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Vampire V2 MENU: Installing new Cores using Quartus II Programmer
Posted on Saturday, May 04 2024 @ 14:20:39 CEST by majsta

Installing new Cores using Quartus II Programmer

To upgrade Cores, use the Quartus II Programmer application for Windows or Linux, and a USB-Blaster connected to the Vampire JTAG header.

End-users can use this method, or, alternatively, use dedicated FlashROM executables that run directly on AmigaOS 3.x. The Quartus method is the only one able to flash bricked cards.

Where to buy USB-Blaster

The official product page for the ALTERA USB-Blaster device is HERE. The device looks like this:


This device can be found easily in many Online Shops. Estimated price is between 4USD and 15USD. Just ensure it is compatible with ALTERA Cyclone III FPGAs, and provided with:

1. The USB-Blaster device itself
2. The JTAG cable.
3. The Mini-USB to USB cable.

For example, search this item on eBay, Amazon or AliExpress:

How to connect USB-Blaster to Vampire board

POWER OFF your Amiga / Vampire, and also DISCONNECT all devices that have their own power connection, such as Digital Video and Ethernet cables, to prevent power backfeed into the Vampire. NEVER connect or disconnect the USB-Blaster while your Amiga / Vampire is powered on!

Below is the full connection chain to use:

(1) PC ⇒ (2) USB to Mini-USB cable ⇒ (3) USB-Blaster device ⇒ (4) JTAG cable ⇒ (5) Vampire JTAG header

Afterwards, if your PC is turned on, the 'POWER' LED on the USB-Blaster should be 'red'.

Example connection if you have a Vampire accelerator connected to Amiga

Make sure that the JTAG cable is inserted into the correct header on the Vampire, and with the correct orientation. The red stripe that is on one side of the JTAG cable must be aligned with Pin 1 of the JTAG header.

How to install Quartus II Programmer

Linux users can simply use this Docker image, which already has Quartus II Programmer and its dependencies set up properly.

1. Download Quartus II Programmer and SignalTap II v13.1.
  • Be careful about what you are downloading.
  • You do NOT need the FULL Quartus application. Avoid the >1GB setup!
  • What you need is called exactly Quartus II Programmer and SignalTap II. It is about 200MB. You can find it under “Additional Software”→“Stand-Alone Software” after selecting release 13.1.
  • There are many different versions for Windows and Linux. Version 13.1 is known to be working properly with Cyclone III devices used on Vampire V2 accelerators. (Tested OK on Windows 7, 10 and CentOS 6.)
  • If you are not sure what program or version you need and how to find them on Altera/Intel website please use Download section from this website found HERE.

2. Install the program on your computer.
  • If you are on Linux, you need to install the Linux desktop environment first.
    • On RHEL 6/CentOS 6, this can be done with yum groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "X Window System" "Fonts".
  • If you are on a 64-bit Linux, you need to install 32-bit libraries.
    • On RHEL 6/CentOS 6, this can be done with yum install gnome-desktop.i686.
  • On some Linux distributions, you might need to install old versions of some libraries, like libpng12.

3. You might need to install the USB driver for the USB-Blaster by hand.
  • On Windows, open the Device Manager and ensure that the USB driver for USB-Blaster is correctly installed. If it is NOT correctly installed, then select the .INF driver information file from the Quartus setup archive.

Correctly installed USB-Blaster driver shown in Windows Device Manager

How to flash the Vampire from Quartus II Programmer

1. Keep a copy of the previous working Core.

  • Having a copy will be useful in case of severe bugs in new release.

2. Download .JIC core suitable for your Vampire V2 Accelerator card from HERE.

  • Unpack .ZIP archive to get .JIC file.
  • Please read .TXT files provided in each .ZIP archive.
3. Follow the instructions above to connect the USB-Blaster.

4. Open Quartus II Programmer.

5. Click the 'Hardware Setup' button.

6. Select the USB-Blaster item in the hardware device list.

7. Click 'Add file' and select a .JIC file to flash onto the Vampire board.

  • NEVER USE a .JIC file that is not dedicated to your hardware. It might DESTROY your FPGA.
  • For example, do NOT flash a Core dedicated to Vampire 600 V2 on a Vampire 600 V1 or a Vampire 500 V2+.

8. Check the 'Program/Configure' and 'Verify' options. See picture below.

9. FYI, by selecting the Erase checkbox, the Vampire FPGA would be emptied.

  • If you have a Vampire accelerator board connected to a Amiga 600, 1200, erasing the FPGA will cause the Amiga to boot on its built-in CPU. Since original CPU has to be removed on Amiga 500,1000,2000 for Vampire V2 accelerator use system won't start at all until new core is loaded.

10. Power ON your Amiga / Vampire.

11. Click the 'Start' button.

  • Your Amiga will freeze or reboot on its built-in CPU during this process.

12. Wait until flashing is finished, with '100% (Successful)'. It takes about 1 or 2 minutes.

  • NEVER switch off the computer during a flash operation.
  • Do NOT use your operating system during a flash operation.

13. Power OFF your Amiga / Vampire, disconnect the USB-Blaster, and wait at least 10 seconds. Make sure that all devices that have their own power connection, such as Digital Video and Ethernet cables, are also disconnected during this time, to prevent power backfeed into the Vampire.

14. Finally, Power ON your Amiga / Vampire.

Settings in Quartus II Programmer

Related Links
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