VDrive2/VMusic2 firmware upgrade


Technical Support
Staff member
We have been informed there is a very simply way to upgrade your FTDI module firmware.

This process is currently undocumented in the FTDI manual. All you do is save a particular file onto your USB drive and insert it into the module! There is no need to open the module or change any jumper settings.

Step by Step:

1) Contact FTDI technical support (support2 AT ftdichip DOT com)

2) Politely request this file by email:
for VDRIVE2 - ftrfb_main_3_55VDPAB.ftd
for VMUSIC2 - ftrfb_main_3_55VMSC1B.ftd

Note these files are not the same as the ROM files on the FTDI website.

3) Rename the appropriate file to ftrfb.ftd and copy onto your thumb drive. The filename must be exactly as shown.

4) Optional - download the program below into the 28X1. This allows you to see the firmware upgrade procedure messages via SERTXD commands as they occur.

5) Power up the system/FTDI module

6) Insert the thumbdrive. The update is then automatically stated when the module finds the ftrfb.ftd file.

7) After update is over, remember to delete the ftrfb.ftd file from your thumb drive

This process will allow any user with one of the modules to easily upgrade without having to build any additional hardware.

; 1 Black	GND	-	0V
; 2 Brown	RTS	-	not used
; 3 Red	V+		-	V+
; 4 Orange 	RXD	- 	HTXD	input6	C6
; 5 Yellow	TXD	- 	HRXD	input7	C7
; 6 Green	CTS	-	0V
; 7
; 8 Blue	RI	-	not connected
; Note RXD on VMUSIC2 connects to TXD on PICAXE etc.

symbol first_byte = b0
symbol point = b1
symbol temp = b2
symbol loopcounter = b3

; set picaxe type
#picaxe 28x1

; set COM port used for download
;#com 4

; open terminal after download
; This is to view the 'sertxd' debugging comments
#terminal 4800

	; setup serial hardware 
	; at 9600 with background receive
	hsersetup b9600_4,%01
	low 0		; ensure CTS is low
	pause 1000
	; Send Es until the unit responds correctly
	sertxd ("<Sent> E",CR,LF)
	hserout 0,("E",CR)
	gosub	 get_response
	if first_byte <> "E" then init

	; check to see if a drive is actually inserted
	; response will start D for yes and N for no
	sertxd ("<Sent> Check Drive",CR,LF)
	hserout 0,(CR)
	gosub	get_response
	if first_byte <> "D" then main 
	goto main

	; Sub procedure to receive background bytes
	pause 1000			; wait a while	
	sertxd ("<Response>")
	point = 0			; reset local pointer
	get point,first_byte	; Save the first reply byte
	   get point,temp		; get returned byte
	   sertxd (temp)		; transmit it
	   inc point			; increment pointer
	loop while temp <> CR	; if not CR loop
	sertxd (LF)			; Add a LF to the received CR
	sertxd (CR,LF)		; Do another blank line

	hserptr = 0			; reset the background receive pointer 
Edited by - Technical on 19/07/2007 13:09:34
Last edited by a moderator:


Senior Member
Many thanks for that. From the Vinculum FAQ ( <A href='http://www.vinculum.com/faq.html' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a> ) ...

<i>&quot;Q: How can I upgrade my firmware?
A: Firmware can be programmed into the Vinculum via the UART interface. For details of this, see the application note ANVNC-01 Vinculum VNC1L Bootlader. It is also possible to to reprogram the VNC1L firmware using the in-built reflasher. This looks for a specific file on a USB Flash drive and reprograms it's own firmware from the USB Flash disk. This method is inherently risky as devices can be reprogrammed accidentally. For this reason, the files are currently only distributed by e-mail from FTDI support&quot; </i>

I'm not sure I follow their logic, surely it's less risky than wiring up a +/-12V serial interface wrongly, providing the simple instructions are followed ?

I'd suggest everyone asking requests the files are made available for download from the web and let the end-users take responsibility for their actions - Have they not heard of &quot;I Agree&quot; buttons ?

How do we know there are new .ftb files without continually emailing ? Maybe a succession of &quot;are we there yet&quot; posts may encourge them to put them online so potential downloaders can check if there are later versions to be had :)

Good news for hardcore hackers and risk takers ...

<i>&quot;Q: How do I put my own firmware into the VNC1L?
A: At the moment, the firmware is limited to the libraries we provide. Development tools to enable you to create your own firmware are expected to be released in 2007&quot; </i>

One question not answered - If the firmware upgrade is done wrongly ( wrong file used, USB drive falls out halfway through, power cut, Act of God ), is the device &quot;bricked&quot; or can it always be re-flashed ?


Senior Member
I initially assumed that this was the &quot;proper&quot; way to update the module (given the otherwise cryptic &quot;No Upgrade&quot; message when a USB drive is inserted). Thanks for the heads-up!



Technical Support
Staff member
The only additional risk as we see it is accidentally leaving the file on the USB drive and transferring to another module (e.g. vdrive to vmusic). However in this case, as it is the same FTDI chip being upgraded in each case, although the module wouldn't work you should be able to correct back to the correct firmware.

A partial upgrade failure (e.g. power failure half way) is the same risk whether you use thumb drive or rs232 link.


Senior Member
http://www.ftdichip.com ( <A href='http://www.ftdichip.com ' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a> ) is down and they are bouncing emails, so check to see if the site is back up before trying to get the files.


Dont supose anyone got hold of either folder before their servers went down?

If you did could you email or maybe chuck it on a host site and post the url.




Senior Member
From FTDI - &quot;The .ftd files are not posted on the web due to a marketing decision&quot;.

The bootloader is in ROM so a re-flash from incorrect or corrupt firmware can always be done, but the UART downloader probably needs to be used.

No response to my question as to whether those who have received .ftd files may redistribute them.


Technical Support
Staff member
We are pleased to see the flash files are now freely available on the vinculum website.



Senior Member

Please read before upgrade.

Known Issues:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size=1 face=arial>quote:<hr height=1 noshade>All Firmwares reflasher process. There may be issues using reflasher files
if a reflasher file for V03.55, V03.54 and V03.51 has been used. Please
contact technical support if the reflasher procedure fails. Customers using
supplied ROM files in the VPROG programming application are unaffected. <hr height=1 noshade></BLOCKQUOTE></font><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2>

I used the same method as I did when installing V3.55 &amp; V3.54 with Vprom_com, which gave a successful download.


Senior Member
I just reflashed with 3.56. No idea if it worked or not - a lot of flashing red and green on the vmusic2, then it seemed to settle down.