Modem Firmware Upgrade - Easy programming device project


My company plans to use the MKRNB1500 in one of our products, and as such we will need to perform the firmware upgrade on every new modem. I understand that there is some frustration among the community concerning which party should be responsible for this, but this post is not going to discuss that. Instead, I am looking into a solution for making it easier for the DIYers to upgrade their device(s).

I'm working on designing a programming socket/cradle that will hold an NB1500 for programming. Pogo pins will make contact with the four modem USB test pads, which will then be broken out to a simple USB header. This will allow flashing firmware to the modem without needing to solder a cable to each device.

If anyone has any suggestions or additional features that would be useful for this device, feel free to leave a comment.

I had to recently update firmware on a couple of my own MKRNB1500s, the soldering wasn't terrible, but having a cradle like this would be really great. I considered trying to build my own, but for only a couple units it wasn't worth the effort. However, if my project proves to be successful, I may have the need to do this on dozens of units or more (hopefully).

I can't think of any other features, but I do have a couple of questions. How will the board be held in place on the cradle? How will we be able to get one of these? Are you planning to sell them or make plans available to 3d print/diy? I'm definitely really interested! Definitely keep us updated.

How will the board be held in place on the cradle?
There are a couple of options I can think of for this:

  1. Two 14-pos receptacles for the headers on the MKRNB to plug into (like a shield would). The mating connection force would keep the pogo pins in contact with the board.
  2. Four spacers/standoffs that locate into the mounting holes of the MKRNB. These would be set to a controlled height to make sure the pogo pins have appropriate contact. If they are threaded standoffs, could use a couple of nuts to hold the boards during programming.
  3. Could do some 3D printed fixture to locate & hold the board, but I think that over-complicates it

How will we be able to get one of these?
The company I work for has expressed interest in selling them, so I think that will at least be an option. I'd like it to be open source, but that will be up to my company.

Thanks for the interest. The more interest/attention this gets, the more influence I will have to make it happen.

Sounds very good. Any update here and yes i know a few people which are interested in that. Maybe also Arduino :smiley: