LimeSDR Mini USB errors

I have a problem similar to the one described here: ERROR: TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0) but mine isn’t solved by plugging directly into the computer.

This happened on a day when I was having strange USB port issues, possibly due to the cold temperature affecting the motherboard. My external hard drives were also randomly disconnecting at that time. When it happened, I was using the board to transmit nonstop QPSK at 903 MHz. Everything seems fine now and I’m able to use the mouse, keyboard, webcam, and 2 external hard drives but not the LimeSDR Mini anymore. Whatever happened is also preventing me from flashing the firmware so I’m wondering if I have to buy a USB blaster to fix it.

I made sure to install the latest FTDI driver, version 1.3.0.4. I also tried it on another computer with USB 2 and 3 just to make sure it wasn’t a problem with my USB ports. On this other computer I got a slightly different set of errors in LimeSuite that said, “ERROR: TransferPacket: Read failed (64 bytes)”.

Here are my LimeQuickTest results:

C:\Windows\system32>limequicktest
[ TESTING STARTED ]
->Start time: Wed Dec 23 11:31:03 2020

TransferPacket: Read failed (ret=-1)
TransferPacket: Read failed (ret=-1)
TransferPacket: Read failed (ret=-1)
TransferPacket: Read failed (ret=-1)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=-1)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=-1)
Board not supported
Failed to connect

As you can see, it shows up in LimeSuite’s device list.
limemini_device_list

However, this is what LimeSuite reports when I try to connect to it:

[11:39:04] INFO: Disconnected control port
[11:40:55] ERROR: TransferPacket: Read failed (ret=-1) x3
[11:40:55] ERROR: TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=-1) x35
[11:40:59] INFO: Connected Control port: UNKNOWN FW:0 HW:0 Protocol:0 GW:0.0 Ref Clk: -0.00 MHz

It does look as though firmware may be corrupted. Is there another port or computer you can try though?

Yes, I tried it on another computer with USB 2 and 3 ports and made sure to try both types of ports and I got almost the same error in LimeSuite: “ERROR: TransferPacket: Read failed (64 bytes)”.

If the firmware is bad, how can I fix it?

@Zack, if you could take a look and advise, please.

Hello @hcb,

Yes, it looks like FPGA gateware was corrupted. USB Blaster should help in this case I think.

Thank you, @Zack. Is this what I should buy or do you recommend something else? https://www.amazon.com/RioRand-Blaster-CPLD-FPGA-programmer/dp/B00IRODADK

Hi @hcb,

Not sure about this. Search this forum, there was a discussion about it. I’ve tried it, but I couldn’t program LimeSD-Mini using this device. We were able to program other FPGA if I recall correctly
I would go with this:
https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/terasic-inc/P0302/2003484
This will definitely work (we use these programmers in our lab).