Evalbot as a JTAG programmer


[Adarsh] needed a JTAG programmer to push code to a CPLD dev board he was working with. He knew he didn’t have a dedicated programmer but figured he could come up with something. Pictured above is his hack to use a Stellaris Evalbot as a programmer.

Long time readers will remember the Evalbot coupon code debacle of 2010. The kits were being offered with a $125 discount as part of a conference. We were tipped off about the code not know its restrictions, and the rest is history. We figure there’s a number of readers who have one collecting dust (except for people like [Adam] that used it as a webserver). Here’s your chance to pull it out again and have some fun.

A bit of soldering to test points on the board is all it takes. The connections are made on the J4 footprint which is an unpopulated ICDI header. On the software side [Adarsh] used OpenOCD with stock configuration and board files (specifics in his writeup) to connect to the white CPLD board using JTAG.


  1. truthspew says:

    Yeah, I have to dust mine off.

  2. Paul says:

    Is that a CoolRunner and Xbox 360 that I see?

  3. lobster says:

    Novel approach, but the end result of this project is simply to pirate games on his Xbox.

  4. beef says:

    gave mine away, glad to see someone did something useful with the thing, its nice hardware backed up by gawd awful support

  5. dALE says:

    his his

  6. Rick says:

    Proofread the post, please; wtf is “were tipped off about the code not know it’s restrictions”? You are looking for “were tipped off about the code not knowing its restrictions”.

    Try composing in Word and using the grammar checker builtin.

  7. grunf says:

    if someone has one and wishes to give it away please contact me.

  8. Sam says:

    You can also use the Stellaris (or Tiva) launchpad.
    See: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/Stellaris_LM4F120_LaunchPad_Debug_How_To

  9. Red says:

    I pulled a similar trick using UrJTAG and a Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins. Used it to reflash the firmware on my Butterfly Labs bitcoin mining equipment. Surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it…

  10. Landon says:

    He is using a fake TX Cool Runner chip, which usually have sub-par parts but damn, I entirely respect this guy!

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