V25 firmware update overview

Who should read this section? #

If you’re new to Tortuga Audio preamps and/or you are considering updating the firmware of your V25 based preamp for the first time, then we recommend you read this section first.

If you’re a tech savvy audiophile who everyone comes to for help with their computers then you can probably skip this overview and go directly to the next section in this series which discusses how to obtain a firmware update and how to install it on your V25 preamp controller.

What is firmware? #

All of Tortuga Audio’s preamp’s  are controlled by a software driven microcontroller which is a type of embedded microprocessor widely used in commercial, industrial and consumer equipment. The software running on the microcontroller is referred to as “firmware.

Firmware is a class of computer software that controls a specific hardware device and is typically stored in that devices’s read only memory. By its nature firmware is neither easy to erase nor is it easy to replace or update especially as compared to software applications that run on a personal computer. Firmware usually runs directly on a microcontroller’s “bare metal” without any intervening operating system.

Why update your firmware? #

The simple reality with software is there are always bugs that need fixing and new features and capabilities that keep getting added. Most  of the time the casual owner of equipment can ignore all that. But sometimes the bug is significant and once the fix is in the only way to get that fix into your machine is to do a firmware update.

Firmware Versions #

Firmware for the V25 can be divided into 2 periods – before OLED and After OLED.  OLED refers to the graphic OLED (organic light emitting diode) display introduced in May, 2018.

7 Segment Display Only Firmware – Before introducing the OLED display our displays used 7-segment display technology with a 2 digit left channel and a 2 digit right channel numerical display. The firmware version was nominally a 4 digit number that started with the numbers “10” on the left followed by the actual version on the right. This series started at 1001 and went up through 1029 before this firmware series ended when the OLED display came out.

New Firmware Series For Both Display Types – When the OLED display was introduced, a new firmware series was started that applies to both types of displays. The same firmware operates either display. The new firmware versioning uses a 3 digit number plus an additional leading “0” which you can ignore. The new versioning started with version 201 and has since had over 30 subsequent updates most of which were minor fixes or improvements.

Which firmware version do you have? #

Your preamp is able to display the version number of your firmware. It’s done differently depending on whether you have the original 7-segment display or the newer OLED display.

7 Segment Display – The firmware version will flash briefly on the display roughly 5 seconds after power is applied to your V25 preamp. To be clear, the firmware version does NOT display when you turn on the preamp but only when you apply power to the preamp. The firmware version will be a 3-4 digit number like 1025 or 0232.

OLED Display – On preamps with  an OLED display you can scroll down the menu tree until you see the “Version” menu item. Press Enter on the remote and it will display the preamp model number, hardware version, and firmware version.

Special consideration when upgrading beyond version 1011 #

If your preamp currently has earlier series firmware version between 1001 and 1011, please read the following information carefully before proceeding with a firmware update.

If your preamp currently has firmware versions 1011 (or earlier), updating your firmware  will cause your preamp to go through a mandatory automatic re-initialization process. This is a one-time process but must be allowed to run to completion in order for the update to become effective. If interrupted, the automatic re-initialization process will repeat itself the next time your preamp is powered up until the process is allowed to run to completion.

Duing this re-initilziation process your existing impedance settings and associated attenuation/calibration tables will all be deleted. Various numbers may be displayed during this process. When the first phase of the re-initilization process is complete your preamp will then automatically enter the second phase where it automatically runs through a calibration cycle associated with impedance setting #1 which will now become fixed at 20k ohms by default. When the calibration process is completed your preamp will reboot and then turn itself on after which it will be available to be used normally.

If for whatever reason your preamp does not operate properly after such an update, please run the calibration process 1-2 more times.

Users with balanced preamp will need to repeat this process with both V25 boards. When updating the left board there will be no information displayed. Please allow at least 15 minutes after uploading the firmware to allow the automatic re-initialization process to complete even if no information is displayed.

With this upgrade, setting/level #1/20k will no longer be available to be edited by the user as before. Only settings 2-9 will be available to the user to setup and adjust input impednace between 1-99k ohms.

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