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Detailed steps to install CircuitPython on Nordic nRF52840 D
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Detailed steps to install CircuitPython on Nordic nRF52840 D

by mikew67 on Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:40 pm

Gentle Folks:
The problems related to the Nordic nRF52840 Dongle (part no. PCA10059) and getting around its bootloader to replace it with the Adafruit nRF52 Bootloader and ultimately install CircuitPython are well known. In fact, there are at least half a dozen web pages with recommended procedures, including replacing the bootloader or not.

Unfortunately, I've tried most of them without success. Apparently missed a critical step somewhere in each case. Would someone please create a bullet list of the specific steps for this case.
• Software only procedure if possible.
• Do have a soldering iron available in my current quarantined location, so shorting solder pads or some jumper wires are possible.
• Also have a Nordic nRF52-DK available, so a JLink approach is possible if necessary.
• Please include replacing the Nordic bootloader with the Adafruit nRF52 Bootloader if that doesn't add too much complication. (Might as well make the Dongle easier to load in the next case.)
• Please include instructions for how to use the Adafruit Bootloader on this device thereafter, i.e., combination of reset and white button actuations to put it in bootloader mode. Should the previous solder jumpers, etc., be removed?

Kind thanks for any assistance here. There's a bit of urgency -- trying to use a couple of these boards to test the detailed Bluetooth LE behavior of iPhones as part of a COVID-19 contact tracing effort and time spent on this bootloader problem detracts from that effort.

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Re: Detailed steps to install CircuitPython on Nordic nRF528

by andreas_johnsen on Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:48 pm

I had the same frustration as you a few weeks ago. Please let me know if you are interested to flash with OpenOCD running on a Raspberry Pi Zero W (other RPi versions should work as well). No soldering required. Only a Raspberry connected to your Mac/PC, two jump wires (female to male) and optional a small breadboard. This worked surprisingly easy. I have a nrf91 DK which I believe can be used as a SWD flasher similar to nrf52 DK. But after reading several descriptions of flashing nrf52 dongle with CircuitPython I tried OpenOCD and it worked very well. More or less based on the following tutorial: https://www.rototron.info/circuitpython ... -tutorial/

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Re: Detailed steps to install CircuitPython on Nordic nRF528

by adafruit2 on Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:22 pm

hi, we have a guide here
https://learn.adafruit.com/circuitpytho ... bootloader
beyond that, we have no other information on the process of loading the bootloader if you are not skilled with the soldering, jlink, and makefiles required

if you need a circuitpython board with nrf52840 on it you can pick up a CLUE
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/ ... D/11594501
or CPB
https://www.adafruit.com/product/4333

if not - you will have to endeavor on your own :)

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