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DevMike

Thinking about Updating Firmware? You probably don't need to.

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DevMike    429

For some reason, I would call it "latest and greatest syndrome", people love to upgrade firmware.  You probably shouldn't.  

  • If your hardware is working, there is no need to update your firmware.
  • If you just received your hardware, chances are it has the latest firmware on it already.  There is no need to update the firmware.
  • If the version of your firmware is HIGHER than what is posted on our website, DO NOT UPDATE.  When checking firmware, or really any version number from us, each set of numbers is compared on it's own to the other set, left to right.  Examples :
    1.4.8 & 1.4.13 - 1.4.13 is NEWER as 13 is greater than 8.
    1.5.1 & 1.4.32 - 1.5.1 is NEWER as 5 is greater than 4.
  • If your hardware is not working --AND-- you see a new firmware that says it will fix the issue, then OK, consider upgrading the firmware.
  • If you are at all unsure, ask us on the help desk FIRST.

Our boot-loaders are pretty robust, so even if a firmware update goes wrong the board will probably still be recoverable.  However whenever you update the firmware on ANY device, you risk 'bricking' the controller.  If you brick the controller, it may not be recoverable except by the us - which could mean shipping and repair costs for you.

Firmware updates on the PixCon are particularly troublesome.  Since this is a pro level board, it requires some pretty in-depth knowledge on how to get it to talk on your network.  When people can't reliably talk to the board, they immediately assume it is a problem with the firmware.  That's bad for several reasons: 

  • A stable, always working connection is absolutely a must for updating firmware on any device.  If you can't reliably talk to a board, the LAST thing you want to do is try to update firmware.  Trust me when I say -- if you are having connection issues with a PixCon, it's not the firmware, it's your cofiguration/settings.
  • All PixCons that have shipped in the last year have HIGHER firmware releases than what we have available for you to load.  There are technical reasons for this.
  • PixCons do not react very well when they are DOWNGRADED.  Once downgraded, they require special software to recover.  For version 1.1 and 1.2 boards we have procedures we can have you follow.
  • New hardware revisions of the PixCon (V1.3) can only run on the absolute newest firmware that is loaded at the factory.  We are still working on procedures to recover those boards, and it may be possible that they need to be sent in for repair instead.

So please remember: unless you are having an issue --AND-- a firmware specifically states it takes care of that issue, don't update firmware.

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