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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Firmware Upgrades - Little Acorn 5210 and 6210

Fig: 1  Windows Explorer screen shot showing saved
location of firmware upgrade file.
A number of people have asked me recently about the availability of upgrades to the Acorn range of cameras and I'm combining this with an upgrade to correct an exposure problem with the 5210A. There will also be more about this issue in my next post.

At the time of writing I'm not aware of any general firmware upgrades for these cameras. Upgrades that are available are for specific issues such as the one detailed below; and as far as I know, the upgrade procedure is always the same for 5210s and (6210s see the post update 29/05 below).

Also read:  Firmware Updates, Upgrades and Software - Little Acorn Trail Cameras



Fig: 2   5210A - shadow under exposed.
Confusingly, the 5210 upgrade files are always named FW5210A.bin and arrive in a zip file which is named for the camera it is specified for. 

Similarly 6210 upgrade files are FW6210.bin 
Read this post.

Caution is required because if you load a file into the wrong camera it will stop the camera functioning which will have to be returned (not under warranty) to be  repaired.

Post Update 09.09.12  The strike through above is not strictly accurate. If a camera is updated with the wrong firmware, it can be corrected by using the right firmware, providing it's available.

Another point worth making is that update files appear to contain the complete binary coding for the camera; which means that when you do a firmware update you are recoding all the camera settings. This means that the update completely resets the camera and once it's done there's no going back, unless you have a file with the old coding; which at the time of writing I don't have.

I am not a programmer and although I have a basic understanding of the principals of binary coding I am completely reliant on the Acorn manufacturer for any changes to the programming of these cameras.
The BIN files I have are genuine factory upgrades, supplied by Acorn.

Fig: 3   Test shot in bright sunshine with 25% shadow
How to Upgrade the 5210:
Format SD Card (in camera)
1) Copy the file FW5210A.bin to the SD card at the top of the hierarchy as in Figure 1 and not in a folder.
2) Insert the SD card in the camera to be upgraded. 
3) Press and hold the OK button
4) Switch the camera to the "TEST" position. 
5) Wait until the start-up splash screen shows and then release the "OK" key.
6) Enter MENU, navigate the marker to DEFAULT SET, and press OK.
Format SD Card (in camera)
Fig: 4  Test shot in bright sunshine with 50% shadow 

The upgrade file will be automatically deleted from the card as the camera starts up.

When you have completed the upgrade you will need to re-enter your preferred menu settings which will have been returned to default.

I currently have two upgrade files. One is to correct underexposure of shadows with the 5210A (request file by email) and the other is a similar correction for the 5210MM after doing the upgrade (v1.83s available here) to increase the size of the file sent to your mobile or email from 320 x 240 pixels to 640 x 480 pixels.


The image data bar also changes with the upgrade. If you look at figure 2, you will see that the bar is broken. This is how it appears before the update. Figures 3, 4 and 5 have a continuous data bar which is how it appears after the update.

Image EXIF file. If you look at the image EXIF information you will see that the camera software version is V1.48 prior to the update and is V1.6 afterwards.



Post Update: 09.09.12  I am embarrassed to discover (thanks Josh) that in the paragraph above I'd referred to this problem as overexposure of shadow when in fact it is underexposure. Still, it only took four months to realise the mistake, so there's hope. Sorry, and I hope it hasn't misled anyone.
Fig: 5  Test shot in bright sunshine with 75% shadow

Test shots in Figures 3, 4 and 5 were taken after the upgrade of a 5210A. I am now going to return the camera to the site where Figure 2 was taken to see if the results are an improvement in practice.

I will be updating this post when I have the results.

The images in Figures 2 to 5 have been resized but are otherwise straight from the camera and were taken on its 5MP setting,

Post Update 29.05.2012 @ 15.50     I've again read through all the info I can find on this subject and changed and added to parts of this post in an attempt to clarify as much as possible.

I can't absolutely guarantee that I have all the information but at least the upgrade procedures seem to be correct. e&oe...

If you think you have a problem with any of the Acorn cameras and are looking for a fix, drop me an email and I'll see if a file is, or can be made available.

