5.7. Upgrading firmware

The Tic has field-upgradeable firmware that can be easily updated when Pololu releases bug fixes or new features.

Firmware versions

  • Version 1.00, released 2017-07-14: This is the original version.
  • Version 1.01, released 2017-07-20: This version fixes a bug where the encoder input would not work after the Tic leaves USB suspend mode.
  • Version 1.02, released 2017-08-02: This version fixes an issue with the I²C interface where it could stop working if there was any activity on the bus within 2 ms after the end of a read. It also adds special LED blinking on startup for abnormal resets, and adds support for the “Serial response delay” setting.
  • Version 1.03, released 2017-11-02: This is the first version with support for the Tic T834. Starting with this version, motor driver errors are latched. This version fixes two bugs that had a small chance of causing watchdog resets when the Tic was configured improperly, experiencing an error, or applying new settings. This version fixes a bug that caused the Tic connected to a suspended USB bus to stay in sleep mode even after VIN power is connected. This version fixes a bug where the motor would not move in encoder control modes if the “Invert input direction box” was checked and the “Enable unbounded position control” checkbox was not checked. As of this version, an invalid command byte received over I²C now results in the “Serial format” bit in the “Errors occurred” register being set. It also disables blinking of the green LED during suspend mode.
  • Version 1.04, released 2018-03-14: This is the first version with support for the Tic T500. It also restores blinking of the green LED in suspend mode.
  • Version 1.06, released 2019-01-31: This is the first version with support for the Tic T249. It also adds support for limit switches, the “Go home” command, and the automatic homing feature. It also adds several new serial settings: “Alternative device number”, “Enable 14-bit device number”, “Enable 7-bit responses”, “Enable CRC for responses”. Serial commands starting with 0xFF or 0xFE bytes, which previously would cause a serial format error, are now ignored.

Upgrade instructions

You can determine your controller’s firmware version by running the Tic Control Center software, connecting to the controller, and looking in the “Device info” box. If you do not have the latest firmware, you can upgrade the firmware by following these steps:

  1. To use the new features added in firmware version 1.06, you will need to upgrade your Tic software to version 1.7.0 or later. You can download the latest version of the Tic software for your operating system from Section 3. (The old Tic software will work with the new firmware but will not enable access to the new features.)
  2. Save the settings stored on your controller using the “Save settings file…” option in the File menu. All of your settings will be reset to their default values during the firmware upgrade.
  3. Download the latest version of the firmware here: Firmware version 1.06 for the Tic Stepper Motor Controllers (287k fmi).
  4. Run the Tic Control Center application and connect to the controller.
  5. In the Device menu, select “Upgrade firmware…”. You will see a message asking you if you are sure you want to proceed: click OK. The Tic will now disconnect itself from your computer, go into bootloader mode, and reappear as a new device.
  6. Once the Tic is recognized by the computer, the green LED should be blinking in a double heart-beat pattern.
  7. Go to the window titled “Upgrade Firmware” that the Tic Control Center opened. Click the “Browse…” button and select the firmware file you downloaded.
  8. If it is not already selected, select the device you want to upgrade from the “Device” dropdown box.
  9. Click the “Program” button. You will see a message warning you that your device’s firmware and settings are about to be erased and asking you if you are sure you want to proceed: click OK.
  10. It will take a few seconds to erase the Tic’s existing firmware and load the new firmware.
  11. Once the upgrade is complete, the Upgrade Firmware window will close, the Tic will disconnect from your computer once again, and it will reappear as it was before. If there is only one Tic plugged into your computer, the software will connect to it. Check the firmware version number and make sure that it now indicates the latest version of the firmware.
  12. If you saved your settings, you can restore them now by using the “Open settings file…” option in the “File” menu and clicking “Apply settings”.

If you run into problems during a firmware upgrade, please contact us for assistance.

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