Universal USB Programmer
The TL866a Universal USB Programmer
|WARNING - GAL
|Updated 18 May 2019
|I have been very happy with my TL866a
programmer, it works well when programing the
majority of devices that I use, including EPROMs,
EEPROMs, Microcontrollers, etc. However, in mid 2018, I
discovered that, although they are listed on the
List, the programmer did NOT work with GAL16V8 or
GAL22V10 programmable logic devices. Upgrading
to the latest programmer firmware (which at the
time, was Minipro Version 6.82) did not fix this issue.
programming these PLDs, I needed to use my TOP853
or EMP-20 programmers,
neither of which work under Window 10 but this was a
minor inconvenience for me, it may be more of an
issue for users who only have, or are considering
buying, a TL866a, though new, genuine, TL866a/CS
programmers are no longer available. The current
product is the TL866II which is purported to be an
improved version with an expanded device list and
faster operation, although it's maximum programming
voltage has reduced from 21V to 18V, meaning that it
may not be possible to program some older devices.
Update : Version 6.85
firmware dated 2018-10-19, available on the
Autoelectric Website, is noted as fixing the GAL22V10
problem. There is no mention of the GAL16V8, but it
is reasonable to assume that it is fixed too.
NB : Prior to
upgrading the firmware in your TL866a, ensure that
it is a genuine Autoelectric product, if a
counterfeit device is detected, the firmware upgrade
may "brick" the programmer.
Based on previous
information on the Autoelectric site (photos of
genuine and fake products) I believed mine to be a
genuine part. However, the latest version of the
firmware detected that it is a genuine TL866CS that
has been modified after shipping to be the TL866a
version. In this case, the Autoelectric website
advises that the firmware upgrade will not limit the
product's operation, but may prevent future
upgrades. Since the product is now obsolete, there
are likely to be very few, if any, future upgrades,
so this wasn't likely to be an issue for me, so I
went ahead and applied the upgrade. Other than the
warning message about the "TL866a" being an
unauthorised modification to a TL866CS, the upgrade
was applied successfully. A quick test indicated
that GAL16V8 and GAL22V10 devices can now be read
and programmed with the programmer.
The Autoelectric website contains
guidance on how to identify counterfeit programmers
as well as instructions on how to recover a bricked
device (by downgrading the firmware).
The Company seems to have rebranded itself
as "Haikou Xingong Electronics Co., Ltd" with
http://www.xgecu.com . At the time of writing,
Autoelectric Website address still works, but references
to Autoelectric on this page should probably be
replaced with XGecu.
The first Universal USB programmer that I bought was
a TOP853, a cheap Chinese programmer,
bought off eBay. This programmer worked well and satisfied my needs
for quite a while, but the biggest drawback with it was the lack of
support for later versions of Windows which meant that I had to run
the software in a Windows XP Virtual Machine under Windows 7.
When I was looking to upgrade the TOP853 to a
programmer that supported Windows 7 & Windows 10, I came across the
TL866 which was available in two versions an "A" and a "CS" version.
A bit of "Googling" revealed that the two were essentially the same,
but the "a" version featured an additional connection to support
As the price differential between the two was small (around £10 on
eBay), I decided to go for the "A".
At the time of my purchase (February 2017), the
TL866A was available through RS Components for £140 +VAT, with eBay
prices starting at around £42. I was able to purchase direct from
AliExpress for £34. The programmer is available from various
suppliers, some include a range of device adapters, but I found it
cheaper to buy the adapters that I needed separately.
Early results with the programmer have been good,
the only niggling problem is the Chinglish mangling of the text in
the installation program and within the application program itself
|Wellcome to use MiniPro TL866
|1. The one-shot [installment] the
button starts to install.
|2. if you before has installed this
programmer software, the present is the promotion procedure
please choose and before same installs the table of
contents. This installment will enter the cover installment.
|3. If will choose the different
table of contents to retain the original edition the
procedure.the use [browsing] the button chooses the goal
folder from the table of contents, may also the manual
input.if assigns the folder does not exist, will be founded
automatically before the document installment.
|4. after the application procedure
installment finished, will carry on the device driver the
Non of the above made any sense to me, but here is
what I did to get the program to work
The version of the software on the installation CD
in the box was a few revisions old. Newer versions, adding support
for additional target devices, seem to be released quite frequently,
so I downloaded the latest copy of the software (V6.50 at the time
of writing) from the
Autoelectric Website. When I used it, the website was
sometimes down and the download speeds were slow, so I have posted a
copy of the software at the bottom of this page.
