9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

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9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:24 pm

Hi, I'd like to load #openTx onto my 9XR Pro, but have failed very miserably at each attempt. Please help..
This will have to be a step by step report..

Aside from other problems, one noticeable feature is that when any attempt to communicate with the radio is made, It reports "C:/Program Files (x86)/OpenTX/Companion 2.2/sam-ba.exe" not found. when checking that directory, it's correct..it's not there. where is it?


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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Kilrah » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:36 pm

Make sure you connect your 9XR-Pro in bootloader mode and see the 2 virtual disk drives appeear.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:02 am

Thank you.... this made a difference, now I see them.. when connected via USB, powering on the radio shows "USB" on the Tx screen, suggesting that a connection is available but cannot be seen... with the Tx in boot mode, it's there with no missing file message.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:25 am

Although I now see the drives and can configure companion, it frequently reports that "sam-ba" cannot be found. I'm now trying it on Linux, but the same message appears. I have Companion 2.2.0N371 installed. I have configured my SD card copy and backup locations, I can read the F/w off the TX into my backup location. If I try to read models and setup from the radio, the progress bar completes but then a message is shown.. "Executable /usr/bin/sam-ba not found". Is something missing from my installation, or is this due to another error?

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:35 am

SAM-BA is ony needed if you don't have the bootloader (that shows the 2 drives) working.
You may have an incompatibility in the bootloader with how the two drives are named. Have you ever updated the firmware on the radio? It comes with ersky9x installed, but it sounds like the bootloader is very old.

When you start the bootloader, what test is on the top line of the display?

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:40 pm

It shows:
Boot Loader V1.1Ready

Connecting..

F1
E0


Now it runs OpenTx, from a f/w bin file as configured and named using Companion.

The screen does not change from the above.... ie always "connecting", never connected.
Last edited by Daveh on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:51 pm

I notice that the naming of the directories is the same as for the original Esky. could this be an issue?
I will start again after formatting the SD card.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 pm

After starting again, I formatted the Sd card and copied back the directory structure. Regenerated the firmware on Companion and successfully downloaded it to the Tx. Rebooted the Tx and selected the new f/w. Ran the new f/w, seems ok.
Entered into boot mode and connected to companion. Will not download model setup to or from the Tx.. Each attempt appears to progress the % banner to 100% then pops up the "can't find sam-ba" message.
Have tried in both Windows 10 and in Ubuntu, the same results in each.
Noted that the Tx display has changed slightly... now shows F1 & E1 at the bottom left.

If it were not for the fact that the f/w can be loaded and uploaded to Companion...I'd just guess that it cannot see the SD card or directory structure.

EDIT....not sure if the f/w was written.. now fails via Companion with the sam-ba message when trying to reload the f/w.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:27 pm

Oddly, I don't recall specifying the location of the SD card and model/firmware directories within companion...... not found an option for this

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:43 pm

The bootloader shows you two drives, one is the SD card, the other has two files that are "mapped" to the EEPROM and the Flash. This drive has a name. Companion (and eepskye) look for this name to locate the drive. I believe that openTx/companion are using a different name to the one I use for ersky9x/eepskye that I specified when I wrote the bootloader originally. Eepskye looks for both the name I use and the name openTx uses.

To flash the firmware, first create a directory on the SD card called "FIRMWARE" (not firmwares). Copy the firmware binary file into this directory.
Now start the radio in bootloader mode, and you should be able to use the bootloader directly (no USB connection) to flash the firmware.

Now start the radio normally and the firmware should then be working.

Next you need to update the bootloader. I believe this is done from the "SD Browser" in openTx. I'm not sure whether the binary file you put in the FIRMWARE directory now also needs to be in a "FIRMWARES" directory for this to work.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by jhsa » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:49 pm

That name change from firmware to firmwares in openTX only made things more complicated when moving from one firmware to the other.. :(

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:34 pm

I've recently seen references to it being changed to FIRMWARE (no S) now.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:44 pm

I tried again to download a different f/w to the Tx. It failed, I had to copy it into the SD card directory and boot it from the menu. Stangely, it appeared to take a model setup with it.. but when I look at the SD card "models" directory, it has not been updated, an older model it there, and the new one, as seen and named on the Tx screen is not present...
EDIT.... sorry, posted before seeing your recent comments..... thanks for bearing with me..

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:40 pm

Thanks for you help with my noob problem so far..... A bit of a change. Having generated a f/w with Companion, I copied it manually to the FIRMWARE directory of the SD card and booted it from the on-screen menu. It appears to run the new F/W.
Used Companion to set up a new model. Downloaded to the Tx. When Tx is removed from the USB connection and restarted in normal mode, the model is available and selectable and is set up as it was within Companion. It can be backed up to the Sd card and subsequently uploaded to Companion for more work /backup on PC..... so it seems to be working well enough to go.....

