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Flashing the firmware on the D2 controller

by Don Bradner

Important news 6/8/05: All of the information below applies to updates of the D2 firmware up to 3.7.5. Once you have 3.7.5 or later installed, the need to use the slow, cumbersome Java updating process goes away. No changing IP addresses (for those that don't use, no power-cycling of the controller, no 30+ minute updates. 3.7.5 introduces a fast html-based updater that is on the web interface of the D2. Simply click the link and follow the instructions to locate the .hex file (make sure it has a .hex extension - that's required). About 5 minutes later you will be up-to-date and the controller will reboot itself. If you aren't there yet, follow the instructions below, then happily say goodbye to them!

Whenever Motosat issues a firmware upgrade for the D2 controller it will be necessary to "Flash" the new code to your controller. The mechanism for doing this is a Java applet built into the D2. If you are not sure whether you have Java loaded on your computer, download the Java runtime from Motosat before you start the flash process.

Also before you begin, open a browser to the D2 and select the configuration page(s). Write down all information that is specific to your setup, including the controller's IP address, and all of your satellite configuration items. When you flash the firmware and perform an nvclear (see below), all of this info will be lost and have to be reloaded into the configuration later.

To put the D2 into flash mode, turn off power to the D2, press both search and stow buttons at the same time, and turn power on. All 6 lights (4 blue, 2 red) should light and hold steady.

Now you need to open a browser and point to If your D2 was already on a 192.168.0.x address (typically when you have a dynamic IP modem) you should be able to get there without trouble. If, however, your D2 is behind a router normally with a address, as mine is, you will have to make some configuration changes to be able to see it. The following section assumes that your configuration is like mine, and details the various network configuration changes needed. On your computer, open network connections for the connection you will be using. Write down the settings, then change them to a static 192.168.0.x address, with no gateway, as in the following picture:

You will lose internet connectivity with no gateway, and you will only be able to reach local devices on the 192.168.0.x subnet during the rest of thise procedure. When you open your browser you will need to disable proxy in Tools/Connections/LAN settings, otherwise the browser will try to use a proxy it can't find.

If your connection is correct, opening a browser to will show this:
Clicking the browser should start a java applet that looks like this:

If all you see is a grey box, Java is not installed and you must run the Java file downloaded from Motosat.
OK the security warning, and you will get a file browser that defaults to the Documents folder:
Navigate to the folder where you have the new .hex image file and select it:
Click open and the firmware upload will begin. There is no indication of how far along in the record count you are:
Current uploads are more than 12000 records, and take about 1/2 hour.
After the last record has uploaded there is no indication that you are done. Wait 15 seconds or so after the number stops rising to make sure the file is completely written to the D2. Now power the D2 off, press both search and stow buttons at the same time, and turn power on. This time you are going to telnet into the controller and clear its non-volatile memory to remove anything that might cause problems. Open a DOS prompt window (Start/Run/cmd[enter]). At the prompt, type (without the quotes) "telnet"[enter]

You should get a prompt, usually Eth% at which point type nvclear[enter].

Now power the D2 off, wait 5 seconds and power it back on. You should see a normal boot (all lights flash for a split second and go off). Open a browser once again to If you see the flash prompt, refresh your browser. Now you should be able to get to the configuration screen and replace the info that you wrote down at the beginning. I would recommend that you restore all settings that are not network settings first, then change the D2 IP, gateway, etc. last, then once again power on/off the D2 to make everything "take." If the IP is not on the 192.168.0.x block you will lose connection to the D2 at that point (if your configuration is like mine, you'll have to do this). Go back to your computer's network settings and replace all of the settings you changed. Then you should be able to reach the D2 once again by its old IP address. Re-enable your proxy and you should be good to go. If something goes wrong, repeat everything above.

One final note: After a firmware flashes the D2 system screen will not show correct values until the dish has been stowed.

About the author: Don is a semi-retired pet shop owner and long-time programmer who runs this site for the fun of it.

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