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TOPIC: DDRC-88A firmware update

DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18834

  • AustinJerry
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The recent update to the 88A-utility includes an updated firmware file. With this update, as with previous updates, I have simply clicked on the Update Firmware button in th 88A-Utility program, and the firmware update seems to complete successfully. However, someone called my attention to an instruction in the User Guide that says the 88A must be opened up and a reset button needs to be pressed before updating the firmware.

Have I updated my firmware successfully, or did I do it wrong?
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18844

  • marmasotti
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I did not yet update mine, but perhaps you could check that in DLCT the playpack device is now recognized correctly. It should now be DDRC-88A instead of nanoAVR as it was before.
Where did you read to press a reset button? The following are the only relevant notes pasted from the download page:


Installation steps for existing customers:
- Install new DDRC-88A utility & new Dirac Live Calibration Tools
- Connect to the unit with DDRC-88A utility
- Click on Restore all to default. This will clear all your settings.
- In Dirac Live Calibration Tools, we recommend that you run all measurements of your setup once again so you start from a clean slate.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18846

  • matty1137
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Page 51 of the user's manual-Updating The MCU Firmware.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18847

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matty1137 wrote:
Page 51 of the user's manual-Updating The MCU Firmware.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/78476446/AVS...date%20Procedure.JPG
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18849

  • marmasotti
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Yes. However I was also assuming that new MCU firmware would be not applying in general (i.e only "to very few units in the field for early adopter. Not required if not the case.").
I also assumed that to load the new firmware would be sufficient just to clicking on "Restore all to defaults".
Am I right, in turn ? :-)
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by marmasotti.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18854

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marmasotti wrote:
Yes. However I was also assuming that new MCU firmware would be not applying in general (i.e only "to very few units in the field for early adopter. Not required if not the case.").
I also assumed that to load the new firmware would be sufficient just to clicking on "Restore all to defaults".
Am I right, in turn ? :-)

The notes seem to imply that this FW update is not required for everyone. However, the issue we are discussing is the proper procedure if you decide to update the FW. The instructions in the manual are either right or wrong--that is what we are waiting for MiniDSP support to clarify.

Also, the release notes in one spot recommends re-running all measurements following the update, and in another spot it says re-running the measurements is not necessary. We expect consistency in the instructions, and would like clarification on this point as well.

And BTW, after updating the FW, the DLCT indeed shows "DDRC-88A" as the device name, where it used to say "Nanao-AVR". This seems to imply that the FW was successfully updated, although I did not open the box and press the reset button.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18861

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AustinJerry wrote:
And BTW, after updating the FW, the DLCT indeed shows "DDRC-88A" as the device name, where it used to say "Nanao-AVR". This seems to imply that the FW was successfully updated, although I did not open the box and press the reset button.

I agree with all your points. My personal doubts stem from what a firmware upgrade really is. It seems that just updating the "firmware" (i.e. through just clicking on "Restore all to defaults") is a different thing than upgrading the MCU firmware (by following the separate procedure you recalled).

I will do my upgrade soon and tell if just clicking on "Restore all to defaults" will be enough to change the device identification to "DDRC-88A", so clarifying whether the "firmware" upgrade and the "MCU firmware" upgrade are actually two different things or not.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by marmasotti.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18864

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Actually there is a bit more than just clicking the 'Restore All to Defaults' button , there is one more named 'Upgrade Firmware', of course, and a navigation path to follow through - I didn't recall it from my previous upgrade a month ago.
Anyway, the firmware now has moved to v2.17, and the device is recongnized with its proper name DDRC-88, so proving that a MCU upgrade affects differently depending on the actual need.
I don't know however if what I tried to describe makes sense for you.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18867

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I believe I have lost sight of the point you are trying to make. It sounds like you did exactly what I did, select the "update firmware" button in the 88A-utility program, with the same results I observed. The point of this discussion is to understand why the user guide specifies a requirement to open the 88A case and press a reset button. We still don't understand the reason for this extra step. Make sense?

Why do you keep mentioning the "restore all to defaults" button? This doesn't upgrade the FW.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by AustinJerry.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18868

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AustinJerry wrote:
Why do you keep mentioning the "restore all to defaults" button? This doesn't upgrade the FW.

Perhaps because I was misled by the installation steps in the download page that I report below. Also, one more discrepancy besides the one you already pointed out about the name of the new firmware, that is an old one, suggesting me the idea of a more basic one. For the rest, sorry, I would need to reconcile with the point of this discussion, that rightly deals with a unnecessary action on a button.

