1 Updating your V1 SensorStation Radios to Detect New Hardware

1.1 Why Update?

This is a valid question. In 2020 we introduced the 2nd version of the CTT SensorStation, and simultaneously released new versions of the CTT Node and CTT LifeTag. For the latter two products we made some significant advances in the way they communicate with our SensorStation radios, and they way they confirm their digital ID. Technology moves at lightning speed, and while we made these changes with every intention of full backwards compatibility, we soon learned that the radios would need to be manually updated once before they could join the V2 SensorStations in receiving over-the-air radio programming.

So should you update? If you plan to add Version 2 CTT Nodes to your study, then the answer is absolutely yes. If your station is listening for V2 LifeTags, it will still pick up the tag ID like it always has, but will not be able to use the tag ID confirmation code to absolutely validate the ID. So if you want the highest degree of confirmation for LifeTags, then the answer is also yes.

If you’re doing a localized study using PowerTags and not using any of the newer Nodes, then you don’t need to update the radios at all…but of course you still can! To find out how, read on…

1.2 Getting Started

1.2.1 Things you’ll need

  • USB Programmer with a ribbon cable and 6-pin female header (if male header exists on your V1 station radios) or male header (if no header exists on your V1 station radios)
    • If your V1 SensorStation radios do not have headers, you’ll also need this part to make the connection between the programmer cable and the board: click here
    • We recommend this programmer: click this here
    • but this one will also work with a little more effort (PC-only): click here
      • If you are using this programmer, or having issues with your USBtinyISP see Troubleshooting for special instructions before proceeding.
  • Computer (Mac or PC)

1.3 Part 1: Setting up Arduino IDE

  1. Using your favorite browser, navigate to http://arduino.cc
  2. From the main page, select Software > Downloads
  3. Download the Arduino IDE *
  • (* if using the USBasp device, you must download Arduino IDE 1.6.9 or earlier. You can do so here). Again, see Appendix I for full instructions for using that programmer.
  1. From the File menu, select Preferences
  2. Near the bottom of the Preferences page you’ll see a window for Additional Boards Manager URLs. Past the following in that window:
  1. Now go to Tools > Board “xxx” > Boards Manager

  2. Install the latest version of Adafruit AVR Boards

  3. Now the Adafruit boards will appear un the Tools > Board:”xxx” menu…choose Adafruit Feather 32u4

At this point you are almost ready to connect the adapter on the USBtinyISP to the header on the SensorStation radios and burn the new bootloader on each radio, but first we have a little prep work to do…

  1. Connect the USBtinyISP device to your compute using a USB cable.

  2. Go to Tools > Programmer and select USBtinyISP

1.4 Part 2: Prepping your SensorStation for updating the radios

  1. Ensure the SensorStation is OFF, and the power has been disconnected.
  2. Remove the Raspberry Pi module by carefully pushing apart the tabs holding the Pi in place. This will cause the Pi to pop out at an angle from the top of the Pi (the bottom is hinged), at which point you can remove it by pulling up at an angle.