Upgrading Bus Pirate firmware

Last time I used my Bus Pirate I had problems with using it to communicate with a high-speed SPI ADC chip. At the time I abandoned it and moved on to communicating with the chip directly from the Raspberry Pi. In the back of my mind, though, I knew that I really ought to update the ageing firmware on the Bus Pirate. Recently, I finally got around to doing it.

The Bus Pirate has version 5.10 of the firmware at the moment:

HiZ>i
Bus Pirate v3a
Firmware v5.10 (r559)  Bootloader v4.4
DEVID:0x0447 REVID:0x3046 (24FJ64GA002 B8)
http://dangerousprototypes.com
HiZ>

Dangerous Prototypes, the maker of the Bus Pirate have a web page with details of the upgrade process. I found the page to be a bit oddly organized, though. It starts with a description of how to use a command line tool to upgrade the firmware, but how to get the tool is fairly well-hidden partway down the page.

To get both the command-line update tool and the latest version of the firmware go to the Bus Pirate Download page. You should see a link like Bus Pirate package v6.1. Clicking this link will take you to a download page on Google Code. Click the name of the zip file and it should download.

Once you have the zip file, unzip it to somewhere sensible, then go into the expanded directory. Depending on which board revision you have (mine is a revision 3) you should go into the appropriate directory, where you will find both the pirate-loader executable and some hex files (as well as some other stuff). At this point the instructions on the Dangerous Prototypes upgrade page should make a lot more sense.

I carefully followed the steps, which worked without a problem, and now I have a Bus Pirate with the latest v6.1 firmware. A step up from what I had before.

HiZ>i
Bus Pirate v3.a
Firmware v6.1 r1676  Bootloader v4.4
DEVID:0x0447 REVID:0x3046 (24FJ64GA002 B8)
http://dangerousprototypes.com
HiZ>

I wonder if it solves any of the problems I was seeing?

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