Owl Pedal Locked Up

Not sure what’s wrong. I just tried to load a patch onto the owl to see how much CPU it consumed and I got a “Usage Error 0x50” message and it made Google Chrome freeze. Had to close it via Task Manager. It also made the Owl Pedal flash red steadily and won’t connect or respond to anything I do. Unplugging and plugging back in just goes right back to the flashing red light. I can hold down the push button when plugging in and it’ll flash three times quickly and then nothing.

Any ideas, or is it dead?

Oh no! So it doesn’t connect at all with OwlControl or the website?

In that case it would appear that the firmware has been corrupted. This should in theory never happen because the flash memory where it is stored is locked.

The good news is that the bootloader still works - that’s what’s giving you three red blinks.

I can try to reproduce it here with your patch if you like, do you want to share or PM me the link?

Hm. It seems to sometimes recognize the pedal but doesnt interact. Like if you move knobs, it changes on owl control, but if you try to update the firmware, it shows a very slow status bar and after a half hour it got to 20% and froze. Same with factory reset. It just sits there but still recognizes knob movements.

Here’s the patch: https://www.rebeltech.org/patch-library/patch/Delay_Step_Mod

How does bootloader mode work? Can I still fix it?

Yes with the bootloader activated you can load the firmware using DFU. It requires either a command line tool: dfu-util or our legacy OwlNest application.

We don’t have very good documentation on this process, apologies.
Are you a Mac, Windows or Linux user? Are you happy to use the command line?

Windows user. Like most Windows users, I can use the command line, just poorly, so I try to avoid it when possible.

Good news and bad news, but I feel like I’m in over my head here.

The OwlNest did not work as far as fixing the firmware, so I spent a good three hours trying to relearn how to use Bash again after a year or two away. After trolling the old abandoned Owl forums I found someone who recommended me to install dfu-util via a program called Zadig, which worked, but after installing “make” it would not let me create a bin in the OwlWare directory due to to the “Build” directory not having a codec.

I was ready to give up but I tried OwlNest one more time on a whim, and this time it somehow was able to download and install Firmware v12 successfully! That doesn’t make any sense, but it’s progress. Pedal is working correctly (very buggy) and everything, but I cannot load any new patches. It takes about five minutes to send the patch and then says “Bus error 0x20” and “No program to store”.

So I then went into OwlControl and tried to update to v14, but once it finished and I entered the checksum, I got a box with some garbled text of two messages occupying the same space. After some analysis I figured out it said “Firmware Updated” and “Restart the program to reconnect”. Underneath that in the main window it said “Missing or Invalid Program 0x60” and “Invalid FLASH command”. Restarting the program or uplugging and plugging it back in did nothing and it’s still has Firmware v12.

So I’m kinda stuck here at this point. Factory Reset also doesn’t seem to do anything and all my old patches are still on there. Any advice is welcome!

Well, if the directions don’t hold your hand the entire way through, I’ll be the one who makes the obvious mistakes. I still have no idea why I can’t make bin of the OwlWare directory, but under Martin’s suggestion, I hit “factory reset” THEN “save to Owl”. ALL FIXED. Able to update firmware to v14 once again. Sorry for the trouble!

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Good to hear, thanks for reporting back Mark!

The update procedure is currently in a mess, the bootloader isn’t helping, and the documentation is in parts really terrible. I’m sorry!

The future however is bright and the roadmap looks roughly like this:

  • new bootloader which implements a MIDI device interface, so that re-flashing the device can be done without using weird command line tools
  • beta version of the new OpenWare firmware, with cool new features!
  • web site updates so that configuration and firmware updates can be done online
  • release an offline version of the configuration tools - bye bye OwlControl!
  • fully road-tested firmware release

We are also releasing a few new products alongside all of this, and making updates to the language support. It will be a busy next few months!


hi Mark, I’ve just gotten an OWL and have been going through exactly these same error messages in the effort to get to v14, minus the whole Bash/DFU-util business. I’m now back to a stable version of v12 with my custom patches loaded, and i want to try to upgrade to v14. My question to you is: as your final successful step, did you just upgrade to v14 via OwlControl after a factory reset and Save to OWL, or did you do something else fancy. If you remember :slight_smile: Thanks!

Sorry for the late reply, but yes, I did exactly that. It was so simple and yet I was so dense.

Don’t feel bad, I’ve just tried those simple steps and 5 variations of them (rebooting, restarting OwlControl, etc) and can’t upgrade to v14 :slight_smile: I get exactly the same garbled text and Missing or Invalid Program 0x60 messages. The LED is red as soon as the firmware starts being loaded, which to me typically signals that whatever I’m trying is already not going to work. At least my last successful firmware update was v12 and not v13 :slight_smile: