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mlord

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

Re: Upgrading Firmware on DCM-476 modems

Click for full size
The
Whew.. for a minute there I thought I'd finally bricked a modem. But just a bug in the latest code for the flashing rig.

Here's a new (for me) screen on the DCM-475 with the 55.04 firmware. I've not seen this screen before on my own modems with Rogers approved firmware.

Oh, and yes, this modem does sync up on Rogers' system, with 8/4 bonding. I have no idea what the other differences are between this version (55.04) and the more usual 02.16 firmware.

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
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And firmware 02.16 appears to work just fine when flashed in place of 55.04 on this modem, whilst retaining the "new" layout. That's good to know.

Now I need to find out if a modem with the "old" layout on 02.16 can be flashed to run 55.04 on the same "old" layout. If that works, then people can shuffle modems back and forth across the Quebec/Ontario cable systems with a simple firmware update.

Cheers


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
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1 edit

Yup, that works too.

I found an old "original" image of my normal modem, saved back in September, with the 02.08 firmware and my MAC address etc. Flashed the entire image (4MB) into the new spare DCM-475 modem, and then updated it from 02.08 to 55.04. Then unplugged my normal modem, and powered this one up in place of it.

It happily booted and connected to Start.ca with 8/4 channel bonding.

So this proves that a modem with the old layout can run newer firmware ripped from a modem with the new layout. And vice-versa as well, from my earlier posting.

Happy days!
Now it's time to restore the original flash contents (firmware, layout, MAC, ..) to this second modem.

Cheers


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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After a moderate battle against dwindling RAM in the Atmega238p chip, I've now updated the flashing rig firmware such that it can autodetect and deal with both modem flash layouts when programming firmware.

I've also extended the rig functionality to automatically rip firmware from a modem when the SDcard does not have the required "firmware.bin" file present.

These two changes simplify dealing with various firmware versions and differing flash layouts for the DCM-475 and DCM-476 modems. The latter change also makes it easier to hand-off this rig to an ISP for their own use. If they receive modems with newer firmware, then they can just hook up the rig with an empty SD card, and it will rip the new firmware from the modem automatically.

Then just copy/rename the file to "firmware.bin" on the SD card, and it will program that image into both partitions within whatever modem they subsequently hook it up to.

No buttons, no switches, no computer.
Just six pin clips and some blinking LEDs.

Next up, clone the rig in a form suitable for mailing to a specific, interested ISP.

Cheers



Teddy Boom
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join:2007-01-29
Toronto, ON
kudos:19

Very nice!

I was about to send a long pm, but after rereading the above I think you covered everything :P

(you did have an extra f in the memory map you pm'd me though )

said by mlord:

I've also extended the rig functionality to automatically rip firmware from a modem when the SDcard does not have the required "firmware.bin" file present.

Ideally you'd rip both image0 and image1 in this situation, I think..
--
electronicsguru.ca

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by Teddy Boom:

said by mlord:

I've also extended the rig functionality to automatically rip firmware from a modem when the SDcard does not have the required "firmware.bin" file present.

Ideally you'd rip both image0 and image1 in this situation, I think..

Yup. The auto-ripper actually saves three files: all.bin, fw1.bin, and fw2.bin. The "all.bin" is a full 4MB image of the entire flash chip, so that it can be restored to pristine state later on if something gets messed up (used that already!).

Cheers

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
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The new rig in action.
Click for full size
Top side.
Click for full size
Bottom side.
Today I soldered up a version of the flashing rig, for use by a third-party who were nice enough to swap a modem for it. With everything soldered down, and some hot melt on the clip connectors, it might even stay together for a while.


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

+1 Awesome!


MrMazda86

join:2013-01-29
Kitchener, ON
reply to mlord

+1 double awesome!!

That looks like the kind of creation I'd make. Is it home programmed as well, or do you have some kind of pre-programmed firmware for it?


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by MrMazda86:

+1 double awesome!! That looks like the kind of creation I'd make. Is it home programmed as well, or do you have some kind of pre-programmed firmware for it?

Thanks. It most definitely is "me-programmed" as well, but using the Arduino development tools and libraries.

The fancy blue sub-module is a $3 pre-fab unit off eBay (China). But I just need only the physical card slot from it, and not all of the other stuff. So the built-in 3.3V regulator there is unused, as there's a larger 3.3V regulator on the main board.

