Firmware updating on the FUNcube Dongle Pro+

Folks,

As you may know, there are two FUNcube Dongle models out there, the original FUNcube Dongle Pro (aka FCDP, serial numbers below 10000, firmware v18x where x is a release letter, with v18j the most recent) and the newer FUNcube Dongle Pro+ (aka FCDPP, serial numbers 10000 and above, firmware v20.xx, with v20.03 the most recent).

FCDPPs shipped since about November 2012 with serial numbers 10250 or so and above already have the latest 20.03 firmware shipped with them, so there is no need to perform an update. (The only other public version in the very early FCDPP units were inadvertently sent out with FCC cellular blocked frequency ranges, other than that they functioned perfectly well).

Although the names of the two FUNcube Dongle models are similar, they’re almost entirely different hardware designs, and the firmware designed for an FCDP won’t work in a FCDPP, nor the other way around.

When I wrote the bootloaders for the FCDP and FCDPP, I didn’t include a check to ensure the right firmware files were for the correct FCD. Next time I will! There should be no harm if you inadvertently upload the wrong firmware, but the unit should simply remain in bootloader mode until a valid firmware image is uploaded. Both the FCDP and FCDPP include several safety mechanisms both in software and hardware to perform a sanity check in case the firmware’s wrong, and if it makes no sense the device will sit in bootloader mode to prevent “bricking” the device.

So in short if you’ve recently purchased an FCDPP, you shouldn’t have any need to update the firmware.

Many thanks, Howard

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4 Responses to Firmware updating on the FUNcube Dongle Pro+

  1. Hi Howard,
    I’ve successfully installed the 48kHz firmware on several dozen Funcubedongle Pro Plus without any problem. But attempting this on one or two of them has left
    them stuck in boot-loader mode. They are not fully bricked, in that they enumerate and reply to commands, but they can’t be switched back to application mode and so don’t function as USB audio devices. I’ve tried every combination of operations I can
    think of involving replugging and attempting to re-install various versions of the firmware, but to no avail.

    Is it possible to use a Microchip programmer or some other device/method to
    recover these?

    Thanks,

    John B.

    • admin says:

      Hello John.

      Hmm, that’s a head scratcher! I am wondering if re-installing the standard 192kHz firmware works?

      Many thanks, Howard

      • John Brzustowski says:

        Unfortunately not – I tried re-installing every firmware version multiple times on the problematic unit without success, and this was interleaved with successful installations on other funcubedongles on the same USB port.

        • admin says:

          Hello John

          I’ve sent you an email: seems very strange indeed! putting back the original firmware should definitely work, although until your note I was also unaware of any problems with the lower bandwidth versions.

          Many thanks, Howard

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