switched to the address and data busses for flashing.

Even the 8K memory ROM would require some additional logic to allow for in-circuit programming.

But thus is worth another look, as being able to replace the program monitor code “on the fly” would save a lot of wear and tear on the chip.

Thanks,

Paul
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