Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

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cmorley
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Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by cmorley » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:01 am

A word of caution for anyone with a TL866A or TL866CS.

The Chinese manufacturer is complaining about counterfeit TL866 (*) on the market and bricked them with the latest firmware 6.82 IIRC. Some people's genuine TL866 have been bricked too & it may be bricked if you did the CS->A upgrade (to fit the ICSP programming header).

It is possible to unbrick them but you do need to solder a 100ohm resistor in order to force it into boot mode and allow an older firmware version e.g. 6.70 to reflash it.

The guy who did the patch radioman on the EEV blog forum has instructions and released a new version of his patcher which works with 6.82.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevb ... msg1704092

So get the new version before you upgrade your TL866 - unlike me who searched after bricking the TL866CS.

* yeah ironic isn't it... the Chinese complaining about counterfeiting!
Last edited by cmorley on Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:07 am

This brings up an interesting question. Apart from buying direct from the manufacturer, how would you know which sellers are selling a genuine programmer?

And along the same lines, if you already have a programmer, is there an easy way to tell if it is a genuine one?

Mark

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by cmorley » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:58 am

They have some info on their website at least...

http://www.autoelectric.cn/en/TL866_main.html
Image

Basically they say that the CS/A is out of production so if you see one for sale it is probably fake.

It is laughable though. Mine is original but I'm pretty sure 3M had no involvement in the manufacture of the 3M branded ZIF socket by the looks of it! So don't buy counterfeit programmers because that is bad but do buy our original with counterfeit ZIF sockets... humm... :?

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:47 am

1024MAK wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:07 am
This brings up an interesting question. Apart from buying direct from the manufacturer, how would you know which sellers are selling a genuine programmer?

And along the same lines, if you already have a programmer, is there an easy way to tell if it is a genuine one?

Mark
Sounds like FTDI bricking all over again.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by kuro68k » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:31 pm

Thanks for that, I'll avoid upgrading.

Direct link to the download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/330bs8t4uucnyi9/TL866.zip

EEVBlog is NSFW and the owner has been known to dox people, so better to avoid it and use the direct link if you can.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by johnkenyon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:25 am

kuro68k wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:31 pm
Thanks for that, I'll avoid upgrading.

Direct link to the download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/330bs8t4uucnyi9/TL866.zip

EEVBlog is NSFW and the owner has been known to dox people, so better to avoid it and use the direct link if you can.
Never seen any NSFW stuff on the forums.

/John

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by kuro68k » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:11 pm

His videos have a lot of NSFW language. Swearing and some racist/sexist outbursts. The forum is pretty much the same.

Just in case anyone is browsing from work like I do sometimes.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:18 pm

kuro68k wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:11 pm
His videos have a lot of NSFW language. Swearing and some racist/sexist outbursts. The forum is pretty much the same.

Just in case anyone is browsing from work like I do sometimes.
Depends where you work I guess, my wife and I work from home and she swears like it was going out of fashion.

(Which is a phrase I never really understood)
Last edited by Elminster on Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:20 pm

As an aside has any one used the slightly more expensive, assume alse knocked off, TOP2013 programmer on ebay?
Last edited by Elminster on Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by johnkenyon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:27 pm

kuro68k wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:11 pm
His videos have a lot of NSFW language. Swearing and some racist/sexist outbursts. The forum is pretty much the same.

Just in case anyone is browsing from work like I do sometimes.
I've watched a few of his video blogs and he seems to be a bit loud/gobby, and not particularly funny which puts me off.
I hardly ever visit the EEVBlog parts of the forum, so I guess I've missed out on the colourful stuff.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:09 am

johnkenyon wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:27 pm
I've watched a few of his video blogs and he seems to be a bit loud/gobby, and not particularly funny which puts me off.
I hardly ever visit the EEVBlog parts of the forum, so I guess I've missed out on the colourful stuff.
He's Australian! :lol:

But his content is, in the main, interesting . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by kuro68k » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:59 am

His multimeters are a bit dodgy too, I'd recommend a more reliable brand if you want one.

It's a shame because his forum/channel is popular but you can't let kids near them.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:12 am

kuro68k wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:59 am
His multimeters are a bit dodgy too, I'd recommend a more reliable brand if you want one.

It's a shame because his forum/channel is popular but you can't let kids near them.
Digression but .....
It is one of my favourite blogs, it is often playing while my 9 year wanders about, my wife’s language is much worse. I do watch other electrical engineering blogs but they just aren’t as engaging. I myself rarely swearing, probably because my mum used to try and stick a bar of soap in my mouth if I did, but I concluded long ago that trying to stop exposure to swearing was a lost cause.

I plan to get an eevblog multimeter at some point, cheaper than Fluke but next step up from my extech 330.

