Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sena SMH10 Firmware Update

I was having some issues with my Sena SMH10 headset so I thought I'd simply upgrade the firmware before moving on to other troubleshooting. I was still on v4.1 and the firmware available on their site was v4.2.1, enough of a change to warrant an update. I downloaded the Mac OS X version and fired it up. The first firmware upgrade failed at 8% and at that point, the unit wouldn't even power up (as indicated by the red/blue LED). I contacted Sena through their website and got a response within minutes via email with a couple of suggestions one of which was to ignore the LED and try to upgrade the firmware again. In each case, it failed at about the same place with the same cryptic error though it would, surprisingly, start even though the software claimed that no headset was detected.

I then dug out a Windows 7 (32-bit) laptop and as soon as I booted it, it started doing all these system updates as I hadn't had it running since last April. It took a while but eventually the Sena software was downloaded and the proper USB driver installed. All this while it was trying to download 50+ software updates and virus signatures. When plugging in the still dead appearing headset, I got the characteristic tone from Windows that a USB device was plugged in and recognized. Started the Sena software and proceeded to ignore all of the warnings that a Sena device was not detected. But when "Update" was selected, it went all the way to completion and near the end of the process, I was prompted to power on the headset. Upon completion, a dialog box suggested that I delete any Bluetooth pairings and recreate them.

After all this, the headset now works again with my iPhone (as a phone) as well as a music player. In the past, I've missed a couple of calls while riding even though the headset was turned on. The media played as well as the intercom but just not the phone part. After the firmware update, all is good once again but I'm not sure that I want to attempt to update the other headset.

BTW, five hours later and Windows is still installing updates.

19 comments:

Martha said...

It seems everyone really tech smart and savvy hates Windows. I'm used to it and not interested in learning a whole new system. I'm nearing the "Enough already" zone.

RichardM said...

The firmware update worked with Windows but failed using OS X. I use Windows on a regular basis though usually on a virtual machine (hosted on OS X) so those machines are usually always current with updates. The dedicated Windows laptop is a Getac W130 ruggedized laptop and doesn't get used very often. I think "hate" may be too strong of a word, though my Linux and OS X hosts are newer, faster and more flexible (to me). And Windows XP and 7 run great as virtual machined using the free version of Virtual Box. In both cases, faster than the stand-alone Getac W130 which is crippled with a slow processor and a spinning hard drive.

Martha said...

You are probably right re "hate", but all the Mac people I have ever known have been less than subtle when offering their opinions about Windows.

I think you work with enough systems that you see the best, worst and in-between and have an educated and fair assessment.

VStar Lady said...

Check one for Windows! I am comfortable using windows (several versions now) and find with a high end machine that the operating system works well and will do whatever I ask. I'm also clever enough not to ask my lesser little netbooks to do things I know they're not capable of doing (most times!) That being said Richard, I wish you lived next door as I am (being a gllutten for punishment) attempting to teach myself to use a Mac and am personally finding it less than intuitive. Having read two hours of online manuals and help files I still can't type a back or forward slash (not useful for a blogger.) The key is on the keyboard, but I just can't make it happen (let alone figure out how to drag my iphoto file filled with summer pics to a remote device!) I just wish it would act like Windows;)

Trobairitz said...

I am glad the Sena is working properly now but what a pain to get there.

I don't think we've done an update to ours. We have iMacs both at my work and at home so I shudder to think if they would update or not.

Unknown said...

Richard:

before my Cross Country Tour I updated my Sena Software, Windows 7 (64 bit), no problems.

I've thought about iOS but I'm too old to learn a new system. I'm sticking with windows. We had an iMAC at work and no one could figure it out so it sat there for 2 years before we got rid of it.

took me a while to figure out my iPhone and I still don't know how to get music on it nor know how to "sync" it. I mainly just use it for emails and text messages

glad you got your Sena working again

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I don't think I "hate" Windows, of the various operating systems I use regularly, it requires the most "care and feeding". I used to use Windows for my desktop environment until OS X came out. To me, as a longtime unix user, it was a familiar environment. That probably isn't the norm...

RichardM said...

