USRP2 and the SD Card

Just to clarify, the USRP2 needs to have the SD card plugged in to
operate. And the SD card needs to be programmed with a valid FPGA
configuration and firmware build. Without this the USRP2 does nothing
but sit there. The SD card is NOT optional.

The SD card that came with the USRP2 is preprogrammed with a build which
was the latest at the time when it shipped. The plastic case the SD
card came in is marked with the rev of the build on the card. Everyone
who received a USRP2 got one marked “9/22/08”. If you put it in the
slot on the USRP2 and power up the USRP2, you should see all 6 LEDs
flash, and 2 will remain on.

That build no longer works with the latest host code in SVN, so you will
need to update the firmware on the card. To do this you need an SD card
programmer. These are available from Ettus R., or at your local
electronics store. Here are the steps:

Build the firmware by running make in the gnuradio/usrp2 directory
Insert the SD card into the card reader, and the card reader into a

USB port on your computer
Run “sudo u2_flash_tool --dev=/dev/XXXX -t s/w
usrp2/firmware/txrx.bin -w”
/dev/XXXX has to be replaced with the device for the SD card
reader. If you get this wrong YOU CAN OVERWRITE YOUR WHOLE HARD DRIVE,
so be careful. If you are not sure, DON’T DO ANYTHING. On my machine,
the device is /dev/sdb, but it is likely to be different on your
machine. Before doing this, it is a good idea to run “df” to make sure
that the device you are about to use is not mounted.