H663/H512 families firmware upgrade procedure for Linux

SpringCard H663 and H512 families are a group of NFC devices / contactless smartcard readers. This document explains how to upgrade their firmware, using Linux.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

Please note that SpringCard is not responsible for any procedure that end user performs. YOU’RE FOLLOWING THIS PROCEDURE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

GETTING STARTED

For this howto, we will assume that you have some Linux basis.
All this demonstration has been done as root on a Linux Debian 10.10 Operating System and on a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster).

You can find all the relevant files at the end of this tutorial (Python script).

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Securing the connection to the MQTT broker using TLS and SpringCore client certificates

Objectives of this howto

The aim of this tutorial is to configure a SpringPark as a Network SmartReader/MQTT client with a mosquitto broker. The SpringPark in this configuration acts as an MQTT client (using TLS). It sends its tags to the mosquitto broker hosted at mqtt.springcard.com. 

For this howto, we will assume that:

  • your SpringPark is using a default (from factory) configuration.
  • you have some networking basis.
  • you have some MQTT basis.

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How to setup and use a SpringPark as an Amazon AWS client

The aim of this demonstration is to configure a SpringPark as a Network SmartReader/AWS client. The SpringPark in this configuration acts as an AWS IOT Core client (using TLS). It sends its tags/informations to Amazon’s cloud and can also receive commands.

We won’t cover the AWS’s side (lamba function, certificates, policies, …) but focuse on the device’s side.

For this howto, we will assume that:

  • your SpringPark is using a default (from factory) configuration.
  • you have some networking basis.
  • you have some MQTT basis.

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How to setup and use a SpringPark as a SmartReader over TCP

The aim of this tutorial is to configure a SpringPark as a Network SmartReader. The SpringPark in this configuration acts as a TCP server (default factory port is 4000) and sends its tags to the client connected to this port.

For this howto, we will assume that:

  • your SpringPark is using a default (from factory) configuration.
  • you have some networking basis.

Our SpringPark will output tag information using the SCRDR format (cf. SCRDR Protocol).

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How to use Firmware Upgrade Utility

Firmware Upgrade Procedure

FUU “Firmware Upgrade Utility” is SpringCard’s all-in-one software to flash the firmware of most of the product families.

FUU could be use to flash the : H663, E663, S663 and K663 families.

First of all you’ll need to download the Firmware Upgrade Utility software : https://www.springcard.com/fr/download/find/file/su13168

Once it’s installed, launch it. You will see that window

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New version of FUU supports unattended H663 firmware upgrade

FUU “Firmware Upgrade Utility” is SpringCard’s all-in-one software to flash the firmware of most of the product families.

The H663 family (including the H663 OEM module itself, and also the Prox’N’Roll HSP, CrazyWriter HSP, TwistyWriter HSP and CSB HSP) is architectured over an Atmel (now Microchip) MCU, which could be flashed through USB. FUU Supports this family for long, and comes with Atmel DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) driver for Windows.

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PC/SC on Linux and Mac OS X with Mono

Introduction

One the goals of the Mono project is to make Microsoft .NET applications runnable on Unix systems. Using Mono, it is therefore now possible to maintain a single C#/.NET code base, that runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

In this context, SpringCard’s PC/SC SDK (https://www.springcard.com/en/download/find/file/pcsc-sdk) has been updated, so that it now enables developers to write PC/SC applications in C#/.NET, that can execute on Windows, as well as on Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

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SpringField Colorado makes it easy to recognize the SpringCard smart reader you are using!

You know the scene in the movie where the support guys are desperately trying to help a customer configuring a very specific product, only to discover minutes after that the customer has a totally different product in hands? Since SpringCard offers a very wide range of products, and since most products look the same (well, there’s nothing that resembles more closely an OEM NFC/RFID device than another NFC/RFID device), we experience this frequently. Our customer’s technicians sometimes face the same situation, when they come to the field and don’t know whether a colleague has already upgraded a firmware, uploaded a new configuration, or not.

To ease the job of all support teams and maintenance technicians, we’ve introduced an exciting new feature in all the “smart readers” firmware (aka all /RDR and RFID Scanner products). Starting with FW version 1.69, the reader is able to communicate with an Android application (code-name “SpringField Colorado“) and sends its identifier, version, serial number… This application runs on Android 4.4 and later, provided that the smartphone supports NFC. It takes benefit of the NFC host-card emulation (HCE) mode.

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