Did you know that these features existed on your pyboard?
- January 2, 2019
- Posted by: Lakshana R
- Category: Development board
Did you know that you can upgrade the Micropython firmware on your pyboard?
Did you know that you can configure your boot mode?
Did you know that your pyboard uses its LEDs for error notifications?
Did you know that there are three ways to program your pyboard?
Let us see one by one.
1. Firmware upgrade on pyboard
As we know, the pyboard comes preloaded with Micropython firmware. This firmware will get updated from time to time and because of that, Micropython has provided a feature on pyboard to upgrade to the latest firmware. There is a pin called the BOOT pin or the DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) pin on the inner row of pin X17 on the pyboard version 1.1. This pin must be connected to 3.3V using a jumper to make the pyboard go into DFU mode.
We must also download a programmer tool called Dfuse USB DFU from here. Next, we must download the newest version of Micropython firmware from here. After this, connect your pyboard to your PC/laptop via micro USB cable. Then open the programmer, upload the latest firmware under the ‘Upgrade and Verify action’ box and click ‘Upgrade.’ After upgrading, close programmer, remove the jumper and reset the board. Now your pyboard has been upgraded to the latest version of the Micropython firmware.
2. Configuring boot mode
Did you know that there are three boot modes in your pyboard?
You can configure your boot mode by pressing the RST button while holding the USR switch. When you do that, the LEDs will continually light in a sequence to notify the status of the boot mode. You should release the USR switch when the preferred mode is reached.
The three modes are:
- Standard boot – Green LED only
This is the default mode of operation of pyboard where the boot.py, USB configuration and main.py will execute in this specific order.
- Safe boot – Orange LED only
This mode is called this way for a reason. Here pyboard will not run any scripts (boot.py and main.py) on boot up. So you can use this mode for experimenting with your codes.
- Filesystem reset – Green and Orange LED together
As per the name, the board resets the flash filesystem to its factory state and boots in the safe mode. This is useful when you have bricked your board.
Choose your preferred mode according to your need and start experimenting.
3. Error notifications
The pyboard uses its onboard LEDs to notify two kinds of errors.
- If the red and green LEDs blink alternatively, it indicates that there is some error in your main.py file. In this case, use REPL prompt to debug your code.
- If all 4 LEDs cycling on and off, then there may be a hardware fault. In this case, try doing a hard reset. If that doesn’t work, your board may be damaged.
4. Three ways to program your pyboard
Did you know that you can program your pyboard in 3 different ways?
You can code your pyboard by
- Using REPL where you can directly run programs by entering the code lines as commands in the REPL prompt.
- Using the internal flash filesystem, i.e., you can edit the main.py script, save it and do reset to run the code.
- Using the external SD card filesystem where you can save the program to be run as main.py to load and run it from the SD card.
So these are the exciting features which you might not know as a rookie to pyboard. Hope this makes you more interested in tinkering with pyboard.
If you have just got introduced to pyboard, then check out my first impressions article on pyboard.