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Learn how to upgrade the firmware in your GS3 Variable Frequency Drive.
Upgrading AutomationDirect’s GS3 Variable Frequency Drive firmware takes 3 simple steps: 1. Get the hardware and software, install USB driver for hardware. 2. Connect to the drive 3. Run the upgrade utility. At the end of the video we’ll also go over some trouble shooting tips. Before we get started, I want to encourage you to backup the drive parameters. This firmware upgrade procedure doesn’t overwrite any drive parameters, but why risk it when it only takes a couple seconds to back the parameters up to the key pad? Chapter 3 of the user manual tells you how to do that. The cool thing about that is you can use one master key pad to update all of your drives and since the keypad is always there, you are guaranteed to have a backup solution handy. You can also use the Free GSoft utility along with this USB to 485 cable to configure and backup the drive parameters. You can find that free software on the downloads page of the AutomationDirect website. GSoft is nice because you can see all the parameters at a glance, bring up a schematic of the drive and even tune P I D parameters. Finally, make sure you are running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, 32 or 64 bit versions. And of course, you’ll have to be logged in to the PC as the administrator to install and use the firmware upgrade utility. Here we go … Step 1: Hardware and Firmware Setup The Firmware upgrade board and USB cable are free. Contact AutomationDirect’s returns department and request the GS3 Firmware Upgrade kit. Download the file with the USB driver and firmware update. If you click on the button at the end of this video it will take you right to this webpage so you can download this file. It has everything you need to do the upgrade: the firmware update and the driver for that USB adapter board. Un-zip or extract the files to a convenient location on your hard drive – don’t use the files directly from the zip folder – I know windows will let you do it, but it won’t work right. We need clean un-zipped files on the hard drive. I’ll put mine in a GS3 folder on my C: drive just so they are easy to find. Now that we have the files, install the USB driver for the adapter board we are going to us. Run this x64 file if you have a 64 bit machine, or run this file if you have a 32 bit machine to install the USB driver. Again, make sure you have administrator privileges before installing this driver – windows won’t let you go forward if you don’t. Before we get started, turn on the drive and note which firmware version it has. That’s in parameter 9.39. If the drive has version 1.06 then you have the most recent version and don’t need to go any farther. If you have version firmware 1.04 or 1.05 – which is pretty much every drive sold over the last ten years - then continue on with this procedure. If you have something earlier than 104, then don’t use this procedure, Instead, contact AutomationDirect’s Returns department and they will get you squared away. Make sure the drive is NOT powered and then remove the keypad. If this RED Power LED is still lit, the drive still has potentially dangerous voltages on it – wait for that light to go completely out. Remove the drive cover and locate the 2 by 6 female header. There are three different controller boards used in the different sized drives, but there is only ONE 2 x 6 Female header like this on each controller board and they all have this little white number 1 marking where pin one is on the header. The adapter board has a little white triangle marking pin 1. You want to insert the USB adapter board so the pin 1 markings align. Here’s what the adapter orientation should look like for the smaller drives. And here’s what it should look like for the medium drives and here is what it should look like for the larger drives. Double check to make sure the connector isn’t off by a pin or a row – it’s really easy to do. Connect the USB Cable between the PC and the adapter. Make sure there aren’t hubs, laptop docking stations, port replicators, or any other device between the pc and the adapter. Turn the adapter’s power switch on – you should see at least one green LED light up on the controller board, depending on which size GS3 drive you are using. This switch applies the USB 5 volts to the controller card in the drive – and that’s all the power we need. If you turn the Drives power on it will also try to drive the 5 volt bus which will confuse everything. So don’t turn the drive power on during this upgrade. If the LED didn’t light up when you flipped that switch, then check that the adapter is oriented correctly. If not, then fix it and keep going – it should still work just fine. Now we have to wait for windows to recognize the new device and install the driver. This can take several minutes so be patient. When you see the device here in the Device Manager like this – you know it is done and ready to use. Great, we’ve got the firmware and hardware setup and the drive is connected. All that is left is to do now is update the firmware. Before doing that, go to your device manager and note which com port the firmware upgrade adapter is connected to. We’ll need that in just a minute. It’s important to remember that this com port assignment can change every time you re-connect the usb adapter so check it each time you use it. If you see any warnings here, disconnect the USB cable and re-install the adapter driver. Be sure to disable any screensavers and power management features you may have enabled. We don’t want anything to interrupt the download process. Run one of the executables we unzipped earlier. If your drive currently has firmware version 1.04, then run this one that says 104. My drive currently has firmware version 1.05 so I need to run this one that says 105. BE CAREFUL here - If you choose the wrong one, you will turn your drive into a very expensive paper weight and there is no way to recover from it. So PLEASE, make sure you choose the right executable for your current firmware version. Select that com port that we just found a minute ago. If you don’t see the com port, close this software and run it again – sometimes it takes windows a while to fully recognize com ports and if you launch this software before Windows is ready, then we won’t see the com port. Press this button to start the download. DON’T unplug or even bump the USB cable during download – we don’t want anything to interfere with the download. If the process DOES get interrupted, just close the utility and restart it. Once it’s done programming, the utility will also verify that the upgrade was done correctly. That will also take a while. When you get the completion message, hit OK, turn the adapter off, unplug it, replace the cover and the key pad. Done. When you power up the drive, Parameter P9.39 should now show firmware version 1.06. If the Upgrade fails for some reason or the download hangs or you see a message like this, check the following. 1. Make sure the adapter board is oriented correctly and the pins are not off by a row or a column – it’s easy to do. If they are, don’t panic, just re-position the adapter and start over. 2. Make sure the USB connection is NOT going through any hubs, docking stations, port replicators, etc. We want a clan shot between the PC and the Adapter. 3. Make sure the LED on the Adapter is on when the power switch is on. 4. Make sure one or more LEDs on the drives control board are on when the adapter switch is on and connected to the PC via a USB cable. 5. Make sure the Device Manager shows no errors or warnings for the adapter, if it does, disconnect the adapter from the USB port and try re-installing the driver. 6. Make sure you are using windows 7, 8 or 8.1 on either a 32 or 64 bit machine, this utility isn’t supported on any other platform. 7. Make sure you are logged in as an administrator 8. Once all of these things have been verified, try running the software again. If you get stuck, please call AutomationDirect’s FREE award winning tech support during regular business hours. They will be happy to help you. Make sure you try all of these things first, because that’s the first question they are going to ask you so you might as well save yourself the time …