Custom board with inaccessible boot loader


We are creating a commercial product and have a custom manufactured Panda board. I am trying to access the bootloader using Teraterm. I have no USB connection (no bing bong when connecting :)) and so am connecting via COM1 with a jumper on the MODE and GROUND pins. I then put it into boot loader mode, and send a ‘b’. I get a ‘j’ back rather than the expected ‘BL’. I have the baud setting as 115200 and 8, none, 1. Sending a ‘V’ gets back a ‘^’ rather than the version number. So effectively I am getting back what I send + 8 off this board. When I plug in a bought in FEZ Panda using the same technique I get back what I expect - a ‘b’ I get back ‘BL’.

The chip is an NXP LPC2387. Should the GHI boot loader be on there already or am I assuming too much. Do I have a blank chip?

If this is the case is it even possible to put the GHI boot loader/firmware onto this chip?


You can’t use NXP blank chip. You need this

Did you bought the chip at GHI? If not, then you have a blank chip.


Sounds like the commercial product is a Panda. :naughty:

Markbucknell, unfortunately most of GHIs products are not Open Source, in most cases this means that you wont be able to simply build your own boards, without developing our own code. You could port the .Net Micro Framework if you wanted for the chip, youll need to start with the .NetMF Porting Kit ( If you want to use a solution which is ready to go you do have a few options. You base your design on the Arduino ( this however does not run the .NetMF and will require you to write in Wiring which is derived from C. If you want to stick with the .NetMF you can base your design on the Netduino (, the Netduino is both open source hardware but also open source software. The firmware is available for download either as a binary to flash to your uC or as source so that you can build custom features in. However because the Netduino uses a different uC you will still have to put in a bit of work to get it working with your uC, unless you were to change the part youre using.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am active in the Netduino community and am actively developing a product based on the Netduino.

Hi Aaron, glad to see you here!! Maybe you can be more active on our forums instead of these rare yet targeted posts.

Looking forward to seeing more from you.

You may also want to check our open source offers which can do much more that the limited board you use.

@ Markbucknell, @ Arron

Let’s not forget about FEZ Hydra which is completely open source. Rajesh recently compiled 4.2 for it.

@ Markbucknell: Welcome to our community first of all. Arron reminded me of this free ebook from GHI Electronics :):

This takes you step by step on how to port .NET Micro Framework on FEZ Hacker which that uses the same processor Netduino uses but with more capabilites. All with complete information. Also it includes information on how to port NETMF on NXP’s processor. I think it might be useful for you.

I would like to add that we value the open source hardware, the majority of our products at this moment are open source and they are increasing:

To help you know if the product is open source or not. look for the open source hardware logo.

We made an error in thinking the firmware was open source so our solution was to buy the chipsets directly from GHI. Everything is now working perfectly.

Thanks everyone for the help.