Jump to content

axpert firmware update "cannot find serial interface"


Gabriël
 Share

Recommended Posts

hi

in anticipation and some trepidation i sit in front of the axpert for its firmware update, to 73.0.

batteries are full, both axpert and laptop.

rs232 cable from axpert to serial conversion to usb into laptop.

axpert load and pv disconnected, 1st switch it off and on again.

run firmware update as administrator with xp compatibility and again later normal win10 - both give me error "cannot find serial interface"

there are no options under serial interface and i manually entered com1

please check image and if you can help it'll be great

God bless

g

firmware update.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gabriel I just run the updater from a Windows 7 laptop as a user and all works well. This is the same problem I had last time. Go to Control Panel on the laptop and open Device Manager. Look under Ports and see which COM port the USB to Serial converter selected. Mine selected COM2 last time. Then set the update program accordingly and try again. There is always a nail biting wait from the time the update program detects the COM port before it starts to upload the new firmware so just be patient  for a minute or two. Make sure the firmware is 73.00b or you will have to upgrade again as I will have to do because only 73.00a was available when I updated about 3 weeks ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi pieta and ebrsa, there are no com ports listed under device manager [show hidden devices is ticked] and when i manage to install one it gives me error 34 and the axpert ignores it - i even tried a driver update from the manufacturer lenovo.... the search continues

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, gabriel said:

hi pieta and ebrsa, there are no com ports listed under device manager... 

Until you see a comm port in device manager, the reflash tool certainly won't find it. Windows can be prickly about device drivers, sometimes disabling it if it detects a few errors, and sometimes replacing the manufacturer's driver with one of its own, which doesn't work, all at no extra cost :-O

I find the Prolific ones to work well, although a few years ago there was a hassle with clones using their drivers or something, and basically everyone had to buy a new one if they upgraded Windows. That should all be in the past now. But I don't know the supply situation in South Africa. I seem to recall some forum users posting what brands of usb to serial adapters they found to work properly. 

Good luck with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Coulomb said:

I find the Prolific ones to work well

Interesting. On this side of the fence we kinda hate the prolifics and prefer Ftdi. But even there I've had a lot of fun. The software that comes with my Epson printer (for example) installs its own usb-serial driver that actually works, while the driver that ships with Victron's veconfigure stubornly refused to work on a new install, but the reference driver from ftdi itself worked perfectly.

In Linux land, strangely enough compared to the early years, driver issues are largely unheard of these days. As long as it's not for something made by Nvidia you're good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gabriel I opened Device Manager on my Windows10 PC and checked the Ports. I had 2 COM ports active. Then plugged my Unitek USB-Serial converter into a USB hub connected to the PC and immediately it was recognised as Prolific USB to Serial Converter (COM4). I bought it from https://scoop.co.za/ in Montague Gardens, just off the N7 turnoff at the refinery but in a side street to the right. Or perhaps you can mail order it. Look under Manufacturers > Green Connection where a USB-Serial converter is listed although not Unitek but Green Connection.

As a first effort I would suggest that you try and find the right driver for the converter that you have. However from information on the Internet it would appear that some of these converters just don't work properly as they use a copy of the Prolific chip. The last thing you want is an unreliable connection to your Axpert when flashing firmware.

Which brand is your Axpert. Mine is branded Proline from Pinnacle and since I have never had any problems in flashing the firmware, I am confident it is a rebranded Voltronics Axpert. Hopefully yours is also the genuine article, otherwise it may not be a good idea to try flashing the firmware as @Coulomb has often warned. Good luck but don't hesitate to request help if things remain troublesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi @Coulomb, @ebrsa, @Pieta and @plonkster, first off, thanks for the tips and warnings. the laptop in question shows no ports at all in dm [win10 home], so i have a friend's pc with a serial port and will try later today.

from what i read usb to serial converters are not all the same, so even if the serial com port had existed on the laptop device manager i might have run into complications with the cable.

with the pc's serial port i may succeed.

some posts, even on this forum, lead me to believe that updating firmware to clones will not be possible in order to inter alia protect proprietary software/hardware.

apart from the latter i can find no way of ascertaining whether the unit you have is a clone or the real maccoy.

my installer said he can't update the firmware - 'a specialist' has to do it; not that i want my installer involved, but its a matter of warranty, which only lapses on 19 april [i'm at least keeping him in the loop, you'll understand if i mention i found out he's a fly-by-nite without a wiremen's certificate but is pretty active on the west coast]. if the 'specialist' brick's the axpert, well, so be it, then it has to be replaced.

any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @gabriel, the problem is that if the "expert" bricks your inverter, he may turn on to be an even more agile fly by night and simply disappear, leaving you with the expensive brick. What brand name appears on your inverter or perhaps you could post a photo or two so folks can see if it can be identified. I for one would be really interested to see what is being sold whether the genuine article or not.

