Author Topic: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?  (Read 551 times)

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Offline Max HoldcroftTopic starter

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What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« on: May 25, 2024, 03:08:55 am »
Hey all,
I'm looking at the datasheet for the ISP1507, specifically the reference designs section, and I'm struggling to understand why this FFC connector is here and what it does. From my understanding FFC is flexible flat cable, so I don't understand why this schematic would be using it or where it connects to. I've included a screenshot for reference.
Thanks for your help!
Max:)
 

Online ataradov

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2024, 03:39:33 am »
So, you are really determined to brute force your way though this?

This is a programming connector. It looks like there are multiple boards in the kit (debugger/GPIO breakout and the target). Those boards are connected using 3 flex cables. They probably picked this type of connector for simplicity and because flat flex cables are readily available and cheap.

You also may want to start with differentiating the components and the boards. ISP1507 is a module, it does not have nay connectors. ISP1507-AX-EB is the kit that has connectors.

And it looks like there are just the target board that are orderable  as ISP1507-AX-TB / ISP1507-AL-TB. And to program them you can use a standard 10-pin Cortex debug connector and ignore the FFC one.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2024, 03:44:31 am by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline Max HoldcroftTopic starter

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2024, 03:51:04 am »
And it looks like there are just the target board that are orderable  as ISP1507-AX-TB / ISP1507-AL-TB. And to program them you can use a standard 10-pin Cortex debug connector and ignore the FFC one.
Ah that makes so much more sense. So the FFC is how you connect the chip to the development board?
 

Online ataradov

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2024, 03:58:48 am »
You really need to figure out what is the "chip" here. The connector is on the target board board. This board has module soldered to it. FFC connector is how you connect the target board to the programmer/debugger board.

That programmer board includes a set of 0.1" headers for the GPIOs and a full J-Link soldered to it. They did it to save cost, since this lets you buy just the target board if you already have the programmer you like to use.

Alex
 

Offline Max HoldcroftTopic starter

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2024, 04:01:46 am »
You really need to figure out what is the "chip" here. The connector is on the target board board. This board has module soldered to it. FFC connector is how you connect the target board to the programmer/debugger board.

That programmer board includes a set of 0.1" headers for the GPIOs and a full J-Link soldered to it. They did it to save cost, since this lets you buy just the target board if you already have the programmer you like to use.
So I need to buy the specific programmer board for the ISP1507 module then? Also what's a J-link? Is that a J-link debugger? What does that do?
Thank you so much for all your help!
Max
 

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2024, 04:26:37 am »
You are wasting your time if you are asking what is a J-Link. J-Link is a debugger, but starting MCU programming with wireless hardware is hard to next to impossible.

To program the module you will need any ARM SWD debugger. J-Link is one of them. There are a lot of other debuggers that would work too. It all depends on your preferences. price sensitivity and vendor IDE support. J-Link is a pretty safe bet for support, but they are generally expensive.
Alex
 
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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2024, 06:02:27 am »
I looked through the OP's post history and my advice to him is to start learning about basic electronics and digital electronics from the ground up. To me it seems you really have no idea what you are doing and that can only result in failure.

Don't rely on the forum to improve on your design from the get go. Asking basic questions is ok, but this becomes embarrassing.

Look into sites like these:
https://startingelectronics.org/beginners/
https://www.udemy.com/course/digital-electronics-for-beginners/
https://www.build-electronic-circuits.com/category/digital-electronics/
https://www.instructables.com/A-Beginners-Guide-to-Microcontrollers/

The internet is filled with information, but it can also be misinformation, so it might even be better to throw some money at it and follow some certified courses.

Offline Max HoldcroftTopic starter

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2024, 10:24:19 am »
You are wasting your time if you are asking what is a J-Link. J-Link is a debugger, but starting MCU programming with wireless hardware is hard to next to impossible.

To program the module you will need any ARM SWD debugger. J-Link is one of them. There are a lot of other debuggers that would work too. It all depends on your preferences. price sensitivity and vendor IDE support. J-Link is a pretty safe bet for support, but they are generally expensive.
So are you saying I don't need to buy the specific development board for this module, the ISP1507-AX-TB? I can use any board with J-Link? On the website where they sell the dev boards for this module they say "with integrated J-Link OB JTAG/SWD Emulator". What does that mean? Is that what I'm looking for? (https://www.insightsip.com/products/bluetooth-smart-modules/isp1507)
Thanks for your help!
Max
 

Online ataradov

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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2024, 02:25:58 pm »
So are you saying I don't need to buy the specific development board for this module, the ISP1507-AX-TB?
ISP1507-AX-TB is not a module. It is a development board with a module soldered on it.

I can use any board with J-Link?
  J-Link exists in two versions - as a standalone programmer in a plastic box, and as an IC that dev kit vendors can solder on the board.

On the website where they sell the dev boards for this module they say "with integrated J-Link OB JTAG/SWD Emulator". What does that mean? Is that what I'm looking for?


This is the later. You can buy that board, which comes as part of the ISP1507-AX-EB. You can use that to program the devices.

But as I said, you are wasting your time. If you can't figure out what is module and what is the kit, there is zero chance you will figure out how to program it. Hardware is by fat the easiest part. You need to start with basics and build your way up to the more complex systems.
Alex
 
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Re: What is the Point of this FFC Connector?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2024, 02:36:01 pm »
But as I said, you are wasting your time. If you can't figure out what is module and what is the kit, there is zero chance you will figure out how to program it. Hardware is by fat the easiest part. You need to start with basics and build your way up to the more complex systems.

Yep, that is what I advised in my previous post.

With this thing it is a bit confusing since the thing itself is already a module, but what I see in the pictures makes me stay away from it. Hard for a novice or hobbyist without the proper tools to solder it.

Within the kit (ISP1507-AX-EB) I see two circuit boards. One is the board (ISP1507-AX-TB) with the module (ISP1507-AX) on it and another board that will have the j-link on it and some other stuff to interface with the module board.



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