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[WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
01-24-2015, 09:46 AM
Post: #81
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
Jose,

instead of posting the same information twice, you may hyperlink from one thread to the other. Just crossed my mind while reading. No offence intended.

d:-)
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01-24-2015, 09:57 AM
Post: #82
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 09:46 AM)walter b Wrote:  Jose,

instead of posting the same information twice, you may hyperlink from one thread to the other. Just crossed my mind while reading. No offence intended.

d:-)

Vielen Dank, Walter!
You and all the WP-34S community, including Dave and Harald, have been tremendously supportive to us, die hard RPN fans!
Please keep the good work.

I have just copied the post into two different threads, as Dave is basically raising the same remarks on Harald's offering on both.

I wanted to be clear that I have nothing against supporting and using the current offerings from Harald or any other WP-34S "official" member, as long as it fits my needs.

Jose Mesquita
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01-24-2015, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 03:57 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #83
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
Jose,

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  However, in my case Harald's offerings do not fit my needs. I needed a flash box integrating:
- Independent power supply;

Why? Harald's board works perfectly without one. Drives up the cost contradicting your last point.

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Visual monitoring on all operations;

Bells and whistles. Drives up the cost, contradicting your last point.

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Press buttons for the flash procedures;
- Maintain the calculator integrity by using a home made POGO connector;

Harald's board has buttons and does not violate the integrity of the calculator. Did you even look at Katie's article?

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Low cost solution.

LOL.

Clearly you dove into this project without doing the proper research and continue to ignore the information presented to you.
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01-24-2015, 03:51 PM
Post: #84
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 03:44 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  
(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  However, in my case Harald's offerings do not fit my needs. I needed a flash box integrating:
- Independent power supply;

Why? Harald's board works perfectly without one. Drives up the cost contradicting your last point.

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Visual monitoring on all operations;

Bells and whistles. Drives up the cost, contradicting your last point.

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Press buttons for the flash procedures;
- Maintain the calculator integrity by using a home made POGO connector;

Harald's board has buttons and does not violate the integrity of the calculator. Did you even look at Katie's article?

(01-24-2015 09:35 AM)jebem Wrote:  - Low cost solution.

LOL.

Clearly you dove into this project without doing the proper research and continue to ignore the information presented to you.

That is your opinion... Have a nice day!

Jose Mesquita
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01-24-2015, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 04:21 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #85
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 03:51 PM)jebem Wrote:  
(01-24-2015 03:44 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Why? Harald's board works perfectly without one. Drives up the cost contradicting your last point.


Bells and whistles. Drives up the cost, contradicting your last point.


Harald's board has buttons and does not violate the integrity of the calculator. Did you even look at Katie's article?


LOL.

Clearly you dove into this project without doing the proper research and continue to ignore the information presented to you.

That is your opinion... Have a nice day!

Jose,

Ignoring the questions doesn't make the issues go away.

Whether something exists or not is not an opinion. It's not my opinion that Harald's board has buttons or that it doesn't need a power supply. It's not my opinion that additional parts drive up the cost. These are facts. Understand the difference.

If you can't justify you design decisions then perhaps you need to reevaluate your design. After all, it's a prototype.
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01-24-2015, 05:09 PM
Post: #86
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 04:05 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  It's not my opinion that Harald's board has buttons or that it doesn't need a power supply. It's not my opinion that additional parts drive up the cost.

If you can't justify you design decisions then perhaps you need to reevaluate your design. After all, it's a prototype.

Dave,

My technical design options were explained in detail in my project thread.
I don't expect anyone to agree with me, or even understand it.
And my prototype works just fine, thank you.

Positive technical contributions are welcome and can only increase our level of knowledge.
That's what John is doing here.

Concerning the Harald's board versus my project costs:

- I don't know how much a Harald's board cost.
But if it does cost above 15 Euro, is more expense than my solution (hobbyists like myself just spent money on parts not in stock, and the labor is "free");

- Even it is costs below 15 Euro, it doesn't fit my needs.
What seems to be superfluous to you, it is essential to me.
I want to be able to monitor my flash operations with "bells and whistles" as you put it.
And an additional 3.3V power supply is absolutely essential for me, as I do not want to depend on the calculator batteries during flash and I do not want to depend on the weak internal 3.3V supply in the USB-Serial adapters.

Jose Mesquita
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01-24-2015, 05:55 PM
Post: #87
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 04:45 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  You still need to add the cable to connect it to the 30b.

