Bricked b/new Alpine CDE-W235BT - diyAudio
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Old 22nd July 2012, 02:44 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Bricked b/new Alpine CDE-W235BT

I've been a bad bad boy, I've tried updating an alpine HU with UK firmware even though the HU is from the USA, so i tried updating it with a firmware from the UK, assuming that i could recover from it even if the firmware update failed, of course the update failed to work and Alpine in their devine wisdom have made a software loop in the basic software update firmware so you cannot get back out of "Updating" mode.

Reason for wanting to update it? I wanted Longwave Tuner support.

Need help.
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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I'm having the exact same trouble but the update should have applied but it failed (although I followed instructions to the letter). Now I'm stuck in updating mode. Where you able to get a resolution to this? Can I trouble you for an explanation if so? Thanks in advance for youtime.
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Old 14th October 2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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Still waiting on Alpine USA to release a BT update for the CDE-W235BT.

They probably won't ever.

Mine is still sitting on the shelf waiting to be repaired.

I contacted Alpine Australia multiple times and they basically said no they can't fix it, and it wouldn't be a warranty job because it was bought from the USA..

Understandable really.

Frankly I've just moved on and considered it to be a loss.

Alpine knew exactly what they were doing when they made the firmware on these units, designed to brick if the update fails and not giving you ANY option to exit the update process when it does get into the update mode, so you would go out and buy another one.

On a schematic level this is basically nothing but a glorified boom box inside a car radio cabinet and it sounds apsolutley dreadful, not even worth repairing. And I'll be damned if I can get any help in trying to reflash it or trying to even get the I2S bus output from it from anyone

So basically I bought a $200 device, put it into update mode, and it was never to work ever again, way to go Alpine!

Frankly I'd love to take it to headquarters and shove it up their ****. All to the tune of Baby Elephant Walk in MIDI.

Last edited by freax; 14th October 2012 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 14th October 2012, 06:33 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: wigan
Niw if you had bought the Australian version you would not be in this situation now would you lol...Somtimes savein a few quid ends up costing more .. at leat you have learnt a valuble lesson....

Kind Regards Mark
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Old 28th October 2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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I also tried the firmware update and the updating loop never stopped.
Even the reset does not work properly.
My opinion is that Alpine engineers did a bad job.
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Old 29th October 2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
Time to bring out the JTAG and force a recovery of the eeprom for the system MPU. This gets done all the time for bricked modems and satellite tv receivers etc.. just about anything with a eeprom and a MPU gets done this way. How do you think they brought that unit up online to begin with? After all the electronics got past inspection they loaded it with a JTAG plug and some rudimentary software package to force loads the eeprom.
Unfortunately most bench tech's don't get access to such software and tools from the manufacturer let alone the training to do such a procedure. I don't have access to the service manual but I am sure they are several PC Board contacts for a JTAG to connected to the unit inside. Anything that is made flashable by outside software is built like this.
It would be nice of the manufacturer to supply recovery software info and tech support to where the JTAG points are on the board.

Also a possible reason for the looped software could be due to corrupted data from the download source. A detailed check of the software after download with HASH file software to compare checksum numbers would be inline before using any downloaded software on a flash install. Just because something completes a download on the net does not mean it was a perfect download and there was no data corruption. this happens all the time and I never use a flash file without doing a checksum on its data. I personally have had to re-download something as many as 6 times before it was received correctly. Never trust the net to deliver flash code uncorrupted.

Another line of thought would be for Alpine to sell and ship you a new eeprom chip that has already been loaded with the latest software and then all you need to do is use a hot air reflow wand to remove the old eeprom and replace it with the factory replacement. Takes about 5 minutes to do with the right tools. We use to do this with factory code locked units back in the 90's I doubt if things have changed that much since then..

Hope this helps some of you with this issue. it is repairable with the correct computer JTAG interface and some simple software from the manufacturer, or a replacement preloaded eeprom...
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Old 30th October 2012, 03:42 AM   #7
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Location: Anchorage AK
so, what you are saying, is that they could possibly pick up some mechanically broken, or faceless units from their region cheap, and change out the prom?
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Old 30th October 2012, 06:52 AM   #8
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Location: Northern California
Originally Posted by AKHeathen View Post
so, what you are saying, is that they could possibly pick up some mechanically broken, or faceless units from their region cheap, and change out the prom?

Sure that would work. < you have to know how to solder well and work with SMD IC's properly, and no static allowed > And you need to know where the code is stored on which device.
Most MPU systems have Ram, and ROM, and EEprom. Flash code usually goes to the EEprom devices. Usually the softpaks are not too sophisticated inside and lack and real security to prevent chip replacement. A careful search of the EEprom device spec's might yield a write protect pin that could be jumper-ed to protect the good EEprom during transfer...

The other options would be replace the whole MPU board with factory tested and new, or JTAG the MPU board and rewrite the operating system.

I don't condone the misuse or abuse of this information in any way. I am only explaining some of what I have worked with over the years and how basic it is to program any MPU based software driven system. JTAG recovery operations are just how things are done by the industry that labels the JTAG pins openly on the MPU boards.
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