Mode-S Beast:Update with Blaster

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All you need is a USB blaster or one of its compatible derivates, which I meanwhile saw as cheap as USD 13,50 (free shipping) (Look for "Mini Altera FPGA CPLD USB Blaster programmer JTAG"). Also, you need to solder a 10 pin connector to the 14 pin programming interface (the remaining 4 pins are those needed for the JTAG port).

Pin 1 is next to the small 8 pin serial flash device. Basically nothing can go wrong because this method can even be used from a point zero. This is the so called "Active Serial" connector.

Active Serial Connector

Install Altera Standalone Programmer Version 9.1 SP1 (not 11.0, which has prooven to be broken) from this source:
ftp://ftp.altera.com/outgoing/release/91sp1_quartus_programmer.exe

The installation will provide a menu point for the programmer under <Program Files><Altera>

The Mode-S Beast must be connected to USB (or any other +5 V power) while programming, the programmer does not supply the unit to be served.

Connect your USB blaster and install it under menu item Hardware Setup, then select mode Active Serial Programming, load the firmware file to be updated with the menu point Change File... and select the two check boxes at Program and Verify.


Mini Altera FPGA CPLD USB Blaster programmer JTAG

Altera Programmer

Klick on Start, after the programming has finished, unplug the cable, when the Mode-S Beast will immediately return to its normal way of operation.