OpenBeacon Firmware Update Available For Testing

For you early adopters who like to try new things, we’ve got an OpenBeacon firmware update available for you to upload and test. Included in the update are a handful of bug fixes, most of them minor, but one moderate one which caused msgdelay to fail on CW mode. Also included is the addition of CW ID for better meeting the Part 97 identification requirements in the United States.

CW ID works by transmitting the contents of Message Buffer 2 in CW at 20 WPM at the end of a QRSS, DFCW, S/MT Hellscriber, or Glyphcode message or 10 minutes after the last ID, which ever comes first. So it is best to keep Message Buffer 2 loaded with only your callsign.

You will need to have access to an AVR ISP programmer of some type in order to update the firmware. The following instructions assume the use of a USBtinyISP-type programmer and the AVRDUDE program. You may need to follow a slightly different procedure if you are using a different programmer or software.

To update your OpenBeacon firmware, first download OpenBeacon.hex and OpenBeacon.eep (these are from the “unstable” branch on the Etherkit GitHub page). Connect your 6-pin ISP header to J3 on OpenBeacon (the stripe on the cable should go on the side marked with a dot on the OpenBeacon silkscreen). In your terminal or command prompt, navigate to the same directory where you downloaded the above files and issue the following command:

avrdude -pt85 -cusbtiny -u -Uflash:w:OpenBeacon.hex:a -Ueeprom:w:OpenBeacon.eep:a -Ulfuse:w:0xe1:m -Uhfuse:w:0xdd:m

This will reset all of your settings back to the defaults, so don’t forgot to take note of them prior to updating the firmware, if necessary. If you encounter any problems with the update procedure or find bugs in the new firmware, please visit the Etherkit Forum to tell us. Thanks!