Xiegu XPA-125B: Firmware update and unbricking

A firmware update went wrong and I bricked my Xiegu XPA 125B amplifier. This is the story of how a bit of patience and help in groups.io helped me bring it to live.

The Xiegu XPA 125B amplifier is at the core of my 100W HF station, as I use it with the 705 almost every day. The 705 outperfoms my old and drifty 7100, and this amp helps me get out with around 100W. Needless to say, when the amp was bricked during its first firmware update, I wasn't happy.

Good thing, this amp has caught the attention of the ham community, and there is a strong and tech-savvy group of people than has come across this before. Thanks to KN6LZV for pointing me in the right direction in groups.io.

DISCLAIMER: I'm adding this for my own personal reference in the future. I'm not responsible in any way if you end up bricking your amplifier, nor I would be made responsible for that.

However, if you find yourself in the same situation, here's the end-to-end process to update the firmware on the Xiegu XPA125B:

  1. Head up to cqxiegu.com
  2. Use the selector at the top right to select English as your language
  3. Click on "Download" at the top navigation bar
  4. Now, go to "Tools and Tutorials", and download the "Update-Tool Tera Term.rar" file (or use this link to download from my Google Drive)
  5. On the same page, now "XPA125B data download", and download the newest version of the firmware (last version I found is v.2.0.0_build13, and it's available in my Google Drive)
  6. Unrar the two files you just downloaded
  7. The first one will create a folder called "Update-Tool+TeraTerm". You don't need to install this app -- you can just execute the file "ttemppro.exe"
  8. Now, go back to TeraTerm, and select File -> New Connection. A new screen will pop up
  9. Choose Serial and the correct port number. Mine was COM17
  10. Go to Menu -> Setup, and select "Serial Port...". Select your port (COM17 for me), and select Baud rate 115200. Click OK.
  11. Boot the aplifier while pressing the PA and BAND buttons. This will show a bootloader menu
  12. Press the "PA" button on the amplifier (next to UPDATE) on the screen
  13. The amplifier will proceed to delete the old firmware. Once it's ready, both the screen of the amp and TeraTerm will read "Waiting Connect.C"
  14. Now, go to File -> Transfer..., and select XMODE -> Send...
  15. Select the firmware file you want to upload, and tick the 1K option. IMPORTANT! Otherwise, the update will fail
  16. Click Send
The file will be transferred, and the amp will power off and on again. Switch it off as normal, and on back again, and the new firmware will be ready

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