Building and Uploading the Rockit Firmware on Mac OS X

Like the Meeblip synth, the supported tool for Rockit development is AVR Studio which can only be used with Windows. It’s possible to build the Rockit code from the Mac OS X command line using the avr-gcc compiler and a new Makefile. The avr-gcc compiler is available for installation on Mac OS X through MacPorts. You’ll also need to install avrdude which is also available from MacPorts.

I’ve adapted this Makefile to build the Rockit code. This Makefile may also work with Linux, although I’ve not tried it. Simply place it in the directory with the Rockit source (make sure it’s named Makefile, not Makefile.txt) and type:

to build the source, then:
make hex
to create the Rockit.hex file for downloading. I’ve set up the Makefile to support the Sparkfun Pocket AVR programmer using avrdude so typing:
make install
will also upload the generated Rockit.hex file to the Rockit. If you’re using a different programmer, you’ll need to edit the writeflash target in the Makefile (line 199).
Alternatively, the avrdude command to upload the firmware is for the Sparkfun Pocket AVR programmer is:
avrdude -c usbtiny -p m644p -U flash:w:Rockit.hex

The avrdude options above can be modified to use your programmer.

The Rockit kit doesn’t ship with an AVR programming header, so you’ll need to solder your own header on the board. Here’s the correct way to connect the Sparkfun Pocket AVR programmer to the AVR header on the Rockit board:

Hackme Rockit with Sparkfun Pocket AVR programmer connected
Hackme Rockit with Sparkfun Pocket AVR programmer connected to the AVR programmer header. Note the orientation of the connector, with the wires facing toward the top of the board.

The header must be put on the top of the board so that the header pinout lines up with the AVR programmer connector. With a standard header on the board, this looks like it will make it fairly tight against the case, although I’ve yet to try assembling a Rockit case.

3 thoughts on “Building and Uploading the Rockit Firmware on Mac OS X”

  1. Pingback: Building and Uploading Rockit Sourcecode on Mac OS X | HackMe Electronics

  2. Thijs Koerselman

    I think a lot of people probably already have the Arduino software installed, which comes with avrdude. I didn’t bother to build the source and just downloaded the hex file. Here’s the command to upload the hex through a usb programmer. I’m using the avrispmkii, so if you use a different one substitute that with your own programmer id.

    /Applications/ -C /Applications/ -c avrispmkII -p m644p -U flash:w:Rockit.hex -P usb

    The above is one single command, executed from the folder where the hex file is located.

    1. Good to have some information about successfully downloading the firmware with another programmer, thanks for sharing.

      Yes I guess a lot of hardware hackers will have the Arduino software installed. For people who just want to keep their firmware up to date, it’s a good tip for a simple way to install avrdude.

      I should point out it’s not necessary to build the source as Matt Heins provides the firmware hex for downloading. The details about building are for anyone who wants to hack the Rockit software, anyone just updating the firmware can skip all these steps and just run the avrdude command.

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