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new/old product status

Discussion in 'EthConGateway by Joshua 1 Systems' started by j1sys, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. j1sys

    j1sys There are no rules, and those are the rules. Community Project Designer

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    Well it's been a fun summer of programming and hardware design. NOT!!

    Sorry for all the delays from our optimistic expected production track. But whatever could go wrong did go wrong.

    This morning USA time and LATE last night Aussie time Phil and I performed a final series of Beta tests in a 3 hour skype session to certify the new Universal Boot Loader (UBL) that is a cornerstone to our new and old product line and new software enhancements.

    We have been holding up shipment of all existing products and some of the new products productions until this was completed. I have been working for 6 weeks to develop a new bootloader that would allow easier configuration and software updates in the field for ALL of our new and old products. We wanted it to be easy to use, powerful, and NOT require special drivers to be installed. Where practical we wanted it to work the same, or very similarly, across all products in either an Ethernet or USB mode of operation. Some of the new products ONLY have a USB and RS485 connection and required a console style of connection so we wanted to integrate the console command line with the bootloader codebase and make it work on all products. You will also find it so easy, with the new bootloader, to take a unit out of the box, connect a usb cable, configure the IP address, and then proceed with your browser to fully configure the unit.

    Anyway this involved a lot of 3 letter acronyms which I sometimes think are as bad as 4 letter words!!!

    We now feel confident to resume shipments tomorrow and to speed up progress on final touches to all of our new products.

    Status:

    ECG-DR4 - shipping to resume. same firmware. to be migrated to new bootloader over the next month (optional), then new firmware enhancements to be added.

    ECG-M32MX/ECG-PIXAD8 and ECG-P12R - shipping to resume Wednesday, new bootloader, new firmware with no new features, upgrades to firmware now proceeding. Existing customers will either need a PICkit 3 to install new bootloader or we will prepare a bootloader updater that can be loaded via the old TFTP bootloader.

    ECG-D4 - shipping to commence on Thursday. New bootloader, basic DR4 equivalent software, new firmware enhancements in the works.

    uDCG-P2 - in stock. shipping to commence on Friday. New bootloader, basic 2 string PIXAD8/P12R equivalent software, new firmware enhancements in the works.

    DCG-P2, ECG-P2, ECG-D2 - still in production pipeline. expect delivery to us in the next couple of weeks.

    XCG-X2A, ECG-D8, etc - still in final testing. ECG-D8 in stock waiting for testing completion. XCG-X2A waiting for initial testing before ordering a rush production run.

    So we are very sorry for all the delays but the idea was to spend the time to unify all of our software products under a common bootloader and application software base and deliver it all neatly tied up for ease of use.

    -Ed
     
  2. angus40

    angus40 Senior Elf

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    Thanks for taking your time and perfecting your product Ed , to many products are quick to market with the attitude of >> worry about the problems and customer complaints later .

    You also took care of existing customers by making the bootloader backwards compatible to include older hardware , this i just great .


    Cheers
    Richard
     
  3. keebler

    keebler New Elf

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    thanks for the update,
    i earnestly await the new and improved j1sysECG-12P device for my light show

    :)
     
  4. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Whilst it was a late night it was a very productive late night.

    With the new Universal Boot Loader (UBL) becoming part of new shipping products the initial IP configuration becomes stupidly simply, no more fiddling around with IP addresses on your new J1Sys device.

    Existing users will still need to go through an initial firmware upgrade to get the new UBL onto existing devices and this will need access to a Pickit3. This applies to all DR4, P12R, PixAd8 units that people have.

    For Australian owners I will be happy to do it. If everthing fits in a satchel type bag then just send them wrapped in bubblewrap with another self addressed satchel included for the return postage. If you want to send in a box then please chat to me first.

    Once the new UBL is loaded, application firmware updates are simple and can be down via USB or Ethernet.

