Wire-Lists#16: Everything You Need To Know About Firmware Updates: Part 1

Social Media WireLists16 300pxWe’ve had a few recent inquiries through our Facebook page and Customer Service regarding firmware updates – along with some incidents where we discovered the incorrect firmware on a unit sent in for repair. The next three Wire Lists will cover the various pieces of equipment that require firmware updates and how to specifically go about performing them.

What Is Firmware And Why Should I Care About It?


Firmware is a specific type of software that provides low-level control for hardware. Typical examples of hardware devices requiring firmware are appliances, computers, and yes, our transmitters, receivers, and audio processing units. Common reasons for updating firmware include adding features or bug fixes. However, not all updates are things that affect you or the product’s performance, which is why we ask you to review the change log on the product’s Firmware Revision History page before deciding whether or not the update pertains to you. You can always contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are unsure (include your product’s serial number).

If you don’t see a product listed on the Service website, it may be because it is not field-updateable. Examples are the IFBR1A, IFBT4, SMQV and UCR411A models. However, these can be updated at a Service Center if necessary. Firmware revision histories are posted on our website. Consult these to see if there are any updates that you may want to install.

The recent changes to the TV band frequency allocations in the United States and Canada that occurred in the latter part of 2018 cued some to update transmitters with firmware with the “Nu Hybrid” mode. This is not and will not be mandatory; legacy products sold before the new rules took effect are grandfathered in and do not require updating to include the Nu Hybrid mode – as long as they are operated on a legal frequency. However, some users choose to update their products to the new version so that earlier generation and new equipment are interoperable, which can greatly simplify set up. Contact the Factory if doing this is of interest to you.

Where Do I Start?

The first thing to know is whether your model requires use of the USB Firmware Updater program. This can be determined by consulting the Firmware Update page for your model. Versions of this utility are available for Windows and macOS. These can be found here. You may also need to download the FTDI Direct USB Driver if your computer does not already have it installed. Please follow the instructions carefully for each operating system.

Where Do I Find My Firmware Updates?

Firmware updates can be found here, arranged by product. To be alerted when new updates are posted, sign up for the RSS feed on the Support page by subscribing to the Latest Updates, at the very bottom of the page.

Here Is Where It Can Get Complicated

To install firmware updates, either Wireless Designer or the USB Firmware Updater program is usually needed. In the case of products with an SD card interface, the firmware is copied to a micro SD card and then installed using a special procedure (which we will explain later).

Here are links to Firmware Update pages for the following products:

On these pages, you will find instructions for downloading and installing Firmware Updates, along with links to the product’s Firmware Revision History.

We hope that this post helps alleviate some of the confusion around firmware updates. To learn more, you can watch firmware update tutorial videos covering most of our product line on our YouTube channel. Our Facebook group is also contains a wealth of information, and you can usually get helpful answers from the community (several Lectro employees and experienced soundies contribute). And remember, you can always call our Service and Support Department.

Stay tuned for next week’s list, when we discuss products that require Wireless Designer and/or the Updater!