Upgrading the firmware on a Simulator or Avionics Stack


Preparation

What's needed:
  • Program plug or short length of wire (e.g. metal paperclip)
  • NewHexLoad.exe
  • The appropriate hex file
  • (First time only) The HWC3 drivers
  • (Optional) The strength of ten because your heart is pure and your cause is just

Step 1: Get the Drivers

If you have not already, please download and extract the HWC3 drivers Zip file. Put it in a convenient place.

Step 2: Get NewHexLoad

You'll need a copy of NewHexLoad.exe. Put it into a convenient directory. If you know how you may put it into your path; otherwise it should be in the same directory as the hex and batch files (see next).

Step 3: Get the hex file and batch file

If you have not already done so, download the appropriate hex file and the associated batch file. Put them into the same directory as NewHexLoad.exe.

Step 4: Install a jumper

Place the program plug into the 15-pin "D" connector on your simulator's hardware controller.

If you do not have a program plug you can do it yourself. You'll need a length of wire; a bent metal paperclip will work. Place one end in the "D" connector pin 12, the other in pin 13. (Click on the photo on the left to display a larger image.)

Step 5: Power up

Once you've applied the jumper or the program plug, power up the hardware controller. (If it's already powered, remove and restore power. Adding the jumper while the system is powered will not harm anything but it has to be powered up after the jumper is in place.)


Step 6: Install drivers

The first time you plug in your HWC3 in program mode your computer will ask you to install drivers. Skip this step if Windows does not run the software installation wizard.

After that, any time you plug the HWC3 into a different USB port it will ask to install the drivers again, but the procedure is a little simpler. (More on this later.) It won't prompt you any more if you plug into a port you've already used.

Step 7: Run the batch file

Double-click the batch file you just downloaded. You should see something like this:

Example of a successful firmware upgrade