How to perform firmware updates via USB
- Ensure that your hardware version supports USB update! This is either HW
V1.1 (sold after Sept. 2011) or HW V1.0 as of May 2011, later with USB
update added afterwards.
- Download the Beast USB updater.
This is a plain ZIP file and does not need an installer. No
guarantee if you get defects from this software!
- Unzip the archive to any folder you decide.
- For safety, disconnect all USB devices than the Mode-S Beast that
show up as serial interface or do have a FTDI device, since otherwise
in a few cases their configuration might become overwritten.
keyboard never are a problem.
- Ensure that your Mode-S Beast is powered and, without antenna, is showing the firmware revision indication heartbeat pattern. If not, go down to the recovery procedure.
- Start the executable BeastUSBFWUpdate
- Press the "Scan" button
- In case that the Mode-S Beast was found, press the "Open Mode-S Beast" button
- Watch that a command window opens for 5sec.
the file that contains the new firmware (it has to have an RBF
extension). At the moment it seems to be strongly recommended that the
RBF file is located in the same folder as the updater was unzipped to.
The current ZIP file already contains the latest FPGA firmware.
- Watch the progress bars and byte counters (it is pretty slow)
- At the end, you will notice again a command window for 5sec
- Power cycle your Mode-S Beast
Note 1: Your COM port number may change after this procedure.
Note 2: On my Windows XP system (Dual Core 2GHz) the update takes 10min for the 1CH version and 12min for the 2CH version.
Recovery of a Mode-S Beast after Download FailureIn
rare situations the USB update on a Mode-S Beast fails. As long as
your Mode-S Beast shows the version blink pattern, there is no need for
the recovery procedure. Anyway, this methode is proven because we need
doing it for the very intial programming. All you need to do is to
short circuit the two pins shown on the photos below with a short wire
(paper clips or tweezers work well, too). Keep the short until the update is completly done, then remove the short and power cycle the Mode-S Beast.