Sunday, 17 February 2013

Cisco SPA112 VoIP ATA - How to Update Firmware

Knowing how to update the firmware on your VoIP ATA is a very important topic.  It's not as sexy a subject as how to configure the ATA with VoIP service providers (VSP's).  After all, most people just want to start making phone calls once they plug-in their shiny new VoIP box.

The fact is, most ATA's ship with old(er) firmware installed.  If it isn't the latest release of firmware for the product that's installed, it's old.  Actually, I was astonished to find that the firmware installed on my recent shiny new Cisco SPA112 ATA was version 1.0.2.006 - released 14 Dec, 2011.  When I checked to see what the latest released version was on Cisco's web site, I saw that it was version 1.3.1(003) - released 10 January, 2013.  That means my ATA was shipped with firmware ~ 13 months out-dated.  And, there have been 3 version updates since it was manufactured.


So, who cares?  Well, the SPA112 is still essentially in it's life-cycle infancy (it replaces its predecessor, the PAP2T).  And, the trend these days seems to be to release products well before they are truly ready for prime time.  From the forum discussions I have read regarding the SPA112 and SPA122, these devices have been riddled with firmware bugs over the past year or so since their release.  Therefore, if you (and I) want to have as few problems with your ATA as possible, it's essential to always ensure you are running the latest tested release of firmware.  Eventually, I'm sure they will get it right  :)

So, let's get started with updating our firmware...


Update - March 2015
Always read the firmware Release Notes very carefully before proceeding with updates. Some of the latest Cisco firmware releases are dependent on previously firmware releases and hardware versions.



What Version is Currently Running on Your SPA112?
I will now cover two basic methods for checking your device installed firmware version:
  1. Using the SPA112 IVR system.
  2. Connecting your PC web browser to the SPA112 Login Screen.

Checking Firmware Version Using the IVR
This is a strait forward procedure:
  1. Power-up the SPA112
  2. Plug-in your Analog telephone into the Phone 1 or Phone 2 jack (RJ-11) located on the back panel of the ATA.
  3. Take the phone Off-Hook and dial four stars ( * * * * ) to access the IVR system.
  4. Then dial the Firmware Version Code:  150#.
    You will now hear the IVR system read back to you the current firmware version installed.
  5. Hang-up the phone to put it back On-Hook to finish.


Checking The Firmware Version Using The Phone Adapter Configuration Utility
There are various places you can find the current firmware version listed within the Cisco SPA112 Phone Adapter Configuration Utility.  The easiest first place to look is directly on the Configuration Utility Login page.  You can do this by entering the IP address assigned to the SPA112 into your web browser address window:


Don't know the IP address?
I have written an in-depth article covering the subject of Logging in to the SPA112 in a previous article:
"How To Login As Administrator".
That article explains how to find your IP address and logging-in related issues.

Now that you know the firmware version running on the SPA112, you can make the decision to upgrade, or not.  In my case, the decision was a no-brainer - go for it!


Download Latest Firmware Version From Cisco's Web Site   - HERE

Update: Jan. 15, 2016
As at Jan 15, 2016 the latest version available for download was version 1.4.1


The version I will be downloading is Version 1.3.1(003).  It was the latest at time of this article.
The downloads all reside on the Cisco Small Business Support web site.




Once you have selected the appropriate firmware version, click on the Download button.

Decide where you will save the downloading  .zip  file.


Now that you have downloaded the firmware to a local folder on your PC, unzip it in preparation for the upgrade procedure.

Note:
Be sure to always read the Release Notes that accompany the new firmware release.



Preparation For the Upgrade Procedure:
  1. Make sure the SPA112 Internet Port (blue Ethernet RJ-45 jack) is connected to an Ethernet cable.
  2. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to a LAN port on your Router, or switch.
  3. Connect your PC to a LAN port on your Router, or switch.
  4. Power-up the SPA112 ATA
  5. Make sure the IP address assigned to the SPA112 is on the same sub-net as your PC, so they can establish a communications link between each other.
  6. Login to the SPA112 using your PC's web browser.  I'm using Google's Chrome browser.

The UPGRADE FIRMWARE PROCEDURE:
  1. Once you are logged into the SPA112, navigate to the Administration menu.
  2. Click on the Firmware Upgrade menu item in the left-side window pane.
  3. Now that you are in the Firmware Upgrade window, note the displayed current firmware version.
  4. Click on the " Choose File " button.

  5. Navigate to the latest version of firmware that you have recently downloaded to the local hard drive.

  6. Select the unzipped firmware .bin file to be uploaded to the ATA.  Then click the Open button.
    Note that the SPA112 and SPA122 ATA's now use the same firmware .bin file for upgrades.
  7. Once you confirm that the selected file is the correct file, click the UPGRADE button.

  8. You will then be greeted with a WARNING message that remains there for about 30 seconds.

  9. Then, the UPGRADE SUCCESSFUL message appears and lasts for about 60 seconds.

  10. Then, the Phone Adapter Configuration Utility login page finally reappears.
    You may want to wait another 30 seconds or so before logging-in, as you will be greeted with a message saying the Voice Utility page is not available yet.
  11. The whole process takes at least a full 2 minutes to complete successfully.
    Once the ATA Power LED stops blinking - after the 2 minute wait period - you should be good to go and can login, once again.

That's it, were done!  Until next time...


Update - March 2015
Always read the firmware Release Notes very carefully before proceeding with updates. Some of the latest Cisco firmware releases are dependent on previously firmware releases and hardware versions.

Update Jan 15, 2016
As at Jan 15, 2016 the latest version available for download is version 1.4.1