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Bus Pirate firmware v4.2 is available for download. THIS IS FOR BOOTLOADER v4 ONLY. If you haven’t upgraded to the version 4 bootloader, see the v4 bootloader upgrade guide.

Major changes include:

  • OpenOCD JTAG debugging support (thanks robots!)
  • New speed settings in I2C, raw2/3wire, updated also in binmode
  • Fixed error in 1-wire reset command in binmode (thanks Mike!)
  • Includes pirate-loader console app
  • Minor bug fixes

There are two ways to load a new firmware with the v4 bootloader: the ds30 Loader GUI and the pirate-loader console application. Get help or discuss this release in the forum.


In preparation for the v4.2 Bus Pirate firmware release, here’s an instruction guide for upgrading with the ds30 Loader GUI.

Firmware v4+ requires a new bootloader. The new bootloader is an adaptation of the open source ds30 Loader. The new bootloader v4+ uses a new upgrade application, the old P24qp.exe ( will not work with the new bootloader.

This guide describes how to use the ds30 Loader GUI application, it should work with Windows (.NET) and Linux and Mac (Mono). If you’d prefer, there’s also a Pirate-Loader console application for all platforms that doesn’t require .NET or Mono.

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Bus Pirate bootloader v4 upgrades have gone great so far. We’d like to invite most users to upgrade now, though if you’re in the middle of a project it might be best to wait.


It looks like some people are having problems with the ds30 Loader GUI for the Bus Pirate v4 bootloader on Linux or Mac with Mono, and many would prefer not to install Mono at all.

pppd cooked up a simple console application (updated version here) for the v4 bootloader in Linux and MacOSX (and Windows). Follow the link for instructions, source, and precompiled binaries.

If you test the console app, please let us know how it goes. After some testing we’ll package it with the normal firmware archive downloads.

[Tux image]

Bus Pirate firmware v4.1 is now available for download. Firmware v4+ requires a bootloader upgrade. Firmware v4+ will not work with the original v2 bootloader. This release includes several new features:

  • Voltage readings to two decimal points of precision
  • Continuous ADC probe reading mode
  • Print bootloader version info
  • Enter bootloader without a jumper
  • First major release for v4 bootloader. Archive includes v4.2 bootloader.
  • Includes updated STK500v2 and OpenOCD firmwares for v4 bootloader.

Please update to the v4 bootloader prior using this release. New features are described below.

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Bus Pirate firmware v3.6 is available for download, this is a minor bug fix release. Update using the normal firmware upgrade procedure. This release does not reach into the upper memory page, so there shouldn’t be any upgrade issues. Changes include:

  • Fixed version string. v3.5 displayed ‘Firmware 3.5’ instead of ‘Firmware v3.5’. This caused issues with Bus Pirate support in AVRdude.
  • Added pause with lit MODE and VREG LED to self-test.

Since release v3.1 the Bus Pirate v2go and v3 share the same firmware. Upgrade v2go with the firmware for v3.

Bus Pirate firmware v3.5 is available for download. Update using the normal firmware upgrade procedure. This release does not reach into the upper memory page, so there shouldn’t be any upgrade issues. Changes include:

  • All bitbang libraries updated to include 100kHz and 400kHz speeds (I2C, raw2wire, raw3wire).
  • Updated self-test, includes over voltage check.
  • Transparent UART bridge macro with hardware flow control pass-through (v2go/v3 only).
  • Removed experimental hardware I2C mode.
  • User interface touch up.
  • Bug fixes here and there.

Since release v3.1 the Bus Pirate v2go and v3 share the same firmware. Upgrade v2go with the firmware for v3.

Firmware version 3.3 for the Bus Pirate will be released in a few weeks. Are there any bug fixes or features you’d like to see in the next firmware release?

We’ve made these updates since the last release:

  • Self-test now checks for voltage regulator over range, as well as under.
  • UART macro 3: transparent bridge with RTS/CTS hardware flow control signals.

Image of the fantastic laser etched case by Ril3y.


The white-on-blue screen that shipped with the #twatch really requires the backlight to be visible. Here’s an updated firmware that has the backlight on at power-up. The new firmware is loaded over the network using tools already available in most operating systems, Windows instructions here.

We apologize for the lack of refinement. We prototyped with a cheap grey-on-green screen that didn’t normally require the backlight. The firmware posted to the Google Code project page went into the Seeed #twatches unmodified to ensure that yours matched the original. Everyone would probably have preferred that the #twatch ship with the backlight enabled by default.

In the next update we’ll tweak the refresh rate and scrolling speed. Do you have any other specific requests for the standard #twatch firmware?

