How to update firmware for original model

I bought a Brickpi at the Kickstarter but haven’t touched it in some time due to the sensor issues I was having. I thought maybe I could update the firmware. Is there a pointer to a post for the steps to do this for the original model?

Can you try updating the firmware with the instructions given here:


Oooh - I don’t have that cable. Or an arduino. I thought the firmware could be upgraded just with the Raspberry Pi similar to the GrovePi+. Guess that’s not the case… Thanks for the info.

Hey El Tea,

Unfortunately no, it can’t. Yet. The newest bootloaders we’ve shipped them have serial bootloading capabilities, but we don’t have great instructions on how to do that with. It seems like you have an older model though, from our first Kickstarter. It’s definitely a design flaw and something we’re working to improve.



If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the ISP programming cable we came up with to simplify things:

I’m happy to set you up with one for free if you’re interested in giving it a shot.

Thank you for the offer. I may dig an old arduino I have kicking around out and see if it’s sufficient for the task. If so, I’ll come back here and let you know.

Anyone actually got this working. Trying to upgrade using Arduino Uno and have the Dexter provided cable. Always get error message that programmer is not responding. One thing I did do was to cut the second cable (saw this in previous instructions but does not appear to be in latest).

Tried both from Raspberry Pi to Arduino and from Mac OS X to Arduino.

Any thoughts?

I am also having difficulties updating firmware on the BrickPi from the original Kickstarter. I get the same message that the programmer is not responding (using Arch Linux to Arduino).

Can we get confirmation from Dexter industries whether it is necessary to cut wire 2 on the programming cable or not? The more recent instructions on the web make no mention of cutting the wire. I would rather not cut the cable if its not necessary.

On the Arduino website (, it says that it is necessary to connect a 10uF capacitor between reset and ground, although they don’t seem to show it in the wiring diagrams.

Can you point me to the directions you’re looking at? The “New” directions? I’m lost on what you’re looking at at this point.

The ISP programmer does need to be cut. The reset lines on the different boards (the Arduino and the BrickPi) need to be disconnected.


Hi John, apologies for the delayed reply. Forgot to click to receive notifications of updates to the thread and just now coming back to this project.

Here are the “New” instructions I was looking at. I didn’t see a mention of cutting the ISP programmer ribbon cable here.

The specific error I am getting is:
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x10

But I haven’t tried cutting the ribbon cable yet. Will try that and report back.

ok. Yeah, definitely need to cut the ribbon cable. We still have this item in stock if you don’t want to destroy your old one.