Installation steps for existing customers:
- Install new DDRC-88A utility & new Dirac Live Calibration Tools
- Connect to the unit with DDRC-88A utility
- Click on Restore all to default. This will clear all your settings.
- In Dirac Live Calibration Tools, we recommend that you run all measurements of your setup once again so you start from a clean slate.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18872

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The installation steps you show in you last post are the installation steps for the new 88a-utility program and the new DLCT. They have nothing to do with the firmware update, which is an entirely separate process. Are you aware of that?
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18873

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AustinJerry wrote:
Are you aware of that?

roger roger
;-)
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18910

  • devteam
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Ok, let's try to dispel the confusion here. :-)
Before explaining the steps required, let's try to clarify what firmware means and how it works. Each firmware/software release is unique, fixing a unique set of bugs/issues so there isn't a one-for-all explanation here. That's maybe an explanation for the differing update path. We can see how we can make it clearer next.
1) There are 2 firmware on most miniDSP products. (Firmware = embedded software)
- An MCU (microcontroller firmware) that basically runs all the management of the unit and handles all the communication within the platform. When you update the MCU firmware you'd basically use the "DSP4YOU-miniDSP upgrade utility" which will flash a new .hex file firmware that we would typically package along with the ZIP file. To upgrade that firmware, we need to enter the so called "bootloader mode". That is a sublevel of the firmware able to upgrade the code basically running on the unit. There are 2 ways to enter it:
a) From the DDRC utility (as Jerry did). If the unit has correct bootloader to update that version then it will be able to enter the bootloader mode and update. If you can do it from the software, then do it. It will work as well.
b) In some special cases, we'd need to update the bootloader AND the firmware (i.e. even lower level). In that case, we'd indeed need you to open the box to reset the box. It's rare that we've got to do that though. User manual to be updated to reflect this..

- A DSP firmware basically updates the filters that run on the DSP. To modify the DSP structure, we need you to "RESTORE TO DEFAULT ALL". We're basically reflashing a new DSP binary inside the flash for future reboot.
- If we ask you to RESTORE TO DEFAULT ALL, we sometimes need you to rerun the measurements if there are major modifications. Sometimes it's minor and you can reload an existing project.
- If it's a minor update (e.g. only MCU firmware), then you don't need to RESTORE to default because it's only the firmware update of above and we'd clarify as such in the instructions (see below).

2) Complicating again even more this whole thing.. Some of you may miss some firmware upgrade. I.e. missing the DSP upgrade that we've requested in the earlier setup. That's where we've been putting the note " If you've missed the previous update (i.e. Build 5692 in Feb 2015)". To warn these users.

Basically, we're trying our best to make these complex firmware + software + DLL update easy to all and not push people to redo measurements. We have a lot of customers, lots of unique setups.. Hard to have a "one does it all" answer, else an easy one would be to force "everybody" to always rerun measurements, updates everything at once. We don't feel it's fair. :-) Anyway, not an easy problem and lots of products so open to ideas.. We'll try to clean up instructions. As usual, we answer all tech support ticket asap so if there is a question. Just ask. :-)

DevTeam
MiniDSP, building a DIY DSP community one board at a time.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18922

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Thank you for your informative reply. My recommendation would be to provide specific guidelines in the release notes for each software upgrade in order to eliminate any confusion regarding the steps the user must take to complete the update.
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DDRC-88A firmware update 1 year 7 months ago #18925

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devteam wrote:
Ok, let's try to dispel the confusion here. :-)

2) Complicating again even more this whole thing.. Some of you may miss some firmware upgrade. I.e. missing the DSP upgrade that we've requested in the earlier setup. That's where we've been putting the note " If you've missed the previous update (i.e. Build 5692 in Feb 2015)". To warn these users.


DevTeam

Thank you for having shed a bit of light on the subject, but just allow me a bit of further criticism. Choosing a button name such as "Restore All to Defaults" for anything that substantially involves more than simply writing a set of pristine data in a table, that the meaning of the words could well imply, is a major concern in itself. When doing the process, It's true that a clear warning message is shown in a dialog window, i.e. not to close the application or reset the ongoing connection, but that was the only existing clue that something more and important have been in progress underneath in spite of a innocent reset to defaults. Perhaps the firmware questions just interleaved with other genuine problems I also got.

By the way, probably important to the same extent, can you also explain what a "refresh DSP program" is?

Also, I got informed that a firmware upgrade was available just reading from another forum. It could be advisable to set up a closed topic for upgrade announcements as well.
Thank you
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by marmasotti.
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