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homer55555

@teksavvy.com
reply to mlord

Re: Upgrading Firmware on Thompson DCM475

if I plug the modem in the home of a rogers customer for a day would the firmware get automatically upgraded ?


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to yu130960

Something I could do, would be to make a duplicate of the flash rig, and sell it outright to one of you North Toronto area people. You could then provide the service to others in your area, and quite quickly make back the cost of the rig by charging a modest $5/flash fee.

The rig cost would be around $50, I think.. gotta add it all up.
But there would be a bit of a delay while I source another SD card slot.

Cheers


Cory

join:2004-09-28
Canada
reply to stanimal

Also in thornhill and would be interested in this.


stanimal

join:2012-11-04
Thornhill, ON
reply to yu130960

I'm in Thornhill; if you do decide to do this, I'd be happy to share in some of the cost.


BuddyRich

join:2008-02-27
reply to CHRoNiCWiLL

Just a plug for mlord and his service.

Upgraded me to 2.16 last weekend and its been a solid week, no disconnects.

Well worth the $5 and my time!



yu130960

join:2005-08-03
Stouffville, ON
reply to mlord

It would work with a trusted group of technically capable people that didn't mess up your stuff. I would get the gear, pay the deposit and then ship direct to the next user rather than going back and forth (saving the expense).

I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.

FYI I am an at home dabbler in electronics having flashed consoles, sat receivers etc over the last 15 years.

Let me know if it makes sense, otherwise I am going to have to make a special trip downtown.

If there are others in Markham, Richmond Hill it may make more sense to pass it around so that mlord makes his money back faster.


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to yu130960

Well, I could try accepting a "gear deposit" and then mailing the flashing kit (pictured above) to folks, then refunding the deposit (less outbound postage and a $5 wear'n tear fee) when it gets returned.

But probably not economical that way. Postage alone would likely be $8+hst each way.



yu130960

join:2005-08-03
Stouffville, ON
reply to TwiztedZero

Thanks I got a message into him. I wish there was a simpler at home method to force the update, but oh well.



TwiztedZero
Nine Zero Burp Nine Six
Premium
join:2011-03-31
Toronto, ON
kudos:5
reply to yu13096

You'd have to come into downtown Toronto and find Teddy Boom See Profile



yu13096

@108.171.115.x
reply to mlord

Is there anyone doing this near markham, Ontario?


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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3 edits
reply to mlord

Click for full size
The latest SD-Card breadboard arrangement.
SD-Card socket, Atmega328p microcontroller, 3.3V PSU, and a couple of LEDs.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to mlord


The latest SD-Card based flashing rig.
said by mlord:

I've now got a simplified flashing rig on the breadboard.

This is the latest incarnation of the flashing rig.
Standalone (no Linux PC required), turnkey.
Requires a DC power source (4V - 16V), and not much else.

The firmware.bin file is read from the SD-Card and written automatically to both flash partitions, if not already in each.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to mlord

said by mlord:

The final version of the flash rig. Pretty darned simple.

I've now got a simplified flashing rig on the breadboard.
Simpler? How?

Well, this one doesn't require a PC at all. I've coupled a raw Atmel ATMega328 chip (aka. "arduino") with an SD Card socket. Put a firmware.img file onto an SD Card and the "arduino" reads it and flashes the modem with it.

No PC, no slow serial connection. So the flashing now takes under three minutes for a 2MB image. Still glacial compared with the theoretical speeds, but 2X the speed of the earlier setup!

I'll probably solder up a board with this one on it, to free up the breadboard for other uses. Some pix coming later.

-ml

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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reply to mlord

said by mlord:

Heh, looking under the heatsink, one can see that it covers the flash chip when centred on the CPU chip, so one can understand how it might get placed that way.

One repair I got to do the other day, was replacing the heatsink inside a DCM-475 modem. The original ceramic heatsink was cracked, and as a result probably not cooling as well as it ought to.

After much cracking and prying, the rest of it came off in a hundred little bits, and then the incredible double-stick mounting tape was peeled off in strips, revealing the Broadcom chip under it all.

And.. revealing a smaller silk-screened outline for the heatsink as originally designed: a standard aluminium block with a multitude of fins, similar to what one might see covering the southbridge chip on a PC motherboard, or an older low-end video card. There are even two small mounting holes on the PCB for the heatsink spring clips.

