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Compact flash activation for cyclone max
Noah Z. Apr 14, 2016 at 10:58 AM (10:58 hours)
Staff: Kevin A. P.

  • Hi, I have a few questions below about your Cycone Max compact flash activation...

    Q1. Can the compact flash support a folder file structure?
       We have multiple products with multiple builds and it would be nice to group the builds on the cyclone by product inside a folder.

    Q2. Do you have software that will allow .SAP files to be put onto the compact flash without the Cyclone Max present?
       Programmers are rarely near a computer and it would be great if we could just bring a new Compact Flash card to the cyclone and swap it out when new builds come.

    Q3. Is the License for the software installation, per cyclone max, or per compact flash card?
       We have multiple computers, multiple Cyclone Max's and would like to use multiple compact flash cards for each. What is the limit per license?

    Q4. Any recommendations on CF brands, speeds, capacities, etc. that are compatible besides yours?

    thanks, noah


  • Greetings,

    A1. Currently the cyclone max will not have a folder file structure. Current compact flash cards due to the way it is formatted have a limitation where although it is easy to append a new SAP image into the card you will have to erase entirely if you wish to delete a SAP image. Then reload all of the SAP images again due to a lack of file/folder structure.

    However, our new generation cyclones (cyclone universal and cyclone universal FX) will have file structures and allow you to add and delete specific SAP images off SD cards. Next gen cyclones use SD cards instead of compact flash.

    A2. Currently the compact flash has to be formatted specifically so that the cyclone max can read the SAP images. It is not FAT32 or NTFS. This formatting makes the SAP images impossible to read from computers, not by design. Therefore a cyclone is needed to read and load SAP images.

    Next generation cyclones are formatted differently and MAY have the ability to read the SD cards from laptops and other card readers. It is still in discussion but I will bring it up to the cyclone designers that this feature is requested. When a customer requests for a feature, it is more likely to be implemented.

    A3. The license is for as many cyclones or compact flash cards. However, the limitation is that the license can only be used as a single-user, single-seat like all of our software licenses. So it can be installed on multiple computers as well but it must be used by a single user and not used simultaneously on multiple computers. Each license purchased gives you 3 initial activations and as long as the user has followed our license agreement of single-user single-seat then we can give more activations if needed.

    A4. We test our compact flash cards and give you the guarantee that it will work with our cyclones. Our hardware warranty also applies. Using any other compact flash card can be used but we cannot guarantee or warranty them.

    Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns about the compact flash, or what may be in store for future designs of external storages.

    Takao Yamada

    • regarding A2: If you can tentatively guarantee that there is a high probability of a good chance that within the next year there will be a way to add files to SD from windows without the cyclone present, Ill buy a Cyclone FX right now and tentatively guarantee the probability of a purchase of 2-5+ more. :)

      • Noah,

        We had a good conversation on your post and will implement a feature which allows you to load images from an unencrypted FAT32 formatted SD Card. We are tenatively calling this "QuickLoad". Here are the details of where we are today and a preliminary view of what we will add.

        As it is today, any SDCARD used with the Cyclone is encrypted with industry standard encryption to protect its contents and also to prevent the SDCARD being copied. This is done to protect a customers data on an SDCARD. Images can be loaded to it while it is attach to a Cyclone using the Image manager (a PC can't read/write the card directly in any meaningful way). The card may then be moved from Cyclone to Cyclone and used for programming. It maintains state as the card is shifted around.

        We are proposing to add a quickload feature. When the Cyclone is unable to read an SDCARD via decryption, we will look at it to see if it has an unencrypted file system. If so, and if there are stand alone programming images in the SDCARD which do not exist in the Cyclone internal storage, these image will be transferred into internal storage (which is encrypted). At that point the image may be used (from internal storage and not the SDCard). Let me know if that would accomplish what you need.


        • I understand the reason for your encryption protection and realize its a valuable and needed feature for some users.

          As long as the internal storage can hold more than 8 images (website specs show FX with 1 GB internal onboard and "no practical limit...") you idea sounds like a perfect solution to security and flexibility.

          Bonus points for engineers if there is a way to manage/create/delete a file/folder structure from the programmer UI or copy folder structure from uSD card.

          Order placed, but backorderd, :)

          Thanks a bunch, noah

          • With the FX, the internal storage limit is indeed on the order of a Gigabyte and there is no practical limit to the number of images. We have tested against hundreds of internal images (and the Cyclone FX will support thousands). Our storage mechanism allows for fast read/write/search of images and, as such, we are currently experimenting with different organizational concepts for images (by product, folder, etc). I expect we will have an update with this kind of capability this year.

            If you have further thoughts or requests, let me know.

            • Low priority thoughts/requests: 
              Power cord longer than 3 feet.
              Battery powered option. (any internal space left for battery option?)
              Descriptive error messages ($00000007--> $00000007 No Power detected at device, check power )

              • Our next generation power supply (Energy Efficiency VI) will have a cord about 4.5 ft in length. That will start shipping near the end of the year.

                The next release our our Cyclone Universal, Cyclone Universal FX, and Cyclone for Arm devices has descriptive error messages (there is an information button next to the error message you can touch). This will not back port to the older Cyclones since the display is more limited. This is one of many small improvements we are making to take advantage of the new technology in the unit. I expect the software will go live on the web in the next week or two and will also ship in the unit you purchased.

                We are working on finding a battery option. We have one for the older Cyclones, but need to find something appropriate for the new generation.

                • Just got the Cyclone FX and so far its working great. 

                  I have two more questions,

                  1. The Cyclone FX product page has a link to an external battery pack but doesn't specifically mention the cyclone FX. Is this the battery pack you mentioned above or is there another one in development for the cyclone FX?

                  2. If I recall correctly, does the Image Manager (ManageImages.exe) search for new firmware online and auto-download it to the cyclone when if finds a new firmware image? Is there a way to get emails or any other way to see when there is a new firmware update for the cyclones?

                  Thanks for all the help...


  • Noah,

    We are working on finding a replacement battery pack for the Cyclone Universal FX. It needs to be a 6-12v battery pack. The one we sell for the Cyclone Pro and Cyclone Max sometimes wont turn on with the Cyclone Universal (some sort of startup issue), and you have to unplug and plug it a few times first. This is why we are looking for a new battery pack to support the newer cyclones.

    You currently have to install the latest software to get firmware updates. The firmware update happens automatically. I added you to the list of people who get update notifications when the version of the Cyclone Universal FX firmware changes.


    • Hey Kevin, any update on 1. Battery option, 2. File organization/sorting (comment, and 3. Quick-load feature (comment 2.1.1)?  

      People have started using it around the office and prefer it over the cyclone max. After telling them that you may have fixes for the items listed above they mentioned what a huge time saver it would be. Putting a few more on order if you have good news for me. :)

      Thanks for the update.


  • Noah,

    Not really too much news on these items.

    1. We are working with a battery company now to see if we can get an appropriate battery pack for the Cyclone Universal FX.

    2. We are releasing early next week a new Image Management utility which has some of the features we discussed including the ability to delete images. We have been whiteboarding a new Image Management software interface over the last month which has capabilities to organize images. We plan to release this capability closer to the end of the year.

    3. I have kept the quick-load feature on our to do list. I should be able to add this to our development schedule shortly.



  • Perfect, thanks for the update and working on that stuff. You got yourself a new order (#81807 :).

    Keep up the good work.


  • Noah,

    Thank you for you support!


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