TOP2004 programmer review

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.

TOP2004 universal programmer

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.

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59 Responses to TOP2004 programmer review

  1. mac says:

    I think I might get one for the price the are.

  2. Emmanuel says:

    Hello, I have TOP2004 programmer, I am trying to make it work with vista, but the software is not loading, the driver is not working. I can’t make use of the programmer as a result.

    Having checked different forums from the web, I think I agree that there is a bug in the programmer software.

    Please I need help to make TOP2004 work on vista.

    Best Regards.

  3. Your computer is for real work? Downgrade to Windows XP Pro 🙂 Vista is for lamers 🙂

    Visit manufacturer’s site: www .

  4. bro says:

    Hi, I bought same TOP2004 programmer yesterday on ebay after reading your blog post. Thank you 🙂 (manual says TOP2004 doesn’t supports 20v10).
    and I found TTL test is failed with my 74S181N alu. (it might be a bug of TOP2004)
    btw, u said Top2004 supports CPLD. but i can’t find support chip list on manual. it only support PLD series.. (I have no experience with any CPLD) which CPLD chip product can be supported by TOP2004?.
    Thank you!

  5. Regarding “CPLD” and “PLD”- it may be translation problems as English is not my native language. Modern CPLD/FPGA use JTAG, no need for programmer…
    I don’t have 74S181 to test. What version of software you have? I am using 3.28

  6. aarggh says:

    I too bought one of these and have to say the software that comes with it is very sub-standard, no doubt i’ve got to get used to it but it cannot seem to ID chips. When you click the “ID” button, it just gives a message that it can only ID 27/28/29xxx EPROM. Same with trying to ID IC’s, I assume you need to click on “TYPE’ and then detect?? This does absolutely nothing. My previous programmers were Sunshine Expro 80’s which had what I thought was an outdated DOS interface, but from first impressions it’s superior to the software that comes with the TOP2004. With this new programmer it’s not very intuitive and it tends to leave me wondering just repeatable and reliable it is. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time with it yet, but then again I shouldn’t need to spend much time with it to get it working easily?

  7. The software is very bad made. As software is designed for Chinese language from scratch, conversion to English language is very difficult because of difference in mentation at first. I work in company that is dealing with China products and sometimes is very difficult to explain for our China partner how to adapt the product for western world…
    If someone could reverse engineer the idea of this programmer… the open source world could create much better software for it…

  8. bro says:

    Oh. btw I have a question.
    what is different between 20v10 and 20v8?
    Thank you!

  9. Read datasheet! a bit more logic inside.
    As GAL devices are reprogrammable, I collect them from old hardware. So I need ALL types to program.

  10. aarggh says:

    Has anyone tried the software for TOP2005 with the TOP2004 programmer, I would imagine that if the same types of devices are supported and the unit simply adds support for more devices that it should work?

    Also, I’ve been trying to download the file topwin5.exe from the website listed above for the last week to try it, but it sticks at around 50%, has anyone got a copy they could email to me at

  11. Untested software ver5: topwin5.

    Inside of the device:


    USB connection is made with PDIUSB12:

    Some data lines are driven by ULN2003A:

    Also, there are lots of transistors:

    Main chip is Xilinx Spartan XCS05XL:

    And two chips are with abraded top, so no markings are visible:

  12. David says:


    What are the P27’s in the device support list ?
    I am thinking about buying one of these programmers.

  13. I don’t know 🙂 This is Chinese magic. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand what they mean…

  14. Wayne says:

    I just wondering if it can program DS89C430, I saw this in the supporting list on the manual’s websit, so I decided to buy one, but when I try to program that device, the software told me that “Not Support Temporyly”! It made me very upset because I bought it for its feather of programming DS89C430… Can I solve this problem by update the softwrae to a newer version?

  15. Yeap, mine didn’t support this chip too. I recieved message: “Top2004/2005 not suport this chip!”. Damn China products…

  16. KJ says:

    Very helpful review. Well done. For the price that the TOP2004 is I’ll probably get one.

  17. john says:

    well, use better top2049 as i do, Dallas up to 89C450 are supported. Top2049 internally is similar,however the Spartan is faster and bigger one, this time the 8051 which are ‘unknown’ marked in top2004 are knows, thats good,however in case of damage no chance to replace as they of course locked ( have tested ). This time the line drivers are makred unknown,however easy to identify 🙂

    Interessting part on whcih i’m working is the 8 pins connector which in not connected, 2 pins are power, 6 are very jtag/isp similar, have to check the configs how to make use of it.

