Writing Software to the Microprocessor in the DIY Leaf Control Board from P&S

Paul sent me the software update with the field weakening feature. The time has come to actually load the software! Here is what you will need:

First things first, install the Mplab IDE. You can download it from Microchip’s Site. That bit is pretty straight forward – just follow the prompts.

Once you have the software installed, you can go through the process to actually install the IPE. The IPE is what we need to load a hex file which has already been prepared. If we were to compile the software from scratch, we would need to use the IDE first. I will add some screenshots for installing the IPE as soon as I get home.

Loading the Hex with the IPE

Once you have the IPE open, you will need to select the microprocessor and browse to the hex file. You must be absolutely certain that you select the correct microprocessor, since some run on different voltages. If you select the wrong one, you can fry your processor.

The processor is a dspic30f4011. You can type that into the field instead of scrolling all of the way through the numerous options.

After you have selected the microprocessor, click on Browse, navigate to your hex file, and select it. Lastly, select your tool. If your picKIT is plugged in to your PC, it should show up in the drop-down list automatically.

At this point, you can plug the header cable into the picKIT and the pin header on your control board. The arrow on the header cable should be opposite the arrow on the picKIT, and the dot and arrow on the control board and the header cable should line up.

Once you’ve verified your settings, click connect and then click through the warning prompt, assuming you verified that you selected the correct chip!

If it connects, then you’re ready to load the software! Connect your control board to 12v power and wait for it to go through the start sequence. After that, just click Program in the IPE to send the software. You should hear the relays reset when the board restarts.

But maybe you want to actually see it done…

I made a brief recording of me uploading the new software to my board. Check it out if you want a visual walk-through as well.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message!