At the time of writing, the released firmware for the WIB includes versions between 5.30 and 5.40. Most questions in this article relate to versions 5.30, 5.31 and 5.32.
Version 5.40 is the latest and fixes two problems with earlier versions (see later). It has been made available to the kit suppliers and is also available for free download from the SILICON CHIP website. Future batches of kits should contain the new firmware version (5.40) or later.
This FAQ compilation refers to the original hardware of the WIB, which used the dsPIC33FJ64GP802 microcontroller. However, it is now possible to use the dsPIC33FJ128GP802 chip as well. This device is pin for pin compatible but has double the program memory.
By using this new chip, it would now be possible to incorporate many new features, including an ethernet-based bootloader. This and other features will be considered for a future upgrade to the WIB.
Common Setting-Up Questions & Problems
Q I have changed a setting in the settings.txt file using a text editor but the setting does not seem to have changed in the WIB. Why is that?
A This can be confusing at first and is one of the most common traps that constructors can fall into.
Basically, the settings are stored in binary form in the values.dat file. The settings.txt file is only for the default values (if there is no values.dat file), as happens on the very first boot up.
The WIB creates the values.dat file from the settings.txt file if it does not exist. If it does exist, it uses the settings stored in the values.dat file.
This scheme made the firmware simpler because changes to settings can be stored easily in binary form but are more difficult to store in a human-readable file like the settings.txt file. However, the human-readable file is useful for setting up the default values.
In order to change the settings to those in the settings.txt file, you need to first delete the values.dat file and then reboot the WIB. A new values.dat will then be created, with the settings taken from the settings.txt file. This is done by clicking the “Restore Defaults” button in the supplied default website (ie, you don’t have to switch the WIB off and then on again in order to reboot it).
Q There is a csettings.txt file in the supplied default website, as well as the default settings.txt file. What is the csettings.txt file for?
A The csettings.txt file is generated by the WIB and should not be modified, as it has no effect on the settings of the WIB. The csettings.txt file is created by the WIB at runtime to store the current settings in a human readable form. This is used in the “Create Defaults” function, where the csettings.txt file is copied to the settings.txt file.
Q Should I retain the directory information when I unzip the contents of ewswebsite.zip to obtain the supplied website (available from the January 2010 downloads section of the SILICON CHIP website)?
A No, the files should all be unzipped into the root folder of the memory card disregarding any original path information stored in the zip archive.
Q There is a file named 0711109A.hex in the supplied default website, what is this file for?
A This file contains the firmware image for the latest version of the WIB. It can be left on the memory card and will not affect the operation of the WIB or it can be deleted. It is a small file, so it will not take up much space on the memory card. Note that if it is left on the memory card, it can then be accessed like other pages served by the WIB.
Q I am having trouble logging in to the WIB with the username and password as set in the settings.txt file. Alternatively, some setting in the settings.txt file does not seem to be being parsed properly. Why is that?