TDS-524A NVRAM backup

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t_staton@msn.com
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TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 17th, 2017, 6:50 am

I have a TDS-524A in excellent condition. Everything is working well and it was last calibrated a couple of years ago. I have read that it is wise to replace the electrolytic capacitors that are prone to leakage. I will definitely do that. I have also read that it is wise to back up the NV RAM in the Dallas DS1650Y chip. Mine has a date code of 9317U. I assume that means 1993? 27 years!
What is the best way to back up the NV RAM? Is it safe to remove it so it can be duplicated using a ROM programmer? I heard of instances where removing it corrupted it. I have heard that it is possible to read the contents without removing the chip, either through the GPIB port or the console port. Details of either seem to be missing form the site. It looks like some older posts have gone missing.
I presently don't have a ROM programmer, GPIB adapter, or Console port adapter, so whichever path I take I will have to purchase or fab some hardware.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Terry

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 19th, 2017, 6:26 pm

Terry,
If your surface mount capacitors (smc) haven't leaked yet, you are truly blessed. Once it happens, it will wreak your machine. Cap is the real expert on replacing and if you do a search on the board for his posts, you will get the info. I've only done 800 or so smc replacements and only over the past 3 years, so I'm a relative newbie.

The DS1650Y chips are available on ebay from China and occasionally the states. I don't believe that they are still produced by Dallas or Maxim, but some folks that I've bought from are refurbishing them and putting a 2016 date stamp (9317U does mean 1993...) on em. Nevertheless, the refurbished ones seem to work as well as the original ones produced in 2009 or so, when they were still being made.

To back up the NVRAM, you can remove the chip (I use a high-powered vacuum solder sucker), replace with a socket and and then read the NVRAM with a rom reader/programmer. If you get the chip too hot, it will scramble the memory and reading it is useless.

I use the software tool "tektool.exe" that can be found in the forums and other places to get the image before I try to get the chip off. From memory, the image starts at location 0x4000000 and is 0x80000 bytes (Hex) long (512k). This image is then written (I use a GQ-3X programmer) back to the new chip and installed.

If you have more questions, you can send me a PM and I'll be happy to answer. BTW, I have NVRAM images for the 520A, 540A, 544A, 540C, 520D, 744/784A, and 640/644A. If you brick your unit, my 520A image will probably work.

Strick

t_staton@msn.com
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 20th, 2017, 5:43 pm

Thanks strick.
Interesting to hear that someone is rebuilding the DS1650 and selling them with newer date codes. I saw those when I was looking for chips but figured they must be counterfeit chips. I ordered some with a 0802J date code, but maybe I'll see about something newer.
I will wait until I have re-capped and cleaned before I power it up again. Then I will try connecting the console port to the UART board as some have done. I hope to be able to read the NV RAM contents that way before removing the chip and using a ROM programmer to duplicate it.

Terry

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 21st, 2017, 2:11 pm

I built one of the serial debug connections using the option 13 card and use it for monitoring power on self tests and SPC. Gives a lot more info than the simple diagnostics for finding and fixing problems. However, I've never tried to use it to give commands. I'll give that a try this evening and see if any of the TDS460 commands do anything to a 640A that has a failed ACQ board. I'm a little concerned about using it on anything that works as Cap indicated that this port had full access and could brick the scope. The Tektool utility has safeguards built in that help to keep you from ruining the board.

Anyhow, good luck and I'll let you know if I figure out how to read anything with the serial port on the 5-700 series.
Strick

fenugrec
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by fenugrec » March 21st, 2017, 4:17 pm

strick wrote:I built one of the serial debug connections using the option 13 card and use it for monitoring power on self tests and SPC. Gives a lot more info than the simple diagnostics for finding and fixing problems. However, I've never tried to use it to give commands.
Funny you should mention this now, I spend last evening playing with the service console on my TDS744A.