    The software is beter, my version is already a bit beter translated, especialy fuse setting for avr was for me bit strange, so have now something more like ponyprog have

    Price i paid was 100$ – of course as gift …

  18. john says:

    well, it is isp port for AVR’s, and top3000 will use it also for altera and xilinx isp. Btw, the .bit files – thats the configuration files, are nothing else than bitstreams ( compiled xilinx config ) for the fpga – which makes this programmer very interessting for some hacks …

  19. KJ says:

    Well, I bought a TOP2004 from Ebay mainly to program 27c265 eproms. Turns out it could read them but it would only program jibberish and then fail. After contacting the seller I decided to send it back. Three weeks later I’m still waiting. Looks like £50 down the drain. Not impressed.

    Should have coughed up the extra £30 and bought a Batronix in the first place 🙁 🙁

  20. Very strange… I programmed 27CXXX chip (UV erasable, 12V Vpp) without any problem. Before sending it to seller, you must test USB power (there is menu in software). If your USB port can not give full 5V at about 0.5A, you must use other USB port/hub. The 12V Vpp is made with simple step-up regulator and if there is low power on 5V line, programmer can not program “high voltage” chips.

  21. Gopal says:

    I have top2004 programmer. It was working earlier with PIC16F73 and Atmel 89C2051. Now it is giving an error called “Type Def Err” and it is continuing the programming. During verification, it shows Error and stops.
    If I read the content from the chip, the target bytes are not at all written into the location. I have done erase and blank check. The read after erase and blank shows all value as 0xff. I hope this is fine. But i am not happy about the programming of loaded file into the chip.

    Let me know any one has any idea to solve. I tried with all software versions, still the problem persists.

  22. SUB says:

    hello everybody, if someone want TOP20xx Vista drivers (include TOP2004) i have rewrited inf file of this and include little update this old API , you can download here: (Drivers only 500kb) (Drivers + Softs 18Mo)

    just one think after install drivers you must launch TopWin v5 to activate the device after all software works perfectly under Vista (tested on 32b & 64b version)

    (sorry all for my poor english but i’am French……)

  23. Sam says:

    hi i have the top2004 programer and i need the drivers for vista i need the 1 that i can get to load (Drivers only 500kb) and (Drivers + Softs 18Mo) when i click on those is go’s a page saying cant find page , if u have the drivers i need u can email me @ THanks

  24. SUB says:

    i have tested the link and they works fine

    try this

  25. N. Bello says:

    hi SUB, can you outline the process of updating the driver on vista cos by double clicking on windr16, it says a setup.dll or so not found. and i dont really know how to use the inf file. i have tried to use this programmer by using it from a virtual machine created in vmware, the programmer software runs as if no problems but the PIC does not run, ie it does nothing and i have an hp pavillion laptop and i dont think i want to degrade to xp right now.

  26. firoj says:

    lost my cds top2004 english version 2.05

  27. Try this link
    It is NOT install, it is software from my computer. It may help you.

  28. John Monahan says:

    Really would like to get TOP2004 working with Vista. Perhaps with Win7 it will work in compatibility mode.

    Ayway SUB I downloaded your driver. It installed fine with Vista. But when I bring up TopWinEn.exe it asks for a driver, saying exit and install it. It does not seem to recognize it is already there. Likewise when I run the exe from your
    Any suggestions

  29. Lipzy says:

    I have this program recently and have not managed to put to work! Can you help?
    Not with Windows XP! I installed the drivers and install, then connect to the programmer it is with the Power and Ready LED connected open the program and says (warning, USB driver changed!) After I click OK and the Blue Screen! Says prococado by windrvr6.sys installed the new version 6 and it says (take off power, delay 5 sec, and then switch on)
    Need help

  30. Lipzy says:

    Hello again!
    Already put my work! I was watching that!
    But only with the file is already running this way!
    TopWin With version 5.71, I select the component and is always saying (No Chip Selected!) TopWin 3:28 version that will link to the right!
    Can anyone help get the TopWin version 5.71?

  31. Nigel says:

    Has anybody found a solution to the 20V10 problem with this programmer.

    Have any software updates been issued.

  32. SUB says:

    Hello everybody, sorry for the late

    To John Monahan in some case at the first launch of top winflash he attempt to reinstall the drivers with the old version before you first launch of topwin go to the folder /TopwinX/driver/ and replace all files with the new version of drivers.

    Another method :
    A friend of mine launch before the old version of TOPWIN V3.5 to initialize the device before (green LED on the device) after he can launch every version of TOPWIN.

    If you have un unknow device in device manager you can install manualy choose into jungo device TOP Programmer

    i have attempt on Win Seven Pro 32bits they work same as vista (and not in compatibilty mode).

