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Axpert chipset chatter


Coulomb

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I thought I'd start a new thread about the various chipsets in the Voltronic Axpert inverters.

The main DSP chips have until about mid 2022 been TMS320F2809s, except for some low power models with 8-bit microcontrollers, and the VM series which have the TMS320F28062 chip, which has half the flash size of the '2809. Since about mid 2022, the TMS320F28066 is used. [ Edit: The Axpert King 1 probably used the '28066  DSP earlier than that. ] The '28066 is a more modern DSP chip, with only a single power supply (3.3 V), where the '2809 used two power supplies (3.3 V and 1.8 V). As a result of this, you can tell by looking at a control board whether it uses the older or newer chip: the older ('2809) chip will have two voltage regulators, and the newer chip ('28066) will have one:

image.thumb.jpeg.bafbdd1c019857ea6e217b319c2abc8c.jpeg

There is also the confounding factor of the "experimental" main firmwares, version 9x.yy. These numbers seem to be almost randomly assigned, so you can't read anything into the major version number, except that it's experimental in some sense.

The DSP firmwares for the two chipsets are incompatible, and have different major version numbers (the digits to the left of the period). If you try to flash the wrong chipset (but get everything else right), the firmware upload will fail, and your inverter should not be bricked. It should come good after a restart.

At about the same time, the displays (removable and colour with round LED ring) started changing microcontroller. This may or may not be a result of the worldwide chip shortage, and the same could be said about the main DSP chip change. Until about mid 2022, the displays always had an ST Microsystems STM32F107VCT6, which is an ARM Cortex-M3 V7 or V7M3. Some later displays have used the GigaDevice GD32F105VCT6.

The display firmwares for the two display chipsets have also been incompatible. Unfortunately, if you reflash a display with the wrong type of firmware, there is no anti-bricking protection! Fortunately, the display is usually not permanently bricked, but it can be quite an effort to recover it, requiring patience and multiple attempts with varying timing from power-on to clicking the update firmware button on the PC. Firmware version numbers were at least segregated: the GigaDevice firmware version numbers started with a leading "1" (e.g. 122.34), and the ST Microsystems firmware version numbers do not start with a leading "1" (e.g. 22.34). But here is the kicker: the displays can only show the last 4 digits!! Fortunately, the round colour GigaDevice displays attempt to indicate the leading one with a column of dots, like extended decimal points:

file.php?id=5355

I finally found a pair of comparable xx.yy and 1xx.yy display firmwares: 36.01 and 136.01. My theory, not totally confirmed, is that these only differ in whatever customisations are needed for the different chipsets; the functionality and logic would, per this theory, be identical. So I was curious to compare the firmwares.

Alas, internal addresses seem to be used in the firmware are different. For example, different addresses appear to be used on the I2C bus, and extra GPIO bits seem to be used. If I'm right, that means that the display boards may have different circuits, even though at first glance they seem to be the same except for the brand of ARM chip. So that makes it impractical to take a 1xx.yy firmware and with a few patches turn it into a xx.yy firmware, or vice versa. With the difficulty of obtaining certain firmware versions, that might have been a useful ability. [ Edit: Fortunately, this is not the case; see below. ]

Edit 16/Mar/2023: One concrete difference seems to be how the two chips send and receive I2C data. I2C seems to be used for the EEPROM chip and some other functions I have yet to identify. In the ST chips, there is hardware that implements I2C; in the GigaDevice chips, this seems to be missing. However, I believe that ARM input/output pins are very programmable, so it seems likely that they were able to use the same pins for I2C data, clock, and enable pins, and emulate the I2C hardware with "bit banging" and busy wait loops. Crude, but if you can't buy the ST chips, what else can you do? It's not like the display chips are chock full of time critical functions.

Edit 2 16/Mar/2023: When I went to look at the I2C code in firmware version 12.21, which is supposedly able to run on both chipsets, I expected both hardware and bit banging code, selecting the appropriate one for the present hardware. But I just found the bit banging code. Then I realised: ST chips can bit bang just as well as GigaDevice chips, and the speed of both would be close enough for I2C, which from vague memory is more or less synchronous (each side waits for the  other to transition, except for the actual data bits). There may be more to the unification than that, i.e. it's possible that older 1xx.yy firmware won't automatically work in hardware that came with 1xx.zz firmware. But at least the I2C hardware difference is easy to address.

