Monday, 3 June 2013

Obihai OBi100 - How To Update Firmware - Manually

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) or Google Voice.  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.  Thus, if it isn't the latest release of firmware that's installed, it's old.

So, who cares?  Well, you do if you are experiencing unsolvable performance issues.  And, the reality is, all software/firmware has bugs, or performance deficiencies.  And, this is why manufacturers periodically issue firmware/software updates.  If not to fix bugs, certainly to enhance or improve device performance and the user experience.

So, let's get started with checking and updating the OBi100 firmware...


Preparation For the Upgrade Procedure:
  1. Make sure the OBi100 Internet Port (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. Plug-in your analog telephone into the Phone jack (RJ-11) located on the back panel of the ATA.
  5. Connect power to the OBi100 ATA.

What Firmware Version is Currently Running on Your OBi100?
I will now cover two basic methods for manually checking and updating your OBi100 installed firmware version:
  1. Using the OBi100 IVR system.
  2. Using your PC web browser to connect to the OBi100 login screen and then running the update from the browser interface.
Note:
At the time of this article, the latest "manually downloadable" firmware version for OBi100 was version:  1.3.0.2774    You may also see it referred to as:  1.3.0 (build 2774)

Note-2:
The methods I describe here are for people interested in "manually" configuring and administering their OBi100 the DIY way.  If you configured and linked your OBi device to register on the OBiTalk administration portal at www.obitalk.com, then whatever changes you do here may be overwritten by the auto-provisioning features enabled via the OBiTalk network portal.  I myself am not registered via the OBiTalk administration portal and therefore any settings I make will not be overwritten via OBiTalk remote administration portal.  I am currently noticing that when my OBi100 is linked via OBiTalk portal, the portal auto-updates my firmware to a slightly newer version than is available for manual download.  I'm accepting this as OK for me, for now (It would be interesting to know why the disparity exists, though).


Checking Firmware Version Using the IVR
This is a strait forward procedure:
  • Take the phone Off-Hook and dial three stars, followed by digits 0, 1,  #  (i.e.:  ***01# ).
  • The OBi100 IVR will read back to you your currently installed firmware version number.
  • When done, you can press the * key again to exit the IVR.

Updating Firmware Using the IVR
The IVR code  " ***6 "  will check the Obihai web site directly for the latest version of firmware available and compare that version against the version installed in your OBi100.
  • Take the phone Off-Hook and dial three stars, followed by the number (i.e.:  ***6 ).
  • Now, the IVR will respond as follows:
 - "Please wait...",  followed by one of the following possibilities:

     1)  "Software Update Not Available". 
            OR
     2)   "Software Update Available.  Press 1 to update software".


  1. If no update is available, either hang-up the phone, or press the star key ( * ) to exit the IVR.
       OR
  2. If an update is available, you will be prompted to press "1" and hang up the phone to proceed.
    After you press "1" and hang-up, OBi100 will begin downloading the update file.  You will know this is happening when the OBi100 power LED starts flashing orange.  Once the file download is complete, the OBi100 will reboot.  The entire process will only take about 30 - 40 seconds to complete.
Either way, once you complete this procedure, you will either know that you are currently running the latest available firmware, or that an update is available for download.



Check Version Using The Web Browser Configuration Utility
When you first log into the OBi100 using the administrator account, you will land on the System Status page.  Here, you will find the Software Version currently running in your OBi100 VoIP ATA.



Now that you know the firmware version running in the OBi100, you can make the decision to upgrade, or not.

Manually Updating Your OBi100 Firmware
Manually updating your OBi100 firmware consists of  first downloading the firmware from Obihai's web site to a local folder on your PC, and then manually initiating the installation from your PC web browser while logged into the OBi100 configuration web utility.

Download Latest Firmware Version From Obihai Web Site
Obihai posts the latest OBi100 version of firmware on their web site, at the following URL:

http://fw.obihai.com/OBi-latest.fw

You can either click on this link above, or copy and past it into your web browser (I'm using Google Chrome for my downloads).  Visiting this link will automatically initiate the firmware file download to your PC, via your web browser.  You may want to create a new folder for downloading Obihai files to, on your PC.

Unfortunately, Obihai doesn't specify the actual version number of the download - but, it is supposed to be the latest downloadable version available.

Preparation For the Upgrade Procedure:
  1. It is highly recommended your PC be connected via Ethernet cable, vs. wireless link, while doing firmware upgrades.
  2. Login to the OBi100 using your PC's web browser.

The UPGRADE FIRMWARE PROCEDURE:
  • Once you are logged into the OBi100 configuration utility, navigate to the Device Update page, located under the System Management menu.
  • At the top of the window, in the Firmware Update section, click the Choose File button.


  • Navigate to the latest version of firmware that you have recently downloaded from Obihai web site to your local hard drive.
  • Once you find the local downloaded file, click the OPEN button from the File Open dialog box.



  • Once you confirm that the selected file is the correct file, click the Update button.


  • A pop-up dialog box will appear asking you to confirm this action by clicking on the OK button.


  • After clicking the OK button, the upgrade procedure will commence. You should see the Power LED start flashing orange, which indicates firmware is uploading, and then it will reboot.  The complete upgrade and reboot will only take about 30 - 40 seconds to complete.
  • You can now navigate back to the Status page and confirm your latest version of downloaded firmware.

    If OBihai hasn't issued any new updates, you may find you still have the same version as before running this procedure.  No harm done.  It's good practice   :)

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