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Old 02-02-2012, 06:14 AM   #1
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KVH Tracvision - updating firmware L3, R5sl

I just finished updating the firmware in a KVH L3 and a KVH R5sl. I updated both the main boards and the RF boards and I found this to be relatively easy.

You need to download the “KVH Flash Update Wizard” which had, for a while, been reserved for authorized dealers only. It is available from KVH at:
http://www.kvh.com/Pages/Flash-Wizard.aspx (Google KVH Flash Update Wizard if it moved…)

Both the L3 and the R5sl use the same wall-mounted plate with on-off switch inside your coach. This plate has two connectors, a serial 9-pin connector to access the main board (on the front) and a RJ11 connection to access the RF board (on the back side).

You can buy a serial 9 pin male to usb adapter (iogear is recommended by KVH but I think any brand will probably work) ($15-$20) and a 6-10 foot USB cable ($5-$10) to do the main board.
I made my own cable to do the RF. You will need a 9 pin female connector ($5) and a telephone handset cord ($5) which is actually a RJ9 (4PAC) cord, the connector is a little narrower than a RJ11. Try it in the connector on the back of the KVH wall plate to see that it fits.
Then cut one end of the cord and connect the wires:
Pin 1 RJ9 (yellow) to pin 5 GND of female DB9
Pin 2 RJ9 (green) to pin 2 TXD of the female DB9
Pin 3 (red) is not used
Pin 4 (black) to pin 3 RXD of the female DB9
You can then connect the DB9 female to the DB9 male of the 9pin serial to USB adapter that you used for the main board.

You need to update the main board first so hook up the main board cable and start the KVH Flash Update Wizard and turn the dome switch to On.
You should see text roll by and you should be able to type commands on the command line. Try “Halt”…
If you are not communicating with the dome at this point you may have to change the COM port # in the Flash Update Wizard:
Go to the Windows Control Panel, then got to Device Manager, then go to Ports (COM & LPT), then double click to see which COM port has been allocated to your USB to serial adapter. You can then go ahead and change the COM port # in the KVH Flash Software to match.
After you are connected to the dome, simply follow the instructions and your firmware will update. I do not know if you still need the Internet access at this point. The updated dome HEX files, I think, may be embedded in the KVH Flash Update software and are updated using the Update button.

After you’ve done the main, switch the cables and repeat in order to do the RF board.

My R5sl went from version 1.17 to 1.26 (main board) and from 1.5 to 2.2 (RF board) and the reason I needed the update is I was using a new receiver from Bell ExpressVu and I was having to switch from Sat A to Sat B using the laptop…

Note that it is also possible to reconfigure your dome for appropriate Satellite provider. I switched my L3 dome from Dish to Bell also using the KVH Flash Update Software (using the command line).
The “SATINSTALL” command is documented in the operator’s manuals. Also note that there may be a little piece of cable hooked up to the RJ11 connector on the wall plate, this is a configuration jumper to tell your dome which Sat provider you’re using. You can remove this cable to do your updates.

Hope this is complete and it helps!
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Thanks, Great info. I am going to try this with my R5.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Nice detailed write up. Thanks for the info.

I too have the KVH Tracvision dome and just canned Direct TV because I could not get it to work while in Florida. Worked fine in NC & GA. I had just installed an new receiver too.

I was under the impression that to change mine from Direct TV to another provider I would have to get on the roof and change a "dip switch" configuration.

Could this update solve that problem?

Dave
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denochs View Post
Nice detailed write up. Thanks for the info.

I too have the KVH Tracvision dome and just canned Direct TV because I could not get it to work while in Florida. Worked fine in NC & GA. I had just installed an new receiver too.

I was under the impression that to change mine from Direct TV to another provider I would have to get on the roof and change a "dip switch" configuration.

Could this update solve that problem?

Dave
You could try an update, what was the symptoms? If you want you could try sending KVH an email with a description of the problem. I sent them a question about the compatibility of receivers and they did give me a free answer accompanied with a note about a $40 fee for troubleshooting if I needed help. They also offer on-going support at $150. per year...
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denochs View Post
Nice detailed write up. Thanks for the info.

I too have the KVH Tracvision dome and just canned Direct TV because I could not get it to work while in Florida. Worked fine in NC & GA. I had just installed an new receiver too.

I was under the impression that to change mine from Direct TV to another provider I would have to get on the roof and change a "dip switch" configuration.

Could this update solve that problem?

Dave

KVH domes do not have dip switches of any kind. Their units are completely software controlled.