Aye, there's the rub. I was hoping I was wrong about that but it confirms what I suspected. That leaves us who choose not to install the internal USB board to fabricate our own programming port connector, and considering the price of it plus an already-fabricated USB cable with Prolific device from China totals considerably less than $5 US it's a no-brainer.

The extensive documentation provided by others is priceless. Mr. Bonin's book is a gem! I'd argue installing the internal board involves about the same degree of difficulty as building a pogo pin connector, and doesn't even require taking the back cover off the HP (unless of course you want the crystal / RTC mod).

Removing the cover is nerve-wracking the first time but I did it with only my fingers following Eric Rechlin's video (I think it's Eric? Correct me if I'm wrong). It's pretty simple.

I probably will eventually install Harald's internal board when I get the itch anyway.

(01-24-2015 04:45 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  The last piece of information I'm going to leave with you is that the discontinuation of the 30b was officially announced at HHC 2014 last fall.

I am very dismayed to heard that. Very disappointing, but not surprising.
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01-24-2015, 06:03 PM
Post: #88
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
Girls, girls, can't we all get along???

I think this is a matter of different priorities and personal requirements. Even 'expensive' or 'cheap' depends on one's skills, access to materials, etc.

Different strokes and all that no?

Discussion of different solutions to solve a need is healthy; readers can decide which is best for them, based on their own skills, priorities, etc.

I don't think anything useful is accomplished by trying to decide for other people, which is a better solution.

Though I admit to learing more about the topic by watching the sparring, I'm not sure it's healthy overall.

Just an opinion though, please carry on...

--Bob Prosperi
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01-24-2015, 06:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 06:21 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #89
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 05:09 PM)jebem Wrote:  - I don't know how much a Harald's board cost.

From the original post:
And now (I hope this is OK on here, please remove if not) the prices. All prices include shipping within Germany, the rest of Europe will be 50 cents extra, the rest of the world +1 Euro:

Basic Flash Adaptor (without IR and USB power): 12.50 Euros

Flash Adaptor with USB-power and IR printing (including IR diode): 13.50 Euros

Flash adaptor with Li-Ion handling: 15.00 Euros

HP cable conversion kit: 13.00 Euros

And a few extras you might or might not need:

Crystal and Caps: 0.25 Euros
60mAh Li-Ion battery: 4.60 Euros
micro USB cable: 2.00 Euros


From a year ago:
The USB power and IR printing version is still available at 14.50 Euros including shipping, crystal and caps are 25 cents extra.
Alternatively I have a board to make a DIY flash cable (you will have to make your own connector to plug into the calculator) at 13.50 Euros.


Bear in mind that those prices included shipping to the U.S.

All you had to do was ask.
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01-24-2015, 06:16 PM
Post: #90
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 05:55 PM)John Galt Wrote:  The extensive documentation provided by others is priceless. Mr. Bonin's book is a gem!

Thanks for your very kind words.

Quote:I'd argue installing the internal board involves about the same degree of difficulty as building a pogo pin connector, and doesn't even require taking the back cover off the HP (unless of course you want the crystal / RTC mod).

Removing the cover is nerve-wracking the first time but I did it with only my fingers following Eric Rechlin's video (I think it's Eric? Correct me if I'm wrong). It's pretty simple.

I probably will eventually install Harald's internal board when I get the itch anyway.

I can confirm it's Eric's video. As I mentioned in the manual, I'm impressed by his ability in creating and upgrading a WP 34S in such a quick and clean way.

Regarding Harald's board #2: remember it also serves as driver for the IR line to the printer. Once this board is installed, flashing updates will require only a standard cable. And you have to open the calc for installing the quartz anyway.

d:-)
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01-24-2015, 06:22 PM
Post: #91
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 06:03 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Just an opinion though, please carry on...

... and don't forget to respond using <Quote> else your reply will be filed in a way nobody knows to which post you were responding to.

d:-/
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01-24-2015, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 06:42 PM by rprosperi.)
Post: #92
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 06:22 PM)walter b Wrote:  ... and don't forget to respond using <Quote> else your reply will be filed in a way nobody knows to which post you were responding to.

Indeed, I do try to be mindful of this; though I read using linear mode, it usually helps to be specific.

My original draft used the multi-quote feature, but I then decided I was replying to a long chain of comments rather than 1 or 2.... in this case, unlikely anyone will be too confused. Offended slightly possibly, but not confused.

--Bob Prosperi
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01-24-2015, 08:46 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 08:52 PM by John Galt.)
Post: #93
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
Please be assured that I value everyone's contribution toward addressing my stated goal: Cable and flashing options for Mac users.

There is no need for anyone to denigrate anyone else's ideas. They are all valuable. I have plenty of experience as an EE and can decide the merits of each one on my own.

Anyone with similar experience coming across this thread and finding Jose's schematic is likely to conclude the same thing I did - which was "that's a lot of work for a few LEDs". Or, "why not just get yourself a nice Windows PC". Or worse, "why bother using a calculator when you can get an app that does exactly the same thing". All valid opinions, but the reasons I'm doing this are purely for my own self-satisfaction. I built Jose's circuit simply because I determined it will be beneficial to my needs. (Pictures are coming, I promise!)

Some people like football, or golf, or watching TV. I don't understand them any more than I can expect them to understand me :-)

(01-24-2015 06:03 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I don't think anything useful is accomplished by trying to decide for other people, which is a better solution.

Exactly!
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01-24-2015, 08:58 PM
Post: #94
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 06:03 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Girls, girls, can't we all get along???

I think this is a matter of different priorities and personal requirements. Even 'expensive' or 'cheap' depends on one's skills, access to materials, etc.

Different strokes and all that no?

Discussion of different solutions to solve a need is healthy; readers can decide which is best for them, based on their own skills, priorities, etc.

I don't think anything useful is accomplished by trying to decide for other people, which is a better solution.

Though I admit to learing more about the topic by watching the sparring, I'm not sure it's healthy overall.

Just an opinion though, please carry on...

Call me a girl again, Robert, and I'll hit you with my purse, er, I mean man-bag. Smile

The underlying point here is that if one is going to offer advice then one should be well informed. Jebem didn't perform the proper research before diving into his DIY project.
  • He was unaware that Harald's boards even existed. If he had read Katie's article he would have learned of them. This is evidenced by the fact that he was unaware of the prices, not having read Harald's original post, despite the recent link.
  • He was unaware of the availability of the pogo connector parts, despite the fact that they were right under his nose in the Museum Classifieds.
At the beginning of this thread Jebem jumped in and offered his solution as the only show in town. The result was John had to deal with a cheap Chinese adapter with bad documentation. If Jebem hadn't been so eager to toot his own horn and offered alternatives then perhaps this thread might not be so long.
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01-24-2015, 10:00 PM
Post: #95
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 08:58 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  At the beginning of this thread Jebem jumped in and offered his solution as the only show in town. The result was John had to deal with a cheap Chinese adapter with bad documentation.

I did not interpret Jose's solution as the only one, far from it. Don't assume my research was limited to this thread, which it was not. I did plenty of research, including Harald's solutions. I began to doubt my conclusions only after you brought it up again. That prompted me to review Harald's options a second time, which only confirmed my earlier, very thorough research.

I also knew what I was getting into by buying a $1.79 cable. It's worth every penny! Its documentation was in complete agreement with everyone else's. The only defect was its incorrect assembly. Perhaps they failed some in-house testing, which is the reason they're dumping them at $1.79 including postage from China. I couldn't send one next door for that. Other than having reversed Tx / Rx lines it works completely fine, and it performs the exact same functions as Harald's cable.

As I wrote if I buy something from Harald it will be the internal board, which offers advantages I do not have and did not want - yet.

I trust this clears up any misunderstandings.
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01-24-2015, 10:43 PM
Post: #96
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 05:09 PM)jebem Wrote:  And an additional 3.3V power supply is absolutely essential for me,

Same here. Although I'm using a bench power supply I intend to supply a 3V regulator from USB power in the finished product.

On that subject here are a few consumption measurements, in case anyone's interested:

WP34S all values mA

Erased, waiting for flash command 8 mA
Idle, no buttons pressed 0.17
Idle, button pressed 0.30
Scrolling through X.FCN 0.85
Running STOPW application 1.37

The above were in FAST mode but SLOW mode made no difference.

Contrast this with the HP50g:

idle 13 mA
pressing a key 28
drawing a plot 76
beep 50
self test 67

... that thing is a beast!
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01-24-2015, 10:55 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 11:02 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #97
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
John,

(01-24-2015 10:00 PM)John Galt Wrote:  I did not interpret Jose's solution as the only one, far from it.

That's good, despite Jose presenting it that way.

(01-24-2015 10:00 PM)John Galt Wrote:  Don't assume my research was limited to this thread, which it was not.

I wasn't.
(01-24-2015 10:00 PM)John Galt Wrote:  I also knew what I was getting into by buying a $1.79 cable. It's worth every penny! Its documentation was in complete agreement with everyone else's. The only defect was its incorrect assembly.

