Guide To Using HPSDR Programmer and HPSDR Bootloader to Upgrade Firmware

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w-u-2-o
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Guide To Using HPSDR Programmer and HPSDR Bootloader to Upgrade Firmware

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:02 pm

UPDATED 22 MAR 2022

Overview

There are two ways to upgrade (or downgrade) firmware: use HPSDR Programmer, or use HPSDR Bootloader. Once upon a time, when there was only one kind of firmware, now known as "Protocol 1" firmware, HPSDR Programmer was considered the preferred way to upgrade/downgrade radio firmware. It was simpler and easier than HPSDR Bootloader. However, it does require the radio to have a proper IP address, either static, DHCP or APIPA, and it does require the existing firmware in the radio to be properly functional. If any of those conditions are not met, then HPSDR Bootloader has to be used.

With the advent of the new "Protocol 2" firmware, there also came a new, more complicated version of the HPSDR Programmer. This engendered a lot of confusion, because which version of the Programmer to use depends upon what version of firmware is in the ANAN hardware. Also, because of many changes to the Protocol 2 firmware that went on, the Protocol 2 HPSDR Programmer was not always reliable.

For this reason I now recommend that people use HPSDR Bootloader exclusively for changing the firmware. Bootloader works with any combination of upgrades, downgrades, sidegrades, etc. This can be a little difficult for those who have hardware older than the ANAN-200D as there is an internal jumper that has be manipulated on the older hardware, but the newer hardware has an externally accessible switch.

Downloading Firmware

Protocol 1 Firmware Download Instructions

1. Protocol 1 firmware should be obtained from the openHPSDR TAPR GitHub repository.
2. Click on the link for the desired .rbf file (Do NOT right click and "Save as", this will cause you to get a small file that is NOT the .rbf file and this will NOT work. It is most unfortunate that GitHub allows this mistake, and worse, that Programmer or Bootloader do not verify the file and allow this mistake to propagate.)
3. On the page that loads it should say "View Raw". Click the download button in the upper right of the page.

Protocol 2 Firmware Download Instructions

1. Protocol 2 firmware should be obtained from the files stored on this forum in the correct topic for your hardware. These are the "tacked" topics here: https://apache-labs.com/community/viewforum.php?f=32. It would be nice to have these on the TAPR GitHub repository but unfortunately neither I, nor the hero (seriously, Rick, N1GP is a true hero for getting the P2 firmware to work as well as it does) do not have access to the TAPR repo, so we had to put it somewhere. It is not recommended to use the Protocol 2 firmware currently on the TAPR repository, it is very old.

2. Just click on the link to file you want and your computer will offer to save them.

HPSDR Bootloader

HPSDR Bootloader Installation Instructions

1. If you have more than one network interface card (NIC) in your PC (including Wi-Fi), set your network metrics manually per the guidance here:

http://www.w1aex.com/anan/anan.html#metric

2. Download and install Npcap or the older WinPcap . Bootloader requires it. Either will work, Npcap is probably preferred at this point since WinPcap has not been updated in a long time. Do NOT use "Win10PCAP", Bootloader will not work properly with it.
3. Restart your computer
4. Download and install HPSDR Bootloader.

HPSDR Bootloader Operating Instructions

1. Do not use a managed (layer 2 or layer 3) switch. The MAC that the radio uses in bootloader mode is illegal and managed switches will not forward packets. Use a direct connection or a dumb switch. Even some dumb switches may not work. Also, HPSDR Bootloader uses raw Ethernet packets. It does not care what the IP address of your PC or the ANAN hardware is, so there is no reason to worry about that (but IP address setting do need to be correct for Thetis to run).
2. Power off the ANAN hardware.
3. Place the bootloader jumper on board (hardware older than the 200D) or flip the bootloader switch to bootloader position (200D and newer). It is strongly recommended to mark the positions of the switch somehow (tape, label, Sharpie marker, something) as the positions are unlabeled and it can be easy to get confused.
4. Power up the ANAN hardware.
5. Run HPSDR Bootloader.
6. Click "Test for Bootloader". Bootloader should discover the radio.

