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Using The X2lite Programmer (x2cable/xp Method)


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#1 Lerxst

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 07:53 PM

After reading about the many people having troubles with the X2lite programmer, I decided to write a detailed tutorial on using it, as the information I found was sketchy at best. This was written from a standpoint of using XP as the OS, but should apply to 98/ME etc.

(DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong with anything by using this tutorial! Period. Use this tutorial at your own risk) smile.gif

Requirements:
1) X2lite Chip
2) X2lite programmer
3) PC with DB-25 printer port
4) DB-25 parallel cable male to female (shorter is better), or using my simple “no cable” mod. (See Fig.D)
5) Knowing how to create directories, unzip files and copy files – basic stuff
6) A 1MB BIOS called “bios.bin” that you wish to flash the X2lite with. (I do not cover how to create the BIOS)
7) 9v 500mA DC power supply, or 9v alkaline battery, or open USB port on your PC
8) Software for the X2lite programmer (x2cable.zip). Get it here. or here

The first step is to make the connections of the various components as follows:

1) Connect the ground wire (Fig.A step 1) from the programmer to the X2lite chip. It has a little plastic connector and should fit into the slot on the X2lite chip. Do not force it, as it has a grooved connector that should fit only one way.

2) Connect the X2lite to the programmer (Fig.A step 2 and Fig.B ). There is a female socket on the X2lite, and a male header pin on the programmer. Flip the X2lite upside down and gently push the X2lite onto the header. Be careful not to yank the ground wire off of the programmer.

3) Remove the flash protection jumper (Fig.A step 3 and Fig.B )

4) Connect the parallel cable to the programmer (Fig.A step 4 ), or do the “no cable” mod (Fig.D ) and connect to the parallel port on your PC. (Note: if you are doing the “no-cable” mod and are using a 9v battery, you may want to insert it now because it will be more difficult to insert the battery when the programmer is attached to the PC)

Fig.A
user posted image Picture of the parallel cable

Fig.B
user posted image Picture of the 9v power adapter

5) Set the power switch according to the power source you are using. (Fig.C) If don't have a 9v power adapter, then just use a 9v battery by placing it in the battery cradle on the programmer. You can also use the supplied USB connection to plug into an open USB port on your PC. Just make sure to set the power switch according to your power source (Fig.C)

Fig.C
user posted image


The “no cable” Mod
If you don’t have a parallel cable, you can connect the programmer directly to your PC’s parallel port by slightly modifying the connector plate that is screwed on to the X2lite programmer. The port on my computer had connector standoffs, and the programmer also has them, thus not allowing me to connect it directly to the PC’s parallel port.

a) Use some needle nose pliers to remove (un-skrew) the two standoffs on the X2lite programmer connector plate. (Fig.D)
b ) Remove the connector plate. (Fig.D)
c) Apply two small dabs of superglue to two inside corners of the connector plate. (Fig.D) (Test the fitting BEFORE you apply the superglue so that you can get a feel for seating it correctly back in place)
d) Seat the connector plate back on the face and let set for a minute.
e) Done!

Fig.D
user posted image


6) Connect the other end of the parallel cable to your PC. (Fig.E step 5)

Fig.E
user posted image

7) Connect the power to the programmer. (Fig.F step 7)

Fig.F
user posted image

Connections finished.

The next steps are to set up the x2cable software and program your X2lite.
1) Create a directory on your C:\ drive called “x2”
2) Unzip/extract the x2cable.zip to the folder you created in the previous step
3) Copy your “bios.bin” file into the “x2” folder that also contains the extracted files from the previous step
4) Now open a DOS command prompt by selecting: Start>Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt (See Fig.G)

Fig.G
user posted image

5) In the command prompt you just opened, type:
cd C:\x2 (See Fig.H)

Fig.H
user posted image
Then type: dir and it will list all the files. (This should match Fig.H)

6) Now test the programmer by reading the BIOS first before writing (Fig.J). (if your X2lite came pre-flashed with Cromwell 1.8) Type the following:
x2cable r crom19.bin
(This will take approx. a minute and a half to complete)

Fig.J
user posted image
If you are getting SYNC=variable here, then there is a power or connection problem, or the parallel cable is too long.

7) Now it is time to flash the new BIOS onto the X2lite (Fig.I). Type the following:
x2cable w bios.bin

(It will then erase and begin writing the BIOS to your X2lite. This process will take approx. eleven minutes, and will then verify the write for another minute and a half.)

Fig.I
user posted image

8) Done!

~Lerxst
EDIT: I have more pictures, but I'm at the limit.
EDIT: Picture sizes smaller, typos

Edited by Lerxst, 09 June 2003 - 04:48 PM.


#2 spIdeZ

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 08:07 PM

Nice, very detailed cool.gif Have you submitted it to be a tutorial?

#3 Lerxst

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 11:59 PM

QUOTE (spIdeZ @ Jun 8 2003, 04:07 PM)
Nice, very detailed cool.gif Have you submitted it to be a tutorial?

Thanks. I will submit it, but some of the pictures are over the 400 pixel limit, so they my not accept it even though those pics are smaller than the rest. If I resize the command prompt pic's, they become unreadable. (at least for my old eyes).

~Lerxst

#4 Lerxst

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 04:03 PM

*bump*

Someone may need this.

~Lerxst

#5 loquillo

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:52 AM

biggrin.gif laugh.gif Hey man your the beeesstttt!!!!! this tutorial work best than any other that I read or see!!!!! oh and another thing I do the tutorial with windows 98 SE and works perfect ok!!!! and another thing than youuuuuuuuuuuu very muchhhhhhh!!!!! This programer rocks!!!!!!


