The openHPSDR architecture radios all
contain two FPGA images that they can boot from. The normal image is
the one that is used to run the radio under normal circumstances.
image is user programmable by means of the HPSDR Programmer
application. However, because this image is user programmable, that
makes it susceptible to a failed programming cycle. A failure to
program the image properly could be caused by any interruption in the
programming process, such as a power failure, an Ethernet problem, or a
PC crash during programming. The result is an apparently "bricked"
radio, slang for a radio with a corrupted FPGA image. Such a radio is
no better, smarter or more functional than the proverbial brick!
Thankfully, the designers of the openHPSDR architecture radios provided
a back-up mechanism in the event that the user programmable FPGA image
is corrupted. This back-up mechanism is an alternate FPGA image called
the "Bootloader". The Bootloader image is not normally user
programmable (at least not without opening the radio and attaching a
JTAG programming pod). Hence it is essentially immune from user
meddling and thereby always available for use in case the normal image
is bricked or otherwise not usable.
The 10E, 100B, 200D and 8000DLE have an external switch that can be
accessed by the
user to select which image the radio FPGA should boot up with, normal
or Bootloader. Hermes and Angelia based radios, such as the 10, 100 and
100D, do not have this switch, and require one to
physically open up the radio and place a jumper on the Hermes or
Angelia circuit card. This is, at the very least, a huge pain in the
posterior. More seriously, every time you open the radio there is some
risk of damaging something. This is particularly true on the 100W
radios, as the cable routing is complex and difficult to work with.
The correct answer, of course, is to take the radio apart one
time to install an external switch in place of a jumper. It is even
possible to do this in the form of a small jack, into which you could
insert a shorted plug, or even wire the plug to a relay of some sort
for remote control. Pictured below is the switch I added to the rear
panel of my 100D.
What follows are instructions for how to install a Bootloader switch on
an ANAN-100D. The steps should be similar on an ANAN-100, and easier on
follow this guidance and modify your
radio at your own
risk. You break it, you bought it, and I didn't twist
your arm to do this!
Step 1: Front Panel Disassembly
This is necessary so that the bottom plate can be slid forwards and
a. Remove all of the fasteners from the front panel.
b. Carefully pull and wiggle on the rear body of the power switch until
it detaches from the power switch button. I apologize for not having a
better description of this process, but even a video would not provide
information on how it feels to do this. WARNING:
be careful not
to snap the mounts off of the switch body. It should not be necessary
to use any tools.
c. Lay the front panel aside.
Step 2: Rear Panel Disassembly
It is desirable to completely remove the rear panel as it makes it much
easier and safer to drill the hole for the new switch that way.
a. Remove all of the nuts and lock washers from the BNC connectors on
the rear panel.
b. Remove all of the rear panel fasteners.
c. Pull the rear panel away from the radio.
d. Mark the 10MHz and XVTR cables so you don't mix them up during
e. Remove the nuts and washers on the 10MHz and XVTR SMA connectors and
pull the cable assemblies free of the panel.
f. Remove the shrink sleeving at the PTT connector and unsolder the PTT
e. Remove the DB25 mounting hardware--note that this can be quite
tricky, as Apache used very high strength thread-locking compound on
i. Heat the head of the fastener going
into the standoff with the tip of a soldering iron to melt the
Step 3: Remove DB25 Cable Assembly
ii. Remove the fastener from the standoff. If it is difficult to turn,
return to the heating step above. WARNING: don't force
it, as the hardware is a very cheap alloy and will break right in half
if a lot of force is applied! Indeed, it might be good to have some
spare DB25 mounting hardware on hand, just in case you get impatient!
Also, try not to burn yourself on the hot hardware!
a. Minding all of the various cables and connections inside the radio,
none of which should need to be undone, carefully slide the bottom
plate assembly rearward until you can reach the board end of the DB25
b. Mark the orientation of the cable assembly and make note of the
board end connector location before disconnecting it. A cell phone
photo works quite well for this.
c. Remove the board end of the connector assembly from the board.
