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Technical Resources

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Technical FAQ return to top
Serial Communication Problems

1.  I am using XLTERM, but it doesn't work.  HyperTerminal works OK.  Why?

2.  XLTERM works OK, except for transferring files.  Why?

3.  Can I use HyperTerminal instead of XLTERM?

4.  How can I increase the speed of file transfers with XLTERM?

5.  When rapidly printing characters to the COM1 console, or polling for keystrokes, I sometimes see a short delay in program execution.  What causes this, and how do I get rid of the delay?

Accidentally Deleted Files

1.  Help!  I accidentally deleted the TRANSFER program!  What do I do to get it back?

2.  Oh, no!  I re-formatted the flash disk and now all the files are gone!  How can I recover?

3.  How can I prevent critical files from being accidentally deleted?

Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up

1.  How do I make the DOS Stamp run my program automatically when it is powered up?

2.  Help!  My program runs automatically when the DOS Stamp powers up, and I cannot break out of it!  What do I do now?


1.  What do I need to use the DiskOnChip on the DOS Stamp?  (DOS Stamp)

2.  Why does the DOS Stamp hang or get an invalid opcode when booting with a DiskOnChip?  (DOS Stamp)

3.  How do I install firmware onto the DiskOnChip?  (DOS Stamp)

4.  Why do I get an "Out of Paper" error message when trying to access the DiskOnChip?  (DOS Stamp)

Hang Problems

1.  Why does it hang when I try to access or delete a file from the flash disk or DiskOnChip?  (DOS Stamp, Chickadee XL)

2.  Why does it hang when my program starts?  (All)

Reset / Rebooting

1.  Why does it reboot or reset before it starts my program?  (All)

2.  Why does it reboot or reset after it starts my program?  (All)

3.  How can I disable the RAM test?  (DOS Stamp)

Technical FAQ Answers return to top
Serial Communication Problems

1.  There are numerous reasons why XLTERM may not work:

1.  You are running Windows NT/2000/XP.  XLTERM is a DOS application and needs direct access to the serial hardware, therefore it may not work reliably under NT/2000/XP.  If you must use NT/2000/XP, you may want to use HyperTerminal or another NT-ready terminal emulator program, such as Tera Term.
2.  You are running Windows 98 or ME and have ACPI power management enabled for the serial ports.  You can disable it by following the procedure in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q252184.
3.  There is already a Windows or other DOS program running that has allocated the serial port.

2.  XLTERM may not properly transfer files if:

1.  You are running Windows NT/2000/XP.  XLTERM is a DOS application and needs direct access to the serial hardware, therefore it may not work reliably under NT/2000/XP.  If you must use NT/2000/XP, you may want to use HyperTerminal or another NT-ready terminal emulator program, such as Tera Term.
2.  The file XLTERM.INI is not present in the directory where XLTERM was started from.
3.  The file XLTERM.INI contains an incorrect configuration.
4.  The TRANSFER program is not present on the SBC.
5.  An invalid file/path was entered for the Upload or Download commands.
6.  An invalid drive/path is specified in the XLTERM.INI file.
7.  The destination drive/path does not exist or is full. 

3.  Yes, you can use any terminal emulator program that supports VT-100 emulation and XMODEM file transfers.  However, we recommend using XLTERM, because of the easy Upload and Download commands.  If you use another program, you will have to type the TRANSFER command manually on the SBC.  To get help with TRANSFER, type TRANSFER /?.  

4.  You can increase the file transfer speed of XLTERM by editing the XLTERM.INI configuration.  See the XLTERM User's Manual for details.

5.  This is caused by some undesirable code in the INT 14h Serial Service handler in the BIOS.  The code in question has been removed with this BIOS update.

Accidentally Deleted Files

1.  To restore the TRANSFER program, follow this procedure:

1.  Follow steps 1-9 of the procedure in "Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up" section 2.
2.  Copy TRANSFER.EXE from the floppy to the SBC flash disk.
3.  Follow steps 11-12 of the procedure in "Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up" section 2.