Edit 3 12/Oct/2023: For the Axpert King 1 and Axpert VM III display firmwares (02.xx and 102.xx), they seem to have switched exclusively to bit banging firmware (which should be compatible with both chipsets, i.e. universal) somewhere between 02.70 (not universal) and 02.81 (universal). Probably 02.73 was also not universal, since 102.73 is not universal. For Axpert MAX display firmware, the existence of 112.19 strongly suggests that 12.19 was non-universal. 12.21 is known to be universal. So with the latest display firmwares, it is no longer necessary to know which chipset the display firmware is written for; it should work on both chipsets equally well.

Edit: Added paragraph on experimental firmware versions.

Edit: Added more on the display firmware differences.

Edit: Added that the Axpert King 1 uses '28066 DSP.

Edit 3: Added a paragraph about which King 1 and Max display firmwares are universal.

Edited by Coulomb
Add slightly more info re I2C differences in display firmwares. Added a sentence on the Axpert King. More on universal display firmwares.
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  • 4 weeks later...

According to information from TommaTech Support dated 11 Jan 2023, the latest version 12.21 is applicable for all Removable Displays with previous 12.xx or 112.xx version but so far is not confirmed yet in practise.
I am planning to re-flash one of my Displays with 112.19 with 12.21 in close future (after receive spare one on hands) and will post results after that.
If somebody already make such attempt already, please to share results too. Thank You in advance!

Remote_Panel_Reflash_MCU_12.21.rar

Edited by aamilev
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8 hours ago, sharkut said:

I Can confirm that fact. I have flash 112.xx version with 12.21 with success no brick 2 month ago. 

But be careful since i don't open my display so i can't confirm chipset model.

But the best explaination seems that 12.21 is compatible with 2 chip model

Dear @sharkut,
Thank You very much for Your message and confirmation! Really Highly appreciated.
I have only one problem to install 12.21 on 112.119 that in 12.21 the U2 version don't appear at "Product Information" in WachPower and other monitoring Software and missing "Max. Battery Discharge Current (A)" in Battery Settings.
I just wandering Which version is latest in fact 112.19 or 12.21? Does somebody know?

viber_image_2023-01-20_08-25-04-049.jpgviber_image_2023-01-20_08-25-02-493.jpgviber_image_2023-01-20_08-25-03-719.jpg

viber_image_2023-01-20_08-25-03-218.jpg

Edited by aamilev
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3 hours ago, sharkut said:

no issue for me with 12.21 - I can see version and all parameters

Sorry but I never tried 112.19

Hi @sharkut,
Can You send me Print screen for version view?
Also as possible Print screen for daily Energy production because compare with 112.19 is missing Generated Power.

 

viber_image_2023-01-20_13-32-43-327.jpg

viber_image_2023-01-20_13-29-11-415.jpg

Edited by aamilev
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On 2023/01/20 at 4:19 PM, aamilev said:

I just wandering Which version is latest in fact 112.19 or 12.21? Does somebody know?

I find that the datestamp on the hex file (mcu.hex in this case) is a pretty reliable way of telling what firmware is later than what.

I see 12.21 has a date stamp of 16/Aug/2022.

112.19 has a date stamp of 6/May/2022.

So on that basis, 12.21 is later.

Also, usually the 1wx.yz versions are the same as the wx.yz versions, with the exception that the 1wx.yz are specific to the GigaDevice chipset. So 112.19 would be equivalent to 12.19, which you'd expect to be older than 12.21. It's mostly the 9x.yz firmware version numbers where you can't compare newness by the minor version number (the yz digits).

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4 hours ago, Coulomb said:

I find that the datestamp on the hex file (mcu.hex in this case) is a pretty reliable way of telling what firmware is later than what.

I see 12.21 has a date stamp of 16/Aug/2022.

112.19 has a date stamp of 6/May/2022.

So on that basis, 12.21 is later.

Also, usually the 1wx.yz versions are the same as the wx.yz versions, with the exception that the 1wx.yz are specific to the GigaDevice chipset. So 112.19 would be equivalent to 12.19, which you'd expect to be older than 12.21. It's mostly the 9x.yz firmware version numbers where you can't compare newness by the minor version number (the yz digits).

Hi @Coulomb,
Yes, fully understand that but I asked because the repairman who recover my Remote Display and Inverter mentioned said that 112.19 is newest one.
However, I am fully agree with You.
I did not update my Remote Displays with 12.21 as You suggest me already.

By the way, I updated my Inverters to 69.61 version received from TT Support but there is no any visible changes as You also mentioned ito me.

Could You be so kind to create a patched version from 69.61 or 69.60 for Axpert 7.2k MAX Plus HV 48MPPT as this for 291.70 for Axpert MAX 11kW to prevent the panels from being dragged down below 200 V (was 90 V)? THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE!...

