wbUTIL - Re-Flash Programming

Re-Flash Programming : A Controller or Display can be updated with the latest firmware

This function upgrades both controller & display code/program (or flash) memory as well as EE data (or EEPROM data memory). This is normally only necessary when new features or fixes are released. See the HXF file page for the code available.


Note : Using this utility, it is possible to swap between firmware designed for a Bosch LSU LSU-4.2 and LSU-4.9 sensor, and also to firmware for NTK L1H1 sensors, but REMEMBER that if you do this, typically, you must also change hardware jumpers within the controller.

Display Note : Re-flashing a display requires a reprogramming adaptor. A display must NOT be connected to a controller for reflashing - attempting this may damage the display and/or controller!

Warnings - Read and understand!

Reflashing should NOT be considered a trivial operation! It's possible to make your device non-function, requiring it to be returned to us for low-level reflashing (ie. factory reset at the factory - we charge for this service!).

  • Connect only ONE device at a time when reflashing (ie. don't leave a display connected to a controller you're reflashing!

  • Never try rescue reflashing as a first course of action - always try a normal reflash first, and if this doesn't work then ask why before blindly trying a rescue reflash.

  • The biggest problem with reflashing is connecting to a PC first - if you've never used WButil before then the COM connection will be your first hurdle. Your PC's COM port must work flawlessly before any reflash can be attempted.

  • Always make sure you reflash with the correct .HXF file as the wrong file will crash your device, possibly permanently.

  • Do you really need to reflash? What are you trying to fix? Is there another way?

  • Be aware there is a Catch-22 - if the EE memory's baud rate "variable" becomes corrupt then it's possible the controller must be returned for repair!

  • Don't panic - unless you've broken one of the above rules!

Basic Operations Overview

An encrypted ASCII/BIN .HXF file is read, converted to raw binary data and sent to the device to be re-programmed. This is a two step process where code and/or data is programmed. Normally EE memory is what is corrupted but there is a close relationship between the two parts, and despite having the option of flashing each individually, normally both should be reflashed.

The screen shows a Browse for File ... button to select the .HXF file containing both the code and the data. The file will be automatically opened and checked for errors. Errors, and file statistics, are shown in the File Data/Information area. The screen shows the HXF file contains 606 lines of text that generated a code size of 9,126 bytes and EEPROM (data) size of 512 bytes. The Open button simply re-reads and displays statistics for the currently selected file.

The following flash options can be selected :

  • Rescue? - This is not normally required unless you are reflashing because of a hardware problem that has corrupted the controller's main code. Alternatively, it must be used when upgrading from rev 0021 controller firmware (this code was released in 2004!). Note that Rescue mode also requires that the unit be opened and a temporary jumper is inserted while the re-flash is in progress (more info below). So, forget this option unless absolutely required!

  • No Prompt? - Skips some informative messages. This is useful for batch programming where all that needs to be done is hit the Enter key to program the (next) device.

  • Show Advanced? - The advanced options, that have some element of risk associated with their use, become active, including ...

  • Code Only? - In certain circumstances it may be desirable to re-flash just the code (for example, the data has been set up with tables that you want to retain). Normally however code changes require different EE data and you should not check this option unless advised to.

  • Data Only? - The data (or EE) memory may become corrupted (this can occur in electrically noisy environments). This is a quick way to reset the EE memory. As noted, it's important that EE memory does not get out of sync with the code memory as strange behaviour can result.

  • Ignore Errors? - Some non-fatal errors are ignored or are simply notified and skipped over. Of course it's possible to do things that you shouldn't, but sometimes that's the only way.

File Operations

There are a number of ways to open an HXF file. As note above, the Browse for File ... button, but you can also drag and drop a file into the large File Data/Information : area.

The Open button simply opens and checks the currently listed file, but note that the checks performed are also done when the START button is pressed.

As each block of flash memory is downloaded and successfully programmed, an acknowledgement is displayed.

While the flash programs in a few seconds, the EE memory takes a lot longer.

At completion of the flash and EEPROM programming the message box Programming Complete pops up. The total number of retries for both flash and EEPROM are shown in the message.

After clicking on the OK button that's all that has to be done.

Advanced Operations

At the bottom of the screen, in the Info area, a number of special operations can be performed. The [ROM?] button tries to read the ROM version and to then calculate the type of device attached. This is displayed in the status area of the display (note: device selection is not automatically performed as for the [?] button on the General tab).

The [Get EE] button is only active when the Show Advanced? box has been checked. This button reads the EE (ie. data) memory, displays it in .HXF file format, and also writes it to the file (with default name of) ~EE.hxf in the installation directory for wbUtil.