Update on MUX issue with first batch of ArduPilot boards

The Sparkfun guys and we diagnosed the issue today. It was our fault--we had a version control problem with the Attiny code we sent them, and the bad news is that appears to have affected a total of 60-80 boards. For those of you affected, our apologies--we'll make this right. Here are your options:

1) The fastest way, if you have an AVR programmer, is just to reflash the chip with the updated code (hex file is here; full source code is here). Instructions are here. If you don't have an AVR programmer, but have always wanted one, this is your chance! The AVRISP2 is excellent, comes with the terrific AVR Studio software, and is cheap ($34)

2) If you don't have an AVR programmer, the solution is to return the boards to Sparkfun and they will reflash or replace them at no charge, testing to ensure that you have a working board. Just send an email to techsupport@sparkfun.com, who have been alerted and will help you with the process.

All board shipped from today on will have the correct firmware, so this should be the end of the problem. Again, our apologies for the inconvenience and confusion. Our aim is to ensure that everyone has a working board as soon as possible, and Sparkfun has been great about responding quickly and making sure this doesn't happen again. Thanks for your support and understanding.

[Update. If you have this problem and live in the LA area, Jordi has volunteered to come to your house and reflash the board himself, no charge. Just PM him. For those in the Bay Area, I'll do the same, although depending on where you live, we might have to meet at some mutually convenient location. For those in Europe, we might be able to match you with someone who lives near you and has an AVR programmer. Please post in the comments if you need that.

Views: 4451

Comment by Brian on January 26, 2009 at 8:59pm
Are all of the boards sold so far affected or if you were one of the "unlucky ones" who did not get one of the first boards and ended up getting one on back order...?
Comment by Saiful Azuwan on January 26, 2009 at 10:26pm
@Chris Thanks...

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 27, 2009 at 12:11am
Brian, I'm afraid it's all the boards that have been shipped until today. That's about 60-80 boards. I'm hoping that most people will have AVR programmers and can solve the problem themselves, but we're prepared to replace several dozen boards.
Comment by Michal B on January 27, 2009 at 3:16am
I have one of these, but I plan to go ahead without ATTiny chip, and control everything from main AT168. Including reading of CTRL IN and controlling MUX.

Both proposed fixes would cost me time/money. And technically it seems possible to go without ATTiny, which actually does something that is achievable by main CPU. I'll just loose possibility to reset main CPU in mid-flight. So proper code tuning and testing in smaller steps will be needed, still better than another hassles with sending my ArduPilot there and back.
Comment by jonny on January 27, 2009 at 5:14am
So what about people in Europe? It takes 3 weeks to receive an order from sparkfun, probably just as long to send them back plus shipping costs, then however long it takes sparkfun to sort them and return them! Personaly, I would estimate that quite a large proportion of the people that have bought these boards don't have AVR programmers or know how to use them!!

Comment by Brian on January 27, 2009 at 5:59am
Thanks Chris, I've got the programmer suggested by you earlier and need the practice.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 27, 2009 at 9:49am
@Jonny: Yes, we're very sorry about the inconvenience. I hope that Sparkfun can turn the returns around very quickly. Is there something else we can do for you?
Comment by tychoc on January 27, 2009 at 10:08am
This is all for fun and at a VERY reasonable price. We're sort of beta testers at this early stage and some setbacks are to be expected. No big deal. I just mailed mine back to Sparkfun today. Thanks for all the work you guys are doing.


Comment by Jordi Muñoz on January 27, 2009 at 12:18pm
Also tomorrow i will go to San Diego, if there is anybody between Riverside San Diego, i can make a quick stop to reflash the Attiny...

Jonny i have a friend in Swiss that can help you... Are you interested?

Comment by Sgt Ric on January 27, 2009 at 1:54pm
The ATAVRISP2-ND would cost me $ 45.12 Canadian, plus 23.00 shipping, plus Customs charge$.

I'ld be further ahead to leave my first 2 ArduPilots on the bench and order a couple new ones.

I'll check with my nephew (our programmer wiz) if he could use the programmer for other projects, or even to enhanse this one, before deciding on what action to take.


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