Reader Paul Green was inspired by one of my blog posts, and has done an amazing job of taking it to the next level. The
vj-uart project allows communication to the DE0-Nano using a virtual com port connection.
This tutorial will explain how to pull the files down from GitHub, and how to start talking to the DE0-Nano using PuTTY. (You can use any of the many available tools that can make a
telnet connection, but my preference is PuTTY.
Getting the DE0-Nano Configuration File
The FPGA project is essentially a Virtual JTAG connection set up in a loop back configuration. In other words any data you send to it should be sent right back, a good way to ensure everything is connected and running properly. Once you’re sure things are working you can extend the
vj-uart to work with your own project.
Once you’ve downloaded the project, open the Quartus Project File:
Use the Processing menu, and Compile the project as you normally would:
If the programmer shows that no hardware is connected, like this:Then just click the Hardware Setup… button, and hopefully you can select it:
Now that the USB-Blaster is setup, click the Start button, and wait until the progress hits 100%:
Running the TCL – Quartus_stp.exe Server
Next, you’ll need to head over to the
vj-uart\bin directory, and find the
This is the file you will need to run using
quartus_stp.exe, much like we did with the TCL server in my earlier post.
quartus_stp.exeis an application that is normally used with the Altera SignalTap II. It has the API hooks that let us talk directly to the Virtual JTAG using TCL. Vern Muhr has done some impressive reverse engineering and created the
open_sldproject that bypasses the
I recommend you just make a shortcut that will launch this file inside
quartus_stp.exe, so you don’t always have to type out the full path.
Right click the
vjuart.tcl file, and create a new shortcut. You can rename the shortcut, then you’ll need to update the Target path inside the shortcut path:
C:\altera\13.0sp1\quartus\bin\quartus_stp.exe -t "C:\Users\Chris\Dropbox\GitHub\vj-uart\bin\vjuart.tcl"
Once the shortcut is created, launch it and you should see something like this:
Connecting with PuTTY
Head over and download PuTTY if you don’t have it already.
In order to better see the loopback behavior, I recommend clicking on the Terminal category, and setting the Local Echo to
Force on, and the Local line editing to
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Soon I’ll put together a more practical project, probably a small project that writes characters to a display. Many thanks to Paul Green for his very well written project!