I installed the software without the programmer
connected, although I selected English, the
.CHM help file included with the installation program is
Chinese, so, although the menus etc. were in English, the help file
was of no use to me. The Website does have what is purported to be
an English version of the manual (just a replacement .CHM file) on
page, but it didn't work for me. After a bit of "Gooling", I was
able to find a replacement Help file on the web, though, I forget
where - but a copy is available at the bottom of this page.
|I renamed the
replacement help file from
MiniProHelp.chm and copied it over the
original Chinese version.
To get it to open properly
in the program, I needed to open it from Windows first and
override the File Security warning by unchecking the "Always
ask before opening this file" box.
When the programmer is plugged in, the Device Driver
will be loaded and the system should be ready to go.
Product Details from the RS Components Web
MINIPRO-TL866A EEPROM/FLASH Programmer
The MINIPRO-TL866A from Seeit is a
universal programmer designed for use with over 13000 devices
including; EPROMS, EEPROMs, SPI FLASHs, DataFlash and MCUs. A
full list of compatible devices can be found on the datasheet.
A Fast SPI algorithm mode enables the MINIPRO-TL866A to provide
fast programming. Simply connect the MINIPRO-TL866A to a PC via
a USB port. There is no need for an external power supply.
The components are attached directly to the ZIF40 socket or
through the HE10 connector (ICSP cable provided).
MINIPRO-TL866A kit contents:
Features of the MINIPRO-TL866A programmer:
Accepted file formats: BINARY, Intel (Extended) HEX, Intel
HEX16, Motorola S19/S28/S37
Current and overvoltage
Supports: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/VISTA/Windows
Dimensions: 100 x 60 x 25 mm
Power supply on USB port
Product Details from the XG Autoelectric Web
The Outstanding advantages of TL866
1. Support simultaneously burn
with 4 Programmers each computer
2. The Minimum Volume and the
lowest Power Consumption and Do not Feel any Heat in Process.
3. All chips do not need
external power supply, the low power consumption of its own to
ensure that the USB port can provide enough power.
4. Best internal 40 foot over
voltage protection, the strongest VCC/VPP 4-level overcurrent
protection. The short-circuit do not reset the PC.
5. Wide range of chip 13000+
support, support for serial and parallel series 40/44/48PIN large
6. Unique serial ICSP interface.
supporting the serial download and high-speed parallel high voltage
programming. Note: TL866CS does not support ICSP
7. Test CMOS4000 74/54 series
integrated circuit. Can be located in the gate circuit error.
8. Chip auto serial number is
the most complete and practical.
9. Original chip
encryptionoperation on AVR microcontroller with internal RC
Calibration byte. The Decrypt software can not be directly run on
another same type of chip.
This programmer has Built-in MCU with
high-performance and high-capacity USB interface at the
communication speed of 12Mbps being in line with ( For each chip)
well-designed programming algorithm and USB high-speed
communications. It may be one of the fastest integrated development
programmers, the speed has been met the needs of small-quantity
Unique ultra-low power consumption
The whole programmer is equipped with the ultra-low
power chips and it is furnished with electricity via USB Interface.
It is the first comprehensive programmer to program all the chips
without an external power supply. Their own power consumption is
less than 20mA (it is 7mA when the programmer is not programming,
LED power indicator use largest electricity, 5mA each one) and
Programming power loss rate is less than 20% so that the programmer
can supply the high VCC VPP programming electric current.
Programmable chip can be provided with enough programming power (the
largest programming power output is 2 watts that is impossible for a
chip to use 2 watts of programming power). And you hardly feel the
heat of the programmer after such long continuous work.
Easily portable performance
This is one of the smallest products in the world
and the dimensions are 10CM*6CM*2.5CM (it is as small as a driving
license). In addition, you don't need to carry with an external
power supply because of its ultra-low power that makes it more
Programmable programming power supply
VPP and VCC programming voltages are independently
program-controlled: programmable VCC is from 3.3V to 6.5V; VPP is
from 3.3V to 21V. The fluctuation of power supply is minor because
of the multi-stage LC filter.