At least the Windows software worked as the OS X one kept dying somewhere in the middle. Most schools around here have adopted OS X for the teachers and they now have iPad carts where they used to have laptop carts for the students to use in the classroom.

As far as Blogger and Mac, I thought it looked exactly the same between the two using the web interface. If you imported the photos into iPhoto and want to put them on a non-Apple remote device, general instructions would be to export them from iPhoto into a folder that you can then put onto the portable device. Once you export the pictures into a folder, it then works just like Windows. Without more specific information, that's about all of the help I can provide.

Then again, with a Mac, you can always install Windows either in place of OS X or in addition to OS X. Your choice. At one point, PC Mag stated that the best laptop for running Windows was a Mac...

RichardM said...

After perusing the manual, I think that I may have inadvertently paired the Sena to my iPhone using some special mode where it only works for music. This would be for someone who has multiple phones or doesn't want to be bothered with phone calls.

RichardM said...

Reading your post is what made me think about updating the firmware. After all, they probably had the exact same version installed.

To get music on your iPhone, you HAVE to use iTunes. This is also how you would get photo libraries, audio books, etc. on the iPhone. Whether you want to put up with iTunes or not is another question as I've heard less than glowing comments about the Windows version.

Conchscooter said...

Ye Gods! Missed a call while riding? That's the whole point. I constantly rag on my boss for calling me while I'm commuting and she is a total driver so she will never remember I'm unavailable in the saddle. Lovely.

I got that far and the rest was gibberish. I fear the revolution is leaving me in its rear view mirror...damned electrons.

redlegsrides said...

While no fan of Windows myself, it always amuses to hear folks complain about its quirks and sometimes endless number of updates....most of which tend to be security updates because hackers tend to target the big dog, not the smaller marketshare OS.

Those folks need to realize Microsoft is trying to actually get their OS to work with everything out there and are seemingly very "open" in how their OS permits changes, permitting outside developers to put out installation utilities which call procedures within windows. If those developers are shoddy, their app causes problems but Windows gets the blame.

Whereas Apple exercises higher control on what gets "blessed" for use on their platform, so obviously, most apps work fine (your installer notwithstanding).

Apple has come a long way though, beautifully designed and functioning hardware platforms. Now that they're really UNIX boxes, the temptation to go that route is always there in the back of my mind when I gaze lustfully at the beautiful screens on their laptops. Yep, more pricey but better screens and battery life. Sigh.

redlegsrides said...

And by the way RichardM, not making fun of you, was referring to folks in general. I feel your pain. ;)

RichardM said...

It's not that I missed a call, I wanted to know why it wasn't working as designed. The main purpose was an intercom with my spouse in the sidecar. But then again, maybe partially broken is fine too.

You are using your iPad to blog, that puts you at the leading edge not left behind.

RichardM said...

Microsoft is really improving at least with Windows 7. I think that Windows 8 may have been a step backwards as far as usability is concerned. Maybe it would have been better as a completely new OS without concern for compatibility with "legacy" software. One of the big problems is the discontinuation of updates for XP next April. I hear that black hat types may be saving exploits for that time as patches won't come out and it really exposes a lot of end users who can't or won't update.

Unknown said...

Today I got a mail from Sena about a new version that allows two headsets to hear Bluetooth music from one source as well as new speed dial features, a very nice upgrade at no cost.

RichardM said...

I thought about trying it out as I got the same email. It was labeled as "beta" so I was thinking of waiting for the next version.

Anonymous said...

I took a peek for some information on my Sena and I'm time-transported to an early-nineties debate on the merits of Mac n' Windows.

Unknown said...

I recently upgraded my firmware to 5.1.1 and it wasn't quite straightforward. My SMH10 was recognized by the installation program but when I hit the "update" button I received the message that my device wasn't the same as the one that was recognized...very strange. I did call tech support and they instructed me to do a factory reset before doing the firmware update. I did this and my software version went from 5.0 to 5.0.1. This was all that it took as my device was recognized AND the update proceeded normally. So, if you're having this difficulty do a factory reset before doing the update. I asked the tech support gent why this wasn't included in the update instructions and he had no answer. Anyway, that took care of my update issue and I hope that it's of value to anyone else who encounters this.