Author Topic: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review  (Read 366253 times)

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Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 03:40:55 AM »
Dave should populate the ICSP header and just give it a shot..
but its probably disabled in firmware..

can we just flash the other firmware on it ??

/Kyndal

Well,
     i think he should not otherwise like that wellon it will end up in the bin lol .i am sure there is a different firmware to it .Also he will need us or a new tl866a to see if he can do that this will be a great hack if possible .In my case i could make a pcb adapter and do isp programming if required as i am just learning 8051 mcu's these days .ideal brain can never stop working lol
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Online andersm

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2013, 05:04:58 AM »
We have SmartProg2 here. I know, it's a bit more than $50 but the support (both devices and personal support) is worth the difference.
Yeah, over $500 definitely qualifies as "a bit".

Offline marmad

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2013, 06:09:55 AM »
Yeah, over $500 definitely qualifies as "a bit".

 ;D

And programmers are one of those pieces of equipment which, IMO, have been massively overpriced for the actual complexity - and the hardware/software received. And then you have companies like Xeltek constantly cranking out 'newer' models - and then ending support on 'older' models: I'm currently running a patched x64 driver created by another user because Xeltek is not providing x64 drivers for certain older models.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2013, 06:25:23 AM »
Yeah, over $500 definitely qualifies as "a bit".

 ;D

And programmers are one of those pieces of equipment which, IMO, have been massively overpriced for the actual complexity - and the hardware/software received. And then you have companies like Xeltek constantly cranking out 'newer' models - and then ending support on 'older' models: I'm currently running a patched x64 driver created by another user because Xeltek is not providing x64 drivers for certain older models.

Sir ,
  mind sharing the model and more details of that patched driver ? .interesting info
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Offline marmad

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2013, 06:47:09 AM »
  mind sharing the model and more details of that patched driver ? .interesting info
Model is SuperPro 280U - an older USB programmer from Xeltek - which I spent a few hundred bucks for. The patched driver you can find via this page.

The quote from Xeltek (mentioned on the linked page above) explaining why they aren't providing 64-bit drivers for their older USB programmers reminds me why I really love some equipment manufacturers - and how gosh-darned upset I get when devices get cloned:

"...working on 64bit platform requires tremendous effort from our side".
 

Offline jnd

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2013, 07:02:06 AM »
Yeah, over $500 definitely qualifies as "a bit".

 ;D

And programmers are one of those pieces of equipment which, IMO, have been massively overpriced for the actual complexity - and the hardware/software received. And then you have companies like Xeltek constantly cranking out 'newer' models - and then ending support on 'older' models: I'm currently running a patched x64 driver created by another user because Xeltek is not providing x64 drivers for certain older models.
Question is how much do you think they are overpriced. You can get the hardware parts alone for cheap, yes. But to have the whole product cheap, you have to cut payments to all the people doing R&D, assembly, testing, support, documentation and all their equipment. The difference between low cost project like this and professional, massively overpriced, product is still pretty evident. Like many people said before, making the hardware is easy but programmers rely on quality software, documentation and quick support. $50 programmer won't get you detailed built-in notes for every single chip or API/library for external control or on demand updates for any chip which is verified with actual IC, not just datasheets.
Wannabe volt-nut, slowly hunting solid meters with low budget.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2013, 07:08:21 AM »
Is it actually the case that the CS is cheaper ?
I'd have thought the CS stands for Chip Soccket, and the A version is a cheaper one that doesn't have the upper PCB fitted?

It appears not.
Martin has done a video showing the A model that has the upper board and ZIF socket + ICSP.

Dave.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2013, 07:13:58 AM »
Is it actually the case that the CS is cheaper ?
I'd have thought the CS stands for Chip Soccket, and the A version is a cheaper one that doesn't have the upper PCB fitted?

It appears not.
Martin has done a video showing the A model that has the upper board and ZIF socket + ICSP.

Dave.

Dave ,
   Can you share the link ?
Regards

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Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2013, 07:36:52 AM »
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2013, 07:49:45 AM »
Vincent,
    I will dig more on this tommorow and revert back .Might be i get some more info out there  .Plan to teardown both the models and  also the adapters .
Regards

Amarbir Singh Dhillon [ Lynx-India ] , Chandigarh [ India ] - > www.lynxdealerstore.com , www.lynx-india.com
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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2013, 08:00:57 AM »
Yeah, over $500 definitely qualifies as "a bit".

And programmers are one of those pieces of equipment which, IMO, have been massively overpriced for the actual complexity - and the hardware/software received. And then you have companies like Xeltek constantly cranking out 'newer' models - and then ending support on 'older' models: I'm currently running a patched x64 driver created by another user because Xeltek is not providing x64 drivers for certain older models.
Question is how much do you think they are overpriced. You can get the hardware parts alone for cheap, yes. But to have the whole product cheap, you have to cut payments to all the people doing R&D, assembly, testing, support, documentation and all their equipment. The difference between low cost project like this and professional, massively overpriced, product is still pretty evident. Like many people said before, making the hardware is easy but programmers rely on quality software, documentation and quick support. $50 programmer won't get you detailed built-in notes for every single chip or API/library for external control or on demand updates for any chip which is verified with actual IC, not just datasheets.