2.  To recover the flash disk, follow this procedure:

1.  Follow steps 1-8 of the procedure in "Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up" section 2.
2.  Make absolutely sure which letter is assigned to the flash drive by trying all the drives.  Once you know the assigned drive letter, go to the next step.
3. Format the flash disk by typing the command "FORMAT E: /C", where E: is the assigned drive letter (substitute your actual drive letter).  There is a space between "E:" and "/C".
4.  Reboot your PC from the floppy.
5.  Copy the following files over to the flash disk:  RAMDISK.SYS, TRANSFER.EXE.
6.  Follow steps 11-12 of the procedure in "Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up" section 2.

3.  You can prevent accidental file deletion by setting the "read-only" file attribute for a file using the ATTRIB command, like this:  "ATTRIB +R SOMEFILE.EXE".  You will need to upload ATTRIB.EXE before you do this.

Running Your Program Automatically On Power-Up

1.  Invoke your program from the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.  Be sure to add your program name on a separate line, after any other commands or settings it may need to operate properly (i.e. SET 87=NO).  It is also recommended that you use the BATCHASK program to allow you to break out of AUTOEXEC.BAT before your program starts.

2.  You must delete your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to prevent it from starting your program.  To do this before DOS boots, you must use the Manufacturing Link.  Follow this procedure:

1.  Start your terminal emulator program on the PC.
2.  Remove power from the SBC.
3.  DOS Stamp:  Place a jumper across pins 7 and 8 of JP3.  Chickadee XL:  Place a jumper across XL option jumper #1 (IN7).
4.  Power up the SBC.  Tab down to “Start RS232 Manufacturing Link” on the menu and press <Enter>.  The SBC responds with the message "Manufacturing Mode entered.  Keyboard Frozen."
5.  Exit your terminal emulator program.
6.  Locate the DOS-ROM floppy disk that came with your Starter Kit.  It is bootable.  Put it in your PC.
7.  Edit the CONFIG.SYS file to make sure it is configured for the serial port (COM1 or COM2) your PC uses for the SBC.  Save your changes.
8.  Reboot your PC from the floppy.  The B: flash disk on the SBC is mapped as the first available drive letter on your PC.  Example:  if your last hard disk partition is D:, the flash disk should be E:.  DOS-ROM may not recognize compressed or FAT32 partitions, so the flash disk may be mapped as a drive letter that is normally used by a partition on your PC.
9.  List the flash disk contents with a "dir" command to make sure you have the correct drive.
10.  Delete the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
11.  Remove the DOS-ROM floppy from the PC and reboot your PC.
12.  Remove power from the SBC, then remove the jumper from the SBC.


1.  You can use either the 2000 series or the Millenium series DiskOnChip on the DOS Stamp.  You must use the 5 V version.  The 2000 series requires version 1.21A (DOC121A.EXB), or 1.23 or later 8086 firmware (DOC123.086).  The Millenium series requires version 1.23 or later device driver firmware (DOC2.FFF) and 8086 device drivers (DOC2SS.COM and DOC2TFFS.COM).  If you buy DiskOnChips from Bagotronix, we ship them with the correct firmware.  If you buy them elsewhere, you must load the firmware yourself.  (06/13/2000)  return to top

2.  Hanging or an invalid opcode can be caused by using the wrong firmware in the DiskOnChip.  You must use 8086 firmware, since the non-8086 versions use special instructions that are only available on 386 or higher computers.  With the Millenium series, you must also use the device drivers, as documented in M-Systems technical document AP-DOC-012 "Loading the DiskOnChip 2000 S/W as a Device Driver".  (06/13/2000)  return to top

3.  To install firmware onto the DiskOnChip, you need a DiskOnChip ISA Bus Adapter (DIBA).  This is a 8-bit ISA card that plugs into a PC and has a 32-pin DIP socket.  Plug the DIBA into your PC.  Insert a DiskOnChip and turn on the PC.  The DiskOnChip should come up as the next available drive letter on your PC.  Assuming the DiskOnChip is drive D: and the firmware version is 1.23, here are the commands to install firmware for the 2000 series:

     dupdate d: /s:doc123.086

Once this is done, turn off the PC and remove the DiskOnChip.  Insert it into the DOS Stamp and apply power. It should install as drive C: and be ready for use.

