DIY & Hardware
This manual page (and the following pages) explains how to setup and use the Alpakka Firmware, and to setup a developer environment both from the software and hardware point of view.
The Developer Kit is a simple DIY device that allows the developer to connect to the controller, get logs, send commands, and use a physical reset button. This is not required to hack the Alpakka, but it helps a lot.
The components for the reference developer kit are:
- USB to TTL serial cable. Like this one
- JST PH 4-pin cable. Like this one
- Mini-breadboard. Like this one
- Reset button. Like these
(Cable colors may be different in your setup)
With this setup, the reset button works as:
- Single press: Restarts the controller.
- Double press: Controller goes into Bootsel mode (ready to be flashed).
Warning: Do not push the JST connector all the way in, it may be very difficult to remove.
The Raspberry Pi Pico (and therefore the Alpakka controller) have 3 possible states:
|If the USB cable is not connected.
|Executing the code located in the memory.
Behaving as a USB drive called RPI-RP2, ready to get new code (firmware) into memory.
This is how new code is loaded into the controller, via USB cable
There are 4 different ways to put the controller into Bootsel mode:
|The Pico way
Holding the Pico small white button located under the battery bay, while connecting the USB cable.
Not very convenient after the controller is assembled.
|The casual way
Performing the Bootsel button combination in the controller.
For non-developer users that just want to update to a new reference firmware release.
|The reliable way
Double-clicking the physical Developer Kit reset button
This will always work!
|The cool way
Sending a Bootsel request via the TTL serial session, with make bootsel or as part of other automated tooling.
It requires an active session, and won't work if the previous execution failed.