How to Update the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware (prior to v2.0.0.0)

Expand / Collapse

How to Update the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware (prior to v2.0.0.0)

How to Update the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware (prior to v2.0.0)

System Dependencies
Minimum PowerSDR Version:
  Firmware Dependent 
Applicable Hardware:   FLEX-5000 & FLEX-3000 

Content provided by: FlexRadio Systems Engineering

This is a step-by-step guide for manually upgrading or "flashing" the FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 firmware using the automated AutoBurn capabilities of the firmware EXE based extractor/updater program.

NOTE: The procedure below is the procedure for updating the FLEX-5000 and FLEX-3000's firmware from a downloaded executable file. There is an alternate method that utilizes a third-party program called FlexLoader written and supported by Neal, K3NC. FlexLoader will automatically download the appropriate firmware and automate the burning or flashing process. Please refer to the following KC article FlexLoader - Firmware Management Program for more information.

Downloading the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware Installer Executable
Step 1: Download the Firmware self-extracting exe file from the FlexRadio web site.  To get the latest version of the FLEX-5000 firmware, refer to the "Current Versions of Software and Documentation" table on the FlexRadio System's home page

To obtain any current version of the FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 firmware installer program, you can download it from the FlexRadio web site. Select the Downloads page under the Support menu option.   Alternately you can access the main downloads page directly at

Once you have accessed the Downloads page, select FLEX-5000 (or FLEX-3000 if you are updating a FLEX-3000 SDR) in the Related Product drop down box and Software:FlexRadio in the File Category drop down box located in the search dialog box by using a single left click of the mouse.  In the Keyword field, enter the word “firmware”.  Left click on the SEARCH button to display the requested files.  Left click on the appropriate file name of the firmware version you need in the far left hand column and save the firmware installer to a folder on your computer.  Alternately, if your browser supports the capability, you can run the program from the browser skipping the step to download it to a folder on your computer.  Select a self-extracting EXE version of the firmware and not a ZIP file version. The older versions of the firmware were distributed in a ZIP file format and are still available for archive purposes.  In the examples below, firmware for the FLEX-5000, version is (F5K_firmware_1.3.0.8.exe) was selected.

NOTE: The first part of the firmware file name designates the type of radio it is for, either "F5K" for the FLEX-5000 or "F3K" for the FLEX-3000.

Step 2: Open the folder where you stored the Firmware installer program. In the example below, the downloaded file is labeled F5K_firmware_1.3.0.8.exe

Installing the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware Update (AutoBurn)
To apply the FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 firmware, you “flash” the FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 using the firmware installer program previously downloaded.   Please follow the steps below to upgrade your FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 to a new firmware version.

NOTE: The example below is for the FLEX-5000.  The examples for the FLEX-3000 will be very similar, but some of the text will be FLEX-3000 specific.

Step 1: Before you start the actual firmware update process, make sure your computer is communicating with the FLEX-5000 or FLEX-3000 by successfully opening the FLEX Firewire Control Panel.

WARNING: You must have the FLEX-5000/3000 connected to the computer and turned on before executing this step. Do not turn off the power or unplug the FLEX-5000/3000 during the firmware update. This will result in corrupted firmware.

WARNING: Make sure PowerSDR is NOT running while updating the FLEX-5000/3000 firmware.

STEP 2: To begin the firmware update process, double left click on the Firmware Update file from the folder you downloaded in the previous step above. 

In this example the file is F5K_firmware_1.3.0.8.exe.  Make note of the program icon that depicts an arrow pointing down on a firmware chip.  All FlexRadio System firmware installer programs will have this icon.

NOTE: Depending on your operating system, you may receive a security warning that the publisher of the firmware executable can not be verified or is unknown.  If you receive this notice, click on the RUN button to continue.

The first screen of the firmware upgrade process is shown below. Press any key such as the SPACE BAR to start the firmware upgrade.

If the firmware you are installing has a FLEX-5000/3000 Firewire device driver or PowerSDR 1.x dependency, a warning screen will be displayed like the one shown below.  If you have met the criteria, press any key to continue.  If you are in doubt or have not met the criteria, press the [CRTL] and the "C" keys together. Then answer "Y" to the Terminate Batch Job (Y/N) prompt.

The first step of the firmware upgrade process loads the binary into memory.   The screen below shows the binary upload in progress.

NOTE: If you have provided and alternate name for your FLEX-5000/3000 in the FLEX-5000/3000 Firewire device driver setup (control panel), it will be displayed as the unit name that is being upgraded.  In the example above, the FLEX-5000A has been renamed to FLEX-5000A_W4TME

The second step of the firmware upgrade process deletes the existing firmware (image) on the FLEX-5000/3000.  The third step of the firmware upgrade process copies the firmware image to the FLEX-5000/3000.  The screen below shows the firmware being programed to the FLEX-5000 in progress.

Once the firmware upgrade is complete, the following screen is displayed.  Press any key, such as the SPACE BAR to finish the firmware upgrade process.

Verifying a Successful Update of the FLEX-5000/3000 Firmware
The FLEX-5000/3000 must reset or reboot before the new firmware is initialized.   The final step of the firmware upgrade process is to automatically issue a software reset of the FLEX-5000/3000.   If this is successful, you will hear a relay click several seconds after the last screen of the firmware upgrade process is displayed.

WARNING: If you do not hear the relay click or have any doubt that the FLEX-5000/3000 did not reset, then manually shut off the power and restart the FLEX-5000/3000.

Step 1: The last screen that will be displayed is the completion screen for the Firmware AutoBurn program.  Left click on the OK button to close the Firmware AutoBurn program.

Accessing the Firmware Release Notes

Refer to the following KB article for review the firmware release notes information:

Accessing the FLEX-x000 Firmware Release Notes

This KB article may reference additional files that are available on the FlexRadio Systems web site Downloads page. Please use the URL(s) below to download the referenced materials.

An Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to open the file. You can download Adobe Acrobat from here.

KB Source Document(s):

None Referenced

Rate this Article:

Add Your Comments

Comment require login or registration.

Last Modified:Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Last Modified By: Administrator
Rated 5 stars based on 1 vote
Article has been viewed 13,256 times.