#6 loquillo

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:54 AM

Thanx for the email man youre the best!!!!!!!



this tut it works!!!!!!!!!!

#7 Lerxst

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 01:13 AM

QUOTE (loquillo @ Jun 9 2003, 08:52 PM)
biggrin.gif laugh.gif Hey man your the beeesstttt!!!!! this tutorial work best than any other that I read or see!!!!! oh and another thing I do the tutorial with windows 98 SE and works perfect ok!!!! and another thing than youuuuuuuuuuuu very muchhhhhhh!!!!! This programer rocks!!!!!!

Hey thanks! - I'm glad this has helped, and I appreciate the kudos.


If there is anyone else who would like to provide some feedback on this, it would be much welcomed. I want to submit this tutorial, but I would like to get more eyes to look at it first.

Thanks,
~Lerxst




#8 Foolio

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 06:26 AM

Very nice job, Lerxst! I've tried to help one or two people in the forum here with their programmer but I didn't have time to go into as much detail as you have here. As far as I have seen, this is the best set of instructions out there for using the programmer. Excellent work!

#9 Dunny

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 11:00 AM

You may want to add this to your instructions.

If you keep getting Sync 7 Errors when flashing, use X2PRO instead ... I tried X2cable on 3 Machines today and it wouldnt work on any! Tried X2PRO, flashed a 256k Bios to 1 and it worked .... at last! blink.gif

Edited by Dunny, 12 June 2003 - 03:26 PM.


#10 Lerxst

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE (Dunny @ Jun 12 2003, 07:00 AM)
You may want to add this to your instructions.

If you keep getting Sync 7 Errors when flashing, use X2PRO instead ... I tried X2cable on 3 Machines today and it wouldnt work on any! Tried X2PRO, flashed a 256k Bios to 1 and it worked .... at last! blink.gif

Thanks for this! Iwill work with X2PRO and see what I get. I was not able to reproduce SYNC=7 with the x2cable method.

I will update later tonight.

~Lerxst

#11 Morglum

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 01:13 PM

Hey Lerxst, just thought you might like to know that x2cable will only work if you use the first printer port on your PC, i have 3 printer ports on my PC and tested on all 3, only port 1 will work. Great tutorial though btw beerchug.gif

Edited by Morglum, 14 June 2003 - 01:13 PM.


#12 compcwby

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 10:38 PM

Well, I have tried all of these steps, including hooking the programmer up to the back of my PC(running 98SE), and still all I get is Error:SYNC=F.

I am able to run x2cable i with a few of these errors, but at this point, I don't have a clue anymore.

#13 feflicker

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 11:46 PM

Great tutorial! A few questions:

Will the external programmer work on the X2Pro version?

I know it probably wont work with an X2Pro (since it requires the external switch module), but what about an X2.1Pro or the new X2.2Pro that is coming out (they don't require the external switch module to operate)?

A question for "Uber" maybe?

Just curious, I just ordered one of these.... I don't like the external programmer that comes with the X2Pro, so I was hoping I could use this instead... If not, will settle with just using this on my X2Lites. I can't take anymore of that Ozxflash CD and it's "wait 30 seconds" business dry.gif


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the parallel port issues, my *guess* is that the pre-compiled x2cable.exe is hard coded to look at 378h parallel port address (the most common address). That is why it only works on 1 parallel port wink.gif If you have problems, make sure your parallel port is set to ECP in bios, it might help...

#14 Lerxst

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE
Great tutorial! A few questions:


Thanks!

QUOTE
Will the external programmer work on the X2Pro version?

Very good question. I was going to work on testing this with the pro I had, but someone bought it. I plan on getting some more in stock as I seem to be one of the few who does mods around where I live.

QUOTE
I know it probably wont work with an X2Pro (since it requires the external switch module), but what about an X2.1Pro or the new X2.2Pro that is coming out (they don't require the external switch module to operate)?


I do believe that it is possible for it to work. I can't say with confidence, but the pro is a BIOS chip that can take a 1MB BIOS. So that leads me to believe that it is very possible to flash the pro with this programmer. I've got one on order.

QUOTE
A question for "Uber" maybe?


If he has any input to add - it would be appreciated. I want to make this tutorial as complete as possible.

QUOTE
Just curious, I just ordered one of these.... I don't like the external programmer that comes with the X2Pro, so I was hoping I could use this instead... If not, will settle with just using this on my X2Lites. I can't take anymore of that Ozxflash CD and it's "wait 30 seconds" business


I hear ya! I can't stand flashing with the CDRW's, although it was the only option I had when I first started. The programmer has worked great for me so far.

I plan on adding a trouble shooting addendum to this tut. as many have PM'd me with problems/solutions that I will detail soon. I am not ready to submit this yet, as there are still outstanding issuses that need to be resolved.

QUOTE
On the parallel port issues, my *guess* is that the pre-compiled x2cable.exe is hard coded to look at 378h parallel port address (the most common address). That is why it only works on 1 parallel port  If you have problems, make sure your parallel port is set to ECP in bios, it might help...


Yes, that is the default port, and I have found that you can also change the port that x2cable looks at if you type in "x2cable" in the command prompt - it shows you the options for redirecting the port that it will use.

~Lerxst



#15 musical_mercenary_420

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 02:35 AM

ok of my understanding you can use this for the x2lite 1.2's?




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