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Hot!Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board?

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kg_32
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2018/04/30 10:52:19 (permalink)
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Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board?

I have soldered RN4871 on my PCB, how can I update firmware?
 
I could not find any procedures or tools to update firmware on BLE link.
No procedures for even on UART link firmware upgrades.
 
Only way I can update firmware is using PicTail board and Microchip's firmware update software.
How is this method useful if I want to upgrade firmware of RN4871 modules those are already shipped.
 
Anybody has tried firmware upgrade without pictail and isupdate tool?
#1

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    RISC
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/04/30 14:41:22 (permalink)
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    Hi,
    Yes it is possible to update your firmware on your PCB but it depends how it is designed.
    You will still need ISupdate GUI
    you basically need to "copy" the schematic of the RN4870 pictail board (see the user manual) with the USB <=> UART converter.
    If you have a microcontroller which controls the RN4871, you will need to put it in reset during the update so that all pins are in HiZ.
    On the RX and TX (+other signals as shown on pictail board) you connect in parallel the MCP2200 / MCP2221A to interface with your PC as a virtual COM port.
    Either you buy this board ( ADM00393 ) or you make your own. 
    Regards
     
    #2
    PIC4C code
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/04/30 18:31:20 (permalink)
    5 (2)
    Yes.  I upgraded the RN4870 and ...71.  You need to downloaded RN4870/71 firmware update tool (IsUpdate.zip and the firmware v1.18.3.zip) also upgrade instructions PicTail from Microchip. Firmware comes with 4 HEX files.  My devices are on breakout boards, easy for breadboard development with MCUs.  I use Tera Term for my virtual terminal (VT).  I use the same USB cable for my commands to the BLEs and load the firmware update.  I use the same com port # for Tera Term and IsUpdate.  However only one can be turned on at a time.  Start on page 43 in the PicTail instructions.  Ground P2_0 (BT-Config) before powering up your device, if you have an LED it will be on continuously instead of blinking, use the IsUpdate tool to load new firmware after loading, remove power from BLE, remove ground on P2-0, re power and command version.  Should be 1018.3.  Your good to go.  
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    NKurzman
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/04/30 19:29:39 (permalink)
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    And insure the control signals are in the Proper state.  I have seen this done successfully with an RN4678
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    kg_32
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/05/01 06:33:09 (permalink)
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    Thank you all,
    These solution will work for the setup in my lab, what if I have used this module on product that's already been shipped to the end user.
     
    I am looking for some solution without "IsUpdate", I can not expect my end user to use microchip's firmware updater. Microchip should have shared their UART instructions and steps, which would help me integrate firmware update process in my product.
     
    In current state it seems, once you use this RNxx modules in your product and ship it to the costumer, you are done, you can no longer fix any issues that could be fixed by simple firmware update.
     
    ***
    Also I am trying to open a ticket on their so called support page, error message ask me to wait for 30 min and that's it. no progress after that.
    #5
    RISC
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/05/01 07:18:45 (permalink)
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    Hi,
     
    You are right. It is possible to update easily products in the field...It would need to have some kind of "updater" project running on the host MCU...or OTA (but it does not exist on this device)
     
    One thing you can do at least is to order the exact firmware which you have validated (still not the solution for fw updates)
    e.g. the RN4870-I/RM128 reference means you get the v1.28 firmware
    RN4870-I/RM118 reference means you get the v1.18 firmware
     
    As for posting a ticket to Microchip technical support you can try this link which works for me :
    http://www.microchip.com/ticket
     
    Regards
    #6
    kg_32
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/05/01 07:22:58 (permalink)
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    Hi RISC,
     
    Thanks for the info and the link, I clicked this link logged in and it says "I may have to wait for 30 mins" let see what happens then.
     
     
     
     
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    NKurzman
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2018/05/01 08:47:12 (permalink)
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    If you have information on updating the Module in place, post back.  That would be handy.
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    JJay
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    Re: Is it possible to update RN4871 Firmware without PicTail Board? 2019/05/21 07:03:00 (permalink)
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    You can update firmware in circuit using your host MCU and an externally available serial port if your hardware supports MCU connection to the following pins: UART_RX, UART_TX, /RST, MODE, and if possible control over VBAT to the RN487x.  The basic steps are:
    1. (Possibly optional) Have host MCU power down RN487x.
    2. Assert reset (hold /RST low).
    3. Set MODE pin to low for Update Mode.
    4. (Optional step with step 1) Power up the RN487x.
    4.1 Pause 10ms or so for power to stabilize.
    5. Release from reset (/RST high).
    6. Disable MCU interrupts
    7. Enter tight loop acting as uart bridge
    7.1 Reset watchdog timer
    7.2 Check external serial port receive interrupt flag.
    7.2.1 If set, read byte from receive register and write it to the transmit register of RN487x uart.
    7.3 Check RN487x uart receive interrupt flag.
    7.3.1 If set, read byte from receive register and write it to the transmit register of the external uart.
    7.4 Check for exit condition.  In my case a button press.
    7.5 Repeat...
    8. On exit from loop, enable MCU interrupts.
     
    NOTE:  The baud rate of the two uarts MUST be the same.  I used 115200 since that is the default for the BT module.
     
    Using isupdate.exe, configure it for the COM port and baud rate being used.  Set flash/Embedded per the user guide.  Press Connect.  You should see something like this:  Port connect -> COM1
    Browse to you new firmware files.  Note, the PATH to these files must be a simple path, no spaces, not too long, etc.  Place you new firmware files in something like c:\temp\newFirmware.  Select ALL 4 FILES in the browse selection window.  Make sure 'Prepare: Load all images' is shown in the Images text box.
    Press Update to do the update.  You should see all for Banks get updated then End of Write.... is displayed.
    Disconnect from the COM port and reboot your device and verify that the new firmware version is running.
     
    Doing this worked for me allowing me to update the firmware on the RN4871 in circuit without direct access its pins.  However, my MCU does have access to the required control pins. 
     
    Regards
    #9
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