Cheers

MrMazda86

join:2013-01-29
Kitchener, ON

said by mlord:

Thanks. It most definitely is "me-programmed" as well, but using the Arduino development tools and libraries.

Haha... Arduinos are quite the handy little things. They're quite versatile really.

mlord

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

said by mlord:

The fancy blue sub-module is a $3 pre-fab unit off eBay (China). But I just need only the physical card slot from it, and not all of the other stuff. So the built-in 3.3V regulator there is unused, as there's a larger 3.3V regulator on the main board.

Speaking of which.. I noticed the main regulator getting unusually hot (thus the heatsink). Today I delved into this some more, and discovered it being due to some interaction with the one on the blue sub-module. So I removed the (unused) regulator from the sub-module, and power consumption is now 1/10th of what it was before. Much better.

Cheers

mlord

join:2006-11-05
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2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to mlord


Rig #1: going to an ISP.

Rig #2: for myself.
I like the new soldered-up flashing rig so much, that on Sunday I made a second one for myself. Heh heh.. now that it's all so "finished" looking, I'll probably never have another person drop by in need of it!

But I can always re-purpose it as a data-logging rig if need be, and I definitely have uses for those from time to time. The extra header on Rig #2 (top edge) is for the main serial port, so I can reprogram it "in-circuit" when needed, but also for logging serial data from a server (needs external level conversion). And there are enough free "holes" in the perfboard to add a couple more I/O headers for temperature monitors or similar.

Cheers


Teddy Boom
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reply to mlord

said by mlord:

The fancy blue sub-module is a $3 pre-fab unit off eBay (China).

Of course there is an even cheaper way to get an SD card slot. Or, more accurately, a micro SD slot. Just solder up an SD to micro SD adapter

But as you've been saying, the real cost behind a flashing rig are the clips.

Are these cheaper than the ones you found before?
»www.mcumall.com/comersus/store/c···uct=4498

Still not really cheap...
--
electronicsguru.ca

mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
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Those clips say $6.62 for a pair of clips, or $3.31/each.
Digikey sells the (superior!) E-Z-Hook XKM grabbers for $3.01/each.

I like the idea for a cheap micro-SD slot, though!
Full-size slots, like the blue one above, go for under $2/delivered on eBay.
But micro slots are really hard to come by at a reasonable price.

Cheers



Teddy Boom
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Ya, I found that eventually..

There appears to be a variety of generics available.. How bad were the ones you got (from dealextreme I guess?)?

These look a little better than the ones you got, still not good though:
»www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-Grabber-SMD···1be4a176

This guy has a large quantity of Agilent ones for some reason, cheap if you need the numbers:
»www.ebay.com/itm/New-AGILENT-167···2ad#shId

Another seller with the slightly better looking generic:
»www.ebay.com/itm/1-set-4MM-banan···70df3da6

Have you seen this:
»sigrok.org/wiki/Probe_comparison

This was an interesting enough thread, just sticking it here for future reference:
»www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ch···gestion/

And linked in that thread, very nice but still not cheap:
»www.ebay.com.my/itm/TEKTRONIX-SM···bb52b8c1

Oh well.. I better get back to work
--
electronicsguru.ca



Teddy Boom
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3 edits

edits....

Here we go.. Zeroplus grabbers for $1 each, unknown shipping:
»siliconkit.com/ocart/index.php?r···t_id=218

and these guys not much more with cheap shipping to US addresses:
»store.nkcelectronics.com/view_cart.asp
--
electronicsguru.ca


mlord

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

said by Teddy Boom:

How bad were the ones you got (from dealextreme I guess?)?

Yes, the generic clips were from dx.com (DealExtreme). I did manage to use them to flash a couple of modems, but the tips on them are about 2X the size of the XKM grabbbers, making it quite difficult to attach them to adjacent pins. And they simply won't fit underneath the DCM-475 heatsinks.

I can give you a handful of them when I return your modems, if you want.
They do make excellent clips for everything except the modems!

Cheers


Teddy Boom
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Ya, a couple would be great, just to see what I think of them
--
electronicsguru.ca


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13

No problem.
I've put two each of five colours (10 in total) into a baggie for you.


Scycotic

join:2012-12-10

lol my dad has a whole bag full of those in the basement from a few decades ago...never knew they were worth that much! Makes me wonder how much the rest of the stuff lying around is worth...