Updating motorhome satellite dish firmware

Motorhomes and caravans are often fitted with satellite dishes to allow you to tune in your favourite programmes while on holidays. Modern units are generally maintenance free and can automatically lock onto a satellite signal within minutes. On occasion the systems can give issues that can be remedied by updating the software, also called the firmware, in the control unit. In our case we wanted to get the UK Freesat channels while on the move and our dish could not lock onto the Astra2 satellite. Our dish could lock onto most satellites within a couple of minutes but if we set if to Astra2 it always came up empty handed.

A bit of searching on internet forums uncovered a possible source for the problem. The Astra 2 satellites had received an update a while back that meant that some mobile dishes now had difficulty finding the signal and ours seemed to be one such dish. Our dish is a Teleco Flatsat Classic and came fitted to our Carado A461 when we bought it. It’s a compact unit that has a small surface mounted face plate for switching the unit on and off and selecting dishes. The main body of the unit is housed in a very neat boxed-off section which also houses a television support.

Teleco Flatsat Control panel installed
This is how