How to Upgrade the 6210:

Format SD Card (in camera)
1) Copy the FW6210.bin file to the SD card at the top of the hierarchy as in Figure 1 and not in a folder.
2) Insert the SD card in the camera to be upgraded. 
3) Press and hold the "Back" button (second button down from top right on control panel)
4) Switch the camera to the "TEST" position. 
5) Wait until the start-up splash screen shows and then release the "Back button"
6) Enter MENU, navigate the marker to DEFAULT SET, and press OK.
Format SD Card (in camera)


Some update files available here including a new User Manual for the 6210 post 0.8 second trigger speed factory upgrade.

More Reading
Acorn 5210A exposure tests - Firmware Upgrade - Part 2.
Ltl Acorn 6210 Firmware Upgrade - Night time infra-red lighting and exposure.


Release Notes for 6210MM versions:

1.0.001:
Only support China Mobile and China Unicom, the other waiting for test results.
1.0.002:
U.S. carrier testing is complete
1.0.003:
Support the three mobile phone number and email function changes.
1.0.004:
Fixed a wrong URL,Support Sweden.
1.0.005:
Ascii code for the phone supports "+"
1.0.006:
1.Solve the garbled error
2.Slovenia wait for the test
1.0.007:
Slovenia wait for the test
1.0.008:
Add SMS
1.0.009:
Add "Portugal","Turkey","Switzerland","Spain","Slovakia","Russia","Romania","Poland","Netherlands","Italy","Ireland","Hungary","Greece","France","Australia","Austria","Brazil","Bulgaria","Croatia","Czech Republic","Denmark","Finland","New Zealand","Norway".
1.0.010:
South Africa
1.0.011:
Sweden --Telia
Czech Republic -- T-Mobile ,Vodafone
Ukraine -- KiyvStar,MTS
1.0.012
Australian operator Telstra parameter correction
1.0.013
Bulgaria -- Vivacom
1.0.014
Finland --- Sonera / Elisa
1.0.015
Slovakia --  Orange / O2
Setup Date Format
1.0.016
Lithuania --Omnitel  //Unkown Result
1.0.017
Ukraine -- LIFE , Beeline UA
1.0.018
Spain -- Orange
Bulgaria -- Globul
1.1.001
New Software,compatible with previous generation style
Australia -- Mic1
1.1.002
Austria A1
1.1.003
Austria A1 //E-mail can not receive MMS
1.1.004
Add language
1.1.005
fix a bug(sms)
1.1.006
German     ---  Deutsch
Switzerland  --- Schweiz
Austria  -- Osterreich 
1.1.007
Spain   -- Telstra
1.1.008
Add language
1.1.009
Modify a cell phone the first number use 
1.1.010
Germany     ---  Deutschland
1.1.011
Australia -- Vodafone Three Virgin
1.1.012
Ireland -- Tesco
1.1.013
India   -- Idea CellOne BPL Airtel VodaFone
1.1.014
Ltl 6210 MMS Menu.
1.1.015
Remove TV Mode Setup
1.1.016
Add Ltl6210 Function.
1.Beep Sound
2.Storage Cycle
Add Latvia MMS Param
1.1.017
South Africa  --MTN
1.1.018
South Africa  --MTN
1.1.019
Modify the Finnish translation
1.2.001
Ltl 5210MG Support Smtp
1.2.002
Update Gprs Param
1.2.003
Update United Kingdom MMS Param
1.2.004
Add Cesky Language
1.2.005
Update
1.2.006
Add Namibia MMS Param
1.2.007
Update Ltl 6210M Gprs Param
Slovenia --Izi Mobil,Si Mobil
1.2.008
This is a test version, if the sending MMS have problems, please go back to the previous version
1.2.009
Estonia MMS Param
1.2.010
Lithuania MMS Param
1.2.011
fix a bug(6210MG)
1.2.012
Estonia Smtp Param
1.2.013
Norway -- Onecall
1.2.014
Croatia-- T-mobile HR
1.2.015
Belgium--Proximus Mobistar Base
1.2.016
Poland MMS Param



24 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting the above. Part of my problem with getting the update to "take" was having the .BIN file at the top of the hierarchy on the SD card. The other thing was knowing to hold the "OK/DISPLAY" button while switching the cam to "TEST." That step is a little unclear in the readme file that comes with the update. It's also not mentioned on page 24 of the Ltl-5210M Manual. The readme also says "Firstly, format SD card by PC, then get FW5210A.bin copied to SD card." I don't know if it made a difference, but the time I got it to work, I hadn't formatted the card in Windows, only in the camera.
    Thanks for the guidance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Doug

      Thanks for pointing out the formatting. I should have included it and I have never formatted a card in windows, only in the camera.

