Author Topic: FIRMWARE  (Read 2133 times)

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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FIRMWARE
« on: April 03, 2016, 12:56:17 PM »
New BETA 8.0-b3 available. see http://forum.blitzortung.org/showthread.php?tid=1623
TWO VERSIONS:  Make sure you GET RED for RED... and BLUE for BLUE.

4/9/2016
for BLUE -- GET 8.0-b4
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 08:20:01 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Offline miraculon

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 01:50:33 PM »
It seems that the "Signals" tab takes longer to display waveforms and the Channel parametric info than previously.

Other than that, it seems OK. I sort of wish the file name was different between RED and BLUE as an extra protection against flashing with the wrong one. (PURPLE?) :grin:

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 02:39:54 PM »
I sort of wish the file name was different between RED and BLUE as an extra protection against flashing with the wrong one. (PURPLE?) :D

Greg H.
It's obviously a Machiavellian Method to eliminate stations whose operators don't pay close attention   :twisted: ....

If you didn't read Tobi's last post, he notes that "BLUE SYSTEMS" MUST use the "new Beta for BLUE"   b2 was for both versions.  I expect there'll be more updates fairly rapidly over the next couple of months,... especially as they merge the data from both systems on the server.

There are no fixes in the new BETA for a few of the complaints a handful have expressed... later on them, he implies.  Indications are that the developers can't really duplicate them, and most of us haven't mentioned any either.
Since I've not had any issues with either of the BETAs, I wonder if it has to do with high gains, automatic, etc... too many signals locally... the ONLY hard faults I've experienced with B2 and once with this B3 have been with a known noise source that was so strong and fast the system seemed to 'bypass' interference mode, and watchdog bit it, I suppose..... all cleared themselves after a few moments, however. I did have the issue of 'not locating an amp' after installing B2 and having the amp disconnected later for experiment.  Cold 'restart', as mentioned in the Documentation for first startup, remedied that.

Blue's acomin'... Egon just ordered another hundred PCB 20 packages, so they're right confident in this 1st run.  Should be available say 4-6 weeks. Several Blues should be coming online in the next couple of weeks...
 

Offline DaleReid

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 05:04:32 PM »
Seamless quick install.  Worked perfectly.  I didn't notice any timing differences, but I'm not running anything else in the background on the computer with which I peeked into RED's mind.

As a secondary thought, has anyone checked the parts list to see if all the stuff we need to have a go at it is available from Mouser? Or DigiKey?

I would think ordering the very basic parts that are not available anywhere else (like the boards) and then getting stuff here saves the developers the trouble of packing plastic bags full of diodes while they could be doing something else.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 06:27:10 PM »
The Blue Basic will come with all you need except cables, antennas, including the GPS active antenna. You won't have to order or solder any small parts... just solder the larger parts...connectors, xfrmrs, etc which come with the boards. They want those parts standardized.
Cases, filter ICs, test loop SMA connectors are all extra, local or BT order.  Except the special built cases the other stuff can even be "Amazon-ed" from a quick look last week... at about the same prices... The optional filter iCs are more expensive at AMAZON...Avg price elsewhere is about $12 US each, if you want them later... I'd see how BLUE works without 'em or order a couple from BT if you think you might need 'em or want 'em later... they won't be necessary for everybody, and those 8 SMA connectors are ONLY for testing, or external monitoring signals through scope, whatever....

Examples
http://www.amazon.com/Launch-Female-Straight-Connector-Adapter/dp/B009EO7RIQ?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
http://www.amazon.com/GlobalSat-AT-65SMA-GPS-Antenna/dp/B005RUPU6W?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
http://www.amazon.com/Coaxial-Cable-Feet-F-Male-Connectors/dp/B003FW0X6Q?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01
http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Snagless-Shielded-Ethernet/dp/B004NPL4YE?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01
and I plan to modify another http://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm for use  :roll:
 

Offline DaleReid

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 09:25:58 PM »
Thanks for clarifying the parts situation.