Edit: it might be worth doing a new topic with a list,poll, of electronics video blogs people watch, so if people don’t like one they can try another.
Last edited by Elminster on Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by kuro68k » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:32 am

Don't really want to give him any more publicity. I'd feel terrible if someone saw this, went there and got doxed.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:34 am

Fair enough but it is a great resource all the same. Can’t say I ever noticed any gratioutous swearing or doxing (had to look that up), must auto filter it out, will now be listening out for it.

I assume no one has a Top2013 programmer then, I am guessing this is/may be in the same boat as the tl866 are.
Last edited by Elminster on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:19 am

kuro68k wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:59 am
His multimeters are a bit dodgy too, I'd recommend a more reliable brand if you want one.
Like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder - YouTube content is also a personal thing - I enjoy most of his content - can't say I notice any particular bad language - and why would young 'kids' be watching anyway?

Multimeters - I have this one and find it brilliant, as good as any Fluke I've used :mrgreen: It had a few teething problems that have all been sorted - software upgradable too . . .

Dave H :D
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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by cmorley » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:00 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:19 am
can't say I notice any particular bad language - and why would young 'kids' be watching anyway?
He does say s**t quite often as in "that's a bit s**t I don't like that, that's a bit too how-ya-doin for my liking". Pales into insignificance against Louis Rossmann! :lol:

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:07 am

cmorley wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:00 am
Pales into insignificance against Louis Rossmann! :lol:
Agreed on that his is pretty bad I wouldn’t recommend my mum to watch him. He is still not as bad as my wife though. Don’t be taken in my her innocent looks.
Last edited by Elminster on Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Coeus » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:30 am

cmorley wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:01 am
The Chinese manufacturer is complaining about counterfeit TL866 (*) on the market and bricked them...
If they withdraw a useful and reasonably priced product from the market when there is still a market for it, what do they expect?

I don't know if companies bricking counterfeit products expect end users to be able to return the product to the retailer increasing the retailers cost for dealing with dodgy suppliers, and thus persuade them to verify their supply chain, but I wonder how often this happens in practice because of delays between the original counterfeiting and the bricking. An alternative outcome which the original manufacturer would completely deserve would be disgruntled end users vowing never to buy anything from that manufacturer again.

Anyway, thanks for the warning. It looks like mine is an original and I am not expecting the minipro software on Linux to start bricking them any time soon.
Last edited by Coeus on Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by cmorley » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:37 am

Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:30 am
If they withdraw a useful and reasonably priced product from the market when there is still a market for it, what do they expect?
They have a new "TL866II Plus" model which supersedes the SC/A at ~£35-£40 on eBay. Plenty of dodgy sellers with II Plus in the title which turns into a CS in the listing. Buyer beware!

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Coeus » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:13 pm

cmorley wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:37 am
They have a new "TL866II Plus" model which supersedes the SC/A at ~£35-£40 on eBay. Plenty of dodgy sellers with II Plus in the title which turns into a CS in the listing. Buyer beware!
When I search for that I get plenty of listings at £54. They all look the same as the CS/A, though, just with a bundled set of adapters. At that price I think there is a gap in the market as that is rather more than I paid for the CS/A.

I wasn't suggesting, BTW, that counterfeiting is an acceptable business practice but, as an analogy, if you leave your bike leaning against the railings at the railways station, even though it would be illegal for someone to steal it, you'd hardly be surprised when someone did just that as it was a handy ride into town.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:24 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:47 am
1024MAK wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:07 am
This brings up an interesting question. Apart from buying direct from the manufacturer, how would you know which sellers are selling a genuine programmer?

And along the same lines, if you already have a programmer, is there an easy way to tell if it is a genuine one?

Mark
Sounds like FTDI bricking all over again.
Although I said that, it is slightly unfair, the FTDI incident was much worse in that you could buy a valid commercial product with a contaminant supply line. Where as with the TL you would have to be quite naive to not realise something coming from China at a fraction of the price was fake. I guess the reprcusion would be much worse for FTDI as well, I.e. a boycott of buying TL programmers from people buying fake programmers is likely to have zero impact on TL people, same is not true for FTDI products.

The second hand market is harder to know whether you are buying real or fake of course.

I ordered a TOP2013 as want to program GALs at current have a batronix, but to get the batronix (a few models up) that does everything is over £400. So I took the risk the TOP2013 might be a fake (very likely) and be bricked.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:27 pm

Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:13 pm
At that price I think there is a gap in the market as that is rather more than I paid for the CS/A.
I think the issue it is expensive to develop products and pay wages etc. But it not expensive to reverse engineer stuff and sell fakes. Not sure how you can change that.

Edit: no different from the software industry really, you can get knock off software but you might also get a nasty piece of malware for free.(although not usually from the original maker of the software)
Last edited by Elminster on Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Coeus » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:25 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:27 pm
I think the issue it is expensive to develop products and pay wages etc. But it not expensive to reverse engineer stuff and sell fakes. Not sure how you can change that.
Depending on the complexity of the product, reverse engineering can be pretty expensive. The non-pure-software products that are most at risk of being counterfeited are those where a simple piece of hardware is supplied with a much more intelligent driver. For those products most of the development cost will be in the driver and that's the bit a cloning manufacturer doesn't have to produce - they can simply clone the simple hardware and start selling.

