bouni's blog

Get the SparkFun ProMicro working with inotool

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I’ve recently bought a few SparkFun ProMicro 5V 16Mhz clones from Ebay because they are extremely cheap (7 Euro each) and habe native USB. The only problem i had is that i was not able to program them using inotool.

The upload issue

To get them working with the Arduino IDE you simply have to download the so called “Arduino Addon files” from Sparkfun and place them in the hardware folder of your Arduino installation. The IDE then recognizes them and provides you the new board models for compilation and uploads. Sometimes it works, but somtimes it will not upload the compiled source and give me this error message:

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Found programmer: Id = "Hello w"; type = o
    Software Version = H.e; Hardware Version = l.l
avrdude: error: buffered memory access not supported. Maybe it isn't
a butterfly/AVR109 but a AVR910 device?

As you can see you can read parts of the Hello World string that is continously sent by the Example 1: Blinkies! sketch that was running at the time i tried to upload source. This indicates that the software reset didn’t worked correctly for some unknown reason.

arduino modifications

So I decided to get this working with inotool to avoid using the Arduino IDE and probably fix the upload issue at the same time. I downloaded the Arduino Addon Files again and checked the contents:

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├── boards.txt
├── bootloaders
│   └── caterina
│       ├── build.txt
│       ├── Caterina.c
│       ├── Caterina-fio.hex
│       ├── Caterina.h
│       ├── Caterina.hex
│       ├── Caterina-lilypadusb.hex
│       ├── Caterina-makey.hex
│       ├── Caterina-minibench.hex
│       ├── Caterina-promicro16.hex
│       ├── Caterina-promicro8.hex
│       ├── Caterina-wiflyin.hex
│       ├── Descriptors.c
│       ├── Descriptors.h
│       ├── Makefile
│       ├── program.txt
│       └── Readme.txt
├── driver
│   ├── FioV3.inf
│   ├── LilyPadUSB.inf
│   ├── MakeyMakey.inf
│   ├── Minibench.inf
│   ├── ProMicro.inf
│   └── WiFlyin.inf
├── README.md
└── variants
    ├── minibench
    │   └── pins_arduino.h
    └── promicro
        └── pins_arduino.h

6 directories, 26 files
  • The boards.txt has the definitions for the 4 Sparkfun boards with AtMega32u4 processors (Pro Micro 5V, Pro Micro 3.3V, Fio 3.3V, Makey Makey).
  • In the bootloaders folder is a modified/extended version of the original caterina bootloader for the Leonardo.
  • The drivers folder contains the windows drivers for the boards.
  • variants contains the pin configurations.

If you simply install the Addon files as usually (copy the folder into the hardware folder), inotool recognizes the new boards, but fails to compile/upload. So i tried to integrate the new files into the original folders:

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sed -i 's/caterina/caterina-sparkfun/g' ~/Downloads/SF32u4_boards-master/boards.txt
cat ~/Downloads/SF32u4_boards-master/boards.txt >> /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/boards.txt
cp -r ~/Downloads/SF32u4_boards-master/bootloaders/caterina/ /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/bootloaders/caterina-sparkfun
cp -r ~/Downloads/SF32u4_boards-master/variants/* /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/variants/
  1. replace caterina in boards.txt with caterina-sparkfun. This makes sure that the modified bootloader is used and not the original one.
  2. append the contents of the new boards.txt to the original boards.txt.
  3. copy the new caterina bootloader into the original bootloaders folder, but rename it to caterina-sparkfun.
  4. copy the new variants into the original variants folder

If we now go into a inotool project and call ino list-models we get this list:

