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ION73xx Firmware Upgrade Recovery

Release Notice


This KB article describes a new feature added to ION Setup V2.2 in Build 716 which allows a user to recover a failed firmware upgrade on any ION73xx family product.

When an ION73xx meter firmware upgrade gets interrupted by a loss of communications, power loss or any other means there is still a way to recover from its failed state. Previously, using ION Setup, users could go through a manually process to recover the firmware upgrade. The changes made to ION Setup in V2.2, build 716, detects if the device is in a “failed upgrade state” and prompts the user to recover the firmware upgrade.

It is important to note that if you experience a failed upgrade on an ION73xx series meter, any settings or changes made to the template of your device will not be retained. These settings include PT/CT settings, Clock Settings, Nameplate Settings, Energy Readings and ITC Settings. This is because during upgrade, the settings of the template are temporarily backed up to the computer via ION Setup. When the connection is lost and ION Setup is restarted those settings are not retained. In this case a saved copy of the template being used will be required. If you do not have a saved copy of your particular template, you can manually restore appropriate settings using the factory supplied template.

Goals and Symptoms

firmware upgrade frozen
upgrade failure
ION Setup v2.1
ION Setup v2.2

ION Setup v2.2 build 716

Causes and Fixes

One known cause of this problem is the loss of main power to the meter during a firmware upgrade.


1) How to tell if your upgrade has failed
During normal operation the meter will display the text “Upgrading…” on the LCD screen.  Also the communication LED (L2) will be toggling as communication traffic goes back and forth from the computer or server to the meter.

Additionally, the “Firmware Upgrade” dialog box in ION Setup will show status updates every 10% during the firmware upgrade process.

If there are any troubles with communications between the meter and the computer ION setup will show entries in the Firmware Upgrade dialog box that look like the ones shown below.

In this case the RS-485 cable that was connected to the meter was disconnected to simulate a loss of communications.  These messages are just signs that communications have been lost for one reason or another.  In this case the user should not assume that their meter is broken.  If the user finds that these messages continue then they may choose to Abort the upgrade and restart.  However they should first be sure that the communication line between the computer and the meter is properly connected before aborting the upgrade.

    • Note:  If a user chooses to restart their firmware upgrade it is not necessary and not recommended to power cycle their meter before restarting the upgrade.

In this example the RS-485 connection was re-connected after two “No Response” entries into the Firmware Upgrade dialog box.  As seen below the upgrade process continued once the connection was re-established.

If communications do not resume ION Setup will try to re-establish communications a number of times.  If there is no response after those tries ION Setup will consider the upgrade a failure and end the process.  The log below displays what this situation would look like.
Excerpt from the ION Setup Upgrade.log file:

This is the beginning of the firmware upgrade process.  ION Setup records the date, meter type, Serial Number, Unit ID and baud rate.
Also each step in the process is documented here.


Upgrade started at Thursday, March 06, 2008 3:57:48 PM

Software Version (Build): Version 2.1 (Build 676)
Firmware Version = 7350V283
Firmware dated Wed Aug 22 13:24:58 2007
Device Name = ion7350
Device Serial Number = PC-0209A001-11
Device Unit ID = 105
Device BaudRate = 9600
Device already in download state
Flash memory cleared
Proceeding with firmware download
10% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
20% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
30% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
40% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
50% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
60% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
70% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
80% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%
90% completed
Comm efficiency = 100.0%

This is where ION Setup tries to re-send communication packets to the meter and waits for a response.


No response... resending (1 of 439)

No response... resending (2 of 440)
No response... resending (3 of 441)
No response... resending (4 of 442)
No response... resending (5 of 443)
No response... resending (6 of 444)
No response... resending (7 of 445)
No response... resending (8 of 446)
No response... resending (9 of 447)
No response... resending (10 of 448)
No response... aborting (11 of 449)
Upgrade failed at Thursday, March 06, 2008 5:07:48 PM

After a number of tries ION Setup will end the upgrade process. You will see the following screen once an upgrade has failed.
Exit this screen and you will be advised that communication has been lost, as seen below.
Press OK and you will be prompted again as seen below.
Completely exit ION Setup and proceed to the next step to recover your firmware upgrade.

2 )  How to restart the upgrade process.
Open ION Setup. With this new feature added to ION Setup, resuming your firmware upgrade is as simple as restarting ION Setup in “Single ION device configuration mode”. Make sure to select the check box to use Single ION device configuration mode, as shown below.

Upon startup in single meter mode, you will be prompted to choose a connection type. Select the appropriate connection type, enter the appropriate information (port, phone number or IP), and press OK to connect to the desired device.

This is the point at which ION Setup will recognize if your ION 73xx family meter is currently in upgrade mode. You will be prompted as seen below. Select “Yes” to recover your firmware upgrade.

At this point you will be prompted to select an ION Firmware Upgrade file (*.UPG), as shown below. Select the firmware file required for the upgrade. Press “Open”.

ION Setup will now resume your upgrade as shown below.

Once the upgrade is completed the following prompt will appear.

Press “Exit” and you will be returned to the “Select Connection Type” screen, shown below. At this stage in the process you will be prompted to upload the appropriate template to the device.

Again, select the appropriate connection type, enter the appropriate information (port, phone number or IP), and press OK to connect to the device. You will now be brought to the “Setup Assistant” screen. Click on the “Template” settings found in the left pane. Now click the “Send to Meter” tab shown below. This will allow you to select and upload the appropriate template to the meter. Click the “Send” button shown below.

You will now be prompted by the following window.

Click “OK” and you will be prompted to select the ION Setup Device Configuration File (Template). Select the template you wish to apply to the meter and press “Open”.

You will now be prompted by the “Template Paste Options” window. As explained at the top of this article, when a failed firmware upgrade occurs, custom settings saved to your template are not retained. As a consequence the template paste options screen has no effect. The check boxes shown in the graphic below can be left checked or not – as they have no effect. Again, the settings and data below (PT/CT settings, Clock Settings, Nameplate Settings, Energy Readings, ITC Settings), will not be retained and must be manually restored.

Once you have pressed “OK” on the window above, you will see the following status window appear indicating the template is being uploaded to the device. Allow the process to complete.

Upon completion the window below will appear indicating the template was successfully applied to the device.

Press “OK” and you will be returned to the “Setup Assistant” window. One last step remains. It is recommended to once again, completely exit ION Setup and reconnect to the device. This is to ensure that ION Setup returns to normal operating mode instead of “Firmware Recovery Mode”. The upgrade recovery of your ION73xx family device is now complete.

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