Some info on reusing the option 13 card (RS232+parallel) for the service console:
viewtopic.php?t=138100
viewtopic.php?f=568&t=138489&p=280292
viewtopic.php?f=568&t=137307

I use the "corrected pinout " from this post
viewtopic.php?f=568&t=137307&start=20#p279787
which is mostly the same except 1-2 signals, I forget which.

On the TDS744A I need to have RTS/CTS flow control enabled, or just bridge the two pins together, otherwise the scope doesn't boot.

As Strick and others say, you can probably brick your scope very easily and efficiently from this mode. There are no safeguards; you can execute pretty much any of the ~ 4000 visible functions.

A few relatively safe commands that work on my 744A:
libManagerWordAt
d
readAddr
readByteAddr
readFromAddress
HWADumpOptValues
HWADumpSysValues
HWADumpCpuValues
scopeErrorLogDumpToConsole
scopeErrorLogClear


I haven't seen any utility to dump NVRAM through the service port, Strick are you aware of one ? (tektool is only GPIB I think) Otherwise I could write one fairly easily; only issue I have is the addresses aren't always the same when you read via GPIB vs the service port. And I don't think I have a sample NVRAM dump to compare to, so my confidence level is not very high.

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 21st, 2017, 6:37 pm

Well, I just did a check on my defunct 640A. I dumped the contents of the NVram (0x4000000) using Tektool, and then used the serial debug port that is well discussed here. Typing help gave the same commands as shown for the TDS400 series. I dumped the first 1000 and compared it to the Tektool dump and they are the same. I have not done an exhaustive (512 Kbyte) check, but if the first is the same, I'm pretty sure it's as good a way as Tektool. All you have to do is use a serial dump program and dump the data to a binary file for a loader to access. I'll give it a try on one of my (many) old DS1650s and let you know how it works.

More importantly, I suspect you can write to memory directly with the serial tool. I would love to be able to reflash some flash memory that is corrupted on a couple of boards that I have. Tektool was written for a flash that uses 16 byte path (28F016, I think) vice the 8 byte path of the 28F008 that I see in most of my boards.

Anyway, it's looks like it's another way to get the NVram data, if you don't have a GPIB setup.

Strick

emalju
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by emalju » March 22nd, 2017, 11:43 am

Strick, Hi

I have a TDS544A Version: FV: v3.8.4e and I am trying to fix the bug:

ERROR: diagnostic test failure, nvLibrariansDiag, Libs with crcc failures:, ExtConst
ERROR: diagnostic test failure, extended cal librarian reset

Would it be possible to fix this fault by reprogramming the NVRAM?

Do you have a suitable image for me to compare with a dump by console or GPIB?

Any ideas will be welcome.

Best regards.

strick
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Joined: March 22nd, 2016, 11:23 am
Country: United States

Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 23rd, 2017, 7:36 am

Emalju,
As a matter of fact, my "test-case" TDS520A started throwing those exact error messages last weekend. I had not bothered to change out the DS1650Y yet as I never intended to pass the scope on to anyone. I pulled the chip, put in a socket and reprogrammed a new DS1650Y with a known good image. The scope then booted properly without that error message. However, I lost the 2F option that I had programmed using the gpib earlier. Let me check my TDS540A version and I can send you a good NVram image via direct email. I don't think I have a 544A image, as my color scopes have been 744As and a 644A.

You can send me your direct email address via PM unless you want everybody to know it... :)

If you have a gpib connection, you can easily reset any options that get lost.

Strick

emalju
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by emalju » March 23rd, 2017, 1:18 pm

strick wrote:Emalju,
As a matter of fact, my "test-case" TDS520A started throwing those exact error messages last weekend. I had not bothered to change out the DS1650Y yet as I never intended to pass the scope on to anyone. I pulled the chip, put in a socket and reprogrammed a new DS1650Y with a known good image. The scope then booted properly without that error message. However, I lost the 2F option that I had programmed using the gpib earlier. Let me check my TDS540A version and I can send you a good NVram image via direct email. I don't think I have a 544A image, as my color scopes have been 744As and a 644A.

You can send me your direct email address via PM unless you want everybody to know it... :)

If you have a gpib connection, you can easily reset any options that get lost.