It's takes a LOT of effort to support programmers, I know, I used to do it in a small way selling my own EPROM programmer software. And that was just for EPROM's, let alone all the other devices available today.
Xeltek is an American company paying American wages. They might manufacture in china, and have a small group in Korea, but there are a lot of American workers. They have also been around since 1987. Do you think AutoElectric will still be around in that time frame?
Good support from a good company costs money.
In a business environment, the cost of a programmer is trivial compared to the cost of time and loss of business if your tool doesn't work properly.
You can't complain about them not offering latest OS support to an old tool, that is common in the industry across all sorts of products. But if you have an issue, and you are genuine customer, I'm sure they'll help you out.

With Autoelectric (and other cheap programmers) you pay your $50 and take your chances. If you want better piece of mind and support, you have to pay for it.

Dave.
 

Offline marmad

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2013, 08:19:17 AM »
You can't complain about them not offering latest OS support to an old tool, that is common in the industry across all sorts of products. But if you have an issue, and you are genuine customer, I'm sure they'll help you out.

Sorry, but this is just not true. The Xeltek programmer I own was first released a couple of years AFTER XP 64-bit was released, and there was a large base of users (including myself) clamoring for 64-bit support from Xeltek for a long time (with the above posted quote their general response). They basically made the decision not to bother with putting ANY time into offering 64-bit drivers except with newer models they released. This has nothing to do with the latest OS support (unless you consider a 2001 OS as the latest) - it's just a lazy and/or stupid business practice - and I don't doubt they lost some previous customers because of it. They certainly lost my business.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 08:24:13 AM »
Quote
It's takes a LOT of effort to support programmers, I know, I used to do it in a small way selling my own EPROM programmer software. And that was just for EPROM's, let alone all the other devices available today.

   Well since the time you did it and now things have changed ,you have powerful mcu.easy tools even visual software to do coding things have changed  .

Quote
Xeltek is an American company paying American wages. They might manufacture in china, and have a small group in Korea, but there are a lot of American workers. They have also been around since 1987. Do you think AutoElectric will still be around in that time frame? .Good support from a good company costs money.In a business environment, the cost of a programmer is trivial compared to the cost of time and loss of business if your tool doesn't work properly.You can't complain about them not offering latest OS support to an old tool, that is common in the industry across all sorts of products. But if you have an issue, and you are genuine customer, I'm sure they'll help you out.

      Well They Sell a Superpro M @ USD 595 in US .Same product 100% original sells @ USD 300 Approx in china .A guy like you or me who buy it from either source is a genuine customer .Now they tell me that they will support the American guy cos he paid more and not the guy who got 100% original product from china @ less price .This is BS and double standards .Dave why are we even comparing TL866CS and TL866A to Xeltek and Elnec .Its out of the question .Lets compare it with willem ,nano ,the gx some thing something ,sofitech [ though sofitech is just a serial programmer and does not do older parallel ic ] and many other low cost programmers  .According to you Weilei Wellon brand Programmer is what "Heap of crap " .Well i can tell you that they are dedicated people making programmers  .Thier VP-990 and VP-590 Are Kick Ass programmers and can give the expensive brands run for thier money .I cannot remember but many many people rebrand and sell thier stuff .One so called indian universal programmer company called uc micro also .Thier website is www.ucmicrosys.com .As a reseller i can sell Autoelectric in low end ,wellon vp-590 in mid and vp-990 in high end and if i can review those properly i am sure it can give the big daddies run for its money man .My 50% business is selling programmers and i do a lot of checking here and thier to get the best deals and the best stuff for selling  .i do not say you guys cannot have your viewpoints but i can seriously suggest these three programmers to anyone looking out for one  .

Quote
With Autoelectric (and other cheap programmers) you pay your $50 and take your chances. If you want better piece of mind and support, you have to pay for it.

Haa Haa ,
 Well sure we want peace of mind hence we just come to eevblog and discuss,fight,etc etc .You know something this blog is a goldmine of ideas and i love it .I would love to be here most of the time of the day .Try downloading sofitech programmer also from www.sofi-tech.com .they also have a open source 8051 programmer called the willar SP200S simple version and is a great diy 8051 programmer .I sell it its cool and the software too is nice .

PS  :i would love a thread where we discuss the big daddies out there in programmers
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Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2013, 09:25:25 AM »
Sorry, but this is just not true.

It's true that it takes a lot of resources to maintain and upgrade many different products.

Quote
The Xeltek programmer I own was first released a couple of years AFTER XP 64-bit was released, and there was a large base of users (including myself) clamoring for 64-bit support from Xeltek for a long time (with the above posted quote their general response). They basically made the decision not to bother with putting ANY time into offering 64-bit drivers except with newer models they released. This has nothing to do with the latest OS support (unless you consider a 2001 OS as the latest) - it's just a lazy and/or stupid business practice - and I don't doubt they lost some previous customers because of it. They certainly lost my business.