At this point you can use the Bootloader to change the IP or program the firmware. To program the firmware follow steps 7 and 8. Otherwise just program the IP and then skip to step 9.

7. Click "Browse" in the Board Programmer section. Select the rbf file you want. If you get an error message you may need to rename the rbf file to "metis.rbf" because of some old code in the programmer.
8. Click "Program" in the Board Programmer section. Wait for it to complete.
9. Quit Bootloader.
10. Power off the ANAN hardware.
11. Remove jumper or flip the bootloader switch back to normal position, depending on the radio.
12. Power things up and enjoy!

HPSDR Programmer

If you really want to try HPSDR Programmer then know that there are now two different versions of HPSDR Programmer. Choose the correct version as follows:

  • If Protocol 1 firmware is currently in the radio hardware, to change it to another version of Protocol 1 or Protocol 2 firmware use the Protocol 1 HPSDR Programmer.
  • If Protocol 2 firmware is currently in the radio hardware, to change it to another version of Protocol 1 or Protocol 2 firmware use the Protocol 2 HPSDR Programmer.
If all of that is too confusing, then you can always use HPSDR Bootloader as described above. Bootloader works with any combination of upgrades, downgrades, sidegrades, etc.

Protocol 1 HPSDR Programmer Instructions

1. If you have more than one network interface card (NIC) in your PC (including Wi-Fi), set your network metrics manually per the guidance here:

http://www.w1aex.com/anan/anan.html#metric

2. Download and install the Protocol 1 HPSDR Programmer.
3. Power up radio.
4. Run HPSDR Programmer.
5. Click "Discover". HPSDR Programmer should discover the radio.

At this point you can use the Programmer to change the IP or program the firmware. To program the firmware follow steps 6 through 8. Otherwise just program the IP and then skip to step 9.

6. Click "Browse" in the Programmer section. Select the rbf file you want. If you get an error message you may need to rename the rbf file to "metis.rbf" because of some old code in the programmer.
7. Click "Program" in the Programmer section. Wait for it to complete.
8. HPSDR Programmer will attempt to re-discover the radio. Often times it will fail in the first attempt because the time-out setting is just a little bit short. Just click "Discover" again and it should find it.
9. Quit HPSDR Programmer and enjoy your new firmware.

Protocol 2 HPSDR Programmer Instructions

Note: although there is a Linux build of this programmer these instructions are specific to the Windows build.

1. Download zip file from Protocol 2 HPSDR Programmer.
2. Unzip the folder. There is no formal installer.
3. Open a Windows command prompt ("DOS") window.
4. Navigate to the folder you unzipped and run HPSDRProgrammer_web.exe (it is recommended you do this from a command prompt window so that you can watch for any error messages and because it gives you certain instructions).
5. Open a web browser and browse to "http://localhost:8228/intro/".

Steps 3-5 are a bit of pain. You can automate this by making a .bat file as follows (adjust the location of the executable file to taste):

Code: Select all

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenHPSDR\HPSDRProgrammer_web_v0.2.7_windows
start "" "HPSDRProgrammer_web.exe"
start "" http://localhost:8228/intro/

6. Click "Select Interface", then select the interface you think the radio is on. As of this posting if you guess wrong it is quite possible the programmer will crash. If so, start over at step 5.
7. If there is a radio to be found it will be on the "Select HPSDR" list. Select it and click "Select".
8. Click "Program" then click "Choose File", then choose the firmware file you want to load.
9. Click "Upload", then click "Program". The erasure phase will take a little over 30 seconds. No feedback will be seen in the command window. The programming phase will take about 7 seconds, you should see feedback in the command window.
10. Click "Quit", then click "Quit" again.
11. Enjoy your new firmware.

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