[BCAB] New feature announcement: orbit - Firmware upgrade from SD Card now available for mac/linux users
mobeeniqbal at gmail.com
Thu Jun 6 23:21:15 BST 2019
Orbit Research is pleased to announce a much-awaited new feature – the
ability to upgrade the Orbit Reader 20’s firmware from the SD card,
instead of requiring a Windows PC! This enables Mac and Linux users
and those without direct access to a computer to easily upgrade the unit.
We would like to thank RNIB for supporting the development of this feature.
In order to use this feature, you will first have to update the
bootloader, which is a mechanism to facilitate upgrading the system’s
software. Please note that upgrading the bootloader is required only in
units that are currently in the field and is a one-time process. New
units from the factory will come with the new bootloader.
To perform the one-time upgrade of the bootloader, you will need to use
a separate (Windows PC based) program which is similar to the firmware
upgrade program that is used to upgrade the firmware.
Once you have the new bootloader in place, you will be able to perform
future firmware upgrades through the SD card or the current method of
using the Windows program. Upgrading the bootloader is NOT necessary
if you prefer to only use the existing method of upgrading the software
using the Windows program.
Please download the software package titled “OR-20 – Bootloader Upgrade
Package Setup vB0.00.00.05r02” from the Orbit Research website:
The package contains the following:
1. /Instructions to perform the bootloader upgrade/: OR-20 –
Bootloader Upgrade Procedure v1.0.pdf
2. /Software Installation file/: OR-20 – Bootloader Upgrade Package
3. /A file containing release notes:/ OR-20 Bootloader Upgrade Utility
vB0.00.00.05r02 Release Notes.txt
1. Please read the instructions carefully before you start the upgrade
2. Prior to starting the process, we strongly recommend that you
confirm that your OR-20 unit is running software version
B0.00.00.55r02 or later. If it is running an earlier version,
please upgrade it to the latest version B0.00.00.60r03 first. This
will ensure that the messages that are displayed during the first
upgrade using the SD card will match the messages described in the
3. All settings on the Orbit Reader 20 will be reset to defaults after
the bootloader upgrade
4. If you have applied localization, you should download and use the
latest localization package (version B0.00.00.26r01) from the
*The procedure to upgrade the bootloader is as follows:*
**Install the OR-20 Bootloader Upgrade program by following the simple
steps as is the case with any Windows installer.
1. Once installed, run the Bootloader upgrade program.
2. You can keep the OR-20 ON or OFF. It will not affect anything in the
bootloader upgrade procedure.
3. Connect the OR-20 to the PC using the supplied micro-B USB cable.
4. Press and hold the Right Panning forward button (the lower part of
the Right Panning button) and the Dot 6 key together.
5. Now, press and release the Dot 8 key. The other keys can be released
6. The program will now begin preparing the device for upgrade. This
might take up to 10 seconds.
7. When the preparation is complete, the program will show the message
“The device is ready for upgrade”.
8. Again, press and hold the Right Panning forward button and the Dot 6
9. Now, press and release the Dot 8 key. The other keys can be released
10. The program will begin the upgrade process and will take about 30
seconds to complete.
11. The program will show the message “The device successfully upgraded
to bootloader version vB0.00.00.xxyzz” after a successful upgrade.
For further details, please refer to the user guide at
Once you have successfully upgraded the bootloader, your OR-20 is all
set to perform future firmware upgrades from the SD card or using the
The bootloader upgrade also updated your firmware to the latest version
(vB0.00.00.61r01) and you do not need to reload any firmware for now,
but If you wish to give the new method a try, you can download the
standard firmware upgrade package from the website and perform the
*Procedure to upgrade the firmware from SD card:*
1. Copy the binary file “Orbit Reader 20 – Target Software
vB0.00.00.XXrYY.bin” from the download package to the root folder of
the SD card. Use either the Orbit Reader Mass Storage Mode or remove
the SD card and put it in a card reader on a computer. When
completed, insert the SD card into the Orbit Reader 20.
2. Turn off the OR-20. The unit should be turned off before the upgrade
3. Press and hold the Right Panning forward button (the lower part of
the Right Panning button) and Dot 4 together, then turn on the Orbit
Reader 20; it will show the message “Preparing…”. Now you can
release all the keys. Typically, it will take about 40 to 50 seconds
4. Once preparation is complete, the Orbit Reader 20 should show the
message “Upgrading….”. Progress is shown by blinking 4 cells
containing dot 6 at the end of the message.
5. Typically, it will take 2.5 to 3 minutes to upgrade the firmware. DO
NOT remove the SD card during the upgrade process.
6. When the upgrade has completed, the Orbit Reader 20 will show the
message “Upgrade complete” for a few seconds and then the device
will automatically reset itself and turn off.
7. The Orbit Reader is now upgraded. Turn on the Orbit Reader to start
using the device.
8. To check for the successful upgrade of the device, press Select + Up
Arrow to open the Orbit Reader Menu and arrow to “Ver” in the list.
The version number of the firmware release should match the number
in the name of the bin file.
For further details, please refer to the release notes at
and the updated user manual at
For upgrade instructions, please refer to Section 21 of the user guide.
Customer Support Team
techsupport at orbitresearch.com <mailto:techsupport at orbitresearch.com>
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