Boldly Venturing With The Parallax Propeller PE Kit

microcontrollerusermicrocontrolleruser Posts: 1,194
edited 2018-12-02 - 15:40:03 in Propeller 1

Time to use this kit we have.

My associate(relative) did a first class job breadboarding it.

The jumper wires are all cut and bent over at a 90 degree angles.

What does Load Ram and Load EEPROM mean?

That is in Propeller Tool.


  • There's a bootloader in the Propeller's ROM that takes control after a reset. It 'listens' to I/O pins 30/31 for a serial connection to a running copy of the Propeller Tool. If you press the appropriate key, the Propeller Tool sends a command to the bootloader that starts the download process for a program that's stored in hub RAM. Optionally, the bootloader will copy the program to an attached 32K or larger EEPROM after validating the checksum in RAM.
  • microcontrollerusermicrocontrolleruser Posts: 1,194
    edited 2018-12-02 - 16:43:30
    Being the programming and engineering living breathing action hero that I am.

    Should I just load to ram?

    This is for 'one pager' beginning programs.
  • Micro,
    I use ram versions of of any program that I am developing during the testing phases. Anytime that I need the program to remain in the Prop I will load to EEPROM. That way it is still there after a reboot.
  • Definitely use "Load Ram" while you are working on the program. Once you have a working program that does everything you want it to do you can use "Load EEPROM" and it will be loaded any time the Prop is rebooted. Then you can mount the board on whatever equipment you want it to control, like a remote weather station, greenhouse control and monitoring station, camping trailer motor/generator system, etc., etc..
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • Loading RAM or EEPROM is not really an issue. It takes just some seconds to flash and the EEPROM for sure will not wearout or damaged anyway. But beeing able just to reset and so restart is an advantage.
    no reason to reason if you feel feelings: in love with the propeller
  • If you load to RAM, should the Propeller reset, the bootloader will load and execute whatever's in the 1st 32K of EEPROM. That's not usually a problem ... depends on what's there. If you load to EEPROM and the Propeller gets reset, your program will run again. That may be useful.

  • Thank you Kwinn ErNa and Mike

    Looks like a personal preference or progamming style thing.

    How about this 'Programming and Customizing the Propeller' book?

    Have a real book of it. Is it any good?

    Was author a Parallax 'insider'? On the forum?
  • What does Load Ram and Load EEPROM mean?

    Look at the info box on the lower half of page 36 of the PE-Kit-Labs-Fundamentals-Text.

  • Thanks!

    That is the kind of thing I would go with. Concise.

    The suggestions are all good. Some for different situations.

    We're all set with that.
    Load RAM (F10) vs. Load EEPROM (F11):
    The Propeller Tool software’s Load RAM feature is fast, but the
    program gets erased whenever power gets disconnected/re
    connected or the PE Platform’s reset button gets
    pressed. After a reset, the Propeller chip will load t
    he program most recently loaded into EEPROM and start
    executing it. While programs loaded into EEPROM do not get
    erased, they take longer to load. Since testing
    the pushbutton involves iteratively c
    hanging and reloading the program into the Propeller chip, it saves time to
    use Load RAM.
  • microcontrollerusermicrocontrolleruser Posts: 1,194
    edited 2018-12-03 - 05:07:06

    How about an overview of Labview?

    Looks pretty good.
  • ElectrodudeElectrodude Posts: 1,280
    edited 2018-12-03 - 06:02:42
    Labview looks good until you try doing anything with it: then you find out that it's actually terrible. I've used it for lots of stuff until I learned how to use C on PCs, and the best advice I can give you is to stay as far away from LabVIEW as possible. In principle, it would seem like it should be possible to write a good signal-flow graphical programming language like LabVIEW or Simulink, and I'd love to see a good one, but I've never seen it done.

    Why do you ask?

  • Thank you Electrodude

    Viewport not Labview.

    Yes. Looked at NI products a long time ago. Not my cup of tea.

