Running Featherweight Interface Program on Mac?

ToffeeTrish

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Heyo, new member here!

I've managed to get ahold of a raven 4 altimeter, however I'm finding it difficult to program it with only a macbook. I'm trying to run the FIP on an M1 Macbook Pro using Parallels, even using the built in function to add the USB port as a serial port, and it doesn't seem to be working. I'm aware there was some sort of mac compatibility one time, albeit by a third party. Since I don't have a windows PC, using parallels or VMWare Fusion are my only options. Any recommendations?
 

plugger

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did you install windows 10 in parallels? ARM or x86/64? I expect you'd need x86/64 Windows to even run FIP up successfully and I also expect it'd run like a dog on your M1.
honestly, I'd recommend finding/buying a second hand x86/64 laptop to run windows on.
 

ToffeeTrish

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So I actually managed to make it work flawlessly. Firstly, FIP runs just fine on ARM by installing it normally. However, the drivers from FTDP must be installed. I'm going to basically explain how I did it for anyone who comes across the same issue.

You MUST download the ARM version of the drivers through here: https://ftdichip.com/drivers/vcp-drivers/ In my case it's CDM-v2.12.36.4A. The A on the end is important since it's the ARM version.

Open up the file explorer in Parallels and navigate to where you downloaded the zip. Copy the file and navigate to "This PC". Go to Local Disk, then Users, and place it somewhere in there (in your folders). Make sure to extract it, too. The reason this must be done is because if it's not done, the drivers are actually located on the Mac filesystem. This ensures that they are in the Windows filesystem as required, and this is what fixed it for me.

Then install the drivers. Go to device manager, locate the device (For me it was registered under the name of the chip as FTX230 UART Basic, found under Other Files). It will have a yellow warning sign indicating that the drivers haven't been installed. Double click on the device, and click the drivers tab.

Click update drivers, and then manually install drivers. Navigate to where you had extracted the folder (somewhere on the C: drive). Selected the extracted folder and continue to install it. Bada bing bada boom you have full communication with the Raven 4 on Mac :)
 

plugger

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Did you do this in Arm Window10 or X64 Windows 10? I'm assuming Arm given you're using Arm drivers, but it's nice to confirm.
Nice work!
 

ToffeeTrish

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Yeah you asked and I just didn't respond, sorry! Parallels can only run ARM Windows afaik if you're using an M1, because M1 only supports ARM itself (Though it can run x64 versions of native mac apps). I used Windows 11 because that's what was easiest to download (didn't have to go find the iso), but it's very likely exactly the same on ARM Windows 10.

If it were an x64 version of Windows 10/11, FTDI offers an installer that does the dirty work for you, and even works in parallel (obviously on an intel cpu).
 

plugger

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No worries! I thought Parallels allowed full x64 emulation with a significant performance hit, so I wasn't sure which route you went. Good to hear the x64 FIP installer works on ARM!
Interestingly though, I can't recall the last time I installed a serial port driver for the Raven, so I expect the driver is present on X64 Win10.
 
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