    And to finish the TopWin v5.71 has some problem with the drivers api sometime he can just read eprom but not write into. the inf is not perfect for the install i know this but the big problem is the old API with it !

    but for the price good device … no ?

    Nice day all and very christmas to the world !!

  33. Lipzy says:

    Good afternoon!
    Does anyone have this programmer to work on Windows 7? I’d like to use it in Windows 7!
    The program itself will not be possible to have the new GUI?


  34. nonsence says:

    I got my TOP2004 working under Windows7 with topwinen3x. I used the drivers and software posted by SUB here

    What I did to get working was to first install topwinen3x.exe. When the install prompts to load the USB driver say NO to install USB driver and DON NOT LET THE SOFTWARE INSTALL THE USB DRIVERS. Finish the install without the USB driver.

    Copy all the files (every file and folder) from the downloaded drivers folder.

    \\Driver TOP2004 (Vista)\Drivers

    Paste all the files and overwrite the files in the “Drivers” folder for your topwinen3x installation folder. Windows7 will ask if you want to “Copy and Replace” and this is what you should do. Replace the existing files.

    Go to device manager and you should see an unknown device with the TOP2004 connected to the USB. Click on the unknown device and “update driver.” Direct device manager to find the driver in your drivers folder for the installed topwinen3x.

    After that, run the topwinen3x executable and the software should work.

  35. sansy says:

    dear sir to2004 not write winwond w78e052dd pl help

  36. Phil says:

    I followed exactly the instructions of NONSENCE and my TOP2004 works fine with Vista 32b. The only thing I would add is that when I ran topwinen3x for the first time after manually adding the device drivers in the device manager I clicked the option not to install USB driver (I figured it was already done). But then topwin didn’t load. Next time I ran topwinen3x I let it install the drivers automatically – and it worked!


  37. Phillip says:

    I’m looking to use a chip that is not in the supported list pic16f88)

    How do I get around this?

    Is there updated chip list for this?

  38. João trindade says:

    I´m having a problem with my TOP2004 programmer, i tryed 2 computers and nothing the top2004 programmer allways says that the current level is pour, can any one help´s me, is the programmer damage?

    best regards

    sorry my bad english

  39. João trindade says:

    It reads but dont wright or errase

  40. Use “normal” USB port with high current capability. Standard USB can handle up to 500mA current. Typical “China” made mainboard can output more… I saw ports with 1500mA fuses.
    If you can not find such computer, try to use USB hub, USB Y cable (with extra power connector) or build your own cable with external 5V PSU.

  41. rahul says:

    i have a top2004 programmer and i need to flash PIC18Fxxxx series of controllers.Is there any way by which we can achieve this by just upgrading the firmware and drivers or is it that TOP2004 programmer’s hardware doesn’t supports it…please help if anybody have done this before…i am using windows 7 and my firmware version for the programmer is topwinen3x.exe .the programmer is working fine but when i plug in the programmer and start the firmware it doesn’t shows PIC18Fxxxx series in the list. but when i plug out the programmer and then start the firmware it then shows up all the chips supported by the firmware…i think i don’t have the right drivers installed ..the currently installed drivers are “TOP programmer” and “WinDriver”.

  42. shailendra kaushik says:

    dear sir,
    i have to purchase top2009 programer. its worked ok. but today its can’t program chip(89s52). its shows massege “no any chip placed!”. by back-cheek programer option shows”Bad pin: 20
    P20 is a bad vpp pin!
    The programmer has a problem!
    Note:Remove any thing on programmer! ”
    what can i do? pl sutest.

  43. Ajo says:

    Hello, the Source is down. 🙁
    Are there any Mirrors ? or coud some one please upload the patched drivers for win 7 ?


  44. reji mathew says:

    we have a top 2005+ Programer it will work on win7 ?

  45. reji mathew says:

    we have top2005+ Programer it will work on win7 ?

  46. Paul says:

    I have a TOP2048 did any one get it to work under win 32bit . The above vista links are dead any other links to play with?


  47. marry says:

    hello Administrator! I have a TOP2004 and its language is chiness and because of it i cant programm the IC… how i can change the languge to use it better.
    the other question I have is :
    can i programm AT mega 32,16,8,…. by this programmer (TOP2004)?
    thank you ….

  48. Andrius says:

    I have bought programmer TOP2004 and i would like to ask where it is possible for me to find pinout of the programmers 40 pin socket, in order to know to which pins should i connect eprom whis is going to be reprogrammed.

    Thank you in advance

  49. praveen says:

    please send 2005+ progamer user manul

  50. phreak97 says:

    I have a top2004 programmer and I’m after the modified driver for vista/7.
    the link you provided is no longer active, could you please host the files somewhere else?
    that or email them to me?

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