Using ROVATool with an FTDI FT232H Based board

rtd2660ftdi

Introduction

As of Release 2.0 this mechanism now offers the best balance of simplicity and low cost.

This page describes how to get a commonly available FT232H based board, the Adafruit FT232H Breakout working with ROVATool.

The first step is to wire it up. You’ll need:

  • Adafruit FT232H Breakout (or anything else like it)
  • 2x 1k resistors
  • 2x 100 ohm resistors (optional)
  • DE15 Male connector
  • Some hookup wire
  • Optional 0.1″ headers and housings

The connection process is described on Adafruit’s website here for completeness sake, here’s a schematic:

ftdiconfig
The FTDI board has to be configured in the settings dialogue

Warning to purchasers of non-Adafruit FT232H boards

I have received several emails from people who have unsuccessfully tried to get this working with non-Adafruit branded FT232H boards. Just because it has the same chip, and is wired the same as I have demonstrated here, does not guarantee that it’s going to work.

These boards have an EEPROM containing some data which is used by the FTDI driver to determine the capabilities and configuration of the board. ROVATool does not have any control over this, it simply requests the first available I2C channel.  The exact implementation of that is determined entirely by your board and its own EEPROM. Some boards to not advertise I2C capability at all, while others do, but using different pinning to the Adafruit board.

With the proper know-how – in the worst case using FTDI SDK to reprogram it, you will be able to fix it, however this is not a simple task, and I do not offer assistance in these cases.

Drivers

I personally recommend the V2.10 D2XX driver from FTDI, which is included in the package. Others should work, but, for example, with V2.12 – I have seen one minor issue.

Other FTDI chips

Although I’ve not personally verified them – other chips such as FT2232C, FT2232H and FT4232H should also work, provided they have the correct EEPROM configuration for I2C operation, and are wired correctly.

The MStar USB programmer (FT2232D) is also fully supported by this release.

MStar Semiconductors's basic USB Programmer. It's not the Novatek offical programmer but it happens to be what I was given, and it is supported by Novatek's writer software.
MStar Semiconductors’s basic USB Programmer.

21 thoughts on “Using ROVATool with an FTDI FT232H Based board”

  1. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for sharing your great work. I read your review about the Novatek NT68667 / EasyWriter, so I am hoping that I can pick your brain.

    I bought an M.NT68676.2A board from ebay, which was programmed for the wrong LCD panel and due to shipping cost I’m not all that existed to ship it back in order to get that corrected. I’m looking for a low cost solution to reprogram the board. Do you know If this can be used with the Novatek EasyWriter?

    Or alternatively, I have a logic analyzer based on the Cypress CY68013A that I can modify in according to the instructions that you posted, do you know if there is a relationship between NVT EasyUSB that is listed in the supported EasyWriter ISPs to the Cypress EZUSB-FX2?

    Thanks
    Nurio

      1. Hi David,

        Sorry for the late response, in case it’s too late for you then hopefully someone else will find this information useful.

        I tried building the VGA programmer as described on this site using an FTDI Breakout board based on the FT2232H, which is basically an FT232H with two channels. And it seemed to work to some degree as it could read the EDID off the NT68667 board using one of the tools from this site (it’s been a while since I’ve done this and I can’t remember which one), but the Novatek EasyWriter wasn’t able to recognize it as a programmer. I’ve also tried other programming applications without any success.

        Eventually I broke down and bought an RT809F from eBay that works well with Novatek EasyWriter. However, it won’t be a cost-effective solution if you don’t have any other uses for it.

        Regards,
        Nurio

        1. Hi Nurio,
          Yesterday I builded the LPT programmer, but don’t work.
          When I press the ISP ON button the “Enter ISP Fail!” error message appears.
          I will try reading the EDID with my LPT port programmer and post the results.
          Regards,
          David,

        2. I don’t know a great deal about Novawriter but from memory, it has a configuration dialogue which sets how your parallel port adapter is wired. Did you try adjust that first?

          1. Thanks Matt for reply,
            I ran the LPT port setup, I chose the ROWA.
            I measured with oscilloscope when I press the ISP ON button on SDA, SCL are signals .
            When you using the programmer which device you choiced? NVT Type I, NVT Type II, CHIMEI, LG, MYSON, ROWA, SAMSUNG, INNOLUX or user define?
            Thanks in advance!
            David

    1. No,
      Only the FT232H is good for this.
      The FT232RL is only a USB-Serial converter, but the FT232H support I2C, FIFO, FT1248 and many other buses.

    1. Yes it would be possible to get it working with an Arduino, but quite an undertaking to implement and harden as a solution.

      I would definitely be happy to co-operate with someone who was prepared to implement something like this but I will not be doing it myself!

  2. Goodmorning,
    I would like to know if a mcp2221 by microchip is shitable for this, it is a usb to i2c and i would like to use the schematic at the top of this page.
    Many thanks

  3. Good evening and thanks for this really useful tool!

    I am trying to use an FT232H to program an RTD2660. RovaTool finds the USB device (I’m running windows in a virtual machine), but when I hit “program target”, I get the following:
    Error: device didn’t send ack byte during FTDIUSBInterface::Read

    On the VGA socket, I have not connected pins 6 and 7 to ground, but I have checked that pins 6,7 and 8 are shorted, so my ground goes to pins 5, 8 and 10.

    Any ideas? I will try on a real windows machine as soon as I can get my hands on one, but somehome I don’t think it’s the VM.

    1. I can confirm the CJMCU FT232H is working just fine with rovatool

      no pullup resistors needed just connect d1 and d2 together and connect to vga pin 12
      and connect d0 to pin 15 and you are good to go !!

  4. Hello there!

    I just wanted to say thankyou for your excellent resources – both your website, and your tools – for the reprogramming of the PCB800099 LCD drivers.

    I bought a couple from Ebay, and only powered them up after having made enclosures to fit- the seller had provided screens of a higher resolution than I was expecting! But the drivers were improperly configured.

    Thanks to your work, I have been able to find a BIN file that worked and now both are functioning perfectly.

    For your record, I was using an Adafruit FTDI-H board., without the 100 ohm resistors.
    Thanks again!

    Matt

  5. I just wanted to report that I had success uploading firmware to the PCB800099 using Matt’s ROVATOOLS package and the Adafruit FT232H breakout board and the exact circuit shown on this webpage. It just worked 😉

    I had ordered these boards from China, but at first they didn’t work with my display until I found the appropriate firmware (display was just black). My display is a 7″ LVDS 1280×800 display (HSD070PWW1) and now it works well.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this useful knowledge.

    1. Hi. I have a similar problem. I get a black screen and no image on the LCD. Mine is 1024×600. Where did you get the firmware please?

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