Status LEDs and MD Button
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For the basic control and status indication TiOS devices rely on a single push-button and a pair of red and green status LEDs. The push-button is knows as the "MD", "M", or "setup" button.
Tibbo Project System (TPS) devices, programmable serial controllers, and boards all have the LEDs and the MD button onboard.
Programmable modules, such as the EM1000, provide I/O lines for connecting the LEDs and the button externally (more).
You realize, of course, that if I gave the status LEDs and the MD button a topic in The Introduction section then they must be pretty important — and they are!
These are very useful for judging the current device's state.
Presented above are three important patterns that you may see when the VM is not executing your application.
These patterns are "fast-blinking", almost at the limit of your eye's ability to discern them.
When the VM is executing your application the status LEDs are under the control of the pat. (pattern) object. Hence, your application can also use status LEDs for its own needs.
Finally, these LEDs play yet another set of patterns in the firmware upgrade mode (see below).
The MD button
This button serves three purposes:
1. To get you into the the firmware upgrade mode.
Normally, new TiOS firmware and/or compiled Tibbo BASIC/C applications are uploaded onto Tibbo devices through the Ethernet network.
This will seize to work if your device gets "bricked", i.e. uploaded with a wrong firmware file.
The only way to un-brick it is by using the firmware upgrade mode.
To enter the firmware upgrade mode, power up your device with the MD button pressed.
When in this mode, every Tibbo device allows you to upload (new) TiOS firmware through the device's UART.
Some (not all!) devices also support network uploads while in the firmware upgrade mode.
Nonetheless, a serial firmware upload is the most bulletproof, sure way to restore a "bricked" device to a normal working order.
This is why it is recommended that all products incorporating Tibbo modules provide access to the module's serial port.
See Using the Firmware Upgrade Mode for more information.
2. To bypass the password.
Tibbo devices can be password-protected.
If you don't remember the password, performing a device-related action in the Device Explorer while keeping the MD button pressed will allow you to bypass the password.
For example, if you forgot the password then keeping the MD button pressed while you click Set password... will allow you to clear the password or set a new one. Without the MD button pressed you would be required to enter the old password first.
3. To serve as a generic button.
The button. object gives your applications access to the MD button.
This is very useful as there is almost always the need to use a button for something.
In fact, the very first code example you saw relied on using the MD button.