This is one of those chicken and the egg things. Which came first, the cable or the documentation. In the absence of all else, the docs should match the hardware. The bottom line is an assembly/documentation issue due to a cheap, Chinese cable was giving you trouble. Would you still have chosen this path if Jose hadn't jumped in? Maybe not.

(01-24-2015 10:00 PM)John Galt Wrote:  Other than having reversed Tx / Rx lines it works completely fine, and it performs the exact same functions as Harald's cable.

Not exactly, Harald's board has buttons, which makes it much easier to work with. To create a working cable with Harald's board requires a total of six solder connections, if that's the goal. For those who aren't as skilled as yourself I see this as a plus well worth the difference in price.

In your writeup of this project I suggest you leave out the part about the cable assembly and only address the driver and O/S aspect, as that's what makes your experience unique.
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01-24-2015, 11:28 PM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2015 11:47 PM by John Galt.)
Post: #98
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 10:55 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  The bottom line is an assembly/documentation issue due to a cheap, Chinese cable was giving you trouble. Would you still have chosen this path if Jose hadn't jumped in?

Yes, almost certainly. In fact I believe I first learned about the inexpensive cable with Prolific device through dewster's website. I determined a Mac driver was available for it, so at great risk to the $1.79 investment, I was in!

What prompted that research was concern about potentially counterfeit FTDI devices and those implications. As we know the same concerns apply to Prolific.

In any event my research predated creating this thread by some time. This site is unquestionably the most comprehensive resource, but it's not the only one.

(01-24-2015 10:55 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  I suggest you leave out the part about the cable assembly and only address the driver and O/S aspect, as that's what makes your experience unique.

I've been thinking about that, since numerous hardware options are already well established on multiple fronts. Once a Mac user has his setup complete, he can decide upon which option best suits his needs.

By the way on that subject, I'm thinking a momentary pushbutton for the Erase function might not be best for me. I'm thinking of a toggle switch, so you don't have to keep a finger on a button while simultaneously pressing Reset or On. Any thoughts? (edit: oops, I see Jonathon Cameron already thought of that - see his first bullet under "a few notes")
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01-25-2015, 12:54 AM
Post: #99
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-24-2015 08:58 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  The underlying point here is that if one is going to offer advice then one should be well informed. Jebem didn't perform the proper research before diving into his DIY project.
  • He was unaware that Harald's boards even existed. If he had read Katie's article he would have learned of them. This is evidenced by the fact that he was unaware of the prices, not having read Harald's original post, despite the recent link.
  • He was unaware of the availability of the pogo connector parts, despite the fact that they were right under his nose in the Museum Classifieds.
At the beginning of this thread Jebem jumped in and offered his solution as the only show in town. The result was John had to deal with a cheap Chinese adapter with bad documentation. If Jebem hadn't been so eager to toot his own horn and offered alternatives then perhaps this thread might not be so long.

The main reason why this thread is so long is because your continued small talk about the alleged virtues of a commercial product and your tentative of finding faults in my project design.

Can it be improved? Sure!
There are no perfect products and no absolute truths, and that's why the wheel is being reinvented as we go. Otherwise we would still living in the stone age.

My simple project design is based on more than 40 years of solid electronics experience from different fields, and it is oriented to those people able to understand it, build it, and improve it.

My project is not for everybody. You need minimum experience on electronics before trying such projects.

John is one of these people, as are others that have contacted me in the past, able to understand a schematic diagram and implementing it on their spare time.
John have used good practices commonly used in the electronics field to build and debug the issues found. Nothing special when you are into electronics.

We have been sharing our experiences here. That should be the main driving reason of being a forum member.

For the other people that just wants to get the calculator flashed and do not want to spend time (and big fun) building it, I'm afraid there is no solution, because as far as I know, there are no ready made cables.

Repeat after me: There are no ready made cables!
As good as Harald's board can be, it is not a full solution, and the person building a serial cable with it can still find the same kind of the reported issues.
Again, nothing that we can't handle when you have a minimum knowledge in the field.

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01-25-2015, 01:08 AM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2015 04:52 AM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #100
RE: [WP-34S] Cable and flashing options for Mac users
(01-25-2015 12:54 AM)jebem Wrote:  Repeat after me: There are no ready made cables!

Okay. "There are no ready-mady cables" that include the calculator cable and plug. I tried. That's the best I can do.

(01-25-2015 12:54 AM)jebem Wrote:  As good as Harald's board can be, it is not a full solution, and the person building a serial cable with it can still find the same kind of the reported issues.

Speaking first-hand, there are no issues connecting to Harald's board nor counterfeit chip issues.
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