COBRA Firmware Version 5.1.1 Stable Release Candidate

The 5.1.X release is our current stable release candidate for the 5.0 family of firmware versions. If you are currently operating the 5.0.2 / 5.0.3 / 5.0.5 BETA release, we recommend you upgrade to the 5.1.1 version as it addresses several issues detailed below. The 5.1.X version is for the 18R, 18R2, 6M, 18M,  36M, 72M, and Audio Box only and is compatible with all other equipment running 5.1.X.

Please note upon completing the firmware upgrade the COBRA 18R2, Audio Box, 36M, and 72M will display version 5.1.2 and the COBRA 18R6M and 18M will display version 5.1.1.

The following details improvements to the COBRA main equipment. For release notes on COBRA Show Creator and COBRA Control Panel, see COBRA Show Creator 1.2.0 Stable Release and COBRA Control Panel 2.2.0 Stable Release.

SMPTE

COBRA now offers SMPTE time code integration for the 18R2. By using SMPTE, you can integrate multiple 3rd party systems together with COBRA including DMX, SPFX systems, other firing systems, and 3rd party systems. For more information, see http://www.cobrafiringsystems.com/smpte.

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18R2 2x device connection speed increase

In the original 5.0 firmware release with the introduction of MESH communications, the amount of time to arm devices was increased. For example, arm time is about 1 to 1.5 seconds per device in 5.0.2 or about 30-40 seconds per 30 modules. In the current 5.1.1 firmware release, COBRA has optimized the communications to recognize modules in both TEST and ARM mode about 50% faster. For example, the time to arm is about 0.5 to 0.75 seconds per device or about 15 to 20 seconds per 30 modules.

18R2 device count display improvements

The 18R2 now displays the current device count on the 18R2 every two seconds when in both TEST and ARM mode. Previously in 5.0 or earlier, the device count may display 0 for a long period of time until it was near to displaying the total number of devices. The current 5.1.1 firmware release displays the device count more consistently to the user for a better experience. This improvement combined with the reduced connection time improves the overall customer experience when toggling between TEST and ARM on the 18R2.

Script comments

COBRA scripting now supports the feature of script comments. The purpose of script comments is to provide an informational reference when both scripting and firing your show using the COBRA Control Panel. For example, you may include a comment in your script to indicate the start of your finale. Comments are displayed in your script and also within the Control Panel when the show is firing. They can be used for both informational references and instructions to the operator. To learn more about using the script comments feature please see How do I use the script commenting feature?

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Script filename no longer needs to be cobra.csv and can be up to 45 characters long

In 5.0 or earlier firmware versions, the 18R2 script file must be named cobra.csv. In 5.1.1 or higher, the .csv script file can be any filename up to 45 characters including the .csv extension.

Audio filename can now be up to 45 characters long

In 5.0 or earlier firmware versions, the Audio Box audio filename must be 12 characters or less including the .mp3 extension. In 5.1.1 or higher, the audio filename can include up to 45 characters including the .mp3 extension.

Module script firing no communication timeout increased to 60 seconds

If a module is firing a script and loses connection for more than 60 seconds, the module will stop firing automatically. This timeout was increased from 20 seconds to 60 seconds in this release.

Bug Fixes

  • In rare cases, the 18M hardware A version may not wake up from sleep mode or lock up and require the user to power the unit off and on.
  • In rare cases, the 36M and 72M scripted firing timing may be off slightly.
  • When using the SMPTE timecode 2 parameter, modules may not stop firing immediately. Instead, this may require several seconds. This has been fixed as modules will stop firing immediately with no delay.
  • When multiple modules were on and in program mode, the 18M would may skip multiple addresses when synced to the 18R2. While this may occur with only one module in program mode, the problem was more frequent with higher quantities of units powered on and in program mode.
  • If the script is longer than the audio file, the Audio Box will resume audio from the beginning of the audio. This is fixed as the Audio Box will no longer re-resume the audio file after finished.
  • SMPTE no longer has a 5-second threshold for going backwards in your script mid-show
  • When pausing and resuming audio, it's possible the audio may become out of alignment and take several minutes to re-align.
  • When starting, pausing and resuming shows, the number of redundant commands to ensure communication through the MESH was increased to ensure rapid device response

Notes

  • When operating the Audio Box, it is always recommended to have five seconds of silence at the beginning of the audio file. In addition, it's always recommended to have the USB drive in the Audio Box upon power-on prior to the show and to not remove or re-insert the USB drive while powered on or mid-show to ensure reliable communication.
  • 18M hardware A will always round to the nearest 1/10th of a second even if scripted to the 1/100th second resolution. 18M Hardware A will display a higher MESH timing variance compared upwards of 100+ms compared to 18M Hardware B or 36M / 72M hardware whose variance is upwards of 2-3+ ms.
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Emergency Shoot Site Support
COBRA offers a 24-hour support system for on-site emergencies. If you are on a shoot site and encounter a show-stopping issue, please reach out to us via phone at 929-930-6868.