If you are going to a DISH Network receiver, just hook it up and let the unit search for the correct satellites. Odds are your dome is already programmed for them. If not run the update wizard as detailed above.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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Is that what that box in the overhead is for? All these years.Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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Note that some KVH domes don't auto-switch between Sats such as the L3. Those need a KVH Sat Switch Remote. Some other domes such as the R5sl will auto-switch on the fly as you switch channels with your receiver remote. Also note that if you use more than one receiver in your RV, all receivers have to be watching channels from the same Sat as the 'primary' receiver which is the receiver hooked up to RF1 on the dish dome. The Winegard Trav'ler is a system with multiple LNB's which will link all your Sats simultaneously so any receiver can watch any channel, the downfall is it's a stationary system (not an in-motion), you have to be parked...
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Another bit of info: The B jumper (or B key) is an RJ11 type connector with green and black shorted together. It hooks up to back of the on-off switchplate to a serial RS232 connector, basically it shorts Rx to Tx. I say an RJ11 type but it's really the RJ9 which is narrower and normally used between the phone and the mouth/ear piece. You can easily make one if you can't find your original.
I don't have an A key but suspect it is a 9 pin connector (male) with pins 2 and 3 shorted together (rx and tx).
All very inexpensive parts you can get at Radio Shack.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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daniel b you are the bomb.. I took your instructions and marched down to my friendly radio shack and made my purchases. I got db9 crimp connectors due to lazyness. I got back to the rv and went to work. I cut the phone handset cord and just like you said, red white white black---- uh oh!! Well i put thee crimp connectors on and fiddled around till it worked--- it worked. Now i have my main and rf boards updated. Downpour now so i cant tell the results but i made an a plug at your suggestion. more to follow. THANKS ALOT!! Happy Memorial day to all, Dean
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
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Daniel B, you seem to be very knowledgeable about the TracVision system. Don't know if you saw my earlier thread about problems with the TracVision S2 system on my MH, but hope you might be able to help. It won't work at all. The light on the wall control flashes three times when I turn the power switch on and then nothing happens after that. Any ideas? Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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I did my updates. I was even able to get 110 119 and 61.5 with 64 sw. but when i tried to get tv, It lost it and the next checkswitch didn't find the same sats. ?? Oh well, I made a patch a key but i have the set on order from my dealer. maybe that will make a difference. Thanks for all the help, Dean
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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Please note that after you have done an update you may also have to update some table values for your satellite configuration.
I am told that the satellite parameters change from time to time.
If your dome does not work, update first and if it still does not work try these commands and if it still does not work you may have to get new values from KVH. KVH charge $40 for over the phone support...
These are the strings of commands you may have to enter:
Commands preceded by the @ sign address the RF board, other commands are for the main board.
Other bits of info I have picked up are
53 is Dish Sat 119
52 is Dish sat 110
61 is Bell sat 91
50 is Bell sat 82
78 identifies Dish
99 identifies Bell
The commands to switch satellites with the Flash Wizard are:
@l,a (to switch to Sat a (expressTv if using Bell)(echo_119 if Dish)
@l,b (to switch to Sat b (expressVU if using Bell)(echo_110 if Dish)
One more detail, I used these commands for a KVH L3 and also for a KVH R5sl. I suspect it's the same for most domes L3 and up.

For "Dish" service (US)
HALT
DEBUGON
SATINSTALL,ECHO_119,ECHO_110
@DEBUGON
@SATCONFIG,A,53,12486,20000,78,0X0104,R,U,3
@SATCONFIG,A,53,12326,20000,78,0X0104,L,U,3
@SAVE,A
@SATCONFIG,B,52,12516,20000,78,0X0106,R,U,3
@SATCONFIG,B,52,12414,20000,78,0X0106,L,U,3
@SAVE,B
@DEBUGOFF
DEBUGOFF
ZAP

For "Bell" service (Canada)
HALT
DEBUGON
SATINSTALL,EXPRESSTV,EXPRESSVU
@DEBUGON
@SATCONFIG,A,61,12428,20000,99,0X0101,R,U,3
@SATCONFIG,A,61,12443,20000,99,0X0101,L,U,3
@SAVE,A
@SATCONFIG,B,50,12428,20000,99,0X0101,R,U,3
@SATCONFIG,B,50,12443,20000,99,0X0101,L,U,3
@SAVE,B
@DEBUGOFF
DEBUGOFF
ZAP
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:05 AM   #13
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More excellent stuff!

What are the sat config commends for, what do they do?

I've been able to use Dish HD, using a trisat install I found in the flash wizard help, either SATINSTALL,DISH,TRISAT for 110,119, & 129
or SATINSTALL,DISH,TRISAT61 for 110, 119, & 61.5

It seems to want to pickup 61.5 here at home in Chicago...

Last time I used it, in Lacrosse, WI it only found 119 and 129, which was weird...

We're about to leave on a 3 week trip to Utah, imagine I'll get to play with this more.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:19 AM   #14
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What are the sat config commends for, what do they do?
KVH domes support Dish, Bell and DirectTV (they do not support Shaw (formerly StarChoice and never will)

Some KVH domes use a jumper (jumper A or jumper B) to define which system is to be used. If not using a jumper the Satinstall command determines which system you are using and what sats are to be located and used.

Not sure about the Trisat command, my system (Bell) only uses two sats. Maybe someone else has used Trisat and can tell us how it works??
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