      I think things occasionally get muddled or lost in translation and I have found some issues a little unclear at times.

      Glad you found this information useful.

      Regards
      Ron

      Delete
  2. Where would I find the firmware for the 6210 models? It is not on the link you have given.

    Regards
    Tony

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tony

    Those are the only downloads available. Anything else is to correct specific issues and has to be asked for.

    Regards
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there, I'm having trouble getting a 6210 working with a 3 mobile sim. I get a red 'SIM' item on the top of the screen and the signal indicator has a x. I've tried auto setting up and what I think are the manual settings but it hasn't worked. Do you have any guidance here. I know the sim works as I've used it in a phone successfully.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris.
      To be honest I'm not sure but it sounds as if it might not be getting a signal. I'm doing a series of tests this next week with MMS and will hopefully have a better idea of performance.
      Can I ask you to email me with more details as the subject is a bit difficult to deal with through comments.
      Following the tests I plan to put up an MMS page providing general info and help with known issues.
      Regards
      Ron

      Delete
  5. Hi Ron, I'll get an email across to you shortly. I took a photo of the screen too so you can see exactly what I can.It seems very strange to me as I'm testing it at home in Birmingham and there should be a very good signal.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi.
    I have been trying to get the 6210M to send picture by mail trough smtp with no success. The exif data says software v 1.1.002T. it seems to be an old version.
    Could you please tel me how to obtain the latest software for the 6210M ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ltl Acorn Camera and MMS set up software version:1.2.013 from my Trail Camera Sales and Data page.

      If you have a problem getting this please let me know.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your informations Mr Ron !
      In France nothing about the Acorn 6210M !!!
      So I would like to know if it is possible to modifie the Acorn (or firmware) for receiving e-mail or mms with better résolution (or definition ?). Today the images are 40 or 50 Ko and it is impossible to "zoom" to see the details of pictures.
      Regards
      Jean Marc

      Delete
    3. Hi Jean

      I'm afraid that the resolution for images by email/mms is 640 x 480 pixels and the full res' images are stored on the card for retrieval when you visit the camera.

      Larger resolution images by mms/email would increase the amount of data transfer to unmanageable and unaffordable amounts.

      Best regards
      Ron

      Delete
    4. Thank you. In France with our phone's providers we have "unlimited mms" and we can received mms until size of 800 Ko each. It is the reason i hope to increase the qualité of mms and email that i receive.
      My camera is 190 kilometers from my home and i hope to see ducks and gooses on my pool....May be one day an upgrade will autorize to increase the quality of pictures.
      Jean Marc

      Delete
  7. Where would I find the firmware for the Little Acorn 5210a models? It is not on the link you have given.

    Regards
    kim nilesen.dk

    ReplyDelete
  8. Where would I find the firmware for the Little Acorn 5210a models? It is not on the link you have given.

    Regards
    kim nielsen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim

      Send me an email and I'll send you the file.

      Regards
      Ron

      Delete
  9. Hi,
    I also like to use emails with smtp. But I only managed to send mms (with phone number or email). But my problem is that I can't find a mms-flatrate in my country. There are plenty of data-flatrates. A email via smtp would count as plain data transfer, though this would be my solution.
    I have the 5210MM, not the 5210MG (that can probably send smtp-emails). I also can't find the 5210MG at any dealer in my country.
    Is it possible to update the firmware?
    Thanks in advance!

    regards
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Ron, Bob,

    Yes - me too! I have recently bought a 5210M, and it works fine, but (as far as I can see) only can send email via an MMS->email gateway. Is their any way we can modify the firmware to get it to use SMTP to send email directly, using a plain
    data APN, instead of the MMS APN?

    Enjoyed the web site, and all the information :)

    Regards Hugh

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bob and Hugh

    I'm trying to get information about the current status of MMS/GPRS and will post when I know what I'm talking about.

    I'm as confused as everyone else at present and because I'm in an area with no workable network signal, it's difficult for me to do tests.

