started: Determining if the programmer is working and
software sees it.
use the Roman-Jones SPROM32-TZS PROM programmer,
simply plug it into the parallel port and run the software
application, SPROM32.exe. If you are using
WinNT, Win2K, or WinXP, remember that you must install the
sprom-nt_2k_xp.exe driver available here.
following tests can be used to determine if the SPROM32 application
software sees the programmer:
Connect the programmer to the PC directly without a cable,
if possible. If a cable must be used, use a flat ribbon
cable type with all pins connected straight through. In
a flat cable, every other wire is a signal ground which
helps to reduce coupling between the signal wires.
With the programming socket empty, start the SPROM32
the "Identify PROM" button, and after a
few seconds the message "No Device found" should
appear in the PROM information area next to "PROM
This is normal and indicates that the application software
communicating with the programmer.
note about Windows NT-4, Windows 2000, and Windows
These operating systems require a separate
driver for the application software, SPROM32.exe
to see the parallel port. This is a one time installation
and the driver will always be active when you boot your computer.
The driver is small and there is no reported problems with
it ever having interferred with any other driver or program.
The installation of the driver is outlined in readme-nt_2k_xp.txt.
Because Win95 and Win98 give SPROM32 direct
access to the parallel port, they do not require this
Few Things to Consider:
SPROM32 program uses the parallel printer port of the
communicate with and control the programmer. If another
program is monitoring the printer port (like a FAX program
for a multi-function
FAX/Printer device), and tries to use the port at the
same time that the programmer is using it, the programmer
- On SPROM-MPS (discontinued model with 8 pin IC socket)
pin 1 of the programming socket is marked on both the
top and bottom of the board, but for clarification, it
pin closest to the edge of the board at the end of the
socket closest to the battery.
SPROM-TZS programmers, pin 1 of the programming socket
is the pin closest to the socket handle. This means that
part is top justified in the socket.
various socket adapters have pin 1 labeled on the top,
bottom, or both.
9 Volt Battery
The nine volt battery draws microamps of current when your
programmer is not in use. However, if left plugged into
your parallel port, it may go dead in a matter of hours
depending on any other software that may be talking to the
parallel port. It is a good idea to unplug the programmer
from the parallel port when not in use. If you are not going
to be using the programmer for a couple of weeks or more,
you may want to unplug the battery.
Feel free to use a 9 volt(DC) battery eliminator. The programmer
can handle a maxium of 15VDC on the battery input. Radio
Shack sells a nice wall plug battery
eliminator with 9 volt
battery clips on the end, catalog number 273-2552B.
Port Extension Cable
It is perfectly understandable why one may not desire
to craw underneath one's desk to access the Xilinx PROM programmer
hooked directly to the parallel port. Why not use an extension
cable to the parallel port? Great idea, but a couple of things
to keep in mind:
Keep the cable as short as possible, some signals are edge
sensitive. Three feet is good, more than six gets difficult.
sure all connector pins are populated with wires, some printer
extension cables cheat in this area.
a flat ribbon extension cable as opposed to a round cable.
Every other conductor in the ribbon will be a ground that
gives good adjacent signal isolation.
not present. If programmer is connected, check battery
cable (if used)"
this message box appears,
there is something wrong either with the connection to
the programmer, or the parallel port it is connected to.
Make sure that the correct LPT port is selected in the
box at the bottom of the SPROM32 window.
Also check your parallel port settings for your operating
system. If you are using WinNT, Win2K, or WinXP, remember
that you must install the sprom-nt_2k_xp.exe driver available
NT or Win2K Driver Version"
This message appears when the version of the WinNT,
Win2K, or WinXP parallel port driver is not the same as
software application, SPROM32.exe. Perhaps
you updated either the driver or application without
the other. Both are available here.
Note that not every new version of SPROM32 will
require a new revision of the parallel port
driver. Also, this parallel port driver is not used for
Win '95 or Win'98.
- "Programmer microcontroller
error, pulse not found"
if this message is seen, the cause is that the
cable being used is not fully populated with wires to
all the pins of
the parallel port connector, or the part to be programmed
is inserted incorrectly, or there is something wrong in
power supply section of the programmer. The following
tests can be used to determine the actual cause. If you
an extension cable on the parallel port, try removing
it and plug the programmer directly into the parallel
port. If all
else fails give us a call or try the "Electrical
problems still exist, and you want to try
debugging yourself, then continue with the
following electrical tests. A voltmeter
and a jumper wire are required. Perform
these tests with the programmer by itself,
not connected to the PC, and with no Xilinx
part in the programming socket. Make sure
that a good battery is connected. A schematic
of the SPROM32-TZS PROM programmer, Version
5, in PDF form is available here.
the battery connected, measure the voltage across the
battery tabs. It should be 8.5 volts or more.
- Locate the jumper wire labeled R11 (0 ohm resistor) on
component side of the programmer that is physically located
between Q4 and RN4. Hook one end of your jumper wire
the other end of your jumper wire to the negative battery
terminal to force the main power supply ON while
the voltage tests. Only keep it on monentary while
performing the voltage reading below.
the negative battery terminal as the reference (GND),
following voltages with a voltmeter:
across the battery should be
a few tenths less than before
power was turned ON.
- Voltage at U6 pin 7 should be
a few tenths less than
the battery voltage.
- Voltage at U6 pin 8 should be near 15 volts.
- Voltage at U3 pin 7 should be near 5 volts.
- Voltage on pin 8 of the programming socket should be
near 3.3 volts.
- Voltage on pin 7 of the programming socket should
near 3.7 volts.
If all of these voltages are correct,
then the power supply section
is OK, (unless Q4 is bad, which is used by
PC to turn on the power supply
section). If the 15 volts are not present,
or U6 is bad.
you have problems with your programmer, please contact us
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback helps us to determine
if a design or software problem exists that can be fixed.
Fixes to known problems will be posted on the Roman-Jones
website. Thank you for your help.