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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
973 Views

ByteBlaster problem

hi 

 

I hope this problem can be sorted as easily as my first one. I'm new to CPLD programming/Quartus software, I usually use PIC microcontrollers, but having acquired 3 Max II Development Boards (EPM1270F256C5ES/N) at an auction, I thought I would give it a go. Ha !  

 

My latest problem is with the ByteBlaster cable, plugged into the parallel port LPT1. I followed the driver installation setup and it appeared in Hardware Setup in Quartus,after going into Tools,Programmer. I then tried to load the FunctionalTest.pof test file mentioned in one of the Altera user guides, at which point the Quartus software froze and I had to Ctrl+Alt+Delete to get out. Now when I go back into Quartus, ByteBlaster no longer appears in Hardware, or Hardware Setup, instead, when I click Add Hardware, I get the error message "Attempted to access JTAG server - internal error code 82 occurred". I've tried various command-line 'fixes' found on Google, but none work.  

 

I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the bother and I'd be better off sticking with PICs, but if I can get some help with this, I'll give it one more go. Two at the most. Definitely not more than three. Or four.... 

 

regards
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9 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

The "ByteBlaster" is an ancient device. What operating system are you trying to use it with? 

 

I'd recommend spending $50 and buying a Terasic USB-Blaster: 

 

https://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?language=english&categoryno=39&no=46 

 

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/p0302/p0302-nd/2003484 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

hi 

 

thanks for the quick reply. I'm using the ByteBlaster as that's what came with the Development kits, they each had one. I'm using it with Windows XP, SP3. 

 

regards
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

thanks for the quick reply. I'm using the ByteBlaster as that's what came with the Development kits, they each had one. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Yeah, I know, but save yourself some trouble and get a USB-Blaster. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I'm using it with Windows XP, SP3. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Did you follow these instructions: 

 

http://www.altera.com/download/drivers/dri-bb-xp.html 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

hi 

 

yes, those are the instructions that I followed to get the ByteBlaster to show up in the Hardware list originally. 

 

Do you think the ByteBlaster is the problem and not with JTAG, which is giving the error message and which I've never used before ? 

 

regards
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

yes, those are the instructions that I followed to get the ByteBlaster to show up in the Hardware list originally. 

 

Do you think the ByteBlaster is the problem and not with JTAG, which is giving the error message and which I've never used before ? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

The ByteBlaster is most likely the problem. The error message you see is from a server, i.e., user-space software. That software is failing to communicate with the parallel port driver. The fact that you have to follow convoluted instructions just to get the ByteBlaster recognized under Windows means that Altera put no effort into supporting it. You're better off giving up and getting a USB-Blaster. 

 

You could also run Linux. I suspect the ByteBlaster support there has been unchanged since forever. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the bother and I'd be better off sticking with PICs 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

If you're adventurous, you could do both, i.e., build a USB-Blaster using a PIC ... 

 

http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=3029 

https://www.tindie.com/products/majolsurf/altera-usb-blaster-clone-and-usb-pic18f14k50-dev-kit/ 

 

That being said, $50 is still not bad for the Terasic USB-Blaster :) 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

hi 

 

thanks again. I think I'll take your suggestion and buy a USB-Blaster. 

 

regards
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

* * * * * Problem solved * * * * * *  

I came across another post where someone was having the same problem as I was, but they were using a USB Blaster cable. Their cable wouldn't appear in the hardware listing and they kept getting the same TJAG server error that I was. Their situation was that they had been using Quartus v10.1 SP1 with no problem, but only had problems when they upgraded to v11.0. When they reverted back to v10.1, everything worked again. Somebody suggested that Altera missed out some files in some of the releases. 

 

Hoping my problem was also caused by missing files in v13.1, I uninstalled it and installed v10.1 SP1 instead, and everything worked first time, even with my old ByteBlasterII cable.Maybe there's a newer version that would still work for me, but I'll stick with what works. 

 

So, if anyone else has problems with cables not showing up in the Hardware list, or get JTAG server errors, try installing an earlier version than the one you're using.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
44 Views

I think the advice to upgrade to USB-Blaster is good. 

 

jtagserver and programmer software should be compatible across releases, so if necessary you can run jtagserver from 10.1 with the programmer tools from 13.1 or vice versa.
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