Simply put, version 3 means no more ‘bricked’ units. The Zeus version 3 upgrade is a set of software modifications that enable the unit to recover from a failed programming attempt. In the event of a failed programming attempt, the user can simply and easily recover.
When we say that we are ‘burning a bin’ into the Zeus, we are really reprogramming flash memory. The way that flash memory works requires that it be erased and then programmed, in that order. When you press the ‘OK Burn it!’ button in ZeusControl, the Zeus starts erasing itself before your finger has released the button on your mouse. From that point until the programming is complete, anything that disturbs the process will result in an inoperative unit, i.e. ‘bricked’. Things that can cause this range from power being turned off to the Zeus while programming, bad cable connection, flaky USB to serial adapter, or occasionally Windows will just decide that it doesn’t like something and will stop the process midstream. End result is the same –> ‘bricked’.
To ensure that this would never happen again, version 3 was developed. While all of the things listed above will still cause programming to fail, you will no longer be locked out of your unit. A bootloader has been added that never gets erased, this code will allow you recover and retry burning your zbin. To be clear, a bad cable connection or unreliable USB to serial adapter may continue to cause the programming to fail. These are problems that the user is responsible for correcting. However, you may retry burning your zbin as many times as you like, you will never be locked out!
Using the recover feature is easy. For example, say that for some reason your zbin burning failed and your Zeus is inoperative.
- Power down the Zeus (turn off the key).
- Stop and then restart ZeusControl (not strictly necessary but good practice anyway)
- With ZeusControl running, hold down the ‘Recover’ button with your mouse.
- Turn the key on while holding down the ‘Recover’ button.
- Release the ‘Recover’ button.
- All v3 binary files end in ‘.zbin,’ v2 files end in ‘.bin’. If you have v3 on your Zeus and accidentally burn in a v2 .bin, don’t worry, just recover and try again! On the other hand, if you have a v2 Zeus and burn in a .zbin you will have bricked your unit.
- There is no difference in performance between v2 and v3. The code that actually runs the engine is exactly the same. The difference is in the bootloader and other ‘under the hood’ code.
- All new Zeus units come with v3 installed. We hope to upgrade all units in the field by the end of the year. Until then the v2 software will be maintained in sync with v3. All features and improvements in v3 will also be added to v2. When v3.2 changes to v3.3, v2.2 will change to v2.3.