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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
2,770 Views

Any low cost eval boar with USB blaster cable included?

Hi, 

 

I have several Altera dev. boards which I bought several years ago. Back in that time all programming was done via the ByteBlaster (parallel port) cable. 

When I moved to Vista 64 bits, sev. years ago I found that Quartus doesn't support ByteBlaster under 64 bits OS so I stopped using them and moved to other FPGA brands which support 64 bits. 

Recently I went to an exhibition, talked to Altera people and they said I was doing unfair business for not using their products for my designs! In that moment I didn't recall why I stopped using Altera. 

Regardless that discussion, I wanted to give Altera a try again and evaluate my new projects with them, that's when I found the 64 bits issue that FORCED me to switch to others. 

Now, some of my altera boards are 3rd party (altium, terasic and of course Altera) and none can be used without ByteBlaster, my only option is to re-wire them and use USB Blaster - which I've been told is the only cable supported by Quartus under Win 7 64bits. 

But this cable alone is $300. (!!!) 

I found that the Max II starter kit (which I also bought years ago) now comes with the USB blaster cable included free and the whole package is just $180. When I bought it, it came with ByteBlaster. 

I'd like to know if there's another good starter kit or eval board that -at a descent price- includes the USB blaster cable. 

 

So, does anybody know of any low cost starter kit or eval board that includes the USB blaster cable? I know most boards now embed the programmer, but for my old boards I need an EXTERNAL blaster cable. 

 

Since we changed years ago to Xilinx my company is not going to fund the purchase. So this is my own initiative. Hence I need to buy something at low cost. 

 

Found many cable sellers on the web but none here in Canada 

 

Any ideas? 

Thanks
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7 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

here it is. 

 

http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?language=english&categoryno=139&no=593 

 

terasic has many dev-kit. 

and most of them (I'm not sure if it is all of them) don't need usb-blaster. 

the dev-kit itself is the usb-blaster. 

 

 

by the way, you can buy usb-blaster from here. 

http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?language=english&categoryno=&no=46 

 

it costs $50. 

 

how about that?
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

Or you also have this one 

http://www.entner-electronics.com/tl/index.php/eeblaster.html 

If you used the 10-pin header to connect your designs to the byte blaster then you should be able to plug the USB blaster instead without modification.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

Sorry, seems I didn't explained myself properly. 

In the title I said "included" that's no the same as 'embedded'. 

I don't want a board with the USB blaster 'embedded'. 

I want a evaluation board that 'includes' an EXTERNAL usb blaster cable as part of the price. 

For example the MAX II Starter Kit costs 180 and includes the USB blaster cable. I bought this starter kit long ago but in that time it included the parallel port byteblaster cable instead. Hence I don't want to buy the same kit again. 

Is there any other kit that includes a FPGA board AND an external USB blaster as part of the deal? 

 

If not I 'll just buy the USB blaster cable alone as recommended. I just wanted to know if there's good deal to go for. 

Thanks
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

Is there any other kit that includes a FPGA board AND an external USB blaster as part of the deal? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

No. You're not going to find any kits with it separate anymore; Terasic builds the USB-Blaster into their boards, and third-party hardware is not going to include a $300 USB-Blaster. 

 

I purchased a few older kits off eBay, and a few came with a ByteBlaster, and a few others with a USB-Blaster. 

 

I'd recommend buying the $50 Terasic USB-Blaster. I have several. They all work fine. You can't beat the price. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

also have this one http://www.qhd95598.com.cn/us.jpg :):)

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

I just want to close my own thread posting my last results. 

There're no commercial evaluation boards which include the USB blaster cable separately. All of them have it embedded. The only exception is the Max II Evaluation Board which comes with the Altera USB blaster cable separately (in the past it came with ByteBlaster). So, if you buy this board then you'll get the programmer for free. I didn't buy it because I already bought it years ago when it came with the ByteBlaster instead. 

So I finally bought the Terasic USB Blaster, a colleague bought it in China and sent it over. 

I installed the Terasic however in my Windows 7 64bit configuration it is NOT detected when using the latest Quartus II software. Currently I'm using 11.0. However if I go back to version 9.1 then it is detected. So for you guys buying this cable and having problems, try 9.1. 

Since I'm not using the latest Altera FPGAs then 9.1 is ok for my work so I'll keep using it. 

Thanks
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
58 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

in my Windows 7 64bit configuration it is NOT detected when using the latest Quartus II software. Currently I'm using 11.0. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

I have Windows 7 64-bit and Quartus v11.0. I just checked, the device manager shows the Terasic USB-Blaster as an Altera USB-Blaster, and the 64-bit version of Quartus detects it fine. 

 

I also have Quartus 10.1sp1 on this machine. I forget which order I installed them. Once you get the USB-Blaster detected, try re-installing version 11.0, or 11.1. It could be a driver issue that is resolved by installing the older software. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
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