Beginner Tutorials

Hey folks! Newbie hobbyist here with my brand new Au and Justin’s Learning FPGA book. Everyone else here seems to have a lot more experience then I. If you feel the same way too then drop a line. Us newbies gotta stick together and help each other out! For instance, when I try to down load the LEDtoButton build to my board the Lab app crashes. I’m on Win10. I can confirm I have the USB driver required by the Lab page but the board shows no change in activity when I start the download, the Lab app just closes. Let me know if you have the same issue or, even better, you solved this problem! Otherwise, drop a line and say hi; let’s start networking so we can help each other out getting the beginner tutorials under our belts.

More details on the USB issue:

The Au is not found under COM ports. I find it in the USB device tab and the driver is installed as expected. I rebuilt the LEDtoButton project and Lab closed again upon starting the load. The ‘Done’ LED was on before the crash and neither it nor the 8 sequential LEDS showed had any change of behavior during the crash. It appears the download had no visible impact on the board.

Do you see one or two instances of the Au under Universal Serial Bus Devices?

You should see two. One that is listed as USB\VID_0403&PID_6010&MI_00 and one listed as USB\VID_0403&PID_6010&MI_01 under the “Digital Signer” in the “Driver” tab for it.

These correspond to the two ports on the FTDI chip. MI_00 is the serial port and MI_01 is the JTAG programming port.

I believe your crash is due to only having the libusb driver installed for the first port and the software is trying to open the second port.

When you install libusb, make sure to do it for both interfaces!

This is a good workaround for the Lab app usb connection issue. I did this and it got me programming the Au board. It came to me from the forum administrator via my email. This is his message as I received it:

"Open up the device manager with the board plugged in. Right click on one of the Alchitry Au entries and select “Uninstall device.” In the window that pops up, check the “Delete the driver software for this device.” checkbox. Click Uninstall.

Repeat this for the second Au entry.

Unplug and replug the board in.

This should remove the libusb driver and restore the default FTDI driver.

Now download the Alchitry Loader from

Open that and find the .bin file for your project. It will be called “alchitry.bin” and is located in the “work” directory of your project folder after you build it.

Try programming the board with the loader."

It works well. TY for the good advice.

To add to this, I’m working on updating Alchitry Labs to support the proprietary FTDI drivers and the open source ones.

The original support for the Alchitry boards only used the proprietary drivers via a second program written in C. The open source ones were adopted since I could write Java code to support it making managing the code-base easier (and a ton faster to program the board). I’ve since had better luck with a Java wrapper for the FTDI driver and am working to incorporate it into Alchitry labs 1.2.0.

It should be ready by the end of the week.