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RDM General Implementation Discussion General Discussion and questions relating to implementing RDM in a product.

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Old June 23rd, 2009   #1
kster
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Default Firmware download

I was wondering of there is, or will be, a standard way to download firmware into a device using the RDM protocol? It would be nice to have a standard way that can be implemented in the controller so it can be used for all devices of any manufacture (like in the ArtNet protocol).

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Kurt
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Old June 23rd, 2009   #2
sblair
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Kurt,

At this point it doesn't look like there will likely be a standardized method of doing this, at least not anytime on the horizon. We spent a lot of effort on this and had several draft versions but never reached concensus.

The issue was that there are too many different architectures out there and to make a single implementation that was robust enough to be reliable and not risk leaving a product doorstopped with nothing other than boot code made the process a bit cumbersome for some.

Ultimately what happened was that everyone adopted their own manufacturer-specific way of doing it and as a result interest was lost by most involved with it as they then had their own solution.

Firmware uploads are probably best left being a manufacturer-specific implementation that way there isn't the risk of someones bad implementation on the controller side erasing the flash and leaving a product stuck in boot without completing the upgrade process.
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Old June 23rd, 2009   #3
kster
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Scott,

Thanks for the reply.

I understand the arguments and the difficulties, but we, as developers, make it our customers even more difficult. Now they must use different and special software to perform the update. When we would choose a good microprocessor, and this is now a lot easier and cheaper then 5 years ago, we could solve the problem relative easy. So it may be a good idea to place the issue back on the wish list and start thinking again, with the lasted technology in mind, to solve the problem. Maybe the solution will not be the fasted possible or the most elegant, but you can make it very robust without a problem. With the current flash, eeprom, ram sizes, there is also no more need for a very restricted bootloader. This standard feature can then be implemented in future products, so that there will come no more(or less) manufacture specific solutions and our customers can be better off.

In the mean time I will also create my own solution.

Regards,

Kurt
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Old June 23rd, 2009   #4
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Kurt,

The issue is that it takes people that are interested in solving it to attend and participate in the meetings to develop it. It is not a trival process. Right now there is not anyone that is interested in leading or investing effort in that project, that is why it died.
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Old June 25th, 2009   #5
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Default microFTP

I agree the a firmware download addition to RDM would be very difficult to implement in a way that would useful to all user's with the different hardware requirements of all the different manufactures. I think that a microFTP type addition could receive more support. It could be used to allow the storage/retrieval of a file containing the fixture personality (new XML fixture personality standard ?) and of course a firmware image could be downloaded and then a manufacturer specific PID used to cause the update from the loaded file.
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Old June 28th, 2009   #6
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We also discussed and explored doing a TFTP style basic implementation but there wasn't enough interest from people in working on it, so that is why we ultimately shelved it for now.
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Old November 9th, 2009   #7
fgramme
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Hi all,

Could anyone tell me about a way to implement a remote software upgrade? I mean, do I have to keep a kind of RDM-like frame, with a 0xCC startcode? I guess it could be harmful for other devices on the bus...

Then what are your advices? Is there any prefered startcode or way to achieve it?

Best regards,

Francois.
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Old November 27th, 2009   #8
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Francois,

I would highly suggest implementing as using manufacuturer-specific PID's within RDM. See Section 6.2.10.2 in RDM.

Using the standard RDM frame and defining your own messages within that you can implement firmware uploads. The advantage of doing it within RDM packets and start code is that you can then take advantage of all the other infrastructure that exists out there such as RDM splitters.

Scott
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Old November 29th, 2009   #9
fgramme
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Scott,

Thanks for your answer. I agree this is probably the smartest way. I can't believe I haven't thought of it!

Francois
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Old December 8th, 2009   #10
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Francois,

I just have the benefit of living and breathing this for the last 10 years now is all
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