Gas station without pumps

2014 February 15

Freedom KL26Z board

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:34
Tags: ,

I bought a Freedom KL26Z board this week, because I wanted another Freedom board, and the KL26Z has somewhat nicer peripherals (added magnetometer, light sensor, I2S interface) and only costs a a couple of bucks more. It should be fairly easy to add the KL26Z to the Data Logger software, once the KL25Z board is working with it.  We may have both working in time for the Spring Applied Circuits course.

Unfortunately, the board came with the same incompetently designed bootloader (by P&E Microcomputer Systems) as the KL25Z—you can’t load programs from Mac OS X, only from Windows machines (and not Windows 8, only Windows 7). They claim that this problem was fixed last year with a newer version of the OpenSDA software, but the board I just bought from DigiKey certainly doesn’t work with Mac OS X:

Board Name is: FRDM-KL26Z
MicroBoot Kernel Version is: 1.05
Bootloader Version is: 1.09
Application Version is: 0.00

You still need a Windows machine to load the OpenSDA software, so it is not that great a “fix” (if it even works). I’ll have to make a special trip up to campus to find an ancient Windows machine. When I do that, I might put on the download software, which was working with Mac OS X (on the KL25Z boards) months before P&E claimed to have a fix. I’m assuming that the SDA interface is the same on the KL25Z and KL26Z boards, but I’m not certain of it (mbed has different download software for the KL46Z board, which makes me concerned that there are some board-specific differences).  I could try downloading the latest P&E Microcomputer Systems software and see if it works on the KL25Z board—if not I can go back to the mbed software on that board and wait for mbed to release KL26Z software.

I’m planning to use the bare-metal ARM software development kit, with the gnu gcc compiler, for future development on the KL25Z and KL26Z boards, rather than the development tools, because the compiled code can be much smaller (less extra junk added in).  I’ve got the code installed on my Mac, but I’ve not tried running it yet. My son, who has gotten a few small programs working with the bare-metal ARM system using the KL25Z board, was going to help me set up my Makefiles this weekend (including a loader script that removes a lot of the stdio package if you aren’t using it—the default bare-metal ARM setup includes some fairly useless “assert” statements that add many kbytes to the downloaded programs). Unfortunately, there are a lot of different viruses circulating in Santa Cruz this winter, and he’s running a fever this weekend, so we’ll probably have to delay my getting bare-metal ARM working.




  1. I agree, the FRDM-KL26Z is a nice board, and I think it does not make sense to buy the KL25Z. But even better (for about the same price) is the FRDM-KL46Z ( more RAM, more FLASH, an LCD and more sensors than the FRDM-KL25Z.
    Freescale is still putting the old firmware/bootloader on the boards (I don’t know why, maybe the boards have been produced earlier last year). I have upgraded mine to the latests V1.14 firmware ( as otherwise there is a problem with Windows 8.1 too. You need a Windows machine to upgrade the bootloader :(, and now it shows:
    Board Name is: FRDM-KL26Z
    MicroBoot Kernel Version is: 1.05
    Bootloader Version is: 1.11
    Installed Application: PEMicro FRDM-KL26Z Mass Storage/Debug App
    Application Version is: 1.14

    Comment by Erich Styger — 2014 February 16 @ 00:23 | Reply

  2. Installed the KL25Z mbed software on KL26Z board an although the board now appears as mbed in My Computer the blink sketch doesn’t work. Fondled with the led name, even used the pin name, but with no success. Any ideas ?

    Comment by Nick — 2015 October 27 @ 15:00 | Reply

    • I don’t think that the KL25Z software runs on the KL26Z board. I have one of the KL26Z boards and have never been able to use it, because Freescale and MBED were going to support it, but never did.

      If you want to program a KL26Z chip, I recommend getting the Teensy LC ($11) and using Teensyduino IDE to download to it. You could use the same compilers to produce a bin file to load to the FRDM KL26Z board, I suppose, if the MBED firmware (or the P&E Micro firmware) can be made to work.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2015 October 27 @ 15:05 | Reply

      • Wow, thanks for the quick reply. I also have a KL26Z board laying around, and I was hoping to put it to good use, but installing a special tool-chain just for it doesn’t make sense for me … Well, that’s a shame … :(

        Comment by Nick — 2015 October 27 @ 15:16 | Reply

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