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Thread: Main Repeater bricked during firmware update - can anything be done to prevent?

  1. #1
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    Main Repeater bricked during firmware update - can anything be done to prevent?

    I saw an existing system today that was running the Home+ app which was working but the customer wanted the app on their phone and so I explained the whole thing about how the app that's working perfectly fine is no longer supported and convinced them to get a connect bridge. As luck would have it, they had one in stock locally so I went and got one. I connected to the system with ethernet and it had no issues locating the main repeater on static IP and no problem adding the connect bridge. I thought I was going to be lucky.

    All I needed to do was update the firmware to 11.6 (from 7.8ish) and upload the program and I would be home free. Except that the firmware update hung up at 10%. After a few minutes I got the notice that it could not update the firmware and to power cycle the main repeater which I did, but then it was just blinking green and when I went to update the firmware again, it showed me that the current OS was version 0.00. Again, it hung up at 10%.

    That's when I knew I was in trouble. I called tech support and we attempted to update again by doing the old static IP address trick and agian it hung up on 10%...

    After getting the date code I was told that this was a known issue with that particular date code and Lutron was nice enough to order a replacement; however, I was told it was backordered. I also called my local supplier and they didn't have anything either so there I was out on an island having to tell a brand new customer I met an hour earlier that his system was completely dead. Fortunately, for NOW he's understanding but I really really hate being in that position. I tried power cycling and updating one more time and this time it went up to 40% before the green blinking turned into red blinking on M-4 and green on the bottom. From what I've read, that means it's bricked totally.

    So my question is did I do something wrong? This is the first main repeater that's bricked on my watch. Just last week I did almost 8 years of updates on a 2 processor system and it didn't miss a beat. How did one little system die so easily? Is there a reference to date codes that has known issues so I can avoid updating those or at least give the customer a warning before hand?

  2. #2
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    I don't know if it's limited to my experience, but the latest Inclusive seems very picky about having the main repeaters on THE SAME network switch as the computer doing the transfers. There's some shenanigans with multicast that do not lend themselves to doing transfers from across an otherwise perfectly well-functioning network. I do not recall having anywhere near the same trouble with rev 10.x and 11.x software. But now, as a rule, I never attempt to do transfers unless I'm plugged into exactly the same switch as the repeaters, and absolutely not via WiFi.

  3. #3
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    Well this particular house was recently purchased and came with a RA2 system which is integrated with an RTI system. When the new owner got internet service from comcast, it came with 10.0.1.x on the router with SSID#1 but then they added a new router and SSID#2 which was 192.168.4.x but then the Lutron Home+ app and RTI integration wasn't working so because of that, they kept the old SSID#3 along with its networking scheme which is 192.168.0.x which are only used by Lutron and RTI. I hope to god that it's not a double NAT in there but he has an actual networking guy so I hope these are just virtual networks.

    So my goal was to add the connect bridge to the 192.168.0.x network and once the system's database was uploaded, have the homeowner connect to that network with their phone and install the connect app and once everything was working, have them use whatever internet he wanted to to use the app. Unfortunately the main repeater crapped the bed during the firmware update. I WAS connected via ethernet to the same switch.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCoog View Post
    Well this particular house was recently purchased and came with a RA2 system which is integrated with an RTI system. When the new owner got internet service from comcast, it came with 10.0.1.x on the router with SSID#1 but then they added a new router and SSID#2 which was 192.168.4.x but then the Lutron Home+ app and RTI integration wasn't working so because of that, they kept the old SSID#3 along with its networking scheme which is 192.168.0.x which are only used by Lutron and RTI. I hope to god that it's not a double NAT in there but he has an actual networking guy so I hope these are just virtual networks.

    So my goal was to add the connect bridge to the 192.168.0.x network and once the system's database was uploaded, have the homeowner connect to that network with their phone and install the connect app and once everything was working, have them use whatever internet he wanted to to use the app. Unfortunately the main repeater crapped the bed during the firmware update. I WAS connected via ethernet to the same switch.
    Yeah, that networking stuff raises other complications. As you realize, double-NAT is generally a "bad plan" network-wise. People try throwing 'stuff at it' and often end up making their network worse. Best to flatten things and have your devices on as close to the source ISP connection as possible (logical network-wise). Last I checked the Xfinity stuff did not do an effective job of handling anything other than a basic network scenario. VLANs and such were not in it's wheelhouse. If he has a "networking guy" and let things like that happen... he needs a different network guy.

    But I sympathize on the 'not my scope of work' complications.

  5. #5
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    Yeah the "not my scope of work" stuff has gotten harder and harder over the years, at least for me. I'm an electrician with who has a computer programming background (C, Javascript, Python, etc) and a working knowledge of IT stuff. I never worked as an IT guy so I know enough to know I'm not an expert. If a customer has a boiler plate home network from their local ISP then there is no issue at all, I can set up my system, set up the app for them, help them integrate with Alexa, etc.

    In the past (say 17 years ago), most people I knew who worked on these systems were also electricians or worked for an electrical contractor and didn't have ANY IT knowledge because the work was very electrical heavy- We were dealing with halogen bulbs, a lot of magnetic low voltage loads that required very close load calculations, running power for the panels, making sure the panels were stripped out, grounded properly, passed inspection, etc. and programming was centered around lighting. If and this is a big if, the homeowner wanted to tie their audio and video systems to the lighting, the integrator would do that, often with just a serial port. That was the end of it.

    The trend however started being towards whole home automation and SOME people went overboard. I often see houses that have either Homeworks, Vantage (not their fan anymore after Legrand took them over), or Ra2 but then instead of keypads from those systems, I see a touch screen from Savant, C4, Crestron, etc. and of course the person who installed the system is long out of business or wants nothing to do with it. When the lights don't work, I get the call because I'm the electrician and lighting guy but if I try to change something, it would require reprogramming of the system and it could possibly break the integration. With Ra2 at least, I'm glad they give the option to keep the old lutron integration but I think with Homeworks QS that's not an option.

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