    Now for the NEW ECG products that can be powered by PassivePOE, I would highly recommend buying a PassivePOE Injection kit. You could buy a single port injector, but how many people will really have a single device in their display

    I can highly recommend these 8 port unites from Ebay, it is the unit i had at each of the minis and have been using for all testing.
    This is the 8 port with 24v PSU
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8-port-passive-POE-power-injector-24v-power-supply-/170769676335?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c2aa782f

    This is the unit without PSU, useful for people that already have lots of 12V/24V PSU's
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Power-Over-Ethernet-8-devices-/180900511933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a1e82c0bd

    WARNING... DO NOT BUY THE 48V UNIT he has for sale...

    The PassivePOE gear is not required but for the new D2/P2 units it will make life a whole lot easier.

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  5. OP
    OP
    j1sys

    j1sys There are no rules, and those are the rules. Community Project Designer

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    one quick correction on Phil's comments:

    ECG-DR4 WILL require a PK3 to update. that was true for them before.

    For PIXAD8, P12R I hope to make a TFTP image that will make updating the bootloader possible. 90% sure it can be done, but may take some time. if you want to join the new UBL group of users and have access to a PK3 it will be easier and can be done as soon as i release the new images.

    -Ed
     
  6. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    :)

    I was basing it on what is current as of today, hence the PK3 bit.

    :)

    Cheers
     
  7. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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  8. DougieB

    DougieB Full Time Elf

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    Fantastic Work Ed and Phil
    I know ther are a lot of people eagerly waiting on their J1SYS gear and will be glad to see the effort gone into testing and debugging the gear
    Again great work
     
  9. harrisonk

    harrisonk Dedicated Elf

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    I would like to bring up the POE Topic.


    Eds New Boards run on whats called PASSIVE POE, This is different to the POE found in network switches. What will destroy your bords is called 802.af. This is a 48 Volt system and wii blow them up.
    An easy way to not get lost is that NO commercially available network switch will support Passive POE.
    If in doubt ask, Ed or any other the other regulars will be able to help.
     
  10. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    PassivePOE is different from POE (802.af).


    POE will supply 48V and must NOT be used for any equipment designed for PassivePOE


    PassivePOE can be any voltage but commonly 24V but can be other voltages including 48V.


    Again do NOT use 48V.


    As far as intelligent POE network switches they are supposed to NOT supply any power unless the powered device negotiates it.


    Phil
     
  11. OP
    OP
    j1sys

    j1sys There are no rules, and those are the rules. Community Project Designer

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    on PPOE vs POE .... what he said

    But I want to clear-up/define: The use of PPOE is optional and the boards as shipped will NOT connect/use the POE or PPOE 4/5 pair. So the user HAS to install jumpers to enable the connections and is then responsible for all the ramifications of connecting differing standards to the unit.

    Also please take caution and do NOT connect a PPOE output cable to your laptop, another switch, or one of our ECG-D4, ECG-DR4, ECG-PIXAD8, or ECG-P12R devices. They could be damaged by a 24V power supply on the 4/5 pair. They would probably be fine on a 12V or lower power but at 24V the 75ohm resistors that are standard in most Ethernet Magnetics RJ45 jacks will draw too much current and overheat. One of the values of POE (802.3af) is that the power driver senses the 75ohm load and turns off the current to protect the device.

    -Ed
     
  12. OP
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    j1sys

    j1sys There are no rules, and those are the rules. Community Project Designer

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    i just did a quick tutorial video to introduce you to the UBL and the PC software used to talk to it.

    you can watch it with the following link:

    http://www.j1sys.com/legacy/UBL_Quick.swf

    like most of our videos it is a stand-alone SWF file and you will have to wait a little while for the video to start after clicking on the link.

    -Ed
     
  13. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Great that you clarify this as its only an optional feature. Most will actually use their controllers without ever using PPOE, so if your not going to use PPOE then there is nothing to worry about as you just power your controller as you normally would.
     
  14. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Ok, to add to Ed's here's one i recorded today featuring a ECG-D4 and a ECG-P2, i show how to update application firmware over USB and Network.


    How to configure IP address via USB for initial configuration.



    https://vimeo.com/46015317


    Cheers
    Phil
     
  15. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Learnt another thing from viewing the above - you can set multiple outputs to the same universe. I was under the impression that this wasn't possible (and would cause issues) - good to know that it is, as that gives you a few options for testing...
     

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