Page created in 2009. Last updated 17 Sep 2011 (Fix broken Sharpfin links)
Most of the content on this page is pre-May 2010. I have not had the opportunity to remove any redundant content/comments or update it properly. This page was more or less made redundent when Reciva opened up the Beta programme to anyone who wished to upgrade to the latest and last version of firmware for their radios using the original Barracuda radio module.
Modifying your Reciva radio is done so at your own risk. You may invalidate the warranty and at worst, damage (Brick) your radio beyond a simple repair. The Sharpfin method can be used to install the Enhancement Pack. It however can also be used to change the firmware on a radio to a later version and back it up. You should NOT use the Sharpfin base patch to try and Downgrade to a previous release of firmware as it may brick the radio.
Unlike other Reciva radios, you will NOT be able to revert back to the original v257-a-421-a-064 factory release after upgrading your Ebuyer/Vistron MX-200i by relying on any Reciva official firmware upgrade procedure.
Based on my limited observations with my radios, if you choose to upgrade to v257-a-865-a-4xx, the Sharpfin base patch 'Change Firmware' function will no longer work. Also, I have observed the firmware backup functions may not work too as Reciva have removed the nanddump utility from the firmware. ie. Sharpfin base patch is not fully compatible with v257-a-865-a-4xx
In early 2009, Reciva forum member 'Castalla' reports he has successfully used the Sharpfin method to upgrade the firmware to v257-a-756-a-030. This release specifically adds Radio stations 'Search' function. Later releases may not include the 'Search' function.
All of the original Sharpfin programs were written by Steve Clarke. They were available from his Sharpfin Project website before it seemed to permanently go offline in summer 2011.
Reciva Users Wiki page
Reciva Refuge User forum
Link to resurrected Sharpfin Project
On his website, there was a link to 'Enabling Login' which point to the following useful YouTube video guides to show how to install the Sharpfin base patch to your radio:
Sharpfin guide part 1
Sharpfin guide part 2
Sharpfin guide part 3
Once the Sharpfin base patch has been installed onto the radio, you are then able to access your radio by a number of different means, and carry out operations such as downloading alternative firmwares to your computer, for installation from the Sharpfin patch server program. (Referred to as Changing the firmware on the Sharpfin website)
Warning: If you decide to patch/upgrade you MX-200i radio, you do so at your own risk. Your product guarantee will also be invalidated. If you brick (damage) your MX-200i, there is no way of recovering the radio.
I've not personally experienced any serious or annoying buffering issues when listening to my favourite overseas radio stations to cause me any concern when used with my BT 2700HGV or BT Home Hub v2 ADSL wireless routers. However, as from 16 June 2009, I am now testing the v257-a-756-a-030 firmware on my radio.
Although the Sharpfin method is well documented with an excellent video tutorial and PDF printed instructions, it didn't always go according to plan. The points I encountered included:
Installing Cygwin looked a bit daunting. On Windows XP, simply click on the install icon on the Cygwin webpage, and download & execute the setup program. You will be prompted choose a download server - I am in the UK, so I chose the http server ending in '.ie' or '.fr' which are closest to me, otherwise if you use the default download server, it may take an eternity to download. Accept all setup wizard defaults. It will take a few minutes to download and install the additional installation files to your computer.
When unzipping the two Sharpfin zip patch files, make sure all files are unzipped into the same 'radiopatch' folder.
When entering the IP addresses into your radio, I found it much quicker to use the Scroll/Select knob on the radio to enter the digits.
I initially had difficulty finding the simplified instructions on how to obtain the new firmware and install it once I had successfully installed the Sharpfin base patch file. This post by 'krnov' helped me out.
When I first used the Sharpfin in June 2009, I had to repeat some steps more than once before it succeeded. eg. 'Checking for Upgrades' didn't always work the first time for me. (I should add that I used a wireless laptop to run the Sharpfin patch server program)
Nevertheless, I did successfully install the Sharpfin base patch and subsequently, the new v257-a-756-a-030 firmware on to two MX-200i in June 2009 and later in December 2009.
These are a few of the screenshots from my PC:
Web browser pointing at my radio (with Sharpfin base patch installed)
Important: When entering the firmware version, omit the leading 'v'. ie. enter 257-a-756-a-030 and not v257-a-756-a-030
I put the file into the same folder as the sharpfin patch files.
This shows the patch server running with the 'v257-a-756-a-030' patch in readiness to upgrade the firmware on my radio.
The only obvious functional differences I have observed with this new firmware are:
When booting up the radio, the 'Finding Gateway' message is displayed after successfully connecting to my wireless network.
When looking up a radio station by Location, countries are no longer grouped by continent.
There is a new radio station Search function available in v257-a-756-a-030 firmware.
At time of writing, I have not encountered any new issues with the radio using the new v257-a-756-a-030 firmware. (Note that this feature may not exist on other later versions of firmware)
(Added 11 Dec 09): I note that if I check for upgrades through the menu, there are none available, which implies I can no longer even return to the original factory shipped version.
(Added 24 Dec 09): I note that v257-a-865-a-400 is missing the Radio Stations 'Search' function if my radio is removed from the beta testers programme.
(Added 2 Feb 10): I thought I'd try and back up the radio today for the first time using the Sharpfin base patch web page. Unfortunately, it failed. I also tried executing the nanddump and getpart commands from a Telnet session - this failed too. The commands appeared to be missing or not in the path. I looked in the /BIN and /USR/BIN folders in the first instance and neither commands were present.....
Clicking on 'here' results in page (ie. file) not found error in IE8.
I did a quick google search in the Sharpfin google group and noted one other poster had reported the backup tools not working.
My radio is running v257-a-865-a-400, it's possible the sharpfin base patch is not properly installed onto this radio. It also may or may not be related to my observation where I don't seem to be able to 'downgrade' the firmware on the radio to an earlier firmware version using the Sharpfin method. I'm now wondering whether or not there is a fundamental issue when trying to install the sharpfin base patch onto radios running v257-a-865 firmware.
(Added 11 Feb 10): I set up the Sharpfin patchserver on a PC and removed the sharpfin base patch from the radio running v257-a-865-a-400 firmware. Then reinstalled the sharpfin base patch. Unfortunately, the symptoms persist. ie. Cannot backup the existing firmware/partitions as the nandump program appears to be missing from the file system. I'm no Linux expert, but when I used the 'find' command under telnet to search for any instance of any filename with wildcard nand*, it only found the nandwrite program.
I then installed the Sharpfin base patch onto my older MX-200i radio running v257-a-756-a-030 firmware without problems, and successfully backed up the firmware/partitions. (fwiw, there seems to be a bug in the web interface. When saving the 5 files to hard drive, use the 'Save As' option and carefully check each of the five filenames. I think I had to remove the erroneous apostrophe for 2 of the filenames.)
I noted the Sharpfin base patch also permitted me to choose an earlier version of firmware such as v257-a-421-a-064, but whether the downgrade would be successful is another matter.
I can only conclude that Sharpfin base patch v0.3 (web interface reports v0.6) is not compatible with v257-a-865-a-400 firmware on my second MX-200i radio.
(Added 30 Apr 10): Installed v257-a-865-a-476 (-472 and -474 also previously tested) onto MX-200i. Transport controls is now supported in BBC On Demand WMA streams. (eg. Pause and ability to jump to a certain point in time in the programme)
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