Master Controller Board Firmware and Hardware Revision History

Here is where we list in reverse time order the important high level changes for Firmware and Hardware revisions.

We will use the term MCB for Master Controller Board (the main board containing the motor controller, power supplies, power management, safety systems, real time clock, etc.)

Firmware Revisions

Below is presented as a reverse history of the firmware revisions with the most recent revisions at the top of the table.

To do a firmware upgrade for the motor controller board please see our instructions.

The Rate in the table is the rate at which the MCB STATUS led will blink which is handy to visually check. It is best to count the time of 4 or more blinks then divide by that number for more accuracy. If the blink rate is found to be other than in the table it is possible you have a beta or non-approved version.

DateCode was started around version v35 and shows up in /diagnostics topic along with the version. DateCode is in YYYYMMDD format for releases and YYMMDD for beta releases. It is the date of that particular version. If you have a version that the date is before the date in the table it is likely a Beta or unofficial release. DateCode did not start till around v35.

Ver Rate DateCode Description
v43 4.0 20210829 Magni late 2021 release with bug fixes and minor new abilities
v40 5.75 20201209 Magni previous release used in 2021. This is the default if just an enter is done when asking for version
v39 5.5 20201129 Non-Magni release for in development 4wheel drive unit
v38 5.25 20201006 Depreciated Beta release for some fixes.
v37 4.75 20200620 Use in manufacturing only. 1st rev with a selftest. When people get a replacement MCB this was often the version and should be updated or checked upon reception of the MCB replacement.
v35 4.0 20190815 Last well known good release as of Sept 2020 with double resolution wheel encoders and many improvements. Requires host side software update done after 11/10/2019
v32 5.0 NA Depreciated Production firmware used in 2019.
v28 6.0 NA Depreciated Production shipment version that does wheel movement check on startup. Users should do a firmware upgrade from this very old version

Hardware Revisions

The MCB hardware revisions start with those board revisions that may have ended up at sites outside of Ubiquity Robotics. Below is a list in reverse time order of the boards and approximate time of first availability.

To identify the motor controller board you have you can try to read the version very low on the top left side of the board or you can visit our website HERE

