Init error -4

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    I recently finished a DIY kit and got my USB Blaster today to flash it. I see in Quartus what looks to be successful programming, and I followed the guide here

    I am getting an error message displayed on the LCD of the OSSC:

    “Init error -4”

    Was hoping someone could tell me what that error code means, I was going to attempt looking for the answer myself in the source code when I have some free time.

    Also, I finished a 2nd DIY kit and followed the same flashing procedure and that one works, so I believe the flashing process I am using is valid. It seems like a legitimate error with the hardware.


    So looking at the source code, specifically in “av_controller.c”, on line 708 is where the error message “Init error -#” is created.
    The error code is based on the return value of init_hw();

    Since my error code is -4, the section of code if init_hw() that ‘return = -4;’ is of interest to me.


    if (chiprev != 0x13) {
    printf(“Error: could not read from IT6613\n”);
    return -4;


    So it looks like my problem is stemming from the communication between the FPGA and the IT6613, specifically the verification of the chip revision via I2C is failing. I will have to closely inspect the solder joints and see if there are any visual indications of a failure. I constructed this board and one other in a reflow oven and didn’t see any bridged pins.

    A few things I am concerned about / potential failure points:
    1. The IT6613 was the only chip I had to order from China, I got 10 in bulk for a little over $20 – maybe I got a DOA chip.
    2. My re-flow process was a little hot for the first board and I may have went above the 260C mark during reflow – This is the max reflow temp of the IT6613 – maybe I heat damaged the chip. (I only think I hit 268C max, so hopefully there is enough margin in the max temperature)

    What are my troubleshooting options:
    1. I can use my scope and DMM to verify voltages, clock signals, and I2C bus signals.
    2. One saving grace is this chips does NOT have the large ground pad in the center – so potentially I could cut all the legs and remove the failed chip and hand solder in a new chip.

    Looking for input, insight , suggestions. I will update this thread when I have results from initial troubleshooting.


    I corrected the “Init Error -4” problem. I was starting with step 1 outlined above and probed the power and clock signals – they all looked good. I probed pins 48-SCL and 49-SDA on the IT6613 and saw that only pin 48 was being pulled high – as I was probing different parts of pin 49 I saw it pull high momentary, so it looked liked a bad solder joint. I quick touch up of pins 48 and 49 and now the OSSC boots to the menu and outputs the test patten, still have more testing to do but we moved past that error.

    Init Error Table

    “Init error -1” = Error: incorrect flash type detected
    “Init error -2” = Error: could not read from THS7353
    “Init error -3” = Error: could not read from TVP7002
    “Init error -4” = Error: could not read from IT6613


    Impressive troubleshooting, thanks for sharing it!

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