Best overvoltage, overcurrent
VCC, VPP power supply of the Programmer is furnished
with the independent Grade 3 overcurrent protection and the
protection of automatically cutting off power supply. Each pin of
40-pin programming socket has VPP overvoltage protection. It can
effectively prevent from putting a chip in the wrong place or short
circuit due to other reason. In this programming case, it can also
stop VPP high voltage from coming back to the internal of the
programmer and damaging the device. Really make sure that the
programmer will not be damaged when there is any worst-case short
circuit. At the same time, the programmed chip can be efficiently
protected. This programmer will cut off the programming power supply
VPP and VCC within 100us and send the message to the application
program when there is short circuit. The programmer and PC won't be
reset when there is short circuit because of the multilevel
It is the most versatile pin among 40PIN
quasi-universal pins. You don't need to move or turn around the chip
when programming, just congruously put the chip forward and the
handle direction of the programmer is the PIN1 place. Its design
accords with the common operating habit of user.
This programmer is equipped with upgrading Function
of the built-in hardware firmware program that can make sure your
programmer's firmware flash and application software can be timely
updated. You can complete the upgrade by downloading the upgrading
program through the manufacturer's website.
Second development function of chip serial
This programmer has a variety of automatic numbering
functions that are used commonly. You can get any serial number
through DLL Dynamic Link Libraries by using the custom algorithm. In
mass production, the function enables each chip to produce only one
identifying information that can be encrypted by the custom
algorithm. So you can effectively protect your rights as a customer.
Unique universal serial programming
(Only TL866A can support, TL866CS cannot use this
function) This TL866A programmer can program through the 40-PIN
universal socket and is provided with an ICSP serial programming
port. For some in-circuit serial programmable chips, you can program
MCU by choosing ICSP port. You can get the clear instruction diagram
in the programming software for the ICSP port wiring method. That is
to say, you can directly program and update the chip soldered on the
Note: Now ICSP can in-circuit serial program
ATMEL89S51, ATMEL89S52, AT45DBxxx, a whole series of AVR ATMEGAxxx,
MICROCHIP PIC10Fxxx 12Fxxx 16Fxxx 18Fxxx, as well as a full serial
of SYNCMOS SM59Dxx SM59Rxx. The variety of microcontroller that can
be supported in-circuit programming will be continually increased in
the future. Six ICSP wires of this programmer, except a ground wire,
other wires led full functional I2C, SPI and UART serial main wire,
be suitable for all kinds of serial communication. In addition, each
wire can supply VCC, VPP or GND with high current.
54/74F/LS/HC CMOS4000 series IC functional
This is the first development programmer to test the
common logic integrated circuit and this test can be located the
errors of logic gate circuit, as well as test any possible input
combinations of integrated circuit.
Programmer self-testing function
This programmer can test itself on each pin of VPP,
VCC, GND and I/O information, at the same time it can run an inside
short-circuit test on VPP, VCC current.
AVR microcontroller one-to-one soft
AVR microcontroller has an RC Calibration (calibrate
bytes). Only one of dozens of chips may have the same bytes value
and it cannot be modified. Microcontroller software can read this
value and determine whether the code is used by other chips. Through
custom encryption algorithm, it can stop those who decrypt chips
with ulterior motives from directly using. The encryption algorithm
is so complex that it is not easy to decrypt. But, about
"encryption", there is a problem for developers - each chip is
different - it is impossible to manually calculate one by one and
respectively compile source code if the algorithm is complex. This
programmer can automatically read into RC bytes before programming.
The developer can get the bytes value of the chip in the DLL dynamic
function and then automatically calculate the encrypted data
according to the request and put it in the memory, efficiently
completing mass production. (A detailed encrypted instance of the
ATMEGA8 in the installation package is available for reference)
Unified and convenient user interface
The user interface is well-designed and is in
complete accord with the operating habit of the Windows series of
software. Built-in binary editor is comparable to pure professional
editing software. You can directly read, write and modify the files
such as BIN format, HEX format, JED format and so on. In addition,
it has the complete and practical project mode that makes the mass
production more convenient and safer.