How to update the MAKO firmware

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King Tiger Commander
King Tiger Commander
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How to update the MAKO firmware

Post by phyrephish » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:50 am

Updating the firmware on MAKO or for that matter any RCTA product other than the RC5HL is a relatively easy process. Updates are performed with the help of the ubiquitous FTDI Basic Breakout board. This is a very common board used to update many types of microcontroller. However, because it is so common FTDI chips have been counterfeited and if you buy a counterfeit chip you will have problems.

RCTA do offer programmer units with genuine FTDI chips in combination with a MANTA LCD ($30).
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Such a product is recommended as besides knowing that it will work, the MANTA LCD is a very easy way to see what your MAKO configuration is and how MAKO is operating. However, if you are on a tight budget you can always buy a regular FTDI basic breakout, program it to invert the TX and RX lines and assemble your own programming cable .

Hobbyking can supply a reliable FTDI breakout for $8 AUD:
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NOTE: FTDI chip retail in numbers less than 10 at about $7 AUD each - so if you find a FTDI breakout for $3 it is probably using a counterfeit chip.

Use FT_Prog to inver the RX and TX lines of the FTDI basic breakout

Get a 3 way JST-ZH cable from eBay ... t+zh+3+way
Middle pin, black wire is GND (V0) and connects to GND on FTDI Breakout
Yellow wire connects to RX on FTDI breakout
Red wire connects to TX on FTDI breakout



Once you have your programmer then you need to download the programmer app
Programmer App

Windows should detect your FTDI board and install the needed drivers. If not you can find them here:

When you have all the above.....

1. Connect the programmer to your computer using USB data cable
2. Open the Programming App - App will detect the correct COM Port of your programmer.
3. Select file for update (this will be a .axe file)
4. Turn on your tank with the MAKO installed to check MAKO is getting power then turn off tank
5. Connect the 3 way JST ZH connector of the programmer to the MAKO/RCTA program port
6. Press PROGRAM on the App and THEN power up your tank with the MAKO/RCTA product installed.

NOTE: MAKO must be powered up normally for the update process to work

If the update involves more than one file, load up the next file and press Program. If you get a "Hardware not found" error message - power off MAKO/RCTA product - press program and THEN power up MAKO/RCTA product.

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