The firmware update process is fairly straightforward - figure out what your current firmware version is, if it is 1.x - you will need to update to v2.002 first, before you are able to go to the final release v2.501. You will also need the camera's original (or any other simple mini-USB) charger so when you plug it in, it does not go into the PC-link mode and blanks out the screen.
Determining the current firmware version
To get the camera to display it's current firmware version:
- Turn the camera on (opening the LCD screen usually does the trick, or if it's already open - pushing the little power button by the LCD screen).
- Press the "Mode" button to go into the mode selection screen:
- Press the "Mode" button and the back button (top-right button by the LCD screen) simultaneously to open the device information screen.
- First line of the first screen will be your firmware version (ie. "Full: V1.200"), there will be some additional information you can scroll through, but the FW version is what interests us:
Downloading the firmware
Now that you've determined your firmware version, you can figure out which firmware you need to download and install:
Current firmware version of 1.xxx - must update to 2.002 first: v5v_v2002.zip
Current firmware version of 2.xxx - can go directly to 2.501: v5v_v2501.zip
Installing the firmware
Now, to the fun part. Download the appropriate, based on the above, file and navigate to its location on your computer, then:
1. Extract the "v5v_v####.zip" archive using your favorite program (7zip is a good free one)
2. Copy the unzipped file(s): "tcdam_v5v.bin" (and "fw.bin" if you're updating to 2.002) to the root of the SD card.
3. Plug the AC adapter into the power outlet and camera as if you were charging it (as Nick pointed out in the comments this is an optional step, if your camera is fully charged).
4. Turn on the camera with AC adapter plugged-in and then insert the SD card with the above file(s) on it.
5. Then press the "Mode" button to enter the mode selection screen.
7. Press and hold the back button (top-right button by the LCD screen) and recording trigger (on the front of the camera, under the flash) simultaneously .
8. The LCD will display "Please wait", and the LED light around the directional joystick on the back of the camera will blink blue/green for about 10 seconds:
10. The camera will go through steps 8-9 again, let it finish - once it displays "FW update OK" again, restart it by closing and reopening the LCD display. Repeat as necessary.
Obviously if you were updating from version 1.xxx to 2.002, you will need to repeat the above steps again for version 2.501. Don't forget to delete the previous firmware files from the card, the upgrade process does not do it automatically.
- You can copy files to the SD card by either putting it into your card reader (if you have one) or connecting the camera to your PC via a USB cable and opening the "MEDIA" drive.
- Don't place the firmware 'bin' files into any folders on the SD card, simply copy them into the 'root' folder of the card, or it won't work.
- If your LCD screen goes black once you plugin your camera into the charger, you may not be using its native charger - if the camera thinks it's plugged into a computer, it will turn the screen off - some 'smarter' charges can make it act that way (ie. my BlackBerry charger did so, I needed to find another 'dumb' mini-USB charger to use). Nick was able to work around this issue by doing the upgrade on an unplugged, fully charged camera, but only do so at your own risk.
- If you have any problems updating your Aiptek A-HD 720p (V5V) camcorder using the above steps or firmware, feel free to drop me a line in the comments or try contacting Aiptek support directly at firstname.lastname@example.org