How do I Update Firmware on an Older pre- WiFi SuperSting ™?

Follow the steps below to update the firmware on older pre-WiFi SuperSting ™ systems.

Notes:

This article is applicable if the WiFi system has an older firmware than .65E. If you have a newer SuperSting™ Wifi, please use this article instead. If so, the serial type firmware update will be needed before moving to the WiFi firmware method. We suggest that the firmware is checked from the office between projects to avoid any possible downtime—which may include performing firmware recovery procedures that involve opening the SuperSting™ after serial port adapter issues, network errors, or low battery. 

Use only this USB to Serial Adapter unless you have a built-in serial port

Firmware changes are also used to allow marine streaming mode vs land mode. The land firmware has more features for land surveys and handles both Dual-Mode and Switchbox roll along with modes of automatic switching, skip electrode list, etc. The marine firmware is primarily for boat towed surveys, but it can handle Switchbox and Dual-Mode surveys if roll-along is not needed. The WiFi systems built-in 2013 onward have a new receiver board that can handle a larger firmware memory that adds additional features such as PoweSting functions without the need for a firmware swap.

From time to time, new firmware for the SuperSting™ is available at the AGI SuperSting™ UserGroup.

Please register as a SuperSting™ owner to receive a password to access this site. This way you can download the new firmware and load it into the SuperSting™ flash memory and also receive notifications of updates from time to time. By doing this, your SuperSting™ will always be up to the latest firmware standard. To find out which model you have, look at the firmware version number on the SuperSting™ menu 7. If it ends with a letter "E" then you have the Model E type and you then need to make sure only to load firmware of “E” type. If you have any questions regarding the firmware version to download, please contact AGI support. 

The full procedure to perform a firmware update using a serial port:

Make sure you download and install the SuperSting™ Administrator software version 1.5.1.235 or newer. Use the special cable for loading firmware into the SuperSting™ (do not mix up this cable with the data upload/download cable). The firmware cable connects to the SuperSting™ in the port labeled "Ext. TX. COM" or "Firmware" as shown in the picture below. The SuperSting™ R1 has this port marked (PC SERIAL COM2).

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The type of communication used for firmware will not work properly with USB/Serial adapters unless they have absolute/strict serial port emulation. For uploading firmware, it is best to use a computer with a built-in serial port as shown in the two images below or an approved adapter.

 

built in

Do not use other USB to serial adapters or the firmware will likely fail during the step where it is writing new firmware after erasing the old firmware. This will render the SuperSting™ non-operational. AGI Technical Support will need to send special instructions that require opening and resetting the SuperSting™ with an internal switch and then loading several different files in a more complex procedure.

 

To avoid this, make sure to find a computer with a built-in serial port and stable power supply/fully charged battery or use an approved adapter. AGI has tested numerous serial port adapters and recommends these two serial port emulation devices. The Brainboxes model US-101 for USB or XC-235 for laptops with an ExpressCard (PCIe) slot are approved for firmware upload only.

• Make sure your computer can operate for at least 30 minutes without shutting down. Do not use a laptop with a low battery or computer connected to unstable power.


• Turn on the SuperSting™ and go to the main menu.

•Start the Administrator for SuperSting™ software.

•Select the AGI SuperSting™ Firmware Updater under the Window option on the Administrator for SuperSting™ menu bar.

• Make sure to select the correct com port by looking at the Windows Device Manager as shown in this screenshot:

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•Click on the “Load firmware” button and select the firmware update file (xxxxx.agi) you want to load.

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•In the Administrator Transfer progress window will now be displayed “Successfully loaded image file version x.x.x. Transferring start program to SuperSting™. Start SuperSting™ in boot mode.”


•At this point, on the SuperSting™, go to Menu 6 and select 4. General settings. Then press 2. Start firmware update.


•The software is now being transferred to the SuperSting™. This is a sensitive process, therefore make sure to leave the instrument and computer alone and make sure to not interrupt the power until the process is finished. This may take up to 15 minutes. The blue transfer progress bar will move to the right during this step.


•When the uploading process is finished the progress window will display “Firmware transfer complete, restart SuperSting™!”


•Restart the SuperSting™.

• From the Main Menu:
-Format the memory (Menu 5/4)
-Delete all command files (Menu 5/6)
-Reset the SuperSting™ to the factory defaults (Menu 6/4/4)
-Clear any skip electrodes (Menu 6/6/2)
-Clear the Address Table: (Menu 6/2/2)

•Upload the command files again and set the address tables as needed for a switchbox and cable.

 

The firmware update is now completed.