TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is Modem Firmware?
- What Modem FW is my device on?
- What version should I be on?
- Notes on the Update Process.
- Unsure? Contact us!
What is Modem Firmware?
All of our devices run firmware - which handles the entirety of device operation. Getting fixes, uploads, inputs, other features etc. However our latest range of LTE-M/NB-IoT devices are fitted with uBlox SARA-R410M cellular modems.
This modem also has it's own firmware (handled by uBlox). The modem automatically handles connecting to networks and transferring data. Our devices simply apply whatever parameters we tell it, and then instruct the modem to connect/disconnect, upload, or power on and off. The rest is all handled by the modem and the modem's firmware!
Just like we release device firmware to add features or improve performance, so do modem manufacturers. In the case of the uBlox SARA-R410M, there have been some significant, and critical firmware updates since we released our first LTE-M/NB-IoT device.
What Modem FW is my device on?
This can be viewed on the "Device Details" page.
Click the link in the device grid in OEM, next to the serial number, to open this page
Additionally, we can add the modem version as a column to the OEM device group - to view all our assets at once. Click Select Columns and drag the Modem Version Column into the grid.
No Version is shown at all?
Very early versions of DM device firmware don't have the device report the Modem FW version to the server. So just update your device FW to the latest version - and once updated it should report the modem version.
What version should I be on?
If your modem version is not in red - you're completely set to go!
This is version 02.04 (last 4 digits)
Latest Version - A.02.04 - Maintenance Release
This update from uBlox was released in May 2019. All DM devices shipped since that point are shipped with this modem version. Quite a few bugs were fixed and performance improvements made. The maintenance release adds a lot of stability - particularly on roaming SIM cards - some countries differ. E.g. performance is significantly improved in the US with the release - but it is not so marked in Australia (potentially due to there being less SIMs/networks to 'confuse' things).
02.01 - Modem Flash Corruption Patch
This version patches a critical bug where modems could become unresponsive if powered down at the wrong moment (even with the correct power down command according to uBlox's instructions).
02.00 - V1
If you are on this version you should update.
Actions by FW version
|Modem Version||Action||Update Process|
|A.02.04 - Maintenance Release||None required||N/A|
|02.01 - Bug Patch||Update to 02.04 is recommended, but not critical.|
If you are experiencing connectivity issues -it may be worth updating.
Notes on the Update Process.
Updating from 02.00 -> 02.01 is quite a quick and straightforward process - just apply the latest FW version and the device will sort it out. Updating to 02.04, the maintenance release is more involved.
- The update file is a 6MB download - so you will use more data. This is minimum, excluding any retries of the download.
- It is downloaded in a number of 'chunks' 1 chunk per device heartbeat. So we need good connectivity across heartbeats for reliable downloads - otherwise there may be a lot of tries.
- When applying the update, the device must remain powered, if it loses power, there is the risk it will brick the modem.
For the above reasons, it is generally fairly easy to update hard wired devices since we are sure they are powered constantly, and we are generally expecting more data and don't have very small budgets.
For battery powered devices, the extra time with the modem on downloading the update will use 10-20% of the device battery capacity. So if we are not otherwise experiencing problems and are on 02.01 - we may want to leave it.
Unsure? Contact us!
It is important all FW updates are carefully managed - so contact us if you are at all unsure for assistance.