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TI and the MiniPro TL866 EPROM Programmer

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I was asked at the Chicago Faire about sources for EPROMs. Many of the Chinese vendors on eBay have either seconds (AKA midnight run) chips that have not been through QC and don't have the correct recognition byte. They also have patently counterfeit chips. As a result, 50% or more will not properly program. So, despite their low prices, you end up paying the same for each chip when everything is considered. For that reason, I routinely uncheck the "check ID" box before I start programming any chip. You can certainly get domestically-produced new, good chips.

 

Rochester manufactures new TI, INTEL, and other usually-out-of-production chips under license from the original manufacturer. The drawback is that they only make a production run when they get an order large enough to justify the run. The quantity that they offer is usually too large for an individual. However, a group buy might be a possibility.

 

Unicorn offers smaller quantities of genuine refurbished EPROMs at a decent price with free shipping for on-line pre-paid orders of more than $25. I have ordered from them many times and their chips program first time, every time and are generally top quality.

 

Of the Chinese vendors, IC-CHINA and Funkward Tech, have the best percentage of good chips. You will, however, have some bad chips from time to time. Both are on eBay and offer a fairly wide range of EPROMs.

 

Those are the experiences that I have had with EPROM/EEPROM vendors. You can also try Mouser, DigiKey, and Newark for a much more limited offering..

Edited by atrax27407

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Just got an email from AUTOElectric about the project bug in Vn 8.11

 

 

autoelectric
9:00 PM (13 minutes ago)
 
 
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
 
This is a bug. We will fixed next upgrade. The reason is too longer project file name path.
 
Best regards

Haikou Xingong Electronic Co.,Ltd
Tele: 0898-68681816
Mobile: 13198907988
Contact: Engineer Wang
Edited by atrax27407

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Bob,

 

I've got the TL866CS.

 

On the Geneve Eprom I pulled earlier with the original 0.98 Eprom code, the chip was marked as a 27C128-25 / 8808 CDA / PRGM @12.5V  / GI Taiwan.

 

I have tried a number of 27C128 IC chip selections, but thus far, nothing has read the chip.  It says it has read the chip, but the Address field has all >FF's.  I also had to uncheck the "Check ID" field.

Any thoughts on what I may be doing wrong?

Thanks.

Beery

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Bob,

 

I just got the TL866A, it did not come in a box. It looks legit like you showed me, but I thought I would ask you to be 100% sure.

 

Also what version of the software should I be using?

 

Thanks!

 

Bill

 

[attachment=608115:IMG_3577.jpg]

[attachment=608116:IMG_3578.jpg]

 

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To be absolutely sure, gently open it up and check the interior of the case against the genuine and fake versions on their website.

 

 

Thanks I will do that.

 

What version of the software do I need?

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Just download and install Vn 6.85 for the TL866CS from the site. The versions for the TL866CS/A and the TL866II are completely different.

 

 

Thanks I did that and I can read an eprom. Now I will take the EEPROM out of my XT IDE adapter and read it save it and burn it back and see if it works. Nice to know I got an original TL866 for only $40!! :)

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I just got a replacement TL866-CS because my original one (a legacy from the Great Gazoo) has been a bit temperamental of late due to damage/wear on the USB port. As I suspected, the replacement is one of the more deceptive copies (you have to open it to find the case differences). While I was checking the AutoElectric site to verify the case issue, I also saw some new notes there about the pirated devices--and about their software. There is a note there that their software checks the serial number of the device before loading an update--and that it will brick the fake. There is a way to unbrick it, but that requires reloading the older version of the software that was provided with the fake--as long as you ADD a resistor to the device at a specific point identified by AutoElectric. They won't prevent you from using your device with older firmware, but they won't let you use any of the newer firmware updates.

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For our purposes, any of the older software <= Vn 6.85 is perfectly acceptable.The upgrades have been relatively minor since 2015. The chips that have been added are mostly low voltage types and a couple of fixes to existing chip algorithms. Most of the chips added in the past year or so are also fairly obscure but it would be extremely frustrating to get a counterfeit TL866CS and then have it bricked by the latest upgrade. The manufacturer of the genuine article has provided a way out and a return to a functioning unit. That being said, it is always best to have the genuine article.

Edited by atrax27407

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It appears that the genuine software updates will NOT work on counterfeit TL866CS/A units and will brick the unit. However, if I read the Piracy notice correctly, the version that was shipped with your counterfeit unit WILL work with it. You just won't be able to upgrade to a newer version than the one that was shipped with it. They have apparently altered their software upgrades to read the serial # on all upgrades. 

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To be absolutely sure, gently open it up and check the interior of the case against the genuine and fake versions on their website.

 

 

 

 

Thanks I will do that.

 

What version of the software do I need?

 

Did you open up the case an confirm that you have a genuine TL866CS?

If yes, which ebay seller did  you purchase from?

Does anyone have suggestions on the best place to find a genuine TL866A/CS?

 

I have lots of old 21V EPROMs, so need the old unit. I have a nice BP Microsystems EPROM programmer, but it's parallel port so I have to keep an older PC up to use it.

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I got mine on Bay from SEE-IC but that was in February. Getting a genuine TL866CS/A is now a bit of a "crap shoot". Read the counterfeit information on the website. Even the counterfeit versions will probably work but you are limited to the version of the software that came with it.

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As noted on the Autoelectric site, the counterfeits are identical copies of the original TL866CS/A that break the serial number encryption to allow the devices to work. The boards and manufacturing process are identical to the Autoelectric process, so they will work fine with the version of the software shipped with them. Any attempt to upgrade the software will brick the device. . .mine is from gc_supermarket, and is definitely one of the more deceptive fakes.

Edited by Ksarul

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Every one of the TL866CS devices I've seen today on Amazon that aren't sold out look to be copies of various types (I saw at least three vefifiably different ones, including one that isn't even identified on the AUtoelectric site yet (it has the word Vanka in the middle of the top surface between the IC diagram and the word MiniPro that you should find on the genuine article). Others had the muddy text in a blast white case, and still others look like the fake I ended up with. . .and the prices are pretty high too.

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I got my last genuine TL866CS from SEE-IC in February 2018. I sent them a message to see if they had anymore in stock or knew where they were available. Here is the response that I received from them:

 

 

Hello there,
Thank you for your message.
We used to sell genuine TL866CS which was manufactured by Autoelectric.
However, Autoelectric has stopped producing TL866CS.
Instead, they make a new version TL866II Plus.
So we sell genuine TL866II Plus now.
I am afraid there is no way to buy a genuine TL866CS anywhere.
If you are interested in the TL866II Plus, pls let us know.

Thanks & Regards
Edited by atrax27407

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I tested my fake TL866CS out tonight, using the software revision supplied with it (6.82). It works and the updated software didn't brick the genuine programmer I have either. I'm not about to try an upgrade beyond 6.82, as that will probably brick the fake programmer until I reflash it with 6.82.

 

Both of them had issues programming some TMS27C256 chips I have. If they could start the programming run, all went well, but it often took several tries to get the first byte to program. If the first byte worked, the rest worked like a charm, but for a while there I was getting a bit miffed. . .until I hit program several times in succession and the process kicked off normally. All of the other chip types I was trying to program tonight worked fine on the first try, so the issue was definitely with the 27C256s.

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