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     uno: [DEFAULT] Arduino Uno
   atmega328: Arduino Duemilanove w/ ATmega328
   diecimila: Arduino Diecimila or Duemilanove w/ ATmega168
 nano328: Arduino Nano w/ ATmega328
    nano: Arduino Nano w/ ATmega168
mega2560: Arduino Mega 2560 or Mega ADK
    mega: Arduino Mega (ATmega1280)
leonardo: Arduino Leonardo
 esplora: Arduino Esplora
   micro: Arduino Micro
 mini328: Arduino Mini w/ ATmega328
    mini: Arduino Mini w/ ATmega168
ethernet: Arduino Ethernet
     fio: Arduino Fio
   bt328: Arduino BT w/ ATmega328
      bt: Arduino BT w/ ATmega168
  LilyPadUSB: LilyPad Arduino USB
  lilypad328: LilyPad Arduino w/ ATmega328
 lilypad: LilyPad Arduino w/ ATmega168
pro5v328: Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (5V, 16 MHz) w/ ATmega328
   pro5v: Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (5V, 16 MHz) w/ ATmega168
  pro328: Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (3.3V, 8 MHz) w/ ATmega328
     pro: Arduino Pro or Pro Mini (3.3V, 8 MHz) w/ ATmega168
   atmega168: Arduino NG or older w/ ATmega168
 atmega8: Arduino NG or older w/ ATmega8
robotControl: Arduino Robot Control
  robotMotor: Arduino Robot Motor
  promicro16: SparkFun Pro Micro 5V/16MHz
   promicro8: SparkFun Pro Micro 3.3V/8MHz
   fiov3: SparkFun Fio V3 3.3V/8MHz
   minibench: SparkFun Makey Makey

inotool modifications

As you can see, at the end of the list are the new boards. If they do not appear, do a ino clean first. Now ino compiles our source but fails to upload it :-(

So we have to do a little modification to ino itself, see the Github diff of the original repo and my fork.

I simply changed the behavior of inotool to do a softwre reset with the 1200 Baud connect/disconnect method to happen whenever the specified bootloader for a certain board model starts with “caterina” instead of is equal to “caterina”.

compile and upload code

Compilation works like a charm:

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bouni@fnord: ~/tmp/blinky$ ino build -m promicro16
Searching for Board description file (boards.txt) ... /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/boards.txt
Searching for Arduino lib version file (version.txt) ... /usr/share/arduino/lib/version.txt
Detecting Arduino software version ...  1.0.5 (1.0.5)
Searching for Arduino core library ... /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino
Searching for Arduino standard libraries ... /usr/share/arduino/libraries
Searching for Arduino variants directory ... /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/variants
Searching for make ... /usr/bin/make
Searching for avr-gcc ... /usr/bin/avr-gcc
Searching for avr-g++ ... /usr/bin/avr-g++
Searching for avr-ar ... /usr/bin/avr-ar
Searching for avr-objcopy ... /usr/bin/avr-objcopy
src/sketch.ino
Searching for Arduino lib version file (version.txt) ... /usr/share/arduino/lib/version.txt
Detecting Arduino software version ...  1.0.5 (1.0.5)
Scanning dependencies of src
Scanning dependencies of arduino
src/sketch.cpp
arduino/wiring_shift.c
arduino/WInterrupts.c
arduino/wiring_digital.c
arduino/wiring_pulse.c
arduino/wiring.c
arduino/wiring_analog.c
arduino/avr-libc/malloc.c
arduino/avr-libc/realloc.c
arduino/IPAddress.cpp
arduino/Stream.cpp
arduino/WString.cpp
arduino/Print.cpp
arduino/Tone.cpp
arduino/USBCore.cpp
arduino/HID.cpp
arduino/main.cpp
arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp
arduino/WMath.cpp
arduino/new.cpp
arduino/CDC.cpp
Linking libarduino.a
Linking firmware.elf
Converting to firmware.hex

And upload also:

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bouni@fnord: ~/tmp/blinky$ ino upload -m promicro16
Guessing serial port ... /dev/ttyACM0

Connecting to programmer: .
Found programmer: Id = "CATERIN"; type = S
    Software Version = 1.0; No Hardware Version given.
Programmer supports auto addr increment.
Programmer supports buffered memory access with buffersize=128 bytes.

Programmer supports the following devices:
    Device code: 0x44

avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9587
avrdude: reading input file ".build/promicro16/firmware.hex"
avrdude: writing flash (6076 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.48s

avrdude: 6076 bytes of flash written
avrdude: verifying flash memory against .build/promicro16/firmware.hex:
avrdude: load data flash data from input file .build/promicro16/firmware.hex:
avrdude: input file .build/promicro16/firmware.hex contains 6076 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.05s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 6076 bytes of flash verified

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK (H:CB, E:D8, L:FF)

avrdude done.  Thank you.

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