Edited by aamilev
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2023/01/23 at 7:26 PM, aamilev said:

Could You be so kind to create a patched version from 69.61 or 69.60 for Axpert 7.2k MAX Plus HV 48MPPT as this for 291.70 for Axpert MAX 11kW to prevent the panels from being dragged down below 200 V (was 90 V)? THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE!...

Hello @Coulomb,

Could You be so kind to create a patched version from 69.61 or 69.60 for Axpert 7.2k MAX Plus HV 48MPPT as this for 291.70 for Axpert MAX 11kW to prevent the panels from being dragged down below 200 V (was 90 V)? THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE!...

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On 2023/02/01 at 9:18 PM, aamilev said:

Could You be so kind to create a patched version...

I'm strapped for time at present. My second inverter died just before I wired up the repaired one. Plus EV chargers are piling up.

Do bump me again in case I forget when time becomes reasonable again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2023/02/02 at 3:11 PM, Coulomb said:

Do bump me again in case I forget when time becomes reasonable again.

Good day @Coulomb,

I certainly hope that You fix died Inverter and if is so that will be really highly appreciated if You can find a time to create a patched version from 69.61 or 69.60 for Axpert 7.2k MAX Plus HV 48MPPT as this for 291.70 for Axpert MAX 11kW to prevent the panels from being dragged down below 200 V (was 90 V)? THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE!...

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@aamilev,

You've been more than generous and more than patient, sorry for the wait. Things are still frantic here, but I made time today for this patch. It should also be useful for @stakoz and presumably others. I wondered what patches to implement, perhaps even the changes found in 72.66. I decided the latter was too new and untested (by forum readers at least), so I decide to keep it simple and start with Georg's original 200 V patches. So this patched firmware has no resets or any attempt at shade management. Shade management is a great idea if you need it, but the present implementation seems to be very panel configuration specific.

This is patched firmware version 269.61, based on factory firmware version 69.61 for the Axpert Max 1 7.2 kW non-twin with the '28066 DSP chip. It fixes the premature float bug, hopefully there isn't a "never float" bug lurking. If there is, it's easily reversed. It also implements all @Georg594's original 200 V minimum MPPT patches (first applied to factory firmware 90.06). On the display, the main U1 firmware version should show as 69.61, but monitoring software and apps should show it as 269.61. Do not use with other models, even other Axpert Maxs, or even an Axpert Max II 7.2 kW. Do not use with a '2809 DSP chip; see the first post of this thread for details.

Use at your own risk.

dsp 269.61 Axpert Max 1 7.2kW '28066 patched.zip

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1 hour ago, Coulomb said:

@aamilev,

You've been more than generous and more than patient, sorry for the wait. Things are still frantic here, but I made time today for this patch. It should also be useful for @stakoz and presumably others. I wondered what patches to implement, perhaps even the changes found in 72.66. I decided the latter was too new and untested (by forum readers at least), so I decide to keep it simple and start with Georg's original 200 V patches. So this patched firmware has no resets or any attempt at shade management. Shade management is a great idea if you need it, but the present implementation seems to be very panel configuration specific.

This is patched firmware version 269.61, based on factory firmware version 69.61 for the Axpert Max 1 7.2 kW non-twin with the '28066 DSP chip. It fixes the premature float bug, hopefully there isn't a "never float" bug lurking. If there is, it's easily reversed. It also implements all @Georg594's original 200 V minimum MPPT patches (first applied to factory firmware 90.06). On the display, the main U1 firmware version should show as 69.61, but monitoring software and apps should show it as 269.61. Do not use with other models, even other Axpert Maxs, or even an Axpert Max II 7.2 kW. Do not use with a '2809 DSP chip; see the first post of this thread for details.

Use at your own risk.

dsp 269.61 Axpert Max 1 7.2kW '28066 patched.zip 701.28 kB · 1 download

THANK YOU VERY MUCH @Coulomb!!!
Highly apprectaed Your great job in this regard.
I am going to istall right away I hope sucessfully tonight and leave my comments once I get some expeinince of course.

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4 hours ago, Coulomb said:

@aamilev,

You've been more than generous and more than patient, sorry for the wait. Things are still frantic here, but I made time today for this patch. It should also be useful for @stakoz and presumably others. I wondered what patches to implement, perhaps even the changes found in 72.66. I decided the latter was too new and untested (by forum readers at least), so I decide to keep it simple and start with Georg's original 200 V patches. So this patched firmware has no resets or any attempt at shade management. Shade management is a great idea if you need it, but the present implementation seems to be very panel configuration specific.