I had some salvaged heatsinks of the right size on hand, but no clips, so the replacement got glued in place with "heatsink glue". Looks much neater and tidier than the ceramic monolith did, and the modem survived a 24-hour smoke test without complaint.

No pixs (forgot).

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to mlord


Reinforced USB micro-B jack
I've now seen several more of the "cost reduced" modem versions in here for upgrades. They seem to work as well as the fully populated boards, so I guess it's not a cause for concern.

As far as I know from people who've contacted me afterwards, the firmware updates do seem to cure the "intermittent connection" issues, so I guess it's worthwhile to keep doing them for a while longer.

I've abandoned the "generic clips" for the flashing rig and gone back to 100% E-Z-Hook XKM Grabbers for hooking up the wires -- they're just so much easier to connect, and they don't let go until I want them to.

The Sparkfun "Pro Micro" board is still going strong, though it did need a repair after a couple of upgrades this evening -- the surface mounted USB connector predictably finally came off it's moorings. So I've soldered it back into place, and beefed up the attachment to prevent a recurrence of that particular issue.

Cheers
-ml

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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4 edits
reply to mlord


Macronix flash chip

Cost-reduced version of board
I just finished updating yet another DCM-475 modem here today, and this one was different from the others. Firstly, it is one of the "cost reduced" versions, with some shielding, capacitors and ferrites omitted, presumably to save money.

But it also sports a different brand/model of flash chip: Macronix MX25L3205DMI-12G.
Here's a link to the datasheet: »www.macronix.com/QuickPlace/hq/P···25L3205D

Fortunately, this chip implements a superset of the instruction set of the original chip, so the same erase/program/read logic still works fine on it. The only reason I noticed is that the program code checks the flash chip ID before proceeding, so it saw the different chip and refused to continue until I updated the code.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to mlord

Did another modem update tonight (must be close to double digits by now, but I'm not keeping an exact count of them).

This one was strange. The insides of the modem were a little different from the others: Same PCB layout, routing, pads, etc. But no RF can around the tuner area, only one electrolytic capacitor populated, instead of the usual four, and no ferrites on the power input.

So a "cut cost" edition of the insides.
After an initial goof by me (clip on wrong pin of chip), we got the modem updated fine, and then I soldered in another large electrolytic capacitor to keep the original one from getting too lonely.

Forgot to get a pic of it though.

Expand your moderator at work

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to Teddy Boom

Re: Upgrading Firmware on Thompson DCM475

Heh, looking under the heatsink, one can see that it covers the flash chip when centred on the CPU chip, so one can understand how it might get placed that way. But covering the flash chip is a big no-no IMHO. Perhaps a deeper and less broad heatsink could have done as well without preventing access to other components.

Cheers



Teddy Boom
k kudos Received
Premium
join:2007-01-29
Toronto, ON
kudos:20
reply to mlord

The heatsink is sometimes placed very very badly, like covering more than half of the flash chip. On the other hand, the heatsink is made of a composite material that doesn't leave all kinds of metal shavings behind when you Dremel it.
--
electronicsguru.ca/for_sale/Cablemodems


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to mlord


E-Z Hook XKM vs. generic
said by mlord:

I really like these EZ-Hook XKM grabbers.
...
I've got a shipment of very similar looking clips on the way from China, with proper solder tabs.

My first pack of "generic clips" arrived today ($4.60 for 20, compared with $3/one of the XKMs). They are shorter, and fatter than the XKM grabbers. Still (just) small enough to use for flashing the modems, but too fat to fit under the heatsink when needed. They do have the advantage of accepting directly soldered wires, rather than requiring a mating female clip as with the XKMs.

So I'll continue with the XKMs on the flashing rig, but these new clips will replace most of the other test clips and alligators on my bench -- I like the dual grabber action compared with the normal single-hook style of mini-clips.

nbinont

join:2011-03-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
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·TekSavvy Cable
·Bruce Telecom
reply to mlord

Re: I wonder what the cause of the 02.08 problem actually is?

said by mlord:

So no direct guaranteed connection there. That really just leaves a couple of possibilities then: (1) signal levels, except many people with issues report excellent signal stats, and (2) it depends upon the brand/model/version of equipment Rogers deploys at the local node (most likely) or at the CMTS (less likely).

