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  Top » Catalog » X3Max X3 Max Windows XP Vista 7 Development Board Guide

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Windows XP Vista 7 X3Max 128KB Development Board User Guide

Check-list of items or software needed to follow this guide, click on the software name to download:

  • X3 Programming Tool V2.00 - The application provided by the X3Max team used to flash the X3Max. The application is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 x86 (32 bit) and x64 (64 bit) variants. This file also contains the X3Max Generic .bin firmware file.

  • X3Max Firmware - Firmware for the X3Max, it has a .bin file extension. To allow the use of hex files intended for other boards, the generic.bin firmware file contained in the file above should be used.
  • (Optional) Pre-compiled hex file - Note that the X3Max and X3Tool software can be used with ANY hex file intended for the majority of the popular AVR USB development boards such as the AT90USB162, AT90USB1286 etc... the X3Tool software automatically converts the hex to work with the X3Max! Make sure that the X3Max is programmed with the generic.bin firmware file contained within the X3 Programming Tool v2.00 file above when trying to use other hex/payloads.

Programming the X3Max


The first step is to ensure that the X3Max is in programming mode, this is done via the switch at the rear of the device.

X3Max programming mode toggle switch

To access the switch, the plastic cap at the end should be slid/popped off by pulling it away from the body of the device.


Once the cap has been removed the switch can be set as required. For programming the X3 Max on a computer, the switch should be toggled to the right as shown in the picture above. After programming the X3Max and unplugging it from your computer, the switch should be in the left position to allow the hex/firmware that has just been programmed to load. Note: When the X3 Max is in programming mode and is inserted in to a computer, a red LED should show, confirming the device is ready to be programmed.

The X3Max is now ready to be programmed.


Programming the X3Max Firmware


Note: In this guide we will be flashing the X3Max with a firmware that allows ANY hex file/payload created for other boards to be used, this is via the generic.bin firmware file contained with the X3 Programming Tool V2.00 download. You do not have to use a third-party hex/payload, you can use a X3Max firmware/.bin file that provides the functionality you are looking for, the programming procedure is the same, just skip the flashing hex part.


For the next step, programming the X3Max using the X3Tool software, you can either first start the program before plugging the X3Max in to your computer or after, it does not matter. In this guide, the X3Max is not plugged in to the computer when first starting X3Tool to demonstrate what the software looks like when the X3 Max is not plugged in.

When starting X3Tool without the X3Max plugged in, you will receive some error messages stating that the connection failed and will then be presented with the user interface as above.

After plugging the X3Max in to your computer (ensuring it is in programming mode and a red LED is showing) and pressing connect in X3Tool, your X3Max will be detected and ready to be programmed.


To load the X3Max firmware click on the Open button under the Load Firmware heading, you will be presented with a dialog box in which you can pick the .bin X3Max firmware file. In this case the X3Max_Generic.bin file is a firmware which allows third-party hex files/payloads to be flashed to the device, you may have a different X3Max .bin firmware file, select the one you would like to use and click Open again.


After selecting the X3Max .bin firmware file you wan to program the X3 Max with click the Program button at the bottom of X3Tool.

The X3 Max firmware will then begin being programmed, this should take 5-10 seconds, once it is complete X3 Tool should show Programming Firmware Complete message like in the image above.

If you are not using the X3Max Generic firmware and would like to use the device simply click the Disconnect button at the top of X3Tool and you can safely unplug the X3Max ready to use. Remember to switch the mode switch of the X3 Max to the left to ensure it is in user, rather than programming mode, your X3Max is now flashed with your desired firmware and ready to use.


If you are using the Generic X3Max firmware and would like to flash a third-party hex/payload, follow the steps below.


Flashing a third-party hex/payload

To flash a third-party hex/payload, first flash the X3Max Generic firmware as above and then click the Open Hex button. In the dialog box that opens you can now pick the hex file you would like to flash, the X3Max and X3Tool will work with virtually any hex intended for other AVR USB development boards. Once you have selected the hex you would like to use press the Open button.

When you have opened the hex file you would like to use, press the Program button and you selected hex/payload will be flashed. Once complete you will receive a Programming Payload Complete message as above.

Press the Disconnect button in X3Tool and the X3Max is now safe to unplug. Remember to switch the mode switch of the X3 Max to the left to ensure it is in user hex mode, your X3Max is now flashed with your desired hex and ready to use.


If you have any problems following the guide or require any help, feel free to Contact Us.