As I said in my earlier post, I am not condoning the cloning.
Elminster wrote:... you would have to be quite naive to not realise something coming from China at a fraction of the price was fake
That pre-supposes that one has some idea what a particular kind of product should sell for. I have seen current TL programmers on eBay for £54. There are plenty of more expensive programmers on the market too. I bought my TL866CS, which seems to be genuine, a couple of years back for about £25. Was I supposed to think that was too cheap? Or was it legitimate to think, as I did, that this company had chosen to sell a basic, no frills product and had managed to contain their costs?

The situation is easier in a market where there is strong competition. If I search for 128Gb SD card and find prices varying between about £20 and bit over £30 and then see one on offer for £5, of course I would not be surprised to find it is one of those fakes that has about 4GB of actual flash memory on it but the controller programmed to report 128Gb because with competition between SanDisk, Samsung, Toshiba etc. you can bet that the minimum cost is set by the cost of the flash memory inside and that's why the prices don't have quite so much variation.

So my point is that it is not reasonable to penalise end users who have ended up with fake products on the basis that they "must have known and chose to support the fakers".
Last edited by Coeus on Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by kuro68k » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:38 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:07 am
Agreed on that his is pretty bad I wouldn’t recommend my mum to watch him. He is still not as bad as my wife though. Don’t be taken in my her innocent looks.
It's the sexism/racism that really ruins it. Swearing is one thing, the kids understand it's not polite, but the other stuff... It give them a bad attitude towards Chinese people and women.

Plus, and I can't remind people of this enough, Jones has doxed people in the past so best to stay away from him for your own safety. If you buy something from him it's just giving him the information he needs to attack you later.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:57 pm

Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:25 pm
. Was I supposed to think that was too cheap? Or was it legitimate to think, as I did, that this company had chosen to sell a basic, no frills product and had managed to contain their costs?
Yes I am afraid so, it really it not the fault of the company that sells real programmers that people bought fakes from ebay. Now if it was open hardware that would be a different conversation. That is the risk of eBay, as Chris said ‘buyer beware’. Like buying Gucci handbags at the local market.

But saying that I think it would have been better to perhaps do something that pops up a message saying ‘this is fake and you are not entitled to further driver updates’ and give you the option to revert to some old buggy version. Or if there is such a thing an open source version. Bricking does tend to punish the buyer more than the people making the fakes.
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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Coeus » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:30 pm

Elminster wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:57 pm
Yes I am afraid so...
But mine was not a fake, at least not according to the Automotive's own pictures on how to tell the difference. If I had assumed that price meant it was a fake I would have missed out on buying a genuine product at a good price and thus I was making the point that price is not always a good guide.

And it's all very well to say that eBay is full of stuff of uncertain providence but, as time goes by, more and more things are not available from other retailers so one has to take one's chance there.
Elminster wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:57 pm
...it really it not the fault of the company that sells real programmers that people bought fakes from ebay.
No but is it actually of any benefit to them to annoy those end users? As I said it is simply not reasonable to conclude they knew they were buying a fake and thus consider them to be an accessory. What automotive should be doing is suing the manufacturer behind the fakes. And nothing else.

When Wolkswagen fiddled the emission tests on their diesel engines the authorities didn't consider that buyers were accessories to breaking emission standards because they should have know that the regulations were incredibly hard to meet and that any reasonably priced car must have some dirty secret, instead they held that those buyers were victims of the fraud and those owners have been entitled to compensation.
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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by Elminster » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:42 pm

Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:30 pm

And it's all very well to say that eBay is full of stuff of uncertain providence but, as time goes by, more and more things are not available from other retailers so one has to take one's chance there.
Yep. Like Chris’ 6502 from ebay the other day that were speed ‘rebadged’. Fact of life is people out to con you.
Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:30 pm
Elminster wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:57 pm
...it really it not the fault of the company that sells real programmers that people bought fakes from ebay.
No but is it actually of any benefit to them to annoy those end users? As I said it is simply not reasonable to conclude they knew they were buying a fake and thus consider them to be an accessory. What automotive should be doing is suing the manufacturer behind the fakes. And nothing else.
I am not convinced automotive loses much, if people were using a fake product and then use someone else’s in protest, they (manufacturers) haven’t lost anything. Whether those people would have moved from a fake to real product at some point, or will now, is going to be hard to quantify. Clearly they decided there was a benefit to doing it. Time will tell I guess.

Usually it would be trading standards going into the market with the police to tackle the fake handbag sellers. When the retailers are in China and selling via eBay I have no idea who sorts it.
Last edited by 1024MAK on Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caution: Latest TL866A/CS firmware can brick programmer

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:02 am

:arrow: Alright, enough off topic comments.

Please only post on-topic replies otherwise your posts will be edited or deleted.

Mark

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