Possibly also (3) the upstream modulation used for the upstream bonded channels. I have 16QAM up, but others have 64QAM up. 64QAM is a bit more work and a different code path on the modem.


dissilusion

@teksavvy.com
reply to Teddy Boom

I first waited for about a month to see if it would clear up, it didn't. Multiple daily reboots. As well I also waited to see if TS was going to announce a company wide directive for the issue. As none was forthcoming, and as the modem was purchased and still under warranty through TS, the exchanged it for a modem with the 2.16 firmware.


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to chrisl83

said by chrisl83:

My modem was perfect before 8/4 bonding. The day rogers changed it over the modem flaked out on me.

Mmm.. okay, so some people show a pretty direct connection between 02.08 flaking out on 8/4, whereas others have no issue.

So no direct guaranteed connection there. That really just leaves a couple of possibilities then: (1) signal levels, except many people with issues report excellent signal stats, and (2) it depends upon the brand/model/version of equipment Rogers deploys at the local node (most likely) or at the CMTS (less likely).

I'm not sure if there's a good way to determine the brand/model of gear at the local node -- maybe nmap could figure it out if we had an IP address for it. But I think (?) the first IP we see in a traceroute is the CMTS, not the local node. Or is it?

traceroute teksavvy.com
traceroute to teksavvy.com (206.248.155.70), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 tomato (xx.xx.xx.xx) 0.419 ms --- my local router/firewall

2 10.124.5.1 (10.124.5.1) 7.628 ms --- CMTS ??
3 69.63.255.189 (69.63.255.189) 15.282 ms --- Rogers router ??

4 fallowfield3.cable.teksavvy.com (24.52.255.78) 8.195 ms
5 fallowfield3.cable.teksavvy.com (24.52.255.77) 13.828 ms
6 2120.ae0.agg01.tor.packetflow.ca (69.196.136.77) 14.127 ms
7 206.248.154.117 (206.248.154.117) 25.048 ms
8 206.248.155.70 (206.248.155.70) 24.025 ms

chrisl83

join:2011-06-21
Almonte, ON
reply to dissilusion

My modem was perfect before 8/4 bonding. The day rogers changed it over the modem flaked out on me.



Teddy Boom
k kudos Received
Premium
join:2007-01-29
Toronto, ON
kudos:20
reply to bbbc

Re: Firmware on Shaw provisioned Thompson DCM475

said by bbbc:

Is the blocking of a cable modem's stats page controlled by a custom firmware (from Shaw) or is the DOCSIS provisioning from the cable ISP responsible for this bullsh*t?

I'm pretty sure it is in the configuration file, along with what speed of service you are getting, and what priority on the network you should get.

Whether the firmware flash sticks or not depends entirely on whether Shaw is actively pushing the firmware version they want you to be using.
--
electronicsguru.ca/for_sale/Cablemodems

nbinont

join:2011-03-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
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·TekSavvy Cable
·Bruce Telecom
reply to mlord

Re: I wonder what the cause of the 02.08 problem actually is?

said by mlord:

We've got documentation in this very thread of a simple firmware update to 02.16 on the same physical modem clearing up this kind of issue.

I'm (much) more interested in what triggers the issue. Increased channel-bonding is a definite clue, that has been cited many times by many users. It's not clear to me if it's the channel bonding itself though, or the lowered DHCP lease times that accompany it in most (all?) areas. Or some other factor perhaps.

???

I've got DCM475 with STAC.02.08 and 8x4 bonding (+5dBmV)256QAM down/ (45dBmV)16QAM up. 60 min leases. I don't have a disconnect issue here (anymore).


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
reply to CHRoNiCWiLL

Firmware on Shaw provisioned Thompson DCM475

Any chance this firmware update could stick and not be superseded by Shaw's sh*tty firmware? Is the blocking of a cable modem's stats page controlled by a custom firmware (from Shaw) or is the DOCSIS provisioning from the cable ISP responsible for this bullsh*t?

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to Teddy Boom

Re: I wonder what the cause of the 02.08 problem actually is?

We've got documentation in this very thread of a simple firmware update to 02.16 on the same physical modem clearing up this kind of issue.

I'm (much) more interested in what triggers the issue. Increased channel-bonding is a definite clue, that has been cited many times by many users. It's not clear to me if it's the channel bonding itself though, or the lowered DHCP lease times that accompany it in most (all?) areas. Or some other factor perhaps.

???