Image by andrewholmes.


Bus Pirate firmware v3.0 is available for download. This release has a new logic analyzer function, improvements to the SPI and I2C bus sniffers, and many bug fixes. See the commit log for a complete list of updates.

The download includes English, Spanish, and Italian language firmware for hardware v3, v2go, and v1a. We’ve stopped compiling firmware for v2a and v0a because nobody reported using them. If you want a compile for these versions, just ask.

There’s a list of major updates since the last release after the break.

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The #twatch can be updated from a PC on the local network thanks to Microchip’s network bootloader. Bug fix updates, new features, and alternate functions can be programmed into the #twatch using the bootloader. The 18F ethernet PICs can only be programmed an average of 100 times, so upgrades are somewhat limited.

This guide is taken from the main #twatch article. Read about the update procedure after the break.

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You don’t need a Microchip programmer to develop firmware for the #twatch. You can use Microchip’s free development tools and upload code through the network bootloader. It’s a mini PIC 18F67J60 development board, but remember that the chip is only rated for 100 program cycles.

Compile instructions follow the break.

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equinoxefr made a screencast that demonstrates how to upgrade the Bus Pirate fimware on OSX.

Thanks for the tip!


Bus Pirate firmware v2.8 is now available for download. This release has some new features and lots of bug fixes. Update instructions here (Python updates).

This is the first release that includes all five binary modes. They’re completely implemented and mostly tested. We also spent a lot of time reviewing and testing the UART library, this release should have the best-working UART mode yet.

Please report your experience in the comments. Any bug fixes will be released as v2.9, otherwise the next version will probably be v3.0. Partial change log after the break.

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The next Bus Pirate firmware release merges MIDI into the UART library. MIDI is just a specific serial protocol over a UART at 31250bps, 8/N/1. The latest nightly build adds option “10) 31250 (MIDI)” to the UART speed options. This also applies all the recent UART mode fixes to MIDI without duplicating code.

If you’ve used or plan to use MIDI on the Bus Pirate, we’d like to hear from you below the fold. As far as we know, MIDI mode has never been used.

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There’s some major internal changes in the latest nightly firmware. The binary mode features are implemented and nearly complete. Several bug fixes and a new macro went into the UART library.

Your help testing this new firmware prior to a final release is greatly appreciated. Please leave a comment if you find bugs, or if you can verify that various protocols and features are working. Download the latest v2.7 nightly, update instructions here (Python updates).

More below the fold.

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UART mode requires special handling compared to the other Bus Pirate modes because data can arrive at any time. Displaying data as it arrives is a unique challenge because it has to be converted to ASCII and sent to the user terminal. Each incoming byte takes about 10 bytes to display on the PC.

The UART library has been largely neglected since early releases. This post outlines changes in the v2.7 release that solve a number of issues that were plaguing the UART library, including speed setting problems and buffer errors.

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Firmware v2.5 is a minor fix release. We cleaned up two small bugs in the binary SPI library, and removed an update to the smartcard library to make it more flexible. This should be the last rapid release to correct minor bugs –   sorry about that, we want a final release firmware with fully working binmode features to develop against.

Our Perl script to dump SPI EEPROMs is in the project SVN, look for a full tutorial in the next few days. We created a scripts folder for any Bus Pirate related software. We’d love to host a copy of your scripts, no matter how simple.

The next firmware release will probably include binary UART and binary I2C access modes.

Bus Pirate v2go
Firmware v2.4
DEVID:0x0447 REVID:0x3042 (B4)

Download Bus Pirate firmware v2.4. This should fix the ‘dead terminal syndrome’ experienced by some users with the v2.3 firmware. It includes all fixes from v2.3.

It looks like some garbage 0x00 bytes were triggering the new binary IO modes accidentally. The binary modes have been updated to require a longer trigger sequence (20 times 0x00).


There have been several problems reported with the recent Bus Pirate v2.3 firmware release. We believe it’s a problem with some terminals sending NULL characters (0x00) to the Bus Pirate, which causes it to enter the new binary IO mode.

This 2.4-nightly for v2go tries to fix that problem by looking for 20 NULL characters before entering binary IO mode. Other than this change, it’s exactly the same as the v2.2 firmware. Hopefully this will help us get a handle on the extent of the problem.

Some tips:

  • You must erase the chip before programming new firmware. Press the green ‘X’ button on the Windows updater before pressing the write device button.
  • Check your verify errors to make sure none are outside the range of 0x400 and 0xc00.
  • See the Windows and Python update guides for the complete firmware upgrade procedure.