    All I can say for sure is that the 6210MM I have here sends pictures to a mobile and/or picture messages to an email; and both cost the same price.

    Regards
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ron, Bob,

      I have made some progress, but it is not an easy solution, and it may be that the Ltl Acorn people have a better solution. These units seem to use "phone" technology for sending images. In particular they either send MMS messages to another phone, or they send MMS messages to a gateway that converts the MMS messages into an email with an attached image, and then sends that email.

      If you have MMS on your phone, as part of the setup you supply the gateway address and port that converts MMS into email. Unfortunately, many service providers will only allow your device to connect to that gateway if you happen to have an "MMS" service enabled through your SIM card (and not the general Internet service that Bob and I want to use).

      So what is needed is an MMS-to-email gateway that is available somewhere on the Internet. I found a few places that seemed to provide this service, but I elected to do something different. There is an open-source MMS-to-email gateway called Mbuni (www.mbuni.org).

      To use Mbuni, you need to have a computer that is visible on the Internet, and that can have software installed. It will probably be a Unix-based machine (MacosX or Linux), and most likely will need to run all the time, as the software must be running when the ltlAcorn wants to send an image.

      I downloaded mbuni, and a companion program kannel (which provides an SMS gateway), and compiled them - kannel first and then mbuni. To use with the Ltl Acorn, you only need to actually run the program "mmsc" which is one of the programs in the mbuni package. It will need a suitable configuration file.

      Once mmsc is running on the computer visible on the Internet, You set up the Ltl5210M to send email to some address, and configure its gateway to be the one you have provided.

      There are some issues - for example I found that the first email address I tried to send to did not accept emails from my gateway - considering the network address to be a SPAM address. But after a few hours playing I got it all to work by using a different email address.

      Anyway - this has now been working fine for a few days, so perhaps some other people with the same issue may be able to use this approach.

      Cheers Hugh

      Delete
  12. thanks Hugh, this is a solution. But as you mentioned, this is quite a lot of work. And you need an always online server and deeper IT knowledge.
    Your problem with sending email has maybe something to do with "pop before smtp".
    If I find time the next weekends, I'll try it.
    regards

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bob and Hugh

    I can confirm that emails by SMTP are possible by using the programming software V.1.2.016
    Download it from the Trail Camera sales and data page, part way down under software.
    Select Ltl 6210MG or Ltl 5210MG in the Camera model drop down box at top right, then select SMTP set up.
    You will need to use an SMTP server that allows authentication.
    More on all of this when I've done some experimenting.
    Regards
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have also mentioned that 6210MG and 5210MG cameras do not exist. This nomenclature only refers to the programming as above.

      Delete
  14. Hi Ron,
    today I received an Ltl Acorn 5210A with dark-blue LEDs. German Aldi supermarkets recently sold a trail camera labelled Tevion WK1 which is obviously identical (besides clear LEDs) to the Acorn 5210A, because the german service centre offers a firmware upgrade FW5210A.BIN (dated 1 March 2012) for the Tevion.
    Now I have two questions: Are there any means to find out the firmware version for this type of cameras and does the FW5210.BIN file fit any 5210 camera?
    I appreciate any short answer!

    Regards from Germany
    Hartmut

    P.S. Last year we visited friends in Inverness and we took the opportunity to experience Scotlands wonderful nature, including ospreys, slavonian grebes etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Hartmut

    Short answer is no! I've heard of the Tevion WK1 but I'm not familiar with it. There are a lot of cloned Acorn cameras about which are manufactured by a company called MHC and they'll put any brand name you like on them. I may be wrong but I wouldn't trust the firmware even though the file names are the same.

    The FW5210A.bin file name is generic and can contain any update, which will also be model specific i.e. 5210A or 5210M. If you put the wrong file in the camera it becomes disabled.

    I have no way of knowing if the files you refer to are OK for your camera.
    There is no regular covers all firmware update for these cameras, just BIN files for specific problems; and I can only vouch for the two files that I have, as detailed in the post above.

    The reason you have to email me a request to get one is so that I can verify your camera before I send it too you; because I don't want to be responsible for screwing peoples cameras up.

    Not a short answer I know, but necessary.

    Best regards
    Ron

    ReplyDelete

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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.