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Thursday, 28 February 2013

GPRS Wireless Module Problem in Acorn Series 2 Wireless Cameras

Post Updated: 06.03.2013

Please note that the information in this post only relates to wireless cameras produced from December 2012 to February 2013.
Fig 1: 6210 Wireless PCB and SIM 900 Wireless IC

Fig 2: 5210 Wireless PCB and M10 Wireless IC
Early in February 2013 I received news from Acorn that they were having problems with the production of their wireless cameras.

I've delayed posting about this until now because I wasn't sure of enough detail to make an informed comment

It was obvious that something wasn't right because of recent problems with display and connectivity with the 6210MG which started last December. I've now got more information from Acorn and basically the situation is as follows.

I'm informed that the manufacturers of the original M10 GSM/GPRS Wireless Module (produced by a Shanghai local company) discontinued the product and forced Acorn to look for an alternative.

The new module is the SIM 900 which is produced by a big Shanghai international company; and is shown on the 6210 wireless
PCB in Figure 1. Cameras using the new module were released at the end of last year but it quickly became apparent that there were problems with the programming. The control panel display on the 6210 was not showing the connection icon or carrier information.

Part of 6210 main PCB
The quick release of firmware V1.2.003T brought back the 6210 display although it was still not showing the proper connection sequence. It was however connecting to the network and from my point of view, its saving grace was the fact that it seemed to work well with SMTP over the Vodafone network. 

The latest 6210 firmware is V1.2.101T which I have now had chance to test and with 6210 camera serial number 202002230 I have had good results with SMTP over Vodafone; and the control panel display is working correctly.

All 5210 and 6210 series 2 wireless cameras produced from December 2012 to February 2013 have this and/or other problems. The 6210 will work with SMTP and by upgrading to firmware version V1.2.101T they will show a correct screen display.

Please note that I do not have a 5210MG Series 2 camera fitted with the new SIM900 module and PCB to test at the moment. There are issues with the 5210MG but I can't verify them without a test camera.

I'm told that the new GPRS Module will send MMS through O2 and E-Plus which I have not had chance to test yet; but so far it will not send MMS with Vodafone in UK or Ireland. This will obviously be rectified with the release of new cameras.

5210 Firmware

Download V3.06M Only use for 5210MM/G wireless cameras. Do not use with the 5210A.
This is the latest firmware I have for the 5210MM/G.

6210 Firmware

Download V1.2.101T Only use with current Series 2 6210MG cameras.
This is the latest firmware I have for the 6210MG.

I've also had similarly good results using V1.2.003T in an older 6210MM camera with serial number 109003623 which also showed a correct screen display using this firmware.

Download V1.2.003T HD LCD Only use with Series 1 6210MM/G Old Screen. 
Download V1.2.003T Normal LCD Only use with Series 1 6210MM/G New Screen.
If you load the wrong version onto your camera it will scramble the screen display. Load the alternative version to correct.

Instructions for setting up SMTP

Instructions for upgrading firmware

Please note that my tests are only with a small sample of cameras and results may vary from camera to camera. I cannot guarantee that my above findings will exactly apply to your camera. 

Acorn have informed me that they have suspending production of their wireless cameras for about two months to allow them to re-design the wireless PCB which supports the GPRS module.

Acorn are also installing a completely new SMT (surface mount technology) production line to support the new GPRS Module and PCB; which will further upgrade the manufacturing of their wireless cameras.

Other News from Acorn.
Acorn GPRS cameras will support SSL after development of the new PCB.

The Ltl-6210 LCD has been updated to correct the black LCD display problem.
Ltl-5210A image quality has been updated.

When new information is available I will be posting updates.


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