Strick
Thanks for answer so soon.
Actually I'm newbaby here :oops: and I still can not send PM.
Try to send me a PM and I will provide my mail by that means.
Thank you.

emalju
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Country: Spain

Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by emalju » March 24th, 2017, 6:09 am

strick wrote:Well, I just did a check on my defunct 640A. I dumped the contents of the NVram (0x4000000) using Tektool, and then used the serial debug port that is well discussed here. Typing help gave the same commands as shown for the TDS400 series. I dumped the first 1000 and compared it to the Tektool dump and they are the same. I have not done an exhaustive (512 Kbyte) check, but if the first is the same, I'm pretty sure it's as good a way as Tektool. All you have to do is use a serial dump program and dump the data to a binary file for a loader to access. I'll give it a try on one of my (many) old DS1650s and let you know how it works.

More importantly, I suspect you can write to memory directly with the serial tool. I would love to be able to reflash some flash memory that is corrupted on a couple of boards that I have. Tektool was written for a flash that uses 16 byte path (28F016, I think) vice the 8 byte path of the 28F008 that I see in most of my boards.

Anyway, it's looks like it's another way to get the NVram data, if you don't have a GPIB setup.

Strick
What configuration do you use with tektool?
OS is DOS, W98,..? Card GPIB is ISA, PCI, PCMCIA or USB? Must be N.I.?
There is no tektool compiled for USB and Windows 7?

Emilio

t_staton@msn.com
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 24th, 2017, 2:52 pm

I got all of the caps changed and the scope is working well. I'd like to back up the DS1650 NVRAM, next but I am nervous about removing it, so I think I'll try reading it out through the console port before I desolder it. It built the console port adapter and it is working well. What is a good way to dump the NVRAM contents so that it could be used with a PROM programmer if required? I can used the command d 0x4000000, [size] and capture the dump, but is there a better way that would be easier to used with a PROM programmer (I've yet to but one)?

Terry

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 26th, 2017, 8:26 am

Emilio,
The tektool.exe that I sent you works in a Dos window under Win98. You just select msdos prompt from the Start button. The command to read is -r. The full command to get the DS1650Y contents is:
tektool -r nvr04_08.bin -b 0x04000000 -l 0x80000 File length will be 512,288 bytes long. To restore, you will need to get a programmer and write to the new DS1650Y (or DS1250Y as the architecture is the same).

For those reading this that have later scopes (540C/D or 700A series) The DS1650Y location is at 0x0408000. The DS1486Y is the main player and must be done for the scope to work. It starts at 0x04000000, just like the DS1650Y in the 500A series, but the length is only 0x20000 (131,072 bytes).

Strick

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 26th, 2017, 3:01 pm

Terry,
I took a look at the serial debug port today. It dumps the address, hex and what appears to be the ascii results for each byte. The format is in 16 byte lengths so that it goes 4000000, 4000010, ... The length is in words (according to the help file) and my testing indicated that you get 2000 bytes with a request of 1000. So to get the 512,288 bytes for the DS1650Y, you would request 256,144. Would look like:
d 0x04000000, 256144

It's a little strange as it appears to like hex for the location, but decimal for the length. You can then save the screen to a file. Problem is, you then have to strip off the address and ascii stuff to get a pure hex file. You may have an text editor that can strip by column or you may have to write a program to do it. Since the format is regular, it shouldn't be too hard. The rom writer that I have will accept hex or binary (bin), so I suspect that most readers would allow you to write the file.

Also, once you have the dump, you could request one of the forum members that has a writer to do it for you.

The tektool program is much easier as it simply dumps the binary file and you are all set to load with a loader.

Strick

t_staton@msn.com
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 27th, 2017, 7:57 pm

Thanks strick and fenugrec,
I changed all the caps on the acquisition, processor, front panel and option (RS232/Centronics) boards. In case anyone else wants to do this, I replaced 21 of the 10uF/35V caps and 55 of the 33uF/10V caps.
I used Panasonic EEE-FK1330UR 33uf 20% 25V and EEE-HB1V100R 10uF 20% 35V.
These are both aluminum caps, 105C, 2000hrs.
Digikey numbers PCE4153CT-ND and PCE3802CT-ND.

