TachyonLink is a PC companion application for your Tachyon device
Install firmware updates, create custom graphics, and more
Connecting to a Tachyon device
- Connect the device to the computer using a micro-USB cable.
- Turn the device on. The device won’t connect while inactive.
- Select the device’s port in the application. The port name should be COMx (x being a random number). If the application shows more than one port and you are not sure which one it is, disconnect the USB cable and see which port disappeared.
- Click ‘Connect’ in the application. The device should respond and send back some information, which will be displayed in the application (see picture on the right). The TachyonLink icon will display on the device.
- The application might prompt you to download a Firmware Package for the currently-installed firmware. This is required for some functions to work properly.
The application will automatically check for official firmware updates through the internet when a device is connected.
To update the device’s firmware simply click ‘Update’ in the Update tab. The latest firmware will be downloaded to your PC and uploaded to the device.
DO NOT SHUT DOWN OR DISCONNECT THE DEVICE DURING FIRMWARE UPDATE
A custom firmware file can be specified and uploaded through the Upload Firmware tab.
Device settings will be saved, converted and uploaded back into the device. A Firmware Package must be installed for both the old and new firmware in order to do this.
Creating & editing Graphics Packs
Each firmware package (version) has a pre-defined graphics template. Click ‘New Graphics Pack from Template’ to create a new Graphics Pack based off an installed Firmware Package. Click ‘Edit Graphics Pack’ to edit an existing Graphics Pack.
Graphics Pack Editor
Use Left Mouse Button to paint pixels. Use Right Mouse Button to erase pixels.
Use CTRL + Mouse Scroll to zoom in and out.
Use Mouse Scroll to cycle through available graphics in the template.
A picture file can be imported through Graphic→Import Graphic from Image. The picture must have the same size and layout as in the template.
Make sure that the Graphics Pack is saved before closing the editor.
Uploading Graphics Packs
Click ‘Upload Custom Graphics Pack’ in the Graphics tab to upload a Graphics Pack to the device. The Firmware Package for the device firmware must be present on your PC and it must match the template of the Graphics Pack.
The original graphics pack can be restored at any time using the ‘Restore Stock Graphics Pack’ button in the Graphics tab.
Backup and restore settings
Settings from the device can be downloaded using the ‘Download Settings from Device’ button in the Settings tab. The Firmware Package for the installed firmware must be present on your PC.
The settings will be saved into an XML file. This file can be edited using a text editor. Each property contains a defined maximum and minimum value. The set value must be within this range, otherwise the device might not function properly.
A settings backup can be uploaded to the device using the ‘Upload Settings to Device’ button.
The current firmware version’s default settings can be restored to the device using the ‘Restore default Settings to Device’ button or by performing a factory reset on the device itself.
Device is not detected
- Make sure that the FTDI USB drivers are installed on your PC.
- Make sure that the device is powered and the USB cable is connected properly.
Device does not connect
- Make sure that the device is turned on.
- Turn the device on and off again, restart the TachyonLink application.
- If nothing else helps, restore the firmware (see below).
Device is displaying garbled text or graphics
- Restore the original Graphics Pack.
- Restore the firmware (see below).
Device is not working or connecting after uploading new firmware or Graphics Pack (bricked)
This can happen if the link is interrupted during data transfer or the uploaded file is corrupted. See Restoring firmware below.
Restoring firmware through BOOT mode (bricked device)
- Disconnect the USB cable, disconnect and reconnect the device’s battery in order to hard-restart the device. Do not power on the device.
- Connect the USB cable.
- Press and hold the LEFT button on the device. Do not press or hold the CENTER button (do not power on the device). Click ‘Connect’ in the application while the LEFT button is still being held down.
- The device should now connect in BOOT mode. A warning should be displayed by the application. The device status should display as ‘Idle_BOOT’ in the application’s Connection section. The LEFT button can be released now.
- (OPTIONAL) Re-download the firmware package file to make sure that the file is not corrupted.
- Select the firmware to upload using ‘Select file’ in the Upload Firmware tab. Click ‘Upload’ to re-flash the firmware. The application might display some warnings, these should be disregarded.
- (OPTIONAL) Wipe the device’s EEPROM (non-volatile memory) using ‘Wipe EEPROM’ in the Advanced tab. This will reset the device settings and put it into quality-control test mode. The device must still be in in BOOT mode in order to do this.
- Click 'Disconnect' inside the application or unplug and re-plug the device battery
- Disconnect the device and power it on normally. The firmware should now be restored.
Custom firmware & encryption
While it it possible to upload a custom firmware to any TachyonLink compatible device, all firmware packages for retail (non-prototype) versions are (and must be) encrypted.
Firmware packages that are either unencrypted or encrypted with the wrong key can be uploaded to the device but will not function.
Firmware encryption keys are private - all firmware must be approved and signed by us before it can be installed to our devices. If you wish to develop custom firmware, please contact us.
Link modes (BOOT/APP)
Every Tachyon device contains 2 internal programs: the firmware and the bootloader. When the device starts up, the bootloader initializes the device and starts the firmware. The bootloader also performs other functions such as firmware updates and device identification.
Both the bootloader and the firmware contain an implementation of the TachyonLink protocol. The device can connect to a PC while it is running either the firmware (APP mode) or the bootloader (BOOT mode) code.
Due to software dependencies, hardware permissions and security, some features can only be executed in a certain mode. Firmware updates must be performed by the bootloader. Since the bootloader is write-protected, the device firmware can be restored through BOOT mode even if the firmware is corrupted. On the other hand, the bootloader cannot determine what firmware is installed on the device, therefore it is not possible to upload graphics packs or settings in BOOT mode, for example.
Normally, the Tachyon device is set up to reject BOOT mode connections, unless the DOWN button is pressed. The device can also be switched to a different mode after a connection is made in the 'Advanced' tab of TachyonLink.