My USB-Serial converter has worked flawlessly thus far and I have flashed several versions of the CoulombWeber firmware to four inverters at several times without mishap. That includes flashing the version 4.1 of the SCC firmware. I hope the computer with serial port does the job for you. It seems to me that the real experts are to be found on this forum and advice is always forthcoming when one posts a question. Best policy is to learn from these fellows rather than some off the street "expert" recommended by an installer about whom you already have reservations. Best expert is always oneself because it is your pocket that will be hammered if things go wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gabriel yours is a Rectron rebranded Voltronics, RTC being the Rectron logo. Since Rectron is a subsidiary of Mustek  with their Mecer brand, it is virtually 100% certain that it is a Voltronics rebrand. My first inverter was an RTC 3KVA which I sold and upgraded to 2 x Proline 4KW units in parallel, mainly because I did not fancy having the house rewired to keep the lights, TV and computers going during the time of Eskom rolling blackouts, even though I made provision for installing additional cables when the house was built. Just too much work and the 8KW capacity I have now has only tripped once, due to overload, during the past year or so.

I guess one could expect that you should not encounter firmware upgrade problems but who can tell with the lack of integrity of some suppliers locally. I doubt that Mustek or Rectron would put their reputation at risk by selling inferior clones thoug,h since to my knowledge they did sell the genuine Voltronics units in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, ebrsa said:

Hopefully yours is also the genuine article, otherwise it may not be a good idea to try flashing the firmware as @Coulomb has often warned.

Actually, if you don't have the genuine article, I have two pieces of advice. 

1. Try really hard not to buy non-genuine in future. Of course Voltronic don't make it easy for you to know which is which. Maybe they'll try harder in future. 

2. Stop running either 73.00 or 73.00a firmware. I hate to say it, but if you are running either of these, you might have as little as a few days to save your machine from brickdom. I literally found out I had 109 hours before my machine would have stopped working. Fortunately for me, just stopped, not bricked; as mine is definitely genuine. 

I suspect that many people will get caught with this one over the next month or so. 

Edited by Coulomb
If you are running either of these
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gabriel why not give Rectron in Montague Gardens a call and ask them to confirm that the unit they sell is a genuine Voltronics for absolute peace of mind.I have not dealt with them for years so you may have to try Mustek in Cape Town if you cannot find a telephone number for Rectron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok gents, with all your good advice etc and a call to rectron [cape town, keith is the man] i established the following:

  • the unit is genuine
  • it is still under warranty [2years from purchase]
  • the firmware update must be done by them in jhb, i.e. i've got to take it off the wall, 'un-cable' it and take it to rectron cpt from where they send it to jhb etc.

so now, if it get's bricked its on them :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@gabriel I would be surprised if they flash it with @Coulomb and @weber firmware. At best probably the Voltronics 73.00 version with all the flaws fixed by Coulomb and Weber. However if it is still under guarantee for some time, perhaps it is best to carry on until the guarantee runs out before flashing with whatever is the latest Coulomb/Weber firmware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi @ebrsa, you've got a point there! the warranty will expire next month and then i have to update again and schlepp to capetown and back twice and sit without solar for maybe two weeks... hmmm... its a no-brainer. i'll rather harvest some skywatts and do something productive in the meantime - like preparing for the big rain :) and cometh the hour flash with 73.00b from down under, voila, fixed :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gabriel sure if you can sort out the comms problem you would be able to reflash it yourself without getting it bricked by an "a"xpert! Always nice to learn by doing it yourself and there is really very good reading material on this forum to help. After all the prep work for the big rains you might still have some time to sort it before the warranty expire!:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...