  • 5.3 A modest revision with many improvements and better service features
    • F701 fuse is a 10 AMP (not 35 amp) fuse and F700 is a new non-loaded fuse to replace rev 5.2 R706 0 ohm jumper which we have learned could lead to failures on hard shorts
    • use 3 pin back loaded header, P706, with center pin to ground and side pins are TP3 and TP4. This allows jumper usage in testing board.
    • Just one 25mm standoff for Raspberry Pi support in middle of board. Two standoffs next to P701 removed for assembly reasons.
    • BOM corrections for C411 (12V Main) and C1411 (12V Aux) 3.5mm lead space 680uf 25V, C312 (5V Aux) and C1312 (5V Main) 3.5mm lead space and will be 1000uf @ 16V
    • The testpoints used to start a now available selftest are now on a 0.1” spacing connector, P706. Use 0.1 inch jumper center to TP4 for power on self test that moves wheels.
    • Fix ‘WiFi’ diode silkscreen (reversed) and make ‘WiFi’ text larger
    • Q903 is loaded large topside Mosfet, TI CSD19532KTT, for ECB Main (reliability fix)
    • R1901 (100k) and Q1904 are now backside loaded parts on the bom and higher current and take the place of topside Q1903. (reliability fix)
    • R604 and R603 become 0.1 percent to improve accuracy of battery voltage reading for worse case resistor tolerance.
    • Assorted improvements to silkscreen for easier support and service of the board.
  • 5.2 A major revision placed into production in early April 2020.
    • The CAD system was changed to be a full KiCAD based design. This was a huge change that required renumbering of most all of the part reference designators and of course the goal was after it was done to have an identical board.
    • An onboard 3.3V regulator supplies the onboard 3.3V for some parts. This means that we no longer put the Raspberry Pi 3.3 at risk that can destroy a Raspberry Pi. This also means we have more current locally on 3.3V.
    • Two leds SIN and SOUT now indicate serial traffic has made it through the level converters. This is a huge debug assist as we can tell if the host raspberry Pi is actively talking and can detect failures in level converters. These are located near the top of the MCB and in center of the board.
    • A WiFi led has been added so for users who do not use a sonar board they can see the state of the WiFi for Hotspot or user wifi connect debug.
    • Added optional 2-pin connectors for wheel breaks. Normally not loaded.
    • Two of the Analog pins now are fed with multiple resistors to allow verification that the 4 power supplies are ok AND to set power-on options.
    • Test points available to force full selftest on powerup if one is grounded
    • There are now 4 locations for power MosFets for ability to improve our current handling ability for both main and motor power.
    • The direct battery power that we used to supply to the large 50 pin jack now comes from after the main power ECB circuit so we can prevent direct shorts.
    • A great many silkscreen improvements have been made.
    • Added 3-pin 12V jack for user to have a place to hook in a fan.
    • Added a couple holes in lower right of board to be useful for mounting plate for different processors than the Raspberry Pi series.
  • 5.1 Minor layout change but important. First produced April 2019.
    • A major reliability fix to prevent failures of the motor ECB power switch/protection circuit. A re-design of the Motor Power ECB circuit that . Many value changes are involved as is the change of the M903_ECB_MOT MosFet to a much more powerful MosFet.
  • 5.0 This major revision was first produced December 2018. Quite a few changes for reliability, production and safety issues.
    • Fixes to allow proper low voltage detection for main and motor power REQUIRE the use of the new switch board with 4 Resistors. It is thus IMPORTANT to know that a rev 5 board MUST use a switch board that now says rev 2.0 on it and will not power up with older switch board that had 3 resistors. Earlier boards will work with the new rev 2.0 switch board but rev 5.0 MUST use new switch board with 4 resistors.
    • A new chip, U3, and some circuit changes allows host CPU to read over I2C board revision, motor power switch state and a 3-bit option jumper block.
    • Layout and parts changes for the high current sense resistors to allow larger resistors that can be in parallel for BOTH ECB circuits
    • Many changes in the top and bottom layer copper relief around P602 adn P603 to make it no longer possible for the high current battery power to short.
    • Changes so the on-board processor can quickly detect if the ESTOP switch is pressed or not.
    • Added leds that show when Main power ECB is powered on and also when Motor ECB is powered on (Shows ESTOP effect to motor power)
    • The 5-pin motor encoder jacks became 6-pin so the white wire could be attached as well and not left hanging
    • Jack P2 and nearby mounting holes allow a separate I2C connector or the use of a future OLED display once we decide to ship this feature.
    • Some movements of large through hole capacitors to minimize production and interference issues.
    • Many more changes to fix mechanical issues with the 14-pin jack to the switch board and interference with the jack and parts
    • A LOT of silkscreen changes to better show PIN 1 placements and better label jacks like the two 4-pin white power jacks on top.
    • Several of the 0.1” connector strips were set to NO-LOAD or moved to the back to prevent shorts on never used jacks and to allow USB plugs to be easier to plug in and not risk shorting out these 0.1” long pinned jacks.
    • Some resistors moved to not be under the large 3-pin green motor 3-phase terminal strips.
    • REWORK: C312_5M mistake required a mod for this large capacitor.
  • 4.9 The first production run boards that had undergone qualification tests required for shipment to end users. A great many things changed from rev 4.7 and they will not all be listed because this is technically the first official board version for customer shipments. A few key things are listed.
    • Addition of many ground plane and EMC emission suppression fixes so we pass required tests to ship the product.
    • Started using chips U1 and U2 for active Serial level converters to allow faster communicaitons and better signals.
    • Changes around the 14 pin jack that connects to the switch board to address components in the way of the jack.
    • Some silkscreen changes
  • 4.7 A pre-release board revision prior to the first production release. Alpha and Beta sites and users who needed to try things in a lab only environment were sent this board for a small number of early evaluation units.

  • 4.6 An extremely early pre-release board long before first official shipments. This was only sent to Alpha and Beta test sites. Not very many units.