Update using USB-Blaster
How to perform firmware updates with an USB blaster
All you need is a USB blaster or one of its compatible derivates,
which I meanwhile saw as cheap as USD 13,50 (free shipping)
(Look for "Mini Altera FPGA CPLD USB Blaster programmer JTAG").
Also, you need to solder a 10pin connector to the 14pin programming interface
(the remaining 4 pins are those needed for the JTAG port).
Pin 1 is next to the small 8 pin serial flash device.
Basically nothing can go wrong because this method can even be used from a point zero.
This is the so called "Active Serial" connector.
Install Altera Standalone Programmer Version 9.1SP1 (not 11.0, which has prooven to be broken) from this source:
The installation will provide a menu point for the programmer under <Program Files><Altera>
The Mode-S Beast must be connected to USB (or any other +5V power) while programming,
the programmer does not supply the unit to be served.
Connect your USB blaster and install it under menu item [Hardware Setup],
then select mode [Active Serial Programming],
load the firmware file to be updated with the menu point [Change File...]and select the two check boxes at
[Program] and [Verify].
Mini Altera FPGA CPLD USB Blaster programmer JTAG
Klick on [|> Start], after the programming has finished, unplug the cable,
when the Mode-S Beast will immediately return to its normal way of operation.