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How to: Upload new firmware to RF Explorer in Microsoft Windows

To upgrade your RF Explorer device in a Microsoft Windows OS you will need:

  • The RF Explorer Firmware Update Loader tool, available in the RF Explorer for Windows package from our website. You will find the RF Explorer Firmware Uploader in the same "RF Explorer" program group after you install the RF Explorer for Windows tool.

  • In some cases, the firmware package (in a zip file) will include a specific Uploader tool, if that is the case please use the one included, not the general version installed with Windows.
  • The latest Firmware file you want to upgrade to, available from our website as well. This is a .ZIP package which includes release notes in a readable TXT file, and a .bin file with firmware date.
  • Your RF Explorer device and a mini USB cable. We strongly recommend you first check your USB connection works as expected using the standard RF Explorer for Windows. As a general rule, please use a quality USB cable and connect it to the PC, not through an USB hub. If you run into connectivity problems with USB, please check the USB Troubleshooting article.
  • A compatible PC with Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x or Windows 10. 

Please follow this step by step guide to upgrade to a new firmware version:


In the RF Explorer device you should see Bootloader mode screen if you followed step by step instructions from the tool so far:

In the RF Explorer device you will see the following actions happening automatically (and very quickly, some of them will be too fast to be noticed):

At the end the RF Explorer device will reboot and start with standard functionality using the latest firmware loaded.

  1. Download your new firmware and save it to a local folder in your PC.
  2. Run the RF Explorer Firmware Update Loader tool "As Administrator" (right click on the tool and select "run as Administrator")
  3. Navigate through your firmware file and click on [Load] button, the text area at the bottom of the tool will display firmware version date if the file is ok, or it will display an error otherwise. Once the tool loads the file the step is automatically checked.
  4. Follow next steps as the tool suggests.
  5. Select the COM port where your RF Explorer device is connected. If you don’t know which port is connected to, try one by one. If the COM port is not listed as you would expect, try [Rescan] button. Click on [Connect]. If there are errors displayed, try with a different COM port or visit the troubleshooting area below.
  6. On the RF Explorer device, click on [UP] button for the actual firmware upload to start. It will take a few seconds to upload the firmware and reboot the device with the new functionality in place.

For a detailed description of new functionality available in the firmware, visit our download area.



  • If you have problems to identify the required COM port, please use RF Explorer Windows Client first to connect to the device and confirm which port is the one to use.
  • We strongly recommend you first check your USB connection works as expected using the standard RF Explorer Client. As a general rule, please use a quality USB cable and connect it directly to the PC, not through an USB hub. A quality USB cable should have a ferrite to filter out electric noise.
  • If you experience issues with the binary file, please check the firmware comes from our website and wasn't corrupted. It contains internal checksum to protect data integrity, so if checksum is reported as failing then is very likely the file is damaged and you should get a new fresh firmware copy from our website.
  • If the process is interrupted in the middle, the RF Explorer won't load properly in standard mode, but you can always restart the bootloader mode and reload again. The bootloader is designed to be bullet proof so no matter how many times you need to repeat the process the bootloader will be there to upgrade the device.
  • If there are COM communication problems, or the PC you are using is very slow, you can try in 2400bps low speed mode. To start the bootloader in low speed mode, repeat the step 4 above this time with <left>+<enter>+<right> so you see this screen in your device and also select 2400 in the RF Explorer Loader tool in step 5:
  • If everything else fails please contact us for further troubleshooting.