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Thread: How soon after release will Ra3 processor auto-update firmware?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    How soon after release will Ra3 processor auto-update firmware?

    As amazing as the the cloud based nature of Ra3 is with remote control, I have also found it to be a bit heavy handed. For instance, there is a job 3 states away that I took over as a favor to a lighting designer and last I worked on it was 6 months ago. This past week they wanted me to change the keypad engraving labels so he could approve it with the customer. Given that early on we had an incident where the original electrician undid all the work we had done by reuploading old database (and made some more changes), it was very important that we would keep the programming in tact. Because of that, I wanted to sync the database first before going further since it had been a while.

    I had version 23.8 of the software on my laptop but just wanted to take a look at the file again to refresh my memory and to see if any homeowner changes had been made but without my permission, the software not only converted the database to 23.8 but it also saved it to the cloud as 23.8. That's not something I wanted because I wanted to be able to sync with the processor and not attempt any firmware updates until we were ready to finalize the programming. Again, I have no physical access to the house and wanted to wait to upload it when the lighting designer was back at that house in case we'd need to fiddle with a device. It turned out not to be a huge deal because it synced up with the processor right away. As I was just wanted to peek at the file, I didn't save it. So far, no harm done.

    Over the weekend I got the list of the changes they wanted to make so I started up the designer software and saw it had 23.9 available so I installed that and opened the file and again, it converted it to 23.9 and saved it to the cloud but when I went to sync up the database, it told me that the firmware on the processor would need to be updated too, but again, I didn't want to do that yet. I went back and reinstalled 23.8 and tried to work on the file but it told me that I had a newer version and couldn't open it so I had to go back to file history to get the older version.

    So my questions are:

    1. The processor is set to auto-update so when will it get the 23.9 firmware installed? I'd rather the processor do its own updates so I'm not the one doing it during an upload.
    2. I plan on using 23.9 or whatever the latest version is when I do my upload, but supposed the processor has 23.9 firmware on it and I'm still using 23.8, would the upload still work or would I need to download 23.9(again supposing I didn't have it already)? In other words, will an older database install on a processor with new firmware? How far back would it need to go?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    This is exactly why I turn off auto firmware updates on any system I do. We are not in the habit of updating firmware "just because". Unless there is an important security update or a new feature/fix that we need its better to just leave it on whats working, and manually chose to do firmware when we deem its necesasary. Especially during programming phase and before the system is handed off to the client. All these forced updates just make for headaches.

    I too would like to know when they actually get pushed if you have auto update on. Do they get pushed the moment the release goes live? Or do they get pushed at a reasonable time like 3 AM? Would hate to have the lighting system go down in the middle of the day when Lutron releases a new version and the processor decides its time to update. And even if it happens overnight- that can be a life safety issue! What if there is an emergency in the house and you need to turn on lights to assess or even escape but you cant because the Lutron processor is auto updating?

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  4. #3
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    The worry I have about not updating the firmware on the current generation of products is that they are pushing updates like every month now and I don't want to fall behind so far that when I actually do get to updating it, it's been so long that it would cause an issue that they had not tested before for such a big jump. Even in the example above, I got 3 warnings that 3 of my zone toggle programs had been corrupted and to clear and reprogram them. Not sure if that has anything to do with firmware or it was more of a software update.

    Also, For Ra2 and QS, I have like a half dozen different versions installed on my laptop so I was hoping with the new one, I can just use the latest version and keep one or maybe 2 different versions.

  5. #4
    Lutron Technical Support
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    Jul 2023
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    Hello Sparky,
    In regards to your questions. There is no way to determine when your unit will exactly get its update, it will be salted into the update in groups. Here you can see when making a fresh project the default option for updates is 3 am.

    Question 2. While one or two iterations from the top should still be able to connect and transfer without issues. Anything more than that could result in connectivity and transfer issues. As a result we highly suggest always using the most up to date software. In addition it always a good practice to hold onto older versions of the software in a seperate file just in case you come across a project that is not up to date. The older database would have to update to the new firmware in order appropriately.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
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    Thanks Rowdy. So is the goal/best practices that Lutron wants from RA3 (and Homeworks QSX) to make sure both the processor and the software are using the latest version? Personally I like that but I guess like you said, there will be times when a processor hasn't updated yet so I'd keep one previous version around.

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