This patched firmware is now obsolete
. Please see this post
for the latest firmware.
Here is the LiFePO4 patch
. NOTE: this patched firmware is intended for 48 V PIP-4048MS inverter chargers manufactured 2014 or later. It should work on 2013 models (we tested the patch on a 2013 model) as long as you leave the mains (utility) maximum charge current setting at 30 A or lower. NOTE: if you try this patched firmware on a 2013 model and don't keep the maximum mains charge setting at or under 30 A, you will likely blow it up!
Anything very recent (latter half of 2015) may be too new, and you will probably at least lose USB functionality. If you are using a lead acid battery, you should probably be using the other patch here
: you will need a Windows computer and a USB to serial adapter, or an older computer with a real serial port. Use the serial to RJ45 cable that came with your inverter-charger. Some serial adapters (or possibly the combination of serial adapter and Windows version) seem to be more suitable than others; see earlier posts on this
Power up your PIP inverter charger. You can use a battery or the mains. Use the inverter switch to turn it on, if necessary. Make sure that your computer has power that won't go off during the reflash process.
Find a suitable folder on your computer (perhaps create a new one under your downloads folder) and unzip the attached zip file. The zip file has no folder inside it; it will extract files to the current folder, so best to start with an empty folder. Make sure you are not running any software that could be using the serial port, in particular, exit the WatchPower application
. Don't just close the application; it seems you have to use the right mouse button on the WatchPower system tray icon, usually at the bottom right of Windows:
The file name the reflash tool looks for is fixed, it's always "dsp.hex" in the same folder as the reflash tool. So you don't have to tell it what file to read, but you have to make sure that you have the right dsp.hex file. It's best to not trust any file named dsp.hex; make a copy of the relevant file with a meaningful name to dsp.hex just before you run the reflash tool.
Finally, double click on the ReflashTool_Xseries.exe icon. It should bring up the small reflash application. If necessary, change the serial port selection to the one that connects to your PIP. It won't give you the full name of the serial port (e.g. "Prolific USB-to-serial..."), just e.g. "COM4", so if necessary use another application (e.g. TeraTerm) to be sure you choose the right serial port.
Click on the Update button, and answer Yes to "Are you sure". Nothing will appear to happen for 10-20 seconds, so don't panic. Eventually, new text should start appearing in the box under the progress bar, saying that erasing has been successful and so on. It will take some 8 minutes to complete the flash programming. At the end, just click OK and exit the reflash application.
If you get an error to do with the serial port (e.g. invalid serial port, or the serial port doesn't appear in the drop down window), it's probably because you have something running that is keeping the serial port in use. Double check that you have exited WatchPower and any terminal emulation programs like Tera Term. Weber has a netbook with Windows 7 that somehow doesn't see the USB to serial port adapter. So you may have to try another computer.
The standard instructions say you should revert all the settings to standard, then change them to suit your needs. As long as you had been running a recent firmware (52.30 or later), this should not be necessary. But if you were running an earlier firmware, or if the settings seem strange after the update, use WatchPower to reset to default settings, then change them to suit your needs.
The instructions say to turn off the inverter after the firmware update. This doesn't seem to be necessary.
That's it. To check that you have the patched version, scroll through the settings with the up or down button. In place of the U1 setting should be "Li FE PO4".
However, if something goes wrong, the original 72.40 firmware file is now included in the zip file. To replace the patched firmware with this official firmware, first you need to do a little work with Windows. Open a file explorer at the folder where the contents of the zip file was extracted to. Find dsp.hex and rename it to something else, e.g. "dsp.hex.patched" (without the quotes). Then rename "dsp_original_72.40.hex" to "dsp.hex" (this is necessary, because the reflash tool won't let you choose a hex file to load). It may be necessary to restart the inverter by cycling all power (disconnect the battery, mains, and PV power). (This may be why some people have had trouble recovering from a failed firmware update.) Now merely repeat the reflash process; this time it will reflash with the original firmware.
For convenience, I repost here the summary of the changes from the official firmware version 72.40:
1) An additional criterion is added for exiting from bulk/absorb to float. In addition to the charge current staying below the threshold stated in 3) below, for 50 seconds, the battery voltage has to equal or exceed (CV voltage setting minus 0.5 V). This is what fixes the bug where it would go straight to float mode without ever having gone near the absorb voltage.
2) Float to bulk/absorb now happens at float voltage setting - 1.0 V, not float voltage setting minus 4.0 V.
3) The exit bulk/absorb to float transition uses different charge current thresholds now. It was
MAX(5 A, maximum total charge current setting divided by 5)
and is now
MAX(1 A, maximum total charge current setting divided by 30) .
When multiple PIP units are paralleled, the charge current settings are added.
4) All "I" and "R" characters now render as "i" and "r" for arguably better readability.
5) The Battery Under Voltage Cutoff setting voltage range has been changed from 40-48 V to 44 to 52 V (i.e. 4 V has been added to the lower and upper limits). When this limit is crossed (on the low side) for some 20 seconds, the inverter turns itself off to protect the battery from excessive discharge. It seems to take about 15 minutes of exceeding this limit plus 1.0 V (was plus 4.0 V) before the inverter comes on again.
6) BatLowVolt (voltage at which a battery warning indicates) is now at EEBatteryVoltUnder+0.5 V (was +2.0 V).
7) Version number changes to identify itself. Shows as 72.44 on WatchPower or using the QVFW command. Shows "Li FE PO4" on the LCD display (in the "Main CPU version checking" screen).
[ Edit: lopezjm2001 found that WatchPower won't allow you to change the Battery Under Voltage Cutoff setting to more than 48.0 V, so you'll have to use either the LCD or the PSDV command with a terminal program to set this. Anyone handy with a Java decompiler should be able to patch the WatchPower program to allow this. ]
At Weber's suggestion, I'll later attempt to put together a version of this patch suitable for lead acid batteries. In other words, it will only have changes 1) and 4) mentioned above. [ Edit: it's here
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.