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RC4 Knowledge Base

RC4 CodeLoader for Firmware Updates

Updating the firmware on your devices to access new features and upgrades has never been simpler than with our new CodeLoader3 program for Mac and PC. Below are directions for easy installation and program usage.

Downloading the CodeLoader Software

Download the CodeLoader program, for Mac or PC at this page

It is recommended that you use the RC4 CodeLoader cable, which contains a genuine FTDI USB interface chip and appears in the system as a COM port.

In a system with multiple COM ports, you must select the correct one within the CodeLoader program.

LumenDim and W-DIM Devices

When CodeLoading W-DIM and LumenDim devices, the RF card must be functionally disconnected (not physically disconnected).  The easiest way to accomplish this is to turn off the transmitter it is paired to.  When no transmitter is present, the RF card disconnects.

Alternatively, you can un-pair the device from the transmitter:
Press and hold the RF button for several seconds, until the blue RF LED goes off.

No other special precautions or additional steps are required when bootloading RC4Magic Series 3, LumenDim and W-DIM devices.

RC4Magic Series 3 and RC4Magic-900

Before CodeLoading an RC4Magic device, it is recommended that RC4 Commander is installed and configured, and has learned your unique system ID codes. The software can either learn your IDs by reading them from one of your RC4Magic devices, or you can request an encrypted RC4 System ID file (.idq file type) from RC4 Wireless by using our Ticket Support System. 

Failure to restore factory defaults after updating firmware can result in error messages when reading the device with the RC4 Commander configuration software.  Restore factory defaults to resolve this problem using the steps at the end of this article.

**If the CodeLoading process causes your unique system IDs to be lost or corrupted, it is easy to restore them using RC4 Commander, but ONLY if your RC4 Commander installation has already learned them and you have a working RC4Magic Dongle or other device in Dongle Mode.

RC4 CodeLoading Steps

Hold the Func button while applying power. The green COP indicator will illuminate without blinking, indicating the CodeLoader is active. If no CodeLoading begins within 5 seconds, the device stops waiting and starts up normally.

  1. Be sure the RC4 CodeLoader cable is connected to one of your computer’s USB ports.
  2. Connect the other end of the CodeLoader cable to the device being updated by inserting the 3.5mm miniplug into the the small receptacle on the RC4 device.
  3. Open the RC4 CodeLoader program, select the correct COM port (for the CodeLoader cable), and choose the device type you are wanting to update from the menu. If you have powered your device before this step, it may automatically be detected by CodeLoader and appear on screen, suggesting the device type it thinks you want to update, you may proceed with this.
  4. Continuing with the setup phase, you will be prompted to load your System IDs into the program before updating. Take this moment to upload your .idq file with your personal System IDs.
  5. You will proceed to progress to the updating step. Sometimes you may encounter a preliminary step to blank your device. To complete this step, hold the Func button while applying power to your device and press “Begin Blanking”. Once this step has succeeded, you may continue to the next page.
  6. The next step will repeat the same steps: remove power from your device, hold the Func button, reapply power, and press “Transmit Data”  (See that the COP light is on, not blinking when you apply power to your device, this will indicate CodeLoader Mode. You have 5 seconds to being CodeLoading during this time). If you miss the 5 second timeout, try again. No harm is done, and no code in the device has been changed.

If the green progress bar crawls all the way to the left then no device was found. The most likely causes of this are:

  • The wrong COM port is selected.
  • The Func button was not held at the moment power was applied.  A second person or a small vice can be helpful.
  • CodeLoader cable drivers are not installed or are incorrectly installed.

When the device is found, the progress bar jumps to the left and immediately crawls left to right as code is loaded into the device. When the bar reaches the the far right the process is complete and the RC4 device should restart, running the new firmware.  A programming success or fail message is displayed in the program window below the progress bar.

If incompatible firmware is loaded into a device, it will indicate this with a repeating LED pattern of two blinks of the RFdata LED then two blinks of the COP LED. The only way to correct this is to load a firmware file that is intended for the device. For example, you will see this LED pattern if you try to load DMX2dim firmware into a DMX4dim device. To recover, repeat the steps using the file for a DMX4dim

Restore Factory Defaults After Updating

In most cases it is necessary to restore factory default settings after updating firmware. This is because new features often reorganize how non-volatile-memory (where settings are saved) is used — new settings are needed, and previously settings are rearranged to make the best use of available space.

Restore Factory Defaults for all devices (except the DMXIO) with the device powered on by holding the Func button and tapping the button directly next to it (Set A Button). If you are using a Lumen device, do this with the button that is NOT the RF button (no harm will be done by this, but you will not have restored factory defaults this way, just try again!) Three LEDs will blink at the same time, indicating the process has worked.

Restore Factory Defaults for the DMXIO with the device powered on by holding the Func button and tapping the Public ID button.Three LEDs will blink at the same time, indicating the process has worked.

If you update and then encounter odd behavior, which can include unusual LED displays and incorrect or absence of dimmer output, restore factory defaults.

After you restore factory defaults you will need to reconfigure the dimmer for your application. This can be inconvenient when updating a device in a running show.  For this reason we recommend updating before starting a new project, unless you need the update to correct an anomaly or add a new feature.