Universal USB Programmer
The TOP853 Universal USB Programmer
I bought one of these from China off ebay.uk to program
a GAL16V8, but it also supports a large range of PROMs, PICs, PLDs etc.
Specifications (- from a
typical eBay advert)
Supports 5V devices, using USB (500mA) power
source, does not need an external power supply
Transmission speed 12MHz/s via USB.
Current protection function, effectively protects
the programmer and devices.
USB load testing (0 to 10 levels)
Device's connection inspection, inspect every pins'
connection of the device
40 pin DIP self-locking socket
Works with WINDOWS98SE/ME/2000/XP
Small size and weight, 142 x 103 x 263 mm, 250g
Supports more than 1000+ devices from AMD,
CATALYST, FUJITSU, HITAVHI, ST, MICROCHIP, NEC, NS,OKI, SONY,
TI, TOSHIBA, WLSI, AMIC, ATMEL, INTEL etc.
NB : Depending on which ebay shop you use, you may find
some discrepancies in the advertised specifications!
Make sure you know what you're getting before you click
Not all of the adverts on ebay make it clear what
devices the TOP853 USB programmer is compatible with, there is often
a list or hyperlink to a huge range of programmable ICs, such as the
link above, but some adverts describe this programmer as
supporting 5V devices, others say that it only works with
5V devices and others make no mention of the programming
voltages supported at all.
I'm not sure how they can get away with, or example,
saying that the programmer "Support 5V device only", then
stating that it supports devices that require much higher voltages
to program (but not to read) them. Other adverts state that the
device can be powered from "USB or Power Cable", in fact, the same
wording is printed on the back of the programmer - however, the
TOP853 is USB only! There is no external power input, though there
is a header on the PCB that you could connect to if required.
Programming Voltage & Write Speed
When I bought the programmer, although I wanted to
read some 2764 EPROMs, I did not give much thought to actually
programming them. It was only after I had a few failed attempts
writing a program to an EPROM that I gave any real thought to the programming
voltage. Using the default setup in the TopWin
program, selecting a NEC2764D EPROM and trying to write to the chip,
the write phase would fail every time, at the same point, (address
NMOS EPROMs, such as the NEC D2764, have relatively
high programming voltages, for the D2764 it is ~21 VDC, newer,
CMOS devices such as the 27C64 are compatible with an older 2764,
but use a lower programming voltage, ~12.5 VDC.
Given that USB power is 5VDC, for the programmer to
be able to program devices such as the 2764, the programmer would
require an internal voltage "step-up" circuit, perhaps
using a DC-DC
switching regulator such as a TI LM27313+. Since USB 2.0 has a
current limit per port of 500mA, the available power for operating
the programmer and writing to the EPROM is pretty limited. I
originally thought that it was likely to be a power problem, that the
TOP853 could not generate the required voltage with enough current
from the USB port. The TopWin PDF help file is pretty
much unreadable, like may "English" manuals that accompany Chinese
electronic goods, it's written in Chinglish! I did
find a section in the Introduction that appeared to advise that the
programmer could not program 27 series EPROMs though the USB port as
it needed more than 500mA. I tried using one of these USB "Y" cables
that are intended to provide additional power for external hard
drives - which did not appear to help.
(+Update: I opened up my TOP853 and found that there
is a 34063AP1
DC/DC Converter installed.)
My next thought was that since the device did look
like it had started to write the program - getting as far as 0176h,
I started to wonder if there was some sort of buffer overflow or
write speed issue at work. I had not realised it, but under the
Config Tab, there is a setting called "Delay", I take
this to be the delay between the programmer writing to consecutive
addresses, it was originally set as 100us. After doing some "tuning" of this parameter, I found that
I could write to the 2764 with a Delay setting of 1ms. Again, if you
can wade through the Chinglish manual, it seems to
recommend a write speed of 2-20ms
Whilst it does work, I'm not sure that using a
programmer with a potentially low programming voltage can be good
for the long term reliability of the EPROM, if I were blowing EPROMs
for critical applications, I would upgrade to a better quality
programmer, but for hobbyist use, I plan on sticking with the TOP
programmer at the moment.
So, now that I am reasonably with the capability of
the TOP853, the biggest outstanding issue is that current versions
of the TopWin6 software do not support 64 Bit Windows 7, so, I either have to run the
Software in Windows XP Mode or on a XP laptop. However, I recently
this information from hondaville.com which describes how to get the programmer to run
under Windows 7.
They just seem to be using too old of files for it
to work on windows 7.
I have read you need to slow down usb speed. From
what i can tell it is on old versions of the top583. If you need to
do this, you might have a setting in your computers BIOS to change
the usb to 1.1, if this is not a option to you then you will need to
run a USB v 1.1 HUB.
I have not tried this myself yet, but certainly will the next time I
use the programmer, it may be that the "fix" is for Windows 7 x32 and
may not work under x64.
I never got around to trying this, but I have been advised that the
hondaville site links are broken, you can download the files from the
links in the table below. Please let me know if the "fix" works for you
and if so, with which version(s) of Windows 7.
I have had a couple of reports that the "fix" doesn't work, but I
will leave the file here just in case it is useful to anyone.