How to: Upload RF Explorer firmware from MacOS X computer

MacIcon

RF Explorer device firmware can be upgraded under MacOS X, starting with firmware version v1.12 and higher.

The how-to instructions below are tested in MacOS X 10.7 Lion and 10.11 El Capitan, and is expected to work in any version between these two. 

Installing Mono Libraries

From a software perspective, the RF Explorer Firmware Uploader tool has been modified to run in MacOS X using a special set of libraries called Mono. Installing Mono libraries is very simple step, and you must complete this step only once (not every time you upgrade RF Explorer firmware).

  1. Download Mono libraries from this link: Mono 4.8.0 (other versions may not work correctly, please make sure you install this specific version) - If you are unsure which version do you have, if any, just reinstall this version (there is no harm on installing it multiple times, nor will take more HD space)
  2. Install Mono from downloaded package as shown in brief video below.

Installing USB drivers

RF Explorer requires special USB drivers to communicate with the Mac computer. You may already have these drivers installed if you are using RFVenue Vantage software, or iRF Explorer Mac software, or if you followed this upgrade process in the past. Otherwise, you need to install these drivers following these simple steps:

  1. Download USB drivers from this link: USB drivers - If you are unsure if the drivers are already installed, just reinstall the version (there is no harm on installing it multiple times, nor will take more HD space)
  2. Install USB drivers as shown in this brief video

Download the Firmware Uploader tool

IMPORTANT: Please make sure you use the right firmware and options for your device:

You should NOT upload Signal Generator firmware into a Spectrum Analyzer device!

You should NOT upload Spectrum Analyzer firmware into a Signal Generator device!

 

Hardware Chip icon Large

Latest Firmware for RF Explorer Spectrum Analyzer

Version 1.20

RF Explorer Spectrum Analyzer firmware.

Only for Handheld Spectrum Analyzer - DO NOT INSTALL THIS IN SIGNAL GENERATOR

Firmware Upgrade Instructions included in the downloaded package

Hardware Chip icon Large

Latest Firmware for RF Explorer Signal Generator

Version 1.17

RF Explorer Signal Generator firmware.

Only for Handheld Signal Generator - DO NOT INSTALL THIS IN SPECTRUM ANALYZER models

Firmware Upgrade Instructions included in the downloaded package

Running the Firmware Uploader tool

Download the firmware file and uploader from above links and open the dmg contents.

  • Before connecting the RF Explorer device to your Mac computer, make sure the baudrate in the device is set to 500kbps in the RF Explorer internal CONFIG MENU. 
  • Make sure you do not have any RF Explorer device connected to your Mac computer
  • Follow instructions described in this video:

Comments   

# andy 2017-07-07 12:27
can't upgrade to 1.20 Spectrum analyzer with a Mac using OS Sierra.
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# Webmaster 2017-07-11 19:44
Please make sure the correct Mono version from this page link above is used in your system. Using different Mono version from somewhere else will not work with Sierra or other recent OS versions.
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# mike 2017-09-01 17:30
I'm running mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan when ever I open the up app I get the pinwheel of death and it says not responding in the Force Quit window???
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# Webmaster 2017-09-01 17:38
The most likely cause is Mono not installed as per instructions above. Can you confirm?
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# mike 2017-09-01 21:46
Nope, I had done that. I had to drag the app from the mounted installer to the dock (A step you should mention.) It worked fine after I figured that out.
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# chandler 2017-09-15 01:15
using osx 10.12.5 - firmware updater won't connect to rf explorer. ERROR: no com ports available

Mono is installed, all usb drivers installed. Vantage is not seeing RF explorer either.
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# Webmaster 2017-09-15 12:46
It looks like drivers were not installed correctly for some reason - please check troubleshooting article:

http://j3.rf-explorer.com/62-rfe/troubleshooting/178-troubleshooting-usb-drivers-3
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# Bob 2017-10-27 22:16
Description says "RF Explorer device firmware can be upgraded under MacOS X, starting with firmware version v1.12 and higher." - Does this mean that the device need FW v1.12 or higher to be updated on a Mac, or that FW v1.12 or higher can be updated, even if the device is running an older FW?
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# Paul 2017-11-20 22:02
The link to the driver is out of date. There's a newer driver from Silicon Labs for MacOS 10.11 and higher:
https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/software/Mac_OSX_VCP_Driver.zip
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# Webmaster 2017-11-23 01:51
Thanks for your feedback, we will update it based on your link.
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# Douglas Pfeiffer 2017-11-29 18:42
The updater just hangs when I start it. The icon is in the toolbar, but no window appears. Only option is to force quit.
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# Webmaster 2017-11-29 18:50
Please make sure the correct Mono version from this page link above is used in your system. Using different Mono version from somewhere else will not work with Sierra or other recent OS versions.
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