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Black Magic Probe (and Dronecode Probe)

The Black Magic Probe is an easy to use, mostly plug-and-play, JTAG/SWD debugger for embedded microcontrollers. Since the Black Magic Probe is a generic debug probe, you will need an adapter to connect to Pixhawk flight controllers, which can be purchased here:

Dronecode Probe

The Dronecode Probe is a specialization of the Black Magic Probe for debugging PX4 autopilots.

The probe's USB interface exposes two separate virtual serial port interfaces: one for connecting to the System Console (UART) and the other for an embedded GDB server (SWD interface).

The probe provides a DCD-M connector cable for attaching to the Pixhawk Debug Mini.


The 6-pos DF13 connector that comes with the probe cannot be used for SWD debugging (it is for using the System Console).

Using the Probe


To debug STM32F7 or later (FMUv5 and newer) the Dronecode probe / Blackmagic probe likely requires a firmware update. You can find how to update the blackmagic probe here.

To use a Dronecode probe with GDB, start GDB with the exact ELF file that is currently flashed on the autopilot:

arm-none-eabi-gdb build/px4_fmu-v5_default/px4_fmu-v5_default.elf

Then, you have to select the Dronecode probe interface, on Linux this is e.g.:

target ext /dev/serial/by-id/usb-Black_Sphere_Technologies_Black_Magic_Probe_f9414d5_7DB85DAC-if00

Then you scan for the target:

monitor swdp_scan

And you should see something like:

Target voltage: 3.3V
Available Targets:
No. Att Driver
 1      STM32F76x M7

Note that for some autopilots it shows 0.0V but the subsequent steps work nevertheless.

You can now attach to that target:

attach 1

And now you should be connected.