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Firmware update on MCU left me with a dead module afterwards


Andre Kruger
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Hi Guys

 

i updated the firmware on my control module from 02.40 to 02.49, but after the update it appears that the module is now dead - no led lights, screen dead, no buttons functioning, however, i can still turn the inverter on and off with it

 

Any idea what happend? is it still usable or have i bricked it?

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I have no idea what inverter you have, but I can tell you that generally these things are developed so that there are two parts in the software: A small "bootloader" at the beginning of memory, and the main firmware after that. The bootloader is usually never overwritten, and the part that allows flashing the main firmware is in the bootloader.

During normal operation, the bootloader will simply check that there is valid firmware following at the right address, and then tell the CPU to load the first instruction and run it. If there isn't valid firmware, it will remain i the bootloader. This will usually allow you to flash it again, or perhaps flash back to an old version. It is quite normal for the unit to appear dead at this time: The main firmware is not running, so quite often none of the LEDs will turn on or anything.

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Hi Plonkster

 

thank you for your reply, it makes more sense now - i forgot to mention that my inverter is an Axpert King (5KW)

The main firmware updated successfully from 71.90 to 71.93 but when updating the MCU firmware afterwards, that is where things went south....

 

is there a way i can get "back in" and reset it?

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4 hours ago, Andre Kruger said:

is there a way i can get "back in" and reset it?

I haven't seen the removable display bootloader, but my guess is that it's similar to the one in the main DSP. Certainly the reflash tools look very similar, complete with the same spelling/grammar mistakes (e.g. "updata sucess!").

So I'd say that it's the same as when you update main firmware and it doesn't work for whatever reason: the display is dead, and the machine is very unresponsive. However, I'd say that the bootloader is still running, listening for commands to initiate or progress a reflash.

So the advice is the same: don't panic, just restart the reflash tool, and wait for it to show that packets are being sent. The big unknown is the timing. With main DSP reflashing, it seems to help to start the reflash tool (press the final button that should make it go) at just the right time after the inverter is switched on. I seem to recall 12 seconds for the main DSP firmware, but it could well be different for removable displays. I assume that you are using the reflash tool on a PC which doesn't rely on power from the inverter, and always use the reflash tool that comes with the mcu.hex file. I guess you probably must be doing this, or I can't see how the reflash would never have started.

You might be able to reset the removable display by unplugging its cord from the main inverter, saving you having to power down and up the whole inverter. The "power switch" is a soft switch to the inverter; it won't turn the removable display processor on or off. I suggest having a charge source for the main inverter (PV or AC-in), so that the inverter itself never switches off completely (because then the removable display won't get power, and it definitely can't reflash itself without power). 

Good luck, and let us know how you ended up getting it going, or in the worst case, all the things you tried that failed.

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On 2020/08/22 at 3:20 PM, Coulomb said:

I haven't seen the removable display bootloader, but my guess is that it's similar to the one in the main DSP. Certainly the reflash tools look very similar, complete with the same spelling/grammar mistakes (e.g. "updata sucess!").

So I'd say that it's the same as when you update main firmware and it doesn't work for whatever reason: the display is dead, and the machine is very unresponsive. However, I'd say that the bootloader is still running, listening for commands to initiate or progress a reflash.

So the advice is the same: don't panic, just restart the reflash tool, and wait for it to show that packets are being sent. The big unknown is the timing. With main DSP reflashing, it seems to help to start the reflash tool (press the final button that should make it go) at just the right time after the inverter is switched on. I seem to recall 12 seconds for the main DSP firmware, but it could well be different for removable displays. I assume that you are using the reflash tool on a PC which doesn't rely on power from the inverter, and always use the reflash tool that comes with the mcu.hex file. I guess you probably must be doing this, or I can't see how the reflash would never have started.

You might be able to reset the removable display by unplugging its cord from the main inverter, saving you having to power down and up the whole inverter. The "power switch" is a soft switch to the inverter; it won't turn the removable display processor on or off. I suggest having a charge source for the main inverter (PV or AC-in), so that the inverter itself never switches off completely (because then the removable display won't get power, and it definitely can't reflash itself without power). 

Good luck, and let us know how you ended up getting it going, or in the worst case, all the things you tried that failed.

 

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@Coulomb - i ended up making a few calls, and the supplier had a spare module which i could use to test, and lo and behold, i plugged in the "test" module and it worked, i was able to confirm all the settings via that one, so it appears that mine just died in the upgrade process, which i found rather strange, so i am getting a replacement module on monday.

 

@Plaashaas - i wish i could, all comms to that module is gone, no lights, no screen - just died on me...  😑

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