Major New Protocol 2 Firmware Release for All Hardware EXCEPT 14-bit Hermes

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Major New Protocol 2 Firmware Release for All Hardware EXCEPT 14-bit Hermes

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:56 pm

To follow along with the major new Thetis software release, Rick, N1GP, has been working extremely hard on the matching Protocol 2 (P2) firmware as well. Many, many thanks to Rick, N1GP for all his hard work!!!

Most of the challenges have been associated with adjusting the thermal models in the Quartus firmware development environment and obtaining the correct timing for the Gigabit Ethernet PHY interface to the FPGA. Rick has also found and fixed a lot of basic problems.

At this time, firmware for Orion (200D) and Orion MKII (7000, 7000 MKII, 8000) hardware appears to in very good shape and can be classified as "late beta". Firmware for Hermes 14-bit (10E, 100B), Hermes 16-bit (10, 100), and Angelia (100D) has not been tested very much and therefore is best classified as "early beta" and some problems can reasonably be expected.

Versions in this mass release are as follows:

- Angelia (ANAN-100D) updated to Angelia_Protocol_2_v11.8
- 16-bit Hermes (ANAN-10 and 100) updated to Hermes_Protocol_2_v10.6
- Orion (ANAN-200D) updated to Orion_NP_v1.7
- Orion_MkII (ANAN-7000DLE, 7000DLE MKII and 8000DLE) updated to Orion_MkII_Protocol_2_v1.7

Unfortunately, the small size of the FPGA on the 14-bit Hermes card (ANAN-10E and 100B) continues to be a challenge and there is still no update for this platform.

As always, firmware can be downloaded from the TAPR Github repository:

Although a P2 Programmer app does exist, it is also very beta. Bootloader is a sure thing to load P2 firmware. Familiarity and comfort with Bootloader is pretty much a requirement if you want to run P2 (or go back to P1 from P2!)

Hermes and Angelia users should be on the lookout for possible unstable operation with increased temperatures due to the very tight margins on the "F3" PTC (reset-able fuse) on the 3V supply to the FPGA. If everything works great at first and then problems pop up that are corrected by turning the hardware off and allowing it to cool then this is probably the culprit. It is too soon to know, but hardware modifications may be required to run P2 on Hermes and Angelia.

Feedback from users on the performance of the firmware is important and encouraged. The best feedback does a good job of distinguishing a firmware problem (e.g. you have to power cycle the radio, network instability, etc.) vs. a Thetis problem (some feature doesn't work).



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