Monday, 18 July 2016

Obi200 - 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).  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 OBi200 firmware...


Preparation For the Upgrade Procedure:
  1. Make sure the OBi200 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 NAT-Router/switch.
  3. Connect your PC to a LAN port on your NAT-Router/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 OBi200 ATA.

What Firmware Version is Currently Running on Your OBi200?
I will now cover two basic methods for manually checking and updating your OBi200 installed firmware version:
  1. Using the OBi200 IVR system.
  2. Using your PC web browser to connect to the OBi200 login screen and then running the update from the browser interface.


Note-1:
The firmware version of my OBi200 that I just received in the mail as factory new came with Version:  3.0.1 (Build: 4492).  I plan to remedy this situation real soon!

Note-2:
At the time of this article, the latest "manually downloadable" firmware version for OBi200 was version:  3.1.0.5264    You may also see it referred to as:  3.1.0 (build 5264)

Note-3:
The methods I describe here (and all my OBi articles) are for people interested in "manually" configuring and administering their OBi200 the DIY way.    I myself am not registered via the OBiTalk administration portal.  

While testing, I have noticed that if my OBi200 is linked via OBiTalk portal, the portal auto-updates my firmware to a slightly newer version than what is available for manual download.  In terms of manual firmware upgrades, 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 OBi200 IVR will read back to you your currently installed firmware version number.
  • When done, you can press the * key again to exit the IVR, or just hang up the phone.

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 OBi200.
  • 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, the OBi200 will begin downloading the update file.  You will know this is happening when the OBi200 power LED starts flashing orange.  Once the file download is complete, the OBi200 will reboot.  The entire process will will take a few minutes to complete.  So, please be patient and do not interrupt the firmware update process.
    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 OBi200 using the administrator account, you will land on the System Status page.  Here, you will find the Software Version currently running in your OBi200 VoIP ATA:


    Now that you know the firmware version running in the OBi200, you can make the decision to upgrade, or not.


    Manually Updating Your OBi200 Firmware
    Manually updating your OBi200 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 OBi200 configuration web utility.


    Download Latest Firmware Version From Obihai Web Site
    Obihai posts the latest(?)  OBi200 version of firmware on their web site, at the following URL:

    http://fw.obihai.com/OBi2-latest.fw

    Clicking on the above URL will initiate an immediate download of OBi2-latest.fw file via your browser. You can either click on the link above, or copy and past it into your web browser (I'm using Google Chrome for my downloads).  Visiting this link address will automatically initiate the firmware file download to your PC, via your web browser.

    You may want to create a new folder on your PC for downloading Obihai files to.

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



    Preparation For the Upgrade Procedure:
    1. It is highly recommended that your PC be directly connected via Ethernet cable.  Avoid using a wireless link while performing firmware upgrades - it's not recommended for reliability reasons.
       
    2. Login to the OBi200 using your PC's web browser.

    The UPGRADE FIRMWARE PROCEDURE:
    • Once you are logged into the OBi200 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 are assured 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.  Once fully uploaded, OBi200 will then reboot itself.  



    The entire process will will take a few minutes to complete.  So, please be patient and do not interrupt the firmware update process.

    • 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, we're done!  Until next time...