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Gerry's Messy Electronics/Robotics

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Altera Master Programming Unit Model "PL-APU".
This is the USB version of the Master Programmer.

Certain adapters from the PL-ASAP2 MPU can be used with the PL-APU programmer.

The Quartus Programmer software verison 10.XX lists which adapters are supported by the PL-APU

Many of the older series of Altera chips, can only be programmed using the PL-ASAP2 MPU.

The PL-APU Kits are extremely Rare and range between $1500 and $2000 depending on the distributer and the units condition. It also depends if a power supply or adapters are included with the Kit.

If you are looking to purchase a PL-APU or PL-ASAP2 let me know, as I am in frequent contact with various suppliers of these rare systems.



Altera Master Programming Unit Model "PL-APU".
"NOS" NEW in the Original Box

The Images below show the PL-APU programmer as it arrived NEW in its original Box directly from Altera.





Altera MAX+PLUS II Software

Several versions of the MAX+PLUS II software were released. The earlier Versions such as the Version 5.x release ran on a Computer PC using the DOS operating system and Windows 3.1 or an early version of Windows NT.

Shown below is the Altera MAX+PLUS® II software GUI for Windows 98/2000 Operating system. The MAX+PLUS® II software is used with the PLE3-12/12A MPU and the PL-ASAP2 MPU with either the LP4/LP5/LP6 Logic Programmer Cards.

For when Programming with the Alera PL-APU Programmer hardware, The latest version of MAX+PLUS II V10.23 is recommended.

However when needing to Program earlier classic components, or the Altera MAX 9000 & 9000A series components; with either the PL-APU programmer or the PL-ASAP2 programming system, the MAX+PLUS II Version 9.6 is recommended. This version of the software has the particular component libraries, for all of the MAX 9000 family. From the EPM9320 model, all the way to the EPM9560.





Altera Plastic QFP Chip Carriers


You can see one of the Altera Plastic Carriers in the center image above.

Altera CPLD Chips come in various package formats. For devices of 100 Pins and over, the chips come in special plastic carriers. The carriers not only protect the chips pins from accidental damage, but also provide protection while the device is being programmed or is being shipped to the customer. Some models of adapters (PLMQ & PLMR) for the Master programming unit are designed to have the chips inserted with the protective Carriers on the chip. Various MPU adpters will have the Suffix "NC" at the end of the adapter Model#, indicating it is a "NO CARRIER" type of adapter.

You can read specific information on Altera QFP Carriers from the Altera Datasheets listed below:

"QFP Carrier & Development Socket Datasheet"


"Ordering Information Document"


Altera MPU Adapter model numbers explained

Shown below is the Adapter ordering info for Altera MPU adapters. This clearly indicates and explains the numbering system used for Altera MPU adapters.


You can also review the more recent "Altera Programming Hardware" document at the link below for a complete list of available MPU/APU adapters.


If you're into the older Altera CPLD's you can Join my Altera Yahoo Group: