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How to Use an RS232 Cable to Set Up a Satellite Receiver

Updated April 17, 2017

Firmware is the utility software that controls electronic components, like satellite receivers, MP3 players and cell phones. Firmware updates are especially important with Free-to-Air satellite receivers. And if you happen to be using an older FTA satellite receiver, you could run into some problems trying to locate satellites or while setting up channels, or you could just experience some navigational bugs. But with the help of an RS232 cable, you can load the latest firmware update for your FTA satellite receiver from your computer.

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  1. Connect a USB-to-RS232 serial cable between the serial port on the back of your satellite receiver and a USB port on your computer.

  2. Flip on the power switch at the back of your receiver and leave the receiver in standby mode -- only press the power button on the front if it will put your receiver in standby mode.

  3. Download the latest version of your receiver's firmware, along with the receiver's serial upload software --you can find both on the satellite receiver manufacturer's support site online.

  4. Install the serial uploader. Import the firmware update into the uploader utility -- click on the utility's "Load," "Import" or "File" option to locate the firmware update.

  5. Specify which USB port your USB-to-RS232 cable is connected to on your computer -- like "USB1" or "USB2," for example.

  6. Select the "Upload" or "Update" option in the uploader utility to send the update to your receiver.

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About the Author

Quinten Plummer

Quinten Plummer began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than six years in the technology field including five years in retail electronics and a year in technical support. Plummer gained his experience in music by producing for various hip-hop acts and as lead guitarist for a band. He now works as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

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