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:03 pm

Model data is stored in the EEPROM, not on the SD card, unless something has changed recently in openTx.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks... I am a noob, so wouldn't know what may have changed. The model setups failed to transfer until I found a copy of sam-ba and dropped it into the appropriate directory. That stopped the error message and appeared to allow the transfer to complete. My Companion installation on Ubuntu (which also failed due to sam-ba not being found) continues to fail to transfer anything to the Tx (could not find the right flavour of sam-ba).
But this works well enough to go..... many thanks for your help and patience.. Regards, Dave.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:58 pm

If models are needing SAM-BA in order to transfer, then something isn't working correctly. The processor on the 9XR-PRO includes a specific bootloader in ROM, it is this bootloader that is used by SAM-BA. If the display shows "USB", then this is the bootloader you are using, not the one that shows "Connecting..".
I don't think SAM-BA is available for Linux.
If the bootloader still shows V1.1, then I suggest you update it.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:47 pm

I agree, it would be desirable to sort it. If I connect the USB without entering boot mode, then the display shows "USB". In boot mode it shows "Connecting"... Not sure which is used for transfers... How would I get and load a later bootloader?

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:51 pm

Although the screen reports "USB" when connected whilst not in bootmode, the Tx/SD card cannot be seen via the PC.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:54 pm

I said above:
"Next you need to update the bootloader. I believe this is done from the "SD Browser" in openTx. I'm not sure whether the binary file you put in the FIRMWARE directory now also needs to be in a "FIRMWARES" directory for this to work."

I don't use openTx, so I'm not 100% certain what is currently required.

See what I said two posts back regarding "USB" being displayed.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:16 pm

Thanks for your patience.. I much prefer to use these things rather than config them to the latest version or "flash" exotic f/w for the thrill of it. As a consequence, I am not necessarily sure about how to go about many of these routines, so have to read up and ask. The user guides that I have found sure leaves out these steps! I can't find an SD Browser on opentx (that is via the Tx screen). The example I have seen is for the Taranis, Access appears not to be the same for the 9XR Pro.... I'll search more...

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:22 pm

I found a later issue Ersky9xr firmware and loaded it. I used to option to load the bootloader from this f/w issue. The Tx now reports having bootloader v2.1. I reloaded my OpenTx f/w. Seems fine, opentx runs.
Within companion, it still pops up with the error message about sam-ba being missing and fails to transfer model set-ups.
There must be some other issue... for me, I should decide on what system to run, going back to the original ersky9xr might be a problem as when I needed help with some mixing issues, it was not really possible to progress without having the latest issue (it was, r204).

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by jhsa » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:40 pm

It looks like you have been using really old versions of Ersky9x..
My suggestion is that you try the latest version of it. Get it at www.er9x.com
or try the latest test version, which seems to be very stable. actually, most ersky9x test versions are stable.
You can get the latest test version here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4676

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:06 am

Daveh wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:16 pm
I can't find an SD Browser on opentx (that is via the Tx screen).
From the main display, press LEFT LONG, then press RIGHT. You should get to a menu called "SD CARD".

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks for the info.. things have moved along a little.. I loaded a recent issue of Ersky9x then from that F/w installed bootloader V2.1. Then back to load OpenTx where the "sam-ba" issue remains the same...

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by bob195558 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:43 pm

Maybe not use opentx.
Maybe use erSky9x / eepSkye to solve the problem ?

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by jhsa » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:45 pm

Well, it would be nice if someone from the openTX team would jump in and help.
I use Ersky9x and eepskye works fine with the PRO and all the other radios.

In the past I think have read about a similar problem where companion only used Sam-ba with these radios, but I can't remember what the problem was. I don't even remember if there was a solution for it.
Someone from the development team should know what to do..

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:28 pm

Try using ersky9x to flash the bootloader from the openTx firmware. Then try to read/write the EEPROM from companion.

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by Daveh » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:59 pm

It's almost an non-issue now. It now works, apparently well, on Windows (I popped a copy of sam-ba into the right place) but not on Ubuntu Linux. MikeB tells me that the fact that sam-ba must be used is itself an indication of a (comms) problem, however the comms will only be used to transfer a couple of model set-ups to the Tx. If it does what I want it to, I'll never have to change..
Only one other person in my club uses a 9XR Pro. He runs OpenTx too (incidentally that will not work with Companion either. He just flashed the f/w and programs model setups via the Tx).

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Re: 9xrpro f/w load failure.. basic help requested.

Post by MikeB » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:37 pm

If you get a chance to put the openTx bootloader on I'd be interested to know if that stops needing SAM-BA.
Since eepskye works fine with the erksy9x bootloader, companion ought to work, at least with the openTx bootloader. If it doesn't, then there is a problem that needs fixing!

You could, of course, just stay with ersky9x!

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