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BP Microsystems EPROM programmer - a cry for help


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#1 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:20 AM

I just received a BP-1148 programmer that I bought from ebay.

The programmer powers up fine and the light says it's ready.
I've tried it on 3 computers, with 3 different versions of the software, and they mostly have the same problem - they say it isn't attached and insist on running in "DEMO" mode.
Here's everything I've tried:

BPWin 4.67.0 installed on ABit AN7 (nForce2) WinXP:
Software first says it's out of date, then pops up another message saying essentially "since there is no programmer connected, it will run in demo mode." Says I can configure the port in the menu. Great, so I do that, but every time I select LPT1, it doesn't stick. I go back in that same menu and it's been switched back to "DEMO".
I try restarting the program multiple times with the programmer fully running, but it doesn't help. Tried switching the LPT port to SPP mode in the BIOS, but that doesn't help either.
===========
BPWin 4.83.0 on ABit AN7
same as above. This is the last version to support this programmer.
Tried changing the system clock, now the "out of date" message goes away but it still says there's no programmer attached.
===========
BPWSoft-03 on ABit AN7
This program doesn't support the BP-1148. But the interesting thing is, at launch, it seems to detect this and tells me my programmer isn't supported. So clearly it sees it.
===========

BPWin 4.67.0 installed on Thinkpad A20m (440BX) laptop Win2k:
I set the clock to 04/2007 (when this version came out), then ran BPWin with the programmer running. No error messages at all, and it correctly identifies the programmer as a BP-1148. No errors about seeing my programmer - it seems to work!
But it's still in DEMO mode, and won't let me do anything. Any attempt to switch from DEMO to LPT1 doesn't stick, as before. :x
===========


BPDOS v3.94a (final version) on fresh install of Win98 SE on an Epox 440BX desktop motherboard:
This is a pseudo-DOS program that runs at the console but won't run in DOS mode - it requires Win9x.
It gives me the same error message as before, saying there's no programmer attached and it will run in DEMO mode. The menus seem to work *except* the one that lets me select a port. Entering that config menu causes a Windows message box with an error that says "Invalid Vector" or something like that.
Tried it with the port in SPP mode, this doesn't help.

Running BPDOS with a different (incorrect) cable attached allows me to go in the config menu, but the LPT setting and programmer type don't stick.
===========

BPDOS v3.21
I wouldn't know. This came with the programmer but the disks were corrupt and useless. One of them had the metal shield broken off. :roll:
===========

Anybody have experience with these? All I can think to try is to get another cable, and I'll do that when I can. But I'm doubting that's it since some versions seem to identify the programmer.

I'm intrigued that on my laptop, it actually seemed to identify my programmer correctly and had no errors. But it was still stuck in demo mode. This makes me worry it's deliberately locking me out.
To that effect, I see this comment on BPMicro's download page:

BPWIN V4.36 and newer software will check your system for registration of warranty and software support contract. If an unregistered site is detected or your software support contract is not current, the software will prevent any device operations from occurring on that site. The software will prompt you for site registration information on all concurrent and automated programmers.

Am I screwed? Or is the problem something else?

Thanks for reading... I would really appreciate any help with getting this brick back to life. :)

#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:11 AM

Maybe PortTalk or GiveIO will your PCs connect to hardware on the parallel port?

#3 TestEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:29 PM

Have you tried running diagnostics? (Alt-D while the BPM program is running).
I have the DOS version V3.66.1, 2002 which was downloaded from their website a few years ago. Somewhere around here, I may be able to find an older version, but V3.66.1 is the oldest I have on this computer.
Hope that helps.


#4 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:08 PM

Maybe PortTalk or GiveIO will your PCs connect to hardware on the parallel port?

I've tried PortTalk on my laptop (Win2k) so far, but didn't have any success. Haven't tried GiveIO yet.
I installed the PortTalk driver and used allowio to run BPDos under Win2k on that laptop, with the /a parameter so it has access to all ports. This caused the keyboard not to work, so I couldn't get past the license agreement screen. So I tried clearing out the license screen, exiting, then relaunching it with allowio active, but as I recall that gave me the same "no programmer detected so run in demo mode" error. Don't remember that specifically but I remember it didn't fix it.

Running BPDos without allowio fixes the keyboard but of course it won't have access to the LPT port. I also tried giving it access only to port 0x378 but that didn't work.. I don't remember if it affected the keyboard that way.

BPWin 4.67 already has an NT driver, and is intended for that environment. I tried allowio on it anyway but it didn't help.

#5 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:24 PM

Have you tried running diagnostics? (Alt-D while the BPM program is running).
I have the DOS version V3.66.1, 2002 which was downloaded from their website a few years ago. Somewhere around here, I may be able to find an older version, but V3.66.1 is the oldest I have on this computer.
Hope that helps.


I have the programmer back on the Win98 machine. I tried ALT-D with BPDOS 3.94a, but it just says the diagnostic isn't available because it's in DEMO mode. On this attempt I had the port back in ECP+EPP mode, but previously had the same problems with SPP mode.

I then looked through the version history, from inside BPDOS. I found that v3.70 was when they announced a new activation scheme. It doesn't really say whether it will lock you out if you aren't activated, but I wonder if this is the same problem that seems to be happening with BPWin. So the v3.66 you mentioned might be very helpful.

I don't know how it happened, but after closing that version history screen, I was amazed to see that it was now set to LPT1, not DEMO mode!
But I still couldn't do anything, because the programmer type wasn't properly set, and whenever I try to use the screen that changes this setting it causes a Windows error.

This is the same error I mentioned earlier, it happens whenever I go into the Configure menu:
BPDOS_invalidvector.jpg
This error also occurred on my laptop when I tried it on that machine.

