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:

  • 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. 
  • The RF Explorer Firmware Update tool for the specific device (Analyzer or Generator), available from our website download page

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!

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

 To make process upgrade simpler, it is suggested you only have RF Explorer device you want to upgrade connected to the PC, no other USB devices should be connected. In this way the correct COM port is automatically selected. 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.

For a detailed description of new functionality available in the firmware, please check the included release notes document.

Troubleshooting

  • 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 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 use this mode, first visit the CONFIG MENU in the device and select USB Baud: 2400bps and close the menu with RETURN key. Then start the bootloader in low speed mode, using <left>+<enter>+<right> buttons while you power up the device, so you see this screen in your device and also select 2400 in the RF Explorer Loader tool:

  • If everything else fails please contact us for further troubleshooting.