For the Millenium series, the firmware installation commands are:

     dupdate d: /s:doc2.fff

Then, on the DOS Stamp, at the DOS prompt, type "copy con config.sys" to create a CONFIG.SYS file.  Type these lines in it:

     device = ramdisk.sys /kbtouse=128
     device =
     device = /window=8000

Then press <CTRL>Z to close the file.  Reboot the DOS Stamp.  Since you don't have the DOC2 device drivers on drive B: yet, DOS will complain.  Using XLTERM or some other terminal emulator program, upload the DOC2SS.COM and DOC2TFFS.COM device drivers (8086 versions) to the C: drive (RAMdisk) on the DOS Stamp.  Then copy them over to drive B: with the COPY command:


Then remove power from the DOS Stamp, insert the Millenium chip, and reapply power.  The Millenium chip should come up as drive D:.  At this point, you no longer need the RAMdisk, so you may retype your CONFIG.SYS file to remove it.  If you do this, the Millenium chip will come up as drive C: when you reboot the DOS Stamp.  (06/13/2000)   return to top

4.  The "Out of Paper" error message occurs when there is insufficient RAM memory set aside for the DiskOnChip TrueFFS firmware.  The TrueFFS firmware allocates RAM memory to use as buffers for data management.  The default buffer size is 4096 bytes, which is sufficient for up to 20 MB devices.  Larger devices should use a larger buffer.  Specify the buffer size as a command-line option (/SIZE) for the DOC2TFFS.COM driver in CONFIG.SYS, like this:


Note that larger buffer sizes reduce the amount of RAM available to programs.  For more detailed information, refer to M-Systems document AP-DOC-012.PDF.

Hang Problems

1.  DOS may hang when trying to access or delete a file when the File Allocation Table (FAT) has been corrupted, or if the flash disk (drive B:) low-level format has been corrupted.  To repair damage to drive B:, run the CHKRFD utility with the /F parameter, like this:

     CHKRFD /F

This will repair the low-level format of drive B:, if possible.  Next, run the CHKDSK utility with the /F parameter, like this:

     CHKDSK /F

This will repair the FAT, and truncate any cross-linked files to zero length.  Finally, delete any zero-length files.  If this procedure does not recover drive B:, it is too damaged to repair, and must be reinitialized using the Manufacturing Link procedure.

To repair a DiskOnChip FAT, it is only necessary to run the CHKDSK utility, as shown above.  (06/13/2000)  return to top

2.  If you are using floating point in your program, make sure you are using the proper math emulation library.  For Microsoft C/C++, this is the "alternate" library.  For Turbo C/C++ and PowerBasic, use the emulation library, and set the DOS environment variable 87 to NO, like this:

SET 87=NO 

This must be done before your program starts.  Ideally, you can set this variable in the AUTOEXEC.BAT during boot.

Reset / Rebooting

1.  Rebooting and/or resetting before your program starts can be caused by a drop in the power supply voltage.  There is a voltage monitor chip on the SBC, which resets the CPU if the voltage drops too low, typically 4.75 +/- 0.05 V.  Measuring the voltage with a volt meter may not show the problem, since a momentary voltage drop may be too quick to show up on the meter's reading.  To prevent voltage drops, use a power supply with low ripple at rated load, and an adequate wire gauge with wires as short as possible.  Incompatible device drivers or TSR programs can also cause this behavior.  (6/13/2000)  return to top

2.  Rebooting and/or resetting after your program starts can be caused by many different things, such as:

     a.  Uninitialized or wild pointers.
     b.  Your compiler is producing 80286 or higher opcodes.
     c.  Your program has floating point math and no emulation linked in.
     d.  Stack overflow caused by too many recursive function calls.
     e.  Memory fragmentation caused by too many malloc() and free() calls.  C++
          constructors and destructors using new and delete operators can also cause this.
     f.  Turning on a device powered by the same source as the SBC.  The voltage drop
         results from the additional load on the power supply and the resistance of the wires.
     g. Assembly language routines that do not pop as many values off the stack as are pushed,
         or use the wrong calling or returning instructions for the chosen memory model.

3.  The DOS Stamp is shipped with the RAM test disabled for quick boot.  If the CMOS configuration has been corrupted, the CMOS settings will be purged and RAM test will be enabled.  To disable the RAM test, turn off the power and install a jumper across JP3 pins 7 and 8.  Re-power the DOS Stamp.  You will see the BIOS setup menu.  Choose "Basic CMOS Configuration".  Tab down to the "Exhaustive Memory Test" setting and disable it.  Escape back to the BIOS setup menu.  Tab down to "Write to CMOS and Exit" and press <Enter>.  When the DOS Stamp reboots, it should skip the RAM test.  Power it down and remove the jumper.