    Where is the download of Viewport that work with PE Kit please?
  • I kinda like loading the EPROM because if you have any glitches while testing the prop runs the last program in the eprom . But loading the eprom does take a little longer..
    I use Labview with the Prop all the time. Use the visa open, read, write, and close over the USB . And convert to a string use little endian. I also use the visa for my bench top fluke so I can work the meter through Labview.

  • Thank you Digitalbob

    Will consider Labview in the future.

    Got to the bottom of Viewport.

    Good news/bad news. A logic analyzer is pretty cool. This one cost money.Not so cool.

    Will have a question in a minute.

  • microcontrollerusermicrocontrolleruser Posts: 1,194
    edited 2018-12-03 - 07:25:29

    Somebody tell Viewport/Onerobots his contact form doe not appear to work. If they know him.

    Connected 9v battery to PE Kit. Green LED lit up. Looking good so fat.

    What's a method? Saw it in PE Kit Table of Contents Chapter 5.

    Happy holidays!

  • What's a method? Saw it in PE Kit Table of Contents Chapter 5.

    See page 46, Propeller Nomenclature;
    "Method – a block of executable Spin commands that has a name, access rule, and can optionally create local (temporary) variables, receive parameters, and return a value."

  • Thank you W9GFO P

    Looks like a function. That is just off the top of my head.

    Where are the drivers for Propeller Tool and the Propplug please?

    Windows installed a driver when we connected it but Identify says 'No Connection on COM6'.
  • Did you get a nice thick book with your PE Kit? You should, maybe, open it.
    Re-inventing the wheel is not a waste of time if, when you are done, you understand why it is round.
  • microcontrollerusermicrocontrolleruser Posts: 1,194
    edited 2018-12-03 - 18:19:20

    After that remark this is the plan.

    Will take a look at Stamp and Propeller after doing something else.

    Which is. Learning assembler and C on a conventional micro.

    See you then!

    Happy holidays!
  • "Will take a look at Stamp and Propeller after learning assembler and C on a conventional micro"
    Learning assembler and C on a 'conventional' micro is not going to help much with Stamps and
    won't be a good use of your time with the Propeller. The Propeller is both much simpler and
    straightforward than most current micros at the assembly level and much more sophisticated
    when you include general purpose processors as software-defined peripherals.

    For example, I wrote a driver for I2C EEPROMs and SD cards in assembly heavily using a simple
    debugger that I also wrote that ran in another 2 cogs that displayed various variables, buffers, etc.
    in formatted form on a VGA display. At one point, I added simple keyboard input using another cog.

    This sort of structure emerged naturally using the Propeller, but I doubt I could have done it on a
    conventional micro.

  • Thank you Mike

    Could you help find that driver?

    Propeller Tool says 'No serial connection on COM6'

    Searched 'Prop Plug USB Driver' on Parallax site and only got documentation for it no drive download.

    Using Propeller Tool.

    Back in a couple hours.

    Happy holidays!
  • Could you help find that driver?

    I've had a similar problem where the supplied driver did not work. The solution I used was to go directly to FTDI and download their latest driver.
  • microcontrolleruser,

    Did you triple-check the breadboard wiring and verify that the Prop Plug was inserted correctly?

    There is a diagram on page 3.
    It's the same diagram as Page 27 of the Propeller Education KIT (PEK) text.

    Here are the drivers if they aren't installed already.

    ***** IMPORTANT *****
    Though you don't see it on most schematics, the Propeller MUST HAVE bypass capacitors across its power and ground pins.
    Look at the diagram on page 38 of the PEK text.

    The PLL of the Propeller is easily damaged and without it the Propeller can't go any faster than the crystal frequency.

  • Thank you W9GFO and Genetix

    The Prop Plug and the connector for it were just put anywhere on it when it was put away.

    I just noticed that while I was on phone to Miguel at support. He did a great job!

    Board or boards to be correct are all wired up. Have to figure out where it goes.

    I will check schematic or building instructions and stick it on there and test it again.

    Happy holidays!

  • I will spare everybody the gory details.

    Propeller Tool, Prop Plug and latest USB driver from Parallax work.

    Tested these with a Propeller Proto board.

    NOW we are ready to locate the Prop Plug connector on the PE kit and test it.
Sign In or Register to comment.