This is patched firmware version 269.61, based on factory firmware version 69.61 for the Axpert Max 1 7.2 kW non-twin with the '28066 DSP chip. It fixes the premature float bug, hopefully there isn't a "never float" bug lurking. If there is, it's easily reversed. It also implements all @Georg594's original 200 V minimum MPPT patches (first applied to factory firmware 90.06). On the display, the main U1 firmware version should show as 69.61, but monitoring software and apps should show it as 269.61. Do not use with other models, even other Axpert Maxs, or even an Axpert Max II 7.2 kW. Do not use with a '2809 DSP chip; see the first post of this thread for details.

Use at your own risk.

dsp 269.61 Axpert Max 1 7.2kW '28066 patched.zip 701.28 kB · 1 download

I instelled patched Firmware sucessfully but get Eprom Error on both Inverters after that.

I delete Error messages and will look tomorow if that Eprom Error appear again.

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Were you running 69.61, 69.60, or something else before flashing with 696.61?

I'm wondering if the EEPROM errors are somehow a delayed result of the previous firmware.

Edit:  Ooh. It's slightly possible that 69.60 wrote invalid data to the EEPROM, so you might need some special commands to sort out the EEPROM contents. I hope not; the EEPROM contents are not documented at all, and seem to change a lot from firmware version to version and model to model. For example, recent firmwares expect 6 groups of EEPROM data; earlier firmwares had far fewer.

Edited by Coulomb
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3 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Were you running 69.61, 69.60, or something else before flashing with 696.61?

I'm wondering if the EEPROM errors are somehow a delayed result of the previous firmware.

Edit:  Ooh. It's slightly possible that 69.60 wrote invalid data to the EEPROM, so you might need some special commands to sort out the EEPROM contents. I hope not; the EEPROM contents are not documented at all, and seem to change a lot from firmware version to version and model to model. For example, recent firmwares expect 6 groups of EEPROM data; earlier firmwares had far fewer.

Hi @Coulomb,
I was running 69.61 who was sent to me by TommaTech to solve problem with EPROM Error.
However, so far EPOM Error did not appear again. All fine with that looks like.

269.91 is working excellent so far! I never had at 08:00h 1000 W PV production before!

Screenshot 2023-03-05 at 10.25.28.jpg

 

You can see How was previous day with not patched 85412270_Screenshot2023-03-05at10_26_06.thumb.jpg.416ec658c576e8e8cf03e7c442874dc4.jpg69.61 firmware:

Edited by aamilev
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For those who care about the display firmware difference details, I've added to the first post of this topic:

Edit 16/Mar/2023: One concrete difference seems to be how the two chips send and receive I2C data. I2C seems to be used for the EEPROM chip and some other functions I have yet to identify. In the ST chips, there is hardware that implements I2C; in the GigaDevice chips, this seems to be missing. However, I believe that ARM input/output pins are very programmable, so it seems likely that they were able to use the same pins for I2C data, clock, and enable pins, and emulate the I2C hardware with "bit banging" and busy wait loops. Crude, but if you can't buy the ST chips, what else can you do? It's not like the display chips are chock full of time critical functions.

Edit 2 16/Mar/2023: When I went to look at firmware 12.21, which is supposedly able to run on both chipsets, I expected both hardware and bit banging code, selecting the appropriate one for the present hardware. But I just found the bit banging code. Then I realised: ST chips can bit bang just as well as GigaDevice chips, and the speed of both would be close enough for I2C, which from vague memory is more or less synchronous (each side waits for the  other to transition, except for the actual data bits). There may be more to the unification than that, i.e. it's possible that older 1xx.yy firmware won't automatically work in hardware that came with 1xx.zz firmware. But at least the I2C hardware difference is easy to address.

Edited by Coulomb
Added second paragraph (Edit 2).
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  • 2 weeks later...

HI There 

 

Wonder if someone can help me.

My Inverter is giving a 32! error and  tried to load firmware to fix it but it doesnt want to work.

It is a Kodak OGS 5.6 round display 

The firmware I got from the  doesnt want to load if some one can help me with the correct Firmware .

 

Thanks 

Leonard

 

 

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6 hours ago, Leonard Troskie said:

The firmware I got from the [ missing ] doesn't want to load

Was this main or display firmware?

Do you know what firmware your inverter came with? From that we can determine the chipsets.

Is your inverter functional or "bricked" at present?

Firmware update instructions for models with the round display.

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