Stagehand Firmware

We update it for a reason, so should you

Every Stagehand Controller has a Stagehand Card inside. This card listens to Spikemark, telling the amplifier how to move the motor and monitoring the plethora of sensors attached to the machine.

These cards require firmware to function the way we expect. Sometimes firmware updates are adding new features, other times the updates are squashing bugs.

If your Stagehand has very old firmware (like v50) you'll need to update it in order for the Stagehand to work with Spikemark 5.

Firmware updates are distributed and installed through Spikemark. You can see what hardware and firmware version your Stagehand is running from the Hardware pane in Spikemark. This is also where you can see if there's an update available and where to install the update.

Pro Tip

If the Most Recent Firmware shows "Unknown" you will need to close Spikemark and reopen it from the Start Menu. Once Spikemark starts you can open your show file from the File -> Open menu.

Current Firmware

To find out which Firmware you have, either connect to Spikemark and look at the version in the Hardware Pane of the Stagehand Properties Panel. Or upon powering up your Stagehand, watch the display: It will display something like: STAGEHAND 50. This means that Stagehand Card is running Version 50 Firmware.

With the release of Spikemark 5, we changed the Stagehand firmware versioning:

  • Classic = STAGEHAND1- REV101-199

    • Stagehand AC (Classic) (Retired)

    • Stagehand Mini (Classic) (Retired)

    • Stagehand OEM 1.7 (Retired)

    • Stagehand OEM 1.5 (Retired)

  • Pro Bipolar = STAGEHAND2- REV201-299

    • Stagehand Pro 2 (Retired)

    • Stagehand Mini ^2 (Retired)

    • Stagehand Hydraulic

  • Unipolar (v3 and v4) = STAGEHAND3- REV301-499

    • Stagehand Pro 3 (Retired)

    • Stagehand Apprentice

    • Stagehand Apprentice DC

    • Pushstick Mini

    • Spotline Mini

    • Spotline Practical

  • Unipolar v5 = STAGEHAND5- REV501-599

    • Stagehand Pro 4

    • Stagehand Apprentice

    • Stagehand Apprentice 2 (1HP)

    • Pushsitck Mini

  • Unipolar v6 = STAGEHAND6- REV601-699

    • Stagehand Pro 5

    • Stagehand Apprentice 2

Do you want to see all of the firmware in a fancy table?

Updating Firmware

Firmware can be updated two ways: automatically through Spikemark or manually. The recommended path to update Stagehand firmware is through Spikemark.

There are two ways to update firmware: Through Spikemark or manually through the Update Firmware Utility Tool. If the update button is not available, or if you are rocking REV10 (or earlier) firmware or you are updating a Stagehand FX, you will need to complete the update manually with the Stagehand Updater in the second tab below.

Before updating firmware you must confirm the Spikemark IP Address is set to the proper IP Address. Click on the FILE menu, then SPIKEMARK OPTIONS. Use the drop down menu to select the IP Address used to connect to the Stagehands.

Update Firmware Through Spikemark

Select the motor your wish to update

Navigate to the Hardware tab of the Stagehand Properties Panel and click Update Motor Firmware. This will begin the automatic update process. You may see a couple windows open as data is transferred, and then the Stagehand will automatically restart. The whole process usually only takes between 30 and 60 seconds.

Once the Stagehand has restarted, power cycle the device then connect it to Spikemark following the steps above and check that the Firmware Installed matches Most Recent Firmware.

After updating the firmware and confirming the latest and greatest firmware is installed you must power cycle your Stagehand controller.

Update issues

Occasionally you'll run into an issue updating firmware from Spikemark. If you are trying to update a Stagehand Pro 5 or Apprentice 2 and running into "weird" issues, like it not taking the update or seeing an error message with "-2", double check the IP Address for your network adapter is selected in Spikemark.

Manually Updating Firmware

To manually update the firmware on any Stagehand Classic, Mini, DC, Hydraulic, Stagehand Apprentice, Stagehand Pro 2/3/4 you'll need the Stagehand Updater utility. Download it here. Check out these instructions to manually update a Unipolar 6 Stagehand (Stagehand Pro 5, Stagehand Apprentice 2)

Unzip the Stagehand_Update folder to your Desktop

The folder will have 5 files in it - they are all required to be in the same directory as the Stagehand Update.exe application

Browse to C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Spikemark Firmware\Stagehands\Motors and locate the Stagehand Motor firmware files you need.

*Download the Stagehand FX firmware here*

  • Version-1

    • Stagehand 1.x - STAGEHAND1-1xx

  • Version-2

    • Stagehand Bipolar - STAGEHAND2-2xx

  • Version-3

    • Stagehand Unipolar v3-v4 - STAGEHAND3-3xx

  • Version-5

    • Stagehand Unipolar v5 - STAGEHAND5-5xx

  • Version-6

    • Stagehand Unipolar v6 - STAGEHAND5-6xx

Release the E-Stop - The Stagehand cannot be in an E-Stop state to update the Firmware

Connect your computer to the Stagehand, either directly or through a network switch

Run Stagehand Update.exe from the folder on your desktop.

Enter the IP Address of the Stagehand you need to update

Select the proper firmware file.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Pushing the incorrect firmware file to the Stagehand will require a trip back to the factory to restore

Press the UPDATE button

  1. A few new windows will flash on the screen

  2. After the process is complete, the newly updated Stagehand will reboot in about 30 seconds. During reboot, it should display the new firmware revision number.

And that's it, you're now running the latest and greatest firmware revision.

After updating the firmware and confirming the latest and greatest firmware is installed you must power cycle your Stagehand controller.

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