Firmware update fail?

General discussion of using Roboclaw motor controllers
marikk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:51 am

Firmware update fail?

Postby marikk » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:06 am

I connected my 2X15A, installed the usb driver, and started motion studio. The device was detected and I connected. It told me to update the firmware. I clicked on the update firmware button, and followed the instructions (powered off, powered on while holding mode.) (At this point the leds were already cycling, but because the instructions told to power off, I did) I then clicked OK, but the same popup would just appear over and over again. I waited a couple of hours, while the leds kept cycling and and the "progress bar" kept cycling. Finally powered off the device, disconnected usb. When I connect and power on (without holding anything), the leds keep cycling and The device is not detected. I cannot see it in the Device Manager.

Is my device completely bricked now? Is there a way to recover? If this was due to user error, what should I have done differently, and if it was not, is there a way you can fix this if I send you the device?

Thank you!

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Basicmicro Support
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:45 pm

Re: Firmware update fail?

Postby Basicmicro Support » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:25 am

If you power on the Roboclaw and the three LEDs are cycling it is already in bootloader mode. The popup screen is a general message and doesnt apply in your case.

If the three LEDs are cycling and the unit is showing up in Basicmciro Motion Studio(please make sure you sare using Basicmicro Motion Studio and not the old Ion Motion Studio), then clicking the firmware update button should start the update and it should take no more than a few seconds. If nothing happens or your still get the popup there could be something wrong with the USB connection or the power source.

Note, you must power the Roboclaw from an external power source. It is specifically design not to run from USB only power(though some still can bleed through).

I recommend shutting down everything and restarting and then Connect the Roboclaw to the PC, open Basicmicro Motion Studio, waiting for the board to show in the device list and the clicking update firmware. If it doesnt complete quickly(maximum of 10seconds) its not going to. At that point I recommend you call in to us. There may be somethihng wrong with the Roboclaw. If that is the case we'll have you send it back and we'll test it and replace it if necessary.

P.S. Never wait hours to restart a device, its an old wives tail or an excuse some people use to get you off the phone(not at our company :) ). It is a complete fabrication that anything could take an hour or more for some magic to happen during power off. The only reasonable delay in power cycling is waiting for power caps to discharge which can take some time on some electronics(minuts, not hours, not on any consumer device I have every seen). In general you only need to wait till the LEDs turn off on a Roboclaw after disconnecting power before you can power it back up.

marikk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:51 am

Re: Firmware update fail?

Postby marikk » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Thank you for your quick response! I realized something today. I'm using the Motion Studio on a Windows guest OS on a OSX host, using Virtualbox. Virtualbox requires one to whitelist the host USB devices. (Settings->Ports->USB->USB Device Filters) I whitelisted the device when I first connected, and the device was listed as "Atmel Corp. USB Roboclaw 2x15A [0100]". Today I checked my OSX device manager USB device tree and found a device by "Orion Robotics". Hmmm... I looked at the Virtualbox filter settings again, and sure enough, I was able to add a device named "Orion Robotics RC15AV5D32KULDR [0100]". Then I disconnected the USB, connected again, and now the studio finally detected the device again. I was able to update the firmware, and now my motors are running! :D

Long story short: It seems like some part of the firmware update process makes the USB device appear under a different name. (The vendor and product IDs listed by VirtualBox are identical for both names). Hope this helps some other non-windows users out there :)

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Basicmicro Support
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Re: Firmware update fail?

Postby Basicmicro Support » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:52 am

That would explain it. The Roboclaw bootloader has a different "bus reported device name" than when in user mode. This makes it easy for us to determine if the board is in bootloader mode or user mode. In your case it made it more difficult but yours is definitely an edge case we never thought of. :)

Thank you for the detailed information. Im sure this will help some people in the future.


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