Step 4: Drill the Hole for the Switch
rework should probably take place away from the radio as you
do not want to send any metal filings into the radio.
There's not a lot of magic involved, here. Choose a place on the
rear panel such that the body of the switch will fit when the panel is
assembled onto the chassis. This should not be a problem for most
sub-miniature switches. The location shown in my photo above is
generally a good location.
Step 5: Assembly the Switch/Jumper
Connector Wiring Harness
Obtain some suitable wire, an SPST sub-miniature switch, and a
couple of PC board jumpers. Solder a wire to one jumper and then to one
side of the switch. Solder another wire to the other jumper and then to
the other side of the switch. Obviously the wire needs to be long
to allow it to reach from the jumper location on the board (in this
example Angelia J17) to the rear panel, plus a little extra to allow
for future disassembly. I have found that it helps to twist the wires
together to keep it neat and organized.
Step 6: Install the Switch/Jumper
Install the switch into the rear panel hole that was drilled for
it. Bring the rear panel close to the chassis and route the wires over
the top of the Angelia card. Carefully slide the bottom plate assembly
forward far enough to install one jumper onto each jumper pin (J17 on
the Angelia). Refer to your manual
jumper information. On page 57 it calls out J17 for the 100D. On page
69 it shows the location. Be careful of all of the wiring when sliding
the bottom plate assembly around.
Step 7: Assemble the DB25 Cable
Assembly to the Rear Panel
a. Insert the DB25 cable assembly from the exterior of the panel.
b. Clean off the excess thread-locking compound from the fasteners.
c. Reassemble connector to the panel with the fasteners and the
thread-locking compound can prevent reassembly just as well as it can
prevent disassembly. Do not use a lot of force because, again, the
cheap alloy used on these fasteners is likely to break. If necessary,
stop and clean the fasteners again. Or simply use all new hardware.
Step 8: Reassemble the DB25 Cable
Assembly to the Board
a. Using the photo you made in Step 3(b) above, reconnect the board end
of the cable assembly to the board header connector. Be certain to get
the connector properly lined up on the connector so that all of the
b. Slide the bottom plate assembly back into place.
Step 9: Rear Panel Assembly
a. Solder the PTT wire back onto the PTT connector. Don't forget the
shrink sleeving (it mostly acts as a strain relief).
b. Minding the markings you made in Step 2(d) above, reinstall the XVTR
and 10MHz cable assemblies. SMA connector hardware does not require a
lot of torque.
c. Minding cable routing as you do so (don't fold or pinch anything),
reattach the rear panel to the radio using the rear panel fasteners.
d. Reinstall the BNC connector hardware. This hardware also does not
require a lot of torque.
Step 10: Front Panel Assembly
a. Snap the power switch back into the button assembly.
b. Reattach the front panel using the front panel fasteners.
Step 11: Test and Enjoy!
Be sure to thoroughly test out all aspects of your radio, as you did
just have it apart in many pieces. You do not need to reload firmware
using the Bootloader to test that the switch works. It is enough to
confirm that the Bootloader application can detect the radio. To do
that follow the instructions below as far as Step 7. Then skip forward
to Step 10.
NOTE: Bootloader mode will NOT work if you use a managed Ethernet
switch. In bootloader mode the radio advertises a MAC address of
11:22:33:44:55:66. This is an illegal MAC address and managed switches
will not route packets to that address. Use a dumb switch or a direct
1. Download and install WinPCAP
(Bootloader requires it).
2. Download and install HPSDR Bootloader
3. Power off radio.
4. Move bootloader switch to bootloader position.
5. Power up radio.
6. Run Bootloader.
7. Click "Test for Bootloader". Bootloader should discover the radio.
8. Click "Browse" in the Board Programmer section. Select the rbf file
you want. You may need to change the name of the rbf file to
"metis.rbf". Nobody knows why.
9. Click "Program" in the Board Programmer section. Wait for it to
10. Quit Bootloader.
11. Power off radio.
12. Move bootloader switch back to normal position.
13. Power up the radio and enjoy!