Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Still trying to get JTAG working with the ESP8266

Good news -- my replacement J-Link is in the mail! Reliable hardware on the way.

In the meantime, I'm still working on my CMSIS-DAP adapter and my ESP8266 board. I'd mis-soldered a 10uF capacitor between TCK and ground (instead of 3V3 and ground), which was stopping anything from working, but after hooking my Saleae box up to the board, I debugged that fairly quickly. I fixed some bugs in the code, but OpenOCD still failed to do the initial chain scan, so something's still broken.

To debug this, I changed tack: OpenOCD also has a "remote_bitbang" driver, where it sends a series of ASCII characters to a TCP socket, to drive a very very simple JTAG adapter. This sounds like a recipe for the worst JTAG performance ever, except that the Teensy 3.2's serial-over-USB performance is very very good, and I saw some pulses as short as 2us in the logic capture, so this should be able to get me ~250 kbit/s, which is certainly good enough for now.

Here's the teensy-openocd-remote-bitbang code, on GitHub

It took a bit of messing around with socat on OS X to get it to bridge between a TCP socket and a serial port, but I found the magic set of arguments eventually:

socat -d -d -d file:/dev/tty.usbmodem1485121,clocal=1,cs8,nonblock=1,ixoff=0,ixon=0,ispeed=9600,ospeed=9600,raw,echo=0,crtscts=0 tcp-listen:3335,reuseaddr

The corresponding OpenOCD incantation is:

openocd -d -c "reset_config srst_only; interface remote_bitbang; remote_bitbang_port 3335; remote_bitbang_host localhost" -f target/esp8266.cfg

Unfortunately OpenOCD *still* couldn't scan the JTAG chain, and it did get bits out TDO this time, so that hardware is not completely broken, but I still have some debugging to do.

Update: I suspect TDO is in high-impedance mode -- it looks like it's floating around 1.5V. Perhaps the ESP8266 doesn't enable its JTAG pins while in reset? Either that or maybe I need to program the chip with code that enables the JTAG pins.

Update 2: Got it working! It turns out that my understanding of remote_bitbang's reset signals was the wrong way around -- RESET is active-low electrically, but the remote_bitbang protocol spec assumes active high. So "reset=0" means 3v3 on the reset pin, and vice versa. The ESP8266 JTAG pins are high-impedance in reset, which is why I saw TDO floating. This doesn't explain why my CMSIS-DAP code didn't work, but at least now I have a known-good state to compare with.