So you know their business that intimately you can make the call that they are just being lazy, and that there are no other factors involved?
What if they have looked at it and it simply does not business sense for them to do so?
How "large" is that base of users who actually want that support really? A few dozen people on a forum having a whinge maybe?
What if trying to update and maintain that old programmer as well as all their new ones would strain that company resources so much that ALL the products and support would suffer? Or heck, the company is then stretched so thinly resource wise that they ended up losing rep, sales, and eventually folding. Then where will you be?

The model you are complaining about, the SuperPro 280U, dates from 2003, making it 10 years old!

Sorry, but the reality always comes down to does it make business sense to maintain older products, and for how long. They are not stupid or lazy, just making a call that it's not in best interest to update a 10 year legacy product to the latest O/S.

Dave.
 

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2013, 09:29:58 AM »
Dave why are we even comparing TL866CS and TL866A to Xeltek and Elnec .

I am not comparing them, some other people on the forum are. Please do not confuse other people's posts as being my opinion.

Dave.
 

Offline marmad

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2013, 09:39:47 AM »
The model you are complaining about, the SuperPro 280U, dates from 2003, making it 10 years old!

And continually sold by them until at least 2011 - but that's not the point. 64-bit Windows has been around for 12 years - that's the point. But in any case, we have different opinions on the subject, and I just won't buy my next programmer from Xeltek.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:43:04 AM by marmad »
 

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2013, 09:49:40 AM »
And continually sold by them until at least 2011

And anyone who bought it in 2011 knowing it didn't have 64bit support, and knowing (or should have known) it dates from 2003, should have reasoned that maybe, if they haven't done so after all this time, they weren't ever to release a 64bit version. They only have themselves to blame I think.
Offering a product for that long is actually a good thing, it means that customers who's processes dictate that they cannot change their tools easily are able to continue to buy it. I note that Xeltek will also service old products as well.

Whenever I buy a programmer, I always check if it's a) the latest model, and b) does it support all current O/S flavours.

Dave.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:56:09 AM by EEVblog »
 

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2013, 10:06:15 AM »
Sorry, but this is just not true. The Xeltek programmer I own was first released a couple of years AFTER XP 64-bit was released, and there was a large base of users (including myself) clamoring for 64-bit support from Xeltek for a long time (with the above posted quote their general response).

Windows XP 64-bit was essentially a desktop version of Windows 2003 server, and never had proper hardware support. Even support from the major hardware manufacturers was lacking. I think you can cut a small niche manufacturer some slack for not supporting it. Windows Vista 64-bit only saw limited adoption for business applications. Windows 7 64-bit was the first 64-bit desktop Windows version that was widely adopted by businesses. In 2003, 64-bit Windows versions were usually limited to servers or workstation applications requiring lots of RAM. EEPROM programming falls in neither of these categories.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2013, 11:05:12 AM »
I believe that WinXp 64 bit flavors until 2005 was IA-64 (Itanium) architecture. x86-64 was after 2005.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline MickM

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2013, 07:44:18 AM »
Hi;
  I just downloaded the app.
http://down.autoelectric.cn:8087/minipro/minipro_setup.rar

I installed it under Linux Mint 13 x64, using wine. (Ubuntu based)
I was not able to install the USB driver, it said to contact the manufacturer for a 64 bit version.

Then I ran the app "MiniPro.exe" under wine.
It seems to work just fine.

As I do not have the hardware (yet), I cannot test it.

I will be ordering up one.

Mick M


edit - will installing the ICSP connector make the CS into an A?
Dave ?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 08:27:46 AM by MickM »
 

Offline gamozo

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2013, 09:09:49 PM »
Hehe, you had '27128' in the search filter box, which is why I presume you were not able to find your devices until the reinstall.

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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2013, 09:38:19 PM »
Waiting for the hardware, it will be coming sometime soon.......

Will see how it works under Wine too, otherwise I will have to install a VM on the laptop and run the Win7 that it came with ( used once to make the backup DVD's ( 2 sets) just in case) in a VM or as a non networked version.
 

Offline Amarbir[Lynx-India]

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2013, 11:26:39 PM »
Waiting for the hardware, it will be coming sometime soon.......

Will see how it works under Wine too, otherwise I will have to install a VM on the laptop and run the Win7 that it came with ( used once to make the backup DVD's ( 2 sets) just in case) in a VM or as a non networked version.

SeanB ,
     you Work totally On Linux ? .
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Amarbir Singh Dhillon [ Lynx-India ] , Chandigarh [ India ] - > www.lynxdealerstore.com , www.lynx-india.com
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #411 - MiniPro TL866 Universal Programmer Review
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2013, 11:46:31 PM »
At work currently, as the XP box died ( used really for outlook, and the odd bit of writing in word) a slow lingering death ( and not only from creeping slowness from patch tuesday). So in the interim I am using linux on my laptop there, where I use the web view of outlook ( works well enough) and Gimp ( usual thing for photo's and other photo editing) and an older version of open office. works well enough, and have been using linux as a desktop for years, started with Redhat  years ago and migrated to Ubuntu.
 


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