Using SwitchBlox with the old firmware for management

Rephrased from a customer support case

We installed the old version of SwitchBlox, one of the versions that had a microcontroller that we flashed with firmware and it was working well for us.

We recently bought one of the newer versions and noticed a lot of the parts are missing from the board. Moreover, we cannot connect to it with our programmer.

It looks like we missed the announcement where SwitchBlox management functions were migrated to SwitchBlox Industrial.

We want to change to SwitchBlox Industrial eventually but cannot do it for this batch. Can we solder the parts back on the SwitchBlox version we have, to make it work with the old firmware?

The issue here is that the old version of SwitchBlox was discontinued in May 2022 and the new versions no longer support management functions. These functions moved to SwitchBlox Industrial. An announcement was sent out about this but looks like you missed that.

SwitchBlox Industrial ships with firmware pre-loaded, and works with a GUI we have built (here). The previous method of achieving management wasn’t ideal; it required customers to load firmware manually, and due to chip shortages we had to swap the microcontroller halfway through manufacture.

SwitchBlox Industrial is designed to mitigate all of these issues. It always ships with the same microcontroller, it comes pre-loaded with firmware, and it runs a GUI which is much more user friendly. You simply connect SwitchBlox Industrial to a PC running our GUI using a USB to Serial converter, and you can configure it. To achieve these better functions and guarantee of availability, the price is a bit higher on SwitchBlox Industrial.

However, none of that information helps you. Luckily, you can make SwitchBlox work in the old way by simply soldering back on the Microcontroller and its associated parts. The parts you will need are…

1 x STM32L021D4P7 - U7 on board
2 x CL05A104KA5NNNC - C49, C75 on board
2 x CR0402-JW-472GLF - R58, R59 on board

The image below shows where these are located on the board.

Note, the silkscreen labels of C49 and R58 are the wrong way round. Make sure to follow the arrows on the picture below, not the silkscreen labels.

For the LED replacement, you can use ASMB-LTD2-0A333, though you will need to rotate, and the colours will be a bit different.

The actual LED we use is…