2 articles were written in June 2013:


USB Blaster clone

One of the tools I regularly is a JTAG adapter. For all the PIC controller I now have a PicKit2 clone, but for all the ARM MCUs you need JTAG (or sometimes SWD). Since my main operating system is Linux, it gets difficult to use the tool-chain from the processor manufacturer:

  • TI provides their Code Composer Studio now also under windows, but neither the ICDI adapters nor the MSP430 Launchpad are supported there (but OpenOCD can use the ICDI and then there is also MSP430gcc)
  • the LPCXpresso boards use LPC-Link, but the free IDE has a code size limit of 128k, and the LPC-Link is not supported by OpenOCD

I used for some time a Xilinx parallel cable aka DLC5, but it is quite slow. I also tried to use the ICDI on one of my TI eval kits with OpenOCD to debug the LPCXpresso, but it was quite unstable.

So when I found this Altera USB-Blaster clone using only an PIC18F14K50 I was intrigued. This sounded like what I could really use, and it should be much faster too (and not needing a parallel port is always a plus).

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