Conversion programmer in TL866cs TL866A

For the uninitiated, the programmer TL866 (MiniPro is one of the programmers Bestsellers in recent times among the best de-bricker/makers.

It’ a small device that allows programming of a large number of memories (ROM / FLASH / NVRAM) and microcontrollers (MCU / MPU).

But not only, program SRAM / DRAM, PLD / GAL / CPLD and performs the check of many logic gates.

The latest update of client supports approximately 13137 ic.

The cost is really ridiculous, 50 € will take home an accessory that you will return often very useful.

On the market there are two versions: TL866CS this TL866A.

The price is virtually identical and even the CS version was produced after the A version, introduced no improvement.

Indeed… a peggioria! The two versions differ only and exclusively for the port ICSP present only in version A.

The ICSP port is very convenient because many controllers can only be programmed via ICSP, then the A version allows you to program microcontrollers many more than the CS version.

Like a chicken, I (but as several other persons) I bought the CS assuming it was better.

Going into detail, the plates are identical, lacking the physical connector and firmware are slightly different.

Solder a connector will not help us to make our CS in an A.

You have to modding the firmware.

Help comes to us in a user forum eevblog, radioman , that the programmer has to hand: published a small tutorial, wiring diagram and created a small software that lets you create a firmware version A.

Everything is published to the post: link

I did not do nothing but read up and follow the tutorial by offering my experience.

My guide covers one of the first techniques for the conversion, in which it was necessary to reprogram the controller with a pickit.

Currently, the radioman software allows you to reprogram it via usb without use pickit: read the pdf inside his conversion tool.

Without the necessary premise we're going to bomb 🙂

First of all, the minipro features a PIC18F87J50… the guys have seen fit to scratch the surface, but thanks to the function of auto-PicKit2 and it was pretty easy to get to identify the pic mounted.


On my plate was also missing a capacitor that, but, did not hamper the use.

Thanks to the circuit diagram I could fixare the problem.


Menate part, weld a connector for icsp on the plate.

This will be the connector that will serve to minipro to program other MCU via icsp… is what is lacking in the CS version.

Already find the holes and all…

2013-11-18 20.46.33 2013-11-18 20.45.02

We'll need to install a ICSP connector for programming the PIC18F87J50 within the minipro.

It’ a standard icsp, I solved in this way:

2013-11-18 20.47.49 2013-11-18 20.47.56

At this point we do not miss that connect the PicKit2, give power and proceed with the software.

2013-11-18 20.48.46 2013-11-18 20.49.18 2013-11-18 20.49.45


Download the tool made ad-hock by radioman link

Mirror: Radioman TL866 ToolKit

In the zip file there are two pdf files: in a circuit diagram, in the other the upgrade procedure and a few more details (very interesting) firmware and the procedure for encoding and decoding during the upload of the same… una menata pazzesca ma bella!

Each has its own minipro DevCode and its own unique SerialNumber.

Launch the application and clone both codes.

Connect your minipro, go to the tab “firmware”, then “clone”.


Maybe Let's save the code in a txt file and conserviamolo.

Put the check mark “full flash”, “generate TL866A firmware” and then “save”

2013-11-18 21_03_11-TL866 firmware updater (1 device connected)

The application will create a. Hex file will be the new firmware version A, with DevCode and SerialNumber just mentioned, to load in the PIC18F87J50.

You can either create new serial with the random function (Edit) or edit them by hand.

It seems that the thing per hour is irrelevant because there is no mechanism to blacklist or something…

Now we have a. Hex file version A with our original serial…

You will need an external programmer…. to program the tl866 (!!!).

I used a PicKit2, you are free to use what you like as long as she can schedule PIC18F87J50.

The PIC18F87J50 of minipro has enabled the CodeProtect, so you can write but not read the contents of memory.

2013-11-18 20_55_38-PICkit 2 Programmer

Since as shown in the picture, after a reading, we do not get anything at all… many 00000 and a beautiful red lettering Code Protect.

Let the procedure of writing.

We import the hex file just generated by the application of first.





Click on write! 🙂



Open the client and the mini pro….



BINGO!!! 🙂

Now there is to be seen whether sooner or later, we should give a new serial or go back to CS… but I think not!

I'll keep my life so minipro 🙂


12 thoughts on “Conversion programmer in TL866cs TL866A

  1. radioman

    Excellent article! Personally I don’t like the header soldered at the J1 connector, it would sufficient a pin header inserted at the j1 and applying a small pressure for better contact.
    Also at your suggestion I will release an update of my firmware generator with ability to dump/backup the internal firmware. If someone with an CS variant will do a firmware dump then I will add an option to downgrade from A to CS as you asked me. So stay tuned!

  2. Chirris

    Gracias por el aporte, aunque me di cuenta que solo soldando las terminales para el ICSP y correndo el programa y cambiando a TL866A funciona sin hacer mas cosas. Gracias. por cierto tendrás el archivo de ayuda en Help en ingles del minipro ya que solo esta en chino. Saludos

  3. Federico

    ok , utile hack però dato che il programmatore costa uguale, bisogna comprare 2 connettori ICSP (costano una miseria su ebay o altri canali cinesi ma paghi più le spese di spedizione), senza contare il fatto è che devi avere un pickit 2 che costa compatibile sui 50 euro..originale oltre 70 euro..a quel punto conviene più vendere il TL866CS e aggiungere per comprarsi un ottimo GQ-4X che costa 100 euro (senza adattatori).
    sinceramente sono rinato con questo programmatore, molti chip BIOS per le motherboard non riuscivo a programmarli con il TL866CS, vedi winbond W49F00SUP128 (su asrock sono parecchi).
    il minipro TL866CS è stato un giocattolino che mi è durato ben poco, il willem con attacco parallelo è molto più versatile e costa molto meno

    1. BlackStuffLabs Post author


      Grazie per la risposta.
      Quando scrissi l’articolo, l’hack andava fatto con un PICKit.
      Attualmente non serve più, si fa tutto con un programmino da pc e programmatore collegato via usb… funziona uguale se non meglio!
      Il fatto è che la versione CS è stata commercializzata DOPO la versione A… all’apparenza sembrava un upgrade HW della versione precedente e invece….
      Quindi per molte persone che si sono fatti trarre in inganno dalle inserzioni tipo ebay, questo è un utile hack per avere una piattaforma completa.

      Sicuramente c’è di meglio sul mercato, ma a parità di prezzo, secondo me questo è un valido prodotto… in particolare per gli amatori.
      Ad ogni modo è un tool indispensabile ma che viene usato di rado… personalmente lo uso solo quando bricko qualcosa e non c’è modo di tornare allo stato iniziale.


      1. Juri

        Ciao e complimenti per l’articolo, potresti inserire un piccolo update su come programmare il firmware “A” utilizzando il tool? il file pdf a corredo spiega molto male, anzi alla fine dice di utilizzare un programmatore icsp su porta parallela di un pc, attualmente non ho la possibilita di utilizzare un secondo programmatore e vorrei fare lo switch a versione “A” per attivare l’icsp del TL866 utilizzando il tool… mi puoi aiutare per favore?
        Thanks – Juri

        1. Eugene

          +1, Я попытался выяснить процедуру pickkitless халтуру , и теперь я застрял мертвым на получении файла update.dat. I don’t have a slightest idea on where to get one, have only a .hex file for external programmer.

          Don’t have an LPT either, lol.
          Dammit, this PDF from EEVBlog is just useless.

  4. Juri

    Hello,scusa con questo programmatore in ambo le versioni è possibile programmare una

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