MHM2
Level 4: Private Eye

How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

I have 2 DJA0231 appliances.

 

One of them is on 20.3.c.0329-MR19-RB
The other one is stuck on 18.1.c.0585-MR7.1-RA for a while, several reboots.

 

So I call BS on "automatic updates".

 

One might think it does not matter, since settings cannot be backed up anyway (!).

 

So,

  • are they polled for update ?
  • or do they look for a new distribution themselves ?
  • How many updates can they miss before next update is incompatible ?
  • What do we know about internal hardware changes in the run of this model ?

 

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6 REPLIES 6
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

Hi - encouraging updates can be done with power resets or factory resets which may not always work - most of the time they didn't work for me. Sometimes you can wait a few months and an update will appear - for me, generally executed after midnight to 4 AM. There must be over 1 million modems that are being monitored and upgraded, so it does take time. Telstra do not seem to do this automatically on modem Restart like other RSPs - for reasons unknown and they won't allow user initiated updates to occur due to network security issues. 

 

The modem reports to the Telstra ACS ( Automatic Configuration Server) regularly - every 10 mins for VoIP home telephone service and responds to Health Checks proactively under taken by Telstra's AI cloud based server called WiFi Doctor. It's quite a sophisticated and impressive feat as all of it is automated - a summary of conducted routines appears below and are visible in the System Log file views of modems. Sometimes the Telstra ACS just doesn't want to co-operate and you wonder why it takes so long for a particular modem to update when another one you own has already updated.  

 

The Arcadyan version of the Gen 2 modem shows more friendly information in the log than the Technicolor which requires a Export of the log file to a Notepad or spreadsheet to reveal its activities. Upgrade events are listed under TR069 line entries. I don't know why Technicolor doesn't allow configuration back up - if so by Telstra request or by Technicolor policy; Arcadyan do allow back ups.    

 

Modems have been known to do multiple successive updates upon initial connection or random updates after a substantial time - there is no logic that I am aware of. There should be no incompatible issues with outdated firmware, however if a specific problem arises with old firmware that is compromising your ability to use the modem, it should be reported to Telstra so that it can be analysed remotely for the unit to be replaced under warranty. Telstra Platinum Support can also manually upgrade or roll back the firmware remotely if they determine circumstances are warranted, however I think that may be an exception rather than a rule. 

 

I haven't seen internal hardware changes reflected in the System Information summaries for the past two to three years in both Gen 2 modems. If you are interested, suggest you see Section 25 of the Crowd Support Wiki article which compares both modems for the hardware used in both Modems. 

 

Example of TR069 entries associated with firmware upgrade of Arcadyan LH:1000  Version 0.15.16r  22-09-2021

 

1. Health Check - (Thor GW ( Telstra Gateway) 

2. Sending 2 - Periodic Inform to ACS

3. Set Devices - Multi AP (Access Point Controller) 

4. Sending 3 - Scheduled Inform to ACS

5. Download Received / Save Configuration / Execute Download 

6. Save Configuration 7 ( assume this is the seventh version of the firmware ?) 

7. Firmware Upgrade version shown

8. Modem Restarts with System Log dated 01.01.2018

9. Current Connection Request

10. Sending 1 Boot Inform to ACS

11. Set Multi AP Software Image 1 Success

12. Get AP Agent Settings for WiFi Boosters

13. Set Device WiFi Doctor Enabled

14. Sending 6 Connection Request to ACS

15. Set Device Netduma OS Enable Success

16. Set Device QoS Shaper 1

17. Set VoIP

18. WiFi Doctor Trigger Rescan 2.4 Ghz , the 5 Ghz networks

19. VoIP Telephone Number activated

 

 

 

MHM2
Level 4: Private Eye

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

OK, that is pretty comprehensive.

My next step would be try and schedule a daily reboot. Not a Technicolor strong point. No switch, no scheduler, and hard work to craft with curl() or Selenium.

Or just wait until it has a turn.

 

SteveW_52
Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

You couldn do the daily reboot with a Mains 7 day Electronic Timer - I have done this on some remote sites, I set it to turn off at a certain time, then turn on 15 minutes later. The modems take a while to restart (2 minutes maybe?). I have very little trouble with those sites, whereas some others seem to get corrupted after many days of running, especially the ones without a UPS.

 

I have toyed with the idea of doing the same here at home, but from experience the modem needs to be powered off for about an hour if a firmware update is be triggered, which makes it hard for me because it is difficult to schedule a time frame for that to happen every day. Also, like @Mkrtich I have found the power cycle firmware update triggers to be inconsistent - seems to work for some modems, but not others and I don't know what the 'trick' is.

Stevo 52
Too many devices, probably an addict 🙂 also a tinkerer and developer of stuff..
Not with Telstra, just another customer like you!
SteveW_52
Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

I should have explained that not all the modems are Smart Modem 2's..  but the same principal applies..  🙂

Stevo 52
Too many devices, probably an addict 🙂 also a tinkerer and developer of stuff..
Not with Telstra, just another customer like you!
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

@Mkrtich with regards to "I don't know why Technicolor doesn't allow configuration back up - if so by Telstra request or by Technicolor policy;":

 

A few years ago, the Telstra Technicolor modems had the ability to allow configuration backup. Technicolor stuffed up the functionality of this in one of the firmware updates so that when the configuration was restored, it was not consistent with the operation of the updated firmware (ie they didn't build in coding which accounted for firmware changes) and it resulted in a number of modems getting bricked (yes, it was that bad) and having to be replaced.

 

The solution was to remove the configuration backup capability and it hasn't been seen since.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Mkrtich
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: How to "encourage" Telstra Smart Modem GEN2 Firmware Updates

Thanks for the background. It is unusual not to have a back up function and your feedback explains why on recent Technicolor models - hopefully it may come back one day. Cheers

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