This is the screen that appears whenever I launch BPDOS - basically the same text as I was getting in BPWin:
BPDOS_nodetect.jpg

#6 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:46 PM

I don't know how it happened, but after closing that version history screen, I was amazed to see that it was now set to LPT1, not DEMO mode!
But I still couldn't do anything, because the programmer type wasn't properly set, and whenever I try to use the screen that changes this setting it causes a Windows error.

I just recreated this. This is what happens:
Programmer is on.
Start BPDOS, it defaults to demo mode claiming it can't see the programmer.
If I attempt to open the "configure" screen, it causes the "invalid vector" error shown above, but at this point the port setting automatically changes from DEMO to LPT1. But the programmer type is still incorrect and I can't get into the dialog that changes it.
If I try to run the diagnostic at this point, or do anything else with the programmer, I will now get a "wrong model" error. It seems to identify the LPT port at address 0x378:

BPDOS_wrongmodel.jpg

#7 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:13 AM

BPDOS_v3.21working.jpg
VICTORY!


It seems I made a foolish error with the original v3.21 floppies.
Upon receipt, I immediately copied them, then tried to extract the ZIP files on my hard drive. This resulted in error messages indicating the archives were corrupt. I was ready to believe this because the metal shield was broken from one of them, and the other was noisy in the drive. So that led to my fruitless attempts to use newer versions available on the BPMicro site.

For no particular reason, earlier I decided to try installing directly from the original disks, expecting massive errors. But it actually worked!
Turns out these disks use an old version of PKZIP, which I myself used back in the olden days but had forgotten about. This program will optionally span a ZIP file across multiple floppies. It was a spanned file - that's why it looked corrupt in Windows.

I now have backup copies of these disks and the installed image. I won't be losing them.

So it seems the detection/demo mode/"invalid vector" problems were caused by too-new versions of the software. BPDOS v3.94a won't work, but v3.21 works perfectly.
Probably the same issue with BPWin, I don't have an old enough version of that to be able to use it.

If somebody in the future has a similar problem, PM me if you need this old version of BPDOS (dated 1996).
Thanks everybody for the suggestions.

Edited by gdement, Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:15 AM.


#8 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:12 AM

Yay! Glad you got it sorted out in the end :).

#9 sbus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 4, 2009 1:09 AM

The last version of BPWin to support the BP-1148 was 4.73.0.

IF you get a TA-84 pin driver module (and a SM48D 48-pin DIP module, but NOT the one that comes with the BP-1148) it will convert your BP-1148 to a BP1200/84.

#10 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 8, 2009 1:30 AM

Thanks for the info.
I've never been clear on what the difference is between a BP-1148 and BP-1200, but I guess there must be one. Nothing I've run into anyway. I'm assuming it has something to do with supporting way more pins than I need. 48 is plenty for me.

The only problem I've had is that BPDOS v3.21 doesn't support many of the newer flash devices that I've sometimes tried to program. I think it was the 49Fxxx types that I had that problem with.
From what I read I think they started enforcing renewable licenses with v3.70, so that's probably why v3.94a didn't work.

#11 gege de sens OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:51 AM

Hello !

First, i am french and my english is very bad. So, I have the same problem with my old BP 1200

I have some old components to program and i want to use this programmer.

I have the same errors messages and please if our 3.21 version is running, could you answer to me.

Have a nice day

Gege de sens ( near from Paris France )

my adress : gege_sens@yahoo.fr

#12 justin_w222002 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011 9:37 AM

Hi All:

The problem any of you guys are having is most likely due to the BIOS inside the programmer. If it is an older BIOS it will not work with the new software...which is why most of ya'll have to use the older DOS or BPWin software.

Bios or software upgrade issues with the listed programmer models may keep you from communicating with these final software versions.

If it is a software issue, the problem should be rectified by following this procedure:
Uninstall your current BPWin software version via your PC Control Panel Add/Remove Programs.
Install BPWin 4.47
ftp://ftp.bpmicro.com/dnload/bpw_v4470.exe
The software is called bpw_v4470.exe
Once 4.47 is installed, be sure to install a socket module on your programmer site(s). The programmer should be powered up with solely green LEDs on all site(s).
Launch BPWin
When the software finds the programmer and socket module, go to Tools/Programmer Diagnostics and run the test. No need to run the memory test. Leave the socket module installed the entire time. Make sure there is no device in the socket. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RUN VERIFICATION OF CALIBRATION.
Note your programmer bios version which will be output during the test.
You should also see the dialog, "EEPROM written successfully"
Once the test has passed, install v4.73 (link copied below) and you should have communication.
ftp://ftp.bpmicro.com/dnload/bpw_v4730.exe
If this procedure does not correct the issue, please contact BPM Technical Support at: tech@bpmicro.com and advise your programmer's bios version.
If you are unable to communicate at all, either try another PC or LPT cable.

If any of you guys have any further issues feel free to contact me at the following email address. I will be happy to help you.

Or you can just send me a PM on here.

tech@bpmmicro.com

-Justin

#13 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 6, 2011 12:25 AM

Thanks for the update procedure - I appreciate you taking the time to register and post here. If I was in the position to buy a new programmer I know what company I'd want to be dealing with. I'm impressed with the quality of this programmer, just had a little software confusion at first.

I should have posted an update. I actually ended up installing BPWin v4.47 after another user pointed me to it, and I've been happy with that. I haven't bothered trying the update to v4.73, but I may try it in the future. In my limited usage so far the device support in v4.47 has been fine.

#14 justin_w222002 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 6, 2011 2:46 PM

No Problem at all.

I know its a day late and a dollar short, but any way to help. If you have any further issues with these legacy programmers or know anyone else that does.

We (techsupport) can most of the time provide the necessary information required to get you up in running.

-Justin




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