Integrated Web Interface

This page will show the process step-by-step of how to update your TCS LCC products using the Integrated Web Interface built-in to WiFi-enabled products with Bootloader 1.4 or newer.

Check out this video for more info on this method:

This page will teach you how to use the built-in web interface of the TCS WiFi family of devices to manually update the firmware. This procedure is the same for any operating system, but currently applies primarily for users who are on Mac or Linux which currently do not have support for TCS D.E.P.O.T.

The Web Interface updating process is significantly faster than other methods of updating firmware. It does have the downside of not be automatic in the same ways as TCS D.E.P.O.T., such as automatic firmware file downloads and auto detect/connect.

Note, the process described below was introduced in Bootloader Version 1.4, which began shipping in devices manufactured on or after March 1st 2022. Bootlader Version 1.2 or 1.0 (no version display) are not capable of using this method. You must use TCS D.E.P.O.T. or JMRI to perform your update if you have an older bootloader version.

Prerequisites

  • The device you are updating MUST be loaded with Bootloader Version 1.4 or Newer.

  • The firmware file for your device must be available on the computer you will be using to update.

  • A WiFi access point connected and paired to the computer and the device you are updating. (Otherwise, see AP mode instructions below)

To search for and download a firmware file for your product, CLICK HERE.

Note: After downloading, it is recommended that you copy or move the firmware file into a safe place that is easy to find, and not your downloads folder.

Note - Bootloader Version 1.4

Newly manufactured throttles (on or after March 1st 2022), including ALL UWT-50’s are now shipped with Bootloader version 1.4. Thanks to Version 1.4, you now have the ability to upload firmware files to the throttle from a web browser.

Updating the throttle using this web interface is at least twice as fast as any other method, and requires a direct connection between your PC and the throttle. If you already have updated a throttle in the past, this connection should already be available and easy to establish; however, this method requires a manual download of firmware files, and cannot be done automatically as with D.E.P.O.T.

 

Procedure

To reduce the possibility of mistakes and confusion, we recommend ensuring that you connect only the TCS device you are planning to update to the device performing the update. It is recommended, but not necessary, that you also shut down any active JMRI WiThrottle servers.

Your computer/phone/tablet MUST be connected to the same WiFi network you want to use for updating your TCS device. If you are already controlling your layout via this WiFi and PC, you can skip to Step 3. This connection process can be simplified by using Access Point Mode, which is described at the end of these instructions.

  1. If your devices are NOT connected to the same network:

    1. Boot the TCS device normally

    2. Navigate to the Network Settings menu

    3. Connect the TCS device to the same network as the device you are using to update

    4. Power down the TCS device

  2. Once/If your device is connected to the same network, enter the bootloader. For UWT throttles, simply power on the throttle and press 7 at the startup prompt (instead of 2) to enter Bootloader mode.

  3. Wait for the TCS device to connect to WiFi. (about 5 sec). The throttle should display the an SSID, an IP address, and a port number. For the sake of these instructions, the port number does not matter.

  4. Once you have confirmed that the SSID displayed on the screen is correct, open a web browser.

  5. Type in the IP address displayed on the throttle screen into the address bar on your web browser. A window that looks like this will appear:

This is the built-in web page inside of the UWT. You can do a lot of web/WiFi-based configurations in this interface, but for these instructions, we only care about the tab at the top labeled "Firmware Update"

6. Click the "Firmware Update" tab at the top. It will take a few seconds to load the new page, which looks like this:

Throttle_Webpage_firmware_lightmode.png

NOTE: If you don't see the Firmware Update button, ensure that A) you are in bootloader mode (you pressed 7 at the start of the throttle) AND B) your bootloader is at least version 1.4 (will display on the screen).

7. To load the Firmware file, click the "Browse" button, and choose the desired “.bin” file.
NOTE: This file may be located in your Downloads folder. If you copied or moved the file somewhere else, you will need to go find it in the file browser that appears.

8. Click the "Update" button and wait for the process to complete. It should only take a few seconds to complete. The TCS device will reboot automatically into the new firmware when done.

To flash another [throttle], start over from Step 2.

Alternate Procedure - Access Point Mode

TCS WiFi-enabled devices such as the UWT-100 have options to switch from a "receiver" into a "transmitter" in a sense. Once you have entered the bootloader state by pressing Button 7 during startup, you will also be prompted at the bottom of the screen to enter "AP Mode" by pressing Button 8.

If you do this, the [throttle] will disconnect from the current SSID/WiFi (if any) and begin broadcasting its own SSID/WiFi. This new SSID will be discoverable by any WiFi device such as a laptop, PC with USB WiFi adapter, smartphone, tablet, or basically any other device with WiFi and a web browser. The SSID of the WiFi the device creates will end in the ID number of the device it is being broadcast from, preceded by "tcs_thr_" for throttles, or "tcs_cs_" for command stations. As an example, a TCS throttle with the ID "01:11" would create the SSID name "tcs_thr_0111" Note that if the device is equipped with a screen, this information will be shown on the screen.

If your PC/MAC/Linux computer has the ability to connect over WiFi directly, you can connect to the TCS device directly. Doing so will eliminate the need to verify the IP address and Port Number since they are hard-coded to always be the same. Any TCS WiFi-enabled device will broadcast in AP mode an IP address of 10.0.0.1
For the sake of these instructions, the port number does not matter. If the device asks for a password, the password is "123456789"

Once your device is in Access Point mode, you can follow all of the same steps from above starting at step 5.