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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

In System Programming AdapterThe Aeolus Development ISP Adaptor grew out of discussions on a standard interface header that would allow ISP programming of LPC210x's over the serial port without adding RS-232 translation circuitry to the board with the microcontroller on it.

The adaptor provides a standard PC-type 9-pin serial interface and a ribbon cable connection to the standard ISP header (see datasheet or Wiki discussion). A three position switch allows the adaptor to be used for programming and as a second serial line interface during normal operation. This allows the adaptor to be used with standard serial programs and simple download utilities as well as download utilities (and serial terminal programs) that can control the reset and ISP lines automatically. A manual reset button allows resetting of the attached microcontroller at any point.

The adaptor also includes option headers that allow the serial ports handshaking lines to be set to provide a null-modem like capability. This is useful when working with serial port terminal emulation programs that insist that the handshaking lines be set correctly before operating.

This adaptor should also be useful (with appropriate software support) for other microprocessors that use serial ISP and a single line pulled low to enter ISP mode (such as the C166/ST10 family).

There are several download programs for the LPC2000 family that will make use of the DTR and RTS lines to automatically set the microprocessor in ISP mode. The Philips LPC2000 Flash Utility provides a Windows GUI interface for downloading a program into flash over the serial port. Martin Maurer's lpc21isp provides a command line download program (and source) for Windows and Linux. A Linux GTK (GUI) version by Paul Stoffregen is also available. 

There is a bug in the latest version of the Philips download utility.  The bug is described on the Yahoo group.  It only affects the compare operation.

The Analog Devices ADuC7000 family (ADuC7020, ADuC7021, ADuC7022, ADuC7024, ADuC7025, ADuC7026, ADuC7027) of ARM microcontrollers also have a serial ISP mode. This is supported by their own download program available with the evaluation kits and Martin Maurer's lpc21isp.

Realterm is a terminal emulation program that allows control over DTR and RTS. This means you can leave the adapter in auto and switch between program and run modes from the PC. You can even reset the microprocessor from Realterm by toggling the DTR line.


In system serial programming adapter kit.

ISP adapter bare boardIn system serial programming bare board.

ISP adapter assembledIn system serial programming adapter (assembled and tested). Also available - isolated in system serial programming adapter (assembled and tested).

Replacement ribbon cable for adapterIn system serial program adapter replacement ribbon cable.

Additional Documentation

AE0IS100 In System Serial Programming Adapter datasheet.

AE0KT100 Schematic and Bill of Material.

Hookup diagrams (target board schematics)



ADuC7020/ADuC7021 - Works with Analog Devices serial download facility with the ISP adaptor in manual mode. Martin Maurer's lpc21isp command line interface also programs these and takes advantage of the standard header and automatic download.

If you have schematics for any additional microcontrollers please pass them along.