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Trying to get started with MC9S08PA4VTG and USB Multilink A
John C. Nov 15, 2014 at 04:29 PM (16:29 hours)
Staff: Takao Y.

  • Hello,

    I'm struggling to get started with my new prototype green board and a USB Multlink Rev A.

    I've got CodeWarrier 10.4, the USB Multilink Rev A under Windows XP and an MC9S08PA4VTG micro. I've hooked up all the debugger BDM pins to the micro like I'm supposed to, double checked my board's 3.3V supply rail and am using an example CodeWarrier project.

    CodeWarrier talks to the Multilink just fine, the blue and yellow lights come on OK and it tries to talk to my micro without success. This is a brand new micro from Freescale so it may be that I need a newer Multilink programmer?

    I've got a little green LED pulled up to 3.3V on the BGND pin that definitely shows activity when I attempt to talk to the micro but I always get the message that I need to power cycle the micro to get it into debug mode.

    I've been using an older MC9S08QG8 micro for 7 years programmed by a DEMO9S08QG8 demo board and that won't talk to my new micro either.

    I asked for support from the boys over at Freescale and after they said they don't support someone else's prototype board (even though I included a schematic) they sent me here. Nice guys.

    Thanks in advance.

    -John Cook
    Madman Lighting Inc


  • Greetings,

    Freescale support are nice guys, that is why they sent you here because they want you to have the best support there is to offer!

    Just so I have a better understanding, you indicated that you had a DEMO board for QG8 and you modified to try talking to a PA4 chip? That is not going to work as the firmware for the embedded multilink on the DEMO board is meant to only work with QG8. So do not need to work on that.

    Some other questions:
    1) Has Freescale recommend you to try downloading CW10.6 yet? I would suggest doing so because it has all of the latest support and bugfixes. Try it out and see if it magically fixes everything. You will get the latest multilink firmware for your multilink as well. It should automatic firmware update.

    2) Do you have anything custom in your design, like a custom ribbon cable to your multilink, custom adapters, socket connector, daisy chaining, a reset circuitry, external watchdog, or other unique hardware between the multilink and the chip?

    3) What other components do you have on BKGD and RESET lines? Pull up resistors? Do you have any capacitors on VDD to GND? I just had a customer with the exact same issue in Brazil with a combination of pull-up resistors and cap that caused communication problems, possibly from RC-like signal behavior.

    4) Do you have VDD and GND connected? Many customers leave this connection out thinking the multilink will provide power to the board. Not the case for multilink universal (but it may be the case for the universal FX with the right settings in place). This connection is necessary as the multilink needs a reference voltage for BKGD and RESET signals.

    Hope that is a good starting point,
    Takao Yamada

  • Greetings,

    Have any update on this?

    Takao Yamada

  • Thank you so much for your kind attention!

    I have not had time to get back to this project yet, but hopefully soon.

    Let me fill you in a bit on the setup:

    I have the micro on a small green board I had built for this purpose, to evaluate a new design. The four lines that connect to the BDM port have very little on them except a 0.1" 4 pin connector between them and the BDM port. VCC is generated by an LM3480IM3-3.3 three terminal LDO regulator with a 10uF and 0.1uF cap between it and the micro. Both caps are simple ceramic SMD type.

    Based on what the Freescale datasheet said to do, and what worked with my older processor, the RESET line has a 5.1K resistor and 0.1uF cap in series with it to GND. My pushbutton RESET switch is in parallel with the cap. This is exactly the same as what worked with the old micro and is right out of the datasheet.

    To protect the lines from ESD damage (a problem I had with the old micro) I have some MMBZ6V8ALT1G ESD protection diodes reverse biased on the RESET and VDD lines.

    To provide some visual indication of what's going on, I have a small green LED in series with a 5.1k resistor between VDD and the BKGD pin. I use this on the old design as my "one LED user output". During debug, I tried unhooking this but it made no difference.

    My next attempt will be with a TWR-S08DC-PT60 from Freescale, which is their eval board for the PT60 variant in this family. It has a USB connector on it and a BDM port as well. The plan is to verify I can program it "off the shelf" and then remove the on-board processor and connect the BDM port to my micro. I'm doing this cause it cost only $20. If I can get it working I'll consider the P&E Multi-link unit as my "real" programming unit.

    Thanks for your help!

  • Greetings,

    The USB connector (OSBDM interface) on the PT60 tower board will not work with your chip. It is specifically designed to work with the chip soldered onto it.

    Just because something worked for previous HCS08 chips does not mean it will work in the new chip families. Especially for the PT/RN/PA new chip family is very different from previous S08 chips. Many users have made that mistake and finding it out the hard way.

    What you should do is look at the schematic of the PT60 tower board from Freescale for the recommended circuitry for the chip to the BDM port. You will find a 0.1uF cap on VDD to GND, a 10K pull-up resistor on reset, and nothing on the BKGD line.

    Takao Yamada

  • OK, thank you very much!  You have saved me a lot of effort.

    Will that work with your P&E Multilink interface as well?

    If so I'll be buying one soon.

  • Greetings,

    Our P&E multilink can connect to the 6-pin BDM port that can be found many of the HCS08 boards. Yes, you can use the P&E multilink on this TWR-S08DC-PT60 board, even if you replaced the chip on the tower board. My suggestion though is to make sure the PA chip is almost pin-to-pin compatible to the PT60 so that you do not accidentally fry anything on the chip, board, or even the multilink when you attach it. Again, use the schematic that cames with the tower board to see what pins are used for what.

    Takao Yamada

  • About supported from Cyclone Pro? And yoru software HCPROG08?

  • Greetings,

    Sorry for the delayed answer. Yes, the Cyclone Pro supports all HCS08 chips including PA8. The PROGHCS08 supports the PA8, but if you get the cyclone pro the software is already included. You should only purchase PROGHCS08 if you are using the multilink hardwares or if you need a command-line programming feature (CPROG).

    Takao Yamada

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