It is possible to corrupt the CMOS settings by writing to the real time clock RAM area reserved by the BIOS (offset 0Eh - 3Fh), or by momentarily shorting the battery.  DO NOT SHORT THE BATTERY intentionally as a means of clearing the CMOS.

(6/13/2000)  return to top

Manuals return to top
To view PDF files, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.  This free software is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Chickadee User's Manual
                cad-man.pdf, 439 KB

Chickadee XL User's Manual Addendum
                cadxlman.pdf, 105 KB

DOS Stamp™ User's Manual
                stmpman.pdf, 1.642 MB

XLTERM User's Manual
Use XLTERM for communcation and file transfer between your PC and the Chickadee XL or DOS Stamp™.
                xlterm.pdf, 10KB

Application Notes return to top
AN-001 - Interfacing Type K Thermocouples to the Chickadee XL SBC
                 chktc.pdf, 36 KB

AN-002 - Interfacing Inclination Sensors to the Chickadee XL SBC
                 chktilt.pdf, 18 KB

AN-003 - LCD Contrast Adjustment Software Considerations for Chickadee
                 contrast.pdf, 11 KB

AN-004 - LCD JP9 Cable Configurations for Chickadee
                 jp9.pdf, 33 KB

AN-005 - Interfacing Graphic LCD Modules to the DOS Stamp™
                 an-005.pdf, 549 KB

AN-006 - Interfacing PC Keyboards to the DOS Stamp™ NEW
                 an-006.pdf, 4 KB, 01/31/01

File Area return to top
To open .ZIP files, you need archiving software, such as PKUNZIP, WinZip, etc.

Application Notes

AN-001 - Source code,, 13 KB

AN-002 - Source code,, 8 KB

AN-003 - Source code,, 11 KB

AN-005 - Source code,, 194 KB

AN-006 - Source code,, 34 KB, 01/31/01

Utility Programs and Updates

BATCHASK v1.1, a C program that asks the user if they want to break out of the batch process.  Use it to override automatic execution of your program in AUTOEXEC.BAT., 12KB, 10/07/00

DOS-ROM Update for Chickadee XL.  A utility program and a binary image with instructions on how to install it.  This update should be installed if you need Y2K compliant file creation dates when using the 'dir' command, and for more efficient DOS RAM usage (about 50K more RAM is available)., 40 KB

DOS-ROM Update for DOS Stamp.  A utility program and a binary image with instructions on how to install it.  This update should be installed if you need Y2K compliant file creation dates when using the 'dir' command, and for more efficient DOS RAM usage (about 42K more RAM is available) xdos2 build 02/23/00., 40 KB, 02/23/00

BIOS Update for DOS Stamp.  A utility program and a binary image with instructions on how to install it.  This update fixes the occasional delay that occurs when rapidly printing or polling chars to/from the DOS console.  Build 02/14/04., 38 KB, 02/14/04

DSTEST, a C program which is used to test the DOS Stamp I/O and features., 47KB

LOWPOWER v1.00, a C program that shows how to reduce power usage of the DOS Stamp by changing the clock speed via software., 18KB

QBHELPER v1.01, a TSR program that enables your QuickBasic programs to use I/O word operations and interrupt driven serial ports easily with the DOS Stamp.  Also includes DSHELLO, an example QuickBasic program,, 56KB

TIMER1, a C program for the DOS Stamp which shows how to use Timer 1 to produce a variable duty cycle square wave output., 15KB

TRANSFER file transfer utility for Chickadee XL,, 13KB

XLTERM v1.1, a PC communication and file transfer program for use with TRANSFER utility,, 17KB, 02/22/00

Bug Fixes

Bug Fix - CSFC8250.ZIP fixes for Chickadee and Chickadee XL C library.  Fixes:  Incorrect 8250 transmitter register and transmitter holding register reporting in CSFC8250.C., 3 KB

Bug Fix - 013102.ZIP fixes for DOS Stamp C library.  Fixes:  1) ADC mode constants in DSADC.H are corrected, 2) PIO29 mode bit mask in DOSSTAMP.C  is corrected., 3 KB, 01/31/02

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