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Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer

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kolio
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
kolio   10/4/2010 2:21:53 PM
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It's hard to imagine that a defence product, which is including a firmware, can be shipped without program memory check at least at start-up. Especially one that is intended to emit high RF-power. Here might be more proper to finger point the system design rather than s/w or h/w.

YevgeniT
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
YevgeniT   10/3/2010 7:10:04 AM
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The lesson is: know your tools. Any terminal emulator utility is mainly intended for ASCII coded communication. To transfer a binary file, non-evident tuning must be applied: disable interpretation of the ASCII control characters. By the way, the standard Intel HEX format contains the needed features for transfer integrity, including check of the length and the check sum. Possibly, you were need to invest in the bootloader, which use Intel HEX format.

WKetel
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
WKetel   10/2/2010 12:34:20 AM
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I do indeed recall the wonders of hyperterminal, and of being a hero when I pulled out a legal Procom disk. Just adding a start-of-file character can completely confuse a machine running compiled code loaded by the wrong program. At least that was the case in 1991.

Jeff.Petro
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
Jeff.Petro   10/1/2010 9:49:34 PM
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Don't forget the golden rule of hardware: If in doubt, blame software Or the golden rule of software: If in doubt, break the hardware

Cal Q. Lust
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
Cal Q. Lust   10/1/2010 8:48:17 PM
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Ha! Yep, we too had spurious characters interjected during attempts at using HyperTerm. We dusted off our copy of Procomm 4.8 (which has a C-like script language - VERY useful) and never looked back. Because we are in a regulated industry, we had to perform verification testing on ProComm and a backup terminal emulator (TeraTerm - open source, includes the C source). We did this by connecting two PCs via a null modem and running a script that ran all night and sent a sequence of characters. We then compared the output to the input. HyperTerminal either locked up or sent/received incorrect characters every now and then. Procomm and TeraTerm passed with zero problems. (BTW, this is exactly why sort of error checking should be performed when transmitting characters. A simple arithmetic checksum, at a minimum.)

katgod
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
katgod   10/1/2010 8:30:04 PM
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it = I

katgod
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
katgod   10/1/2010 8:29:04 PM
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As a Hardware person I have had this issue ever since I started producing and debugging hardware. Over the years it have run into both hardware and software problems, and because of this I am always aware that it could be hardware. This sometimes makes extra work for me as I need to reverify that the hardware in fact is working correctly but that comes with the job. I have to say that recently most of the questionable problems have been software. I suspect that this is because most of the hardware pieces have already been tested were as with code is continually being modified without complete testing.

ylshih
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
ylshih   10/1/2010 4:51:16 AM
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I recall one of my first microprocessor projects, which was on a crash schedule, where I had my first experience about hardware versus software finger pointing. I breadboarded a 6502 SBC on a wire-wrap board while my software partner coded the boot loader, kernel and firmware. I finished the electrical testing, confirmed that it could execute from PROM and handed the board over at about 6PM and left, just as he got ready to pull an all-nighter to debug the code. I got back in the next morning to read pointed complaints about how there must be some hardware fault somewhere I hadn't caught because the hardware was "flaky", sometimes the code worked and sometimes it didn't - it must be hardware. I spent the rest of the day rechecking everything but was unable to find anything. He came in again at 6PM and I prepared to spend the rest of the night with him. As I watched him wrestle with non-repeatable anomalies, I began reading the code line-by-line and it struck me: I asked him "where do you initialize the stack pointer?" Duh. One more instruction and everything worked!

Sheetal.Pandey
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
Sheetal.Pandey   10/1/2010 3:47:07 AM
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Oh yes I can relate to the issue discussed in the article. In the design phase its always difficult to say where is the problem. And many times the problem is as simple as the IC didnt get programmed properly. But yes Hyperterminal does behave weird many times.

Redgum
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re: Engineers try to resist finger pointing in debugging radar jammer
Redgum   10/1/2010 2:00:55 AM
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Probably a bad idea to blame a tool or the company that makes it. In my experience as an engineer, it's just as critical to know your tools as doing your math on the project.

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