I have Willem eprog programmer, but I was sick changing LPT cable each time I need to reprogram some chip. Also, Willem damaged two chips of one manufacturer. I don’t like that small DIP switches too. Also, Willem can’t program GAL chips.
So I searched the internet and eBay for some recent programmer. My wish list is small: USB, easy to use, GAL. And I found some Chinese made TOP series programmer. They are cheap, USB and jumper-less. Can they support CPLD? I found one in eBay, won, but didn’t pay. Next day I received message from eBay, that seller is fraud and all auctions are cancelled. Also, paypal told that all money will be returned. So, I found other seller with more feedback and ordered TOP2004 programmer again for 49.99 USD. The problem is, that package sending costs from Hong Kong is very expensive- 34 USD. The only good news that American dollars are cheap these days- I love inflation rate of USD. So I payed 218LTL 00 ct. and after about 3 weeks I received programmer. As good Chinese seller wrote in the documents that it is gift and valued on 13$, I don’t pay the VAT and customs fee.
I installed software, connected USB cable and everything is working. The only bad thing is that all messages in the software are written in so called chinglish language (like mine 🙂 ). but I don’t care- my English is not pure too. But sometimes I have big smile from pop-up messages.
And now review about the programmer itself…
You don’t need power supply for this programmer- all power is drained from USB port. It is jumperless device- all settings are done by software.
First of all I placed some EPROMs from my collection. It was UV erasable and OTP devices. Old and very old. All devices are working. Except two chips, but it is very rare chips: AMD AM27C2048 and Hitachi HN27C4096G… Also, one very old micro controller jumped to EPROM line (AMD D87C51), but programmer managed to read it too. Inside I found some software with 1991 copyright.
Next test point- various flash ROMs from personal computers and other MCU controlled devices. All available flash roms were read, erased and written again.
After flash rom, I tested programmer with SRAM with Liion backup cell. But this programmer can not read DALLAS timekeeper chips- DS1230AB. Also some static cache RAM chips from old computer were tested.
Intel hub chip is supported too- using standard PLCC to DIP adapter.
Serial eprom chips… I have only few on my workbench: ATMEL 24C02, ST 24C04, ATC 93LC46. All working fine. I can adjust the Vcc- 5, 3.3 and 2.5V.
MCUs: Atmel ATTINY2313, 90LS2343, ATMEGA8L-8PU; Microchip: PIC16F84, PIC16F84A, PIC16LF876A – all working fine.
Now time for CPLD, GAL chips. Few lines in Lattice ispLever software and I have fuse map for my GALs. Also, I need to build special PLCC to DILL adapter for GAL chips. GAL16LV8 is working- also tested in my breadboard for proper logic. Tested small GALs from Lattice and NS (National semiconductors). 20V8 working too. But 20V10 is NOT WORKING! It is bug in current software related to the size of fuse-map. Also, after experimenting with config files I found support for PALCE devices… but it is not working. I hope, that next version of the software will fix these bugs.
After manual browsing I found that this programmer has TTL logic tester. Just plug standard logic chip (74xxx, 40xxx, 45xxx), select chip type and press test. And you’ll get message if the chip is working. Also there is interesting feature- logic searcher. Just insert unknown chip and press find. The result is the chip number (or group of number as programmer can not differ OK, normal or high voltage outputs).
I like this device. Just cleanup language, adjust user interface and fix problems with GAL. And maybe enable PALCE and it will be cool device.
Here is the official supported device list from manufacturer’s site. But I didn’t find Intel hub chips in this list and the device HAS support for them. I just think, that list is not updated.