I built the console port adapter cable referenced above (the "corrected pinout") using an IDC cable and connector from digikey.
Digikey # S3301-ND and M1KXK-2636R-ND. I had to cut the ears off the connector to let it fit on the board. Other than that, it was pretty easy to build and fits nicely on the console edge connector port and the connector for the option board. The hardest part was finding the right parts on Digikey.

I am using a cheap USB to serial adapter on my laptop. I used a null modem cable to connect the serial converter to the scope. The console port works great.

I can dump the NVRAM contents using the d addr, size command on the console. I'm writing a python script that will grab the dump and save it in a couple of file formats (like MCS86 (.hex) and .bin) so that it should be usable with whatever PROM programmer I end up using.

I also - up a couple of IC sockets for the DS1650Y from digikey (ED90043-ND). I'll solder one to the board and solder the removed DS1650Y into the other once I capture the NVRAM contents using the console port. I bought a couple of DS1650Y -100 from eBay (date code 0802J). I intend to program one to make sure the file I captured works, but leave the other un-programmed. I read in the data sheet for the DS1650 that the battery is left unconnected until the first use, so maybe have one unused means it will still have some battery life left when I need it.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Terry

t_staton@msn.com
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 28th, 2017, 8:15 am

strick,
When I read the data starting at 0x4000000, the first few bytes seem to change if I read them again later. It almost looks like I must be looking at the real time clock (DS1286).
I may have to figure out a way to verify the base address for the DS1650Y NVRAM. Maybe by taking a file and comparing it to what I read, or maybe by probing the address lines wile I read various blocks of memory.

I do see some older posts that say the options 1M and 2F which are stored in the NVRAM are at 0x50006 and 0x50009 respectively (on a TDS540). So maybe the NVRAM is at 0x400000?

Terry

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 28th, 2017, 8:33 am

Terry,
Do you have a DS1486Y on the board? If you do, then it has the 0x04000000 address and the DS1650Y is at 0x04080000. In this this case, the DS1486Y is the important chip. All my TDS520As have a DS1286 clock chip that has minimal memory.

If you have the DS1486, then the first 14 bytes of memory are owned by the clock and will continue to change. they can also not be written to by a programmer - you have to do an offset write (D) when you write the memory.

Strick

strick
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by strick » March 28th, 2017, 8:47 am

Terry,
disregard my last, you stated that you had a 1286. You can just dump the full memory to the 1650Y chip. Ignore the first bytes that change as you are right, they come from the clock chip...

Strick

emalju
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by emalju » March 28th, 2017, 11:41 am

Terry

Thanks for the DigiKey codes.
I'm doing the dump by the console port and capturing with putty log.
Then I processed the dump with notepad ++ column editor: I remove the trash and save it with extension ascii. Then with the same notepad ++ ascii to hex plugin saved it as bin. The generated file is loaded in the minipro (DS1250Y) and is perfect for recording.

Emilio
Last edited by emalju on March 28th, 2017, 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

t_staton@msn.com
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by t_staton@msn.com » March 28th, 2017, 12:08 pm

Emilio,
Did you copy the DS1650 using the DS1250Y device selection on the minipro? I wasn't sure if that would work. Some said it does and others have said no.
Have you tried using the newly programmed chip in the scope?

Terry

emalju
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Re: TDS-524A NVRAM backup

Post by emalju » March 28th, 2017, 1:12 pm

Terry

I still do not have the chips.I bought the DS1650 from ebay too. It takes two weeks to arrive :cry:

The DS1250 looks like the modern version of the DS1650. It has the same structure (512Kx8) and equal speed (70-100ns).
In any case I will only use it as a programmer configuration (minipro TL866A),

If you make a program to handle the console port dump it would be fine. I was thinking of doing it with VisualBasic.

Emilio

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