I am happy that they are providing the larger parts, too, except as you noted.

Makes sense, but I can see them going nuts trying to bag kits for shipment.

Yet to have everyone ordering a 50 cent resister with a $7 shipping charge wasn't a nice thought, either.

Now that Radio Shack has pulled out of the business, I imagine it is all Mouser or DigiKey or JameCo for goodies.

Now I'll get my order in for Egon, since I didn't gather that the parts necessary were mostly included without looking for sources before I order.

Dale

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 12:04:15 PM »
Began having real issues with RED this a.m. 
(FW 8.0-b3)
beginning with net errors (NO 200) server wise....
Had to use ST-Link to roll back to 7.4... wouldn't work through web...
Seems running ok presently.... weird.

Thought it might be Level 3 issues, or server work by Dev's, but believe the issue is FW related... haven't had DEV reply on BT forum yet....
\
So if you have bizarre issues with 8.0-b3, might as well save some frustration and go directly to ST-Link utility and roll back....
if you've a brain cloud on that, page 63 (sec 5.1.1) of RED documentation
 

Offline W3DRM

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 10:07:26 PM »
I just installed 8.0-b3-RED a little while ago. So far, it appears to be working correctly. However, on install, as I reported on the BO forum, while Amp 1 settings did not change from 7.4, those for Amp 2 went to all gains set to 1 x 1 and the thresholds went to 0mv. I had to manually make the adjustments to get them back to where I had them previously on 7.4. I had the same problem with 8.0-b2 a while back.

Will watch closely this evening to see how things go. Just hope I don't have to resort to the ST-Link method to go back should it be necessary to return to 7.4...  ](*,)

Thanks for the reference to the original documentation. I should probably go back and read that over again so I am ready should it be necessary.

I do notice one thing but I suspect it may be someting going on with the BO servers - At times I only see one channel being reported on the sferic.us website even though my local signals appear to be good and no interference mode being shown. We have lots of lightning at the moment just to the west and south of me so I should be going into interference mode but it doesn't seem to be happening. El Dorado station is showing a similar condition of on channel being shown as are others in the west. Again, not sure what to make of it and whether it is even an issue or not. Only time will tell...
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 11:55:31 PM »
Don, I think the new firmware and compression are only sending the channels used... They've been working toward that... .
 

Offline W3DRM

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 12:28:40 AM »
Don, I think the new firmware and compression are only sending the channels used... They've been working toward that... .

Yeah, I seem to remember a comment from Tobi about that but don't know where I saw it. That's probably what it is. Everything, so far, appears to be normal with 8.0-b3 RED.

Interestingly, we have had a lot of lightning within a couple hundred miles of here most of the evening yet, I have not seen my system go into interference mode at all. Maybe I've missed it but before this with the older FW, it was a regular occurrence when strikes were relatively close. Perhaps it's part of the new FW algorithms?

Heading to bed now - have to get up early tomorrow for some work to be done before the rains hit us.

EDIT: Just noticed that my gains on Amp 2 were down to 5x5 so I cranked them up to 8x5 and magically, I am detecting the strikes in New Mexico at the moment on Amp 2. Guess they were set too low. Will have to watch carefully to make certain they are not too high now. I see the blue lines which I think indicate my station is being used for the calculations.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 12:39:19 AM by W3DRM »
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2016, 07:02:19 AM »
I don't see any problem with my station after the update.

Maybe it is having troubles and I'm too dumb to see it.

I'm not seeing strikes as far, but that happens.   I've rechecked gains and they were un changed from the pre-update levels.

I was very happy with the version b software, and worked well, stable station and a good range.

Remember that I'm using only the E field antenna, by H field electronics got soaked and I didn't get the new board out there yet.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the system being stable.  Certainly can have something to do with distance, but with a much more populated US now, distance hasn't been my goal.

Don, the line color has to do with strike distance, didn't it?  I thought station dot color had to do with whether or not the station was used in calculation, and blue if you saw the strike.

I do know that the new map colors on real time lightning from the lightningmaps.org location, are a bit overwhelming, even selecting the lessor data amount selection (which, for me at least, isn't remembered from session to session, even though station detail setting is remembers in the radio selection area.)

Still, all fun.  We are getting things up and running before the summer season, which hats off to the developers for their enormous work.

Dale
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2016, 08:01:05 AM »
Maybe it is having troubles and I'm too dumb to see it.
[-X  Heh... I don't believe that for a minute.   :grin:
Quote
I'm not seeing strikes as far, but that happens.   I've rechecked gains and they were un changed from the pre-update levels.
:-"  I sensed the same thing in some circumstances... I believe they are testing various quality paradigms from ... sig versus noise level, trigger vs noise, etc. Remember when it was suggested several times over the last year, that for network effectiveness and accuracy, individual station 'distance records'  and ego might become much less important than QC in the 50-1000 km (30-600 mi) range?  :twisted:
Quote
Remember that I'm using only the E field antenna, by H field electronics got soaked and I didn't get the new board out there yet.
I wonder if that has anything to do with the system being stable.  Certainly can have something to do with distance, but with a much more populated US now, distance hasn't been my goal.
Also, I believe the 'processing' of E signals is undergoing some experimentation,... Blue will only send one E channel (Vertically polarized sferics). 

For experimentation with horizontally polarized sferics, the Third H channel on BLUE can be experimented with as a vertically mounted Horizontally polarized loop for M(H) ... which also, barring great shielding .. might detect some of the Vertically polarized E signal component of DIFFERENT or associated sferics... arrrggghhh... so here we traipse off into very well designed antennas, standardization, server processing, firmware... and many stations experimenting with the third H loop.  Daunting, since delays are different inherently between the various Large loops vs. Ferrites, as well as the 3 channels of RED E. And remember that distant strokes are not Ground Wave .. they're Sky Wave components, with natural distortion and delays beyond the original discharge. So a lot of emphasis is being placed on 'quality', if you will... More to it than this, but this is confusing enough without a lot more coffee this morning...  ](*,)

That 3rd Blue H loop can otherwise be 'disabled', and blue operated with two 90 loops, as current systems, or the three can be in "Delta" (60) configuration which should improve the current station's geographical reception lobe pattern.

Quote
Don, the line color has to do with strike distance, didn't it?  I thought station dot color had to do with whether or not the station was used in calculation, and blue if you saw the strike.
Originally, I think, on LMO Tobi had the line colors indicating >500 km or <500km. Last year, I think both sites changed to Blue for the Primary and Secondary 'locators' (up to a max of 18??) and green for other stations that detected the signal, but weren't used for computation. I think some brief experimentation was done with 'station' dot color also. http://sferics.us currently utilizes the 'locator / other detector' mode, which are 'toggable' (?) on/off as BT was up until recently.  Note that Sferics US only displays "Real Time" (last minute) on the large map.
Quote
I do know that the new map colors on real time lightning from the lightningmaps.org location, are a bit overwhelming, even selecting the lessor data amount selection (which, for me at least, isn't remembered from session to session, even though station detail setting is remembers in the radio selection area.)
Dale
Oh there will be even more changes, tests and trials on both websites!  Give 'em yer feedback over on the BT internal boards...
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 08:15:11 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Offline W3DRM

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Re: FIRMWARE
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2016, 10:33:34 PM »
I've been running on 8.0-b3 RED for a little over 24-hours now and all seem to be running normally. However, we have had quite a bit of lightning activity all around me this afternoon abnd it has continued into this evening. As a result, I am dropping my gains on both H & E from 8x5 to 8x4 and from 5x5 to 5x4 respectively on all associated channels to see what happens. I seem to be sending a very high number of signals and am wondering if my gains are simply too high to be effective. Will watch to see how this reduced setting works for the next 24 hours or so. My thresholds are still at 120mv on all channels.
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