M3 Lite Language Changer

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by lenselijer, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. lenselijer

    lenselijer GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Mar 27, 2006
    I recently bought both the M3 Lite Chinese & English versions.

    Compared both pcb boards but they look exactly the same, so why cant i use english firmware on the chinese m3 lite.
    The chinese version is cheaper then the english one, so it would be nice [​IMG]

    Here is a picture:

    Nothing special, unless you look close, you see 4 gold pads in the top right.
    They say: TDO, TCK, TDI, TMS
    This is a typical JTAG Port. I use it to program cable modems and settop boxes.
    Looked it up on google:
    Test Clock (TCK), Test Mode Select (TMS), Test Data In (TDI), and Test Data Out (TDO).

    You can program the Altera Max II chip using this port.
    My idea is to try to read the contents of my chinese m3 lite, because i dont care if that one breaks [​IMG]
    When it's successful I will read out my english m3 lite and use the firmware to flash the chinese one.
    I think this would work, but I need to know if i'm on the right track. Is the firmware really stored inside this Altera Max II chip? or is it somewhere else?
  2. shaunj66

    shaunj66 Administrator

    Oct 24, 2002
    United Kingdom
    South England
    Well the firmware is hardly going to be stored in one of the resistors is it? I'm pretty certain you have the right idea, hehe. [​IMG]

    It will be interesting to see your results, but I doubt it will really benefit anyone else in the long run as they'd have to build or purchase their own JTAG cable.
  3. tama_mog

    tama_mog Kupo

    May 6, 2006
    United States
    promising project, let us know how it comes out.
  4. lenselijer

    lenselijer GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Mar 27, 2006
    True, but there are some more chips on the other side too [​IMG]
    I will try to solder my jtag cable onto these points, hope it will work [​IMG]
  5. shtonkalot

    shtonkalot Can't hold on much longer, But I'll never let go!

    May 28, 2006
    Gosford, Australia
    Cool idea! I'd always wondered what the difference must be between the different language versions.

    Is the JTAG cable you use the same or similar to this one?
    Do you need a driver for the cable to work or just some specific software?

    I'm very interested to see how this turns out.
  6. Extreme Coder

    Extreme Coder GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Nov 25, 2005
    Cairo, Egypt
    If this is done correctly, then there would be no reason to justify buying the more expensive english version of the M3. Good Luck!
  7. cory1492

    cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

    Jun 23, 2005
    Home, WhereElse?
    They may have not enabled/added in system programming, and even if it does have an interface, most likely the language settings are stored in the user locked area (requireing a key to read/write).

    More likely the JTAG is used for quality assurance tests / debug info when its actually running.

    Any rate, good luck - MaxII/CPLD's are generally quite secure from being read out (and in the case of M3, they double crypt most everything to try and ensure the competition doesnt clone their products).

    edit:/btw, with older M3 SD, it was possible to change the firmware version to English, but after e19 or so it stopped booting into the menu.
  8. Vincent Vega

    Vincent Vega GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 25, 2006
    Nice experiment. Good luck! [​IMG]
  9. iza

    iza gbatemp, the new crack

    Aug 28, 2006
    United States
    seems like a lot of work to save a few bucks.......but i really have no clue.