Link Search Menu Expand Document

Working with the code of the 84 Badge

On this page I will provide details on how to work with the code, get it compiled, and finally how to download that code to the Micro Controller.

How to program the CH55x Micro Controller

The CH55x series of Micro Controllers are based off of an ARM 8051 chipset and can be programmed using Kiel C51 or SDCC.

I will document here how I was able to set up both a Windows and a Linux box to program this chip using SDCC (Small Device C Compiler).

Here is a link to some good documentation on OpenSource SDCC and the CH55x SDK https://github.com/Blinkinlabs/ch554_sdcc

Windows Setup

Here are the steps I followed to get the toolchain fully set up to compile and push code to the CH55x chips on my Windows box.

# SDCC compiler tools
export PATH=$PATH:/c/Program\ Files/SDCC/bin

# Mingw tools (for Make)
export PATH=$PATH:/c/MinGW/bin

alias make=mingw32-make.exe
  • Exit out of the git-bash CLI Window and open it up again to have it load the new .bashrc file. It may give you a message about creating other files automatically (like .profile .bashprofile etc.)
  • Next we need to download some test code to test compiling from The 84 Badge github repository
  • At the git-bash CLI type the following to clone this repository:
    git clone https://github.com/gowenrw/84_Badge.git
    
  • This will create a directory named 84_Badge containing all of the files.
  • Change directory to 84_Badge/code/dev/CH552G_blink/
  • You should see two files there, a Makefile and a main.c file. You should not need to modify these files if you are using an 84 Badge or its development board. Even if you are using a different development board, we are just going to try to compile it to verify our toolchain is working.
  • Type make in this directory and it should compile this example. If it does not then read the errors to see what is wrong and try again until it compiles without error.
  • Upon successful compile you will have many more files in this directory including one named blink.hex which is the file we will attempt to push to the chip

At this point your compiler toolchain is complete and verified.

Next up, USB communication to push code to the micro controller.

  • If you have an 84 Badge or its development board or a different CH55x development board you can test pushing this code to the chip using the WCHISPTOOL. From Windows start menu launch the WCHISPTOOL.
  • Next plug in the CH55x development board into a USB port in programming mode (hold down the appropriate button while inserting the USB).
  • In the WCHISPTOOL Choose the tab for the chip type you have plugged in and look for your device name listed. For the 84 Badge this will be under the 8-bit tab using the drop down to select 552G. If your chip is not listed as connected try to unplug and reconnect the chip to get it to show up. If still having issues reinstall the WCH USB Driver (included with the tool)
  • In the WCHISPTOOL chip specific tab choose the file to download to the chip. This can be the blink.hex file you created for testing or another example. Click the download button and it will push this file to the chip. In the dialog box you will see its progress and completion status.

Congratulations, you have successfully downloaded the compiled firmware to the micro controller.

Debian Linux Setup

Here are the steps I followed to get the toolchain fully set up to compile and push code to the CH55x chips on my Ubuntu (Debian based) Linux box.

  • Install the compiler tool chain with the following:
    sudo apt install build-essential sdcc
    
  • Next we need to download some test code to test compiling from The 84 Badge github repository with the following:
    git clone https://github.com/gowenrw/84_Badge.git
    
  • This will create a directory named 84_Badge containing all of the files.
  • Change directory to 84_Badge/code/dev/CH552G_blink/
  • You should see two files there, a Makefile and a main.c file. You should not need to modify these files if you are using an 84 Badge or its development board. Even if you are using a different development board, we are just going to try to compile it to verify our toolchain is working.
  • Type make in this directory and it should compile this example. If it does not then read the errors to see what is wrong and try again until it compiles without error.
  • Upon successful compile you will have many more files in this directory including one named blink.hex which is the file we will attempt to push to the chip

At this point your compiler toolchain is complete and verified.

Next up, USB communication to push code to the micro controller.

  • Download and install the libusb 1.0 development image with the following:
    sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
    
  • Download the open-source implementation of the WCH ISP Tool from here: LibreCH551 Tool with the following:
    git clone https://github.com/rgwan/librech551.git
    
  • This will create a directory named librech551 containing all of the source files.
  • Change directory to librech551/usbisp/
  • You should see two files there, a Makefile and a main.c file.
  • Type make in this directory and it should compile the wchisptool executable. If it does not then read the errors to see what is wrong and try again until it compiles without error (warnings are usually ok as long as the executable is produced).
  • Once you have a successful compilation type make install in order to install the program. (you might have to use sudo with this if you get a permission denied error)
  • To download code to the chip use the following:
    sudo wchisptool -f mycode.bin
    

Congratulations, you have successfully downloaded the compiled firmware to the micro controller.

NOTE: The linux wchisptool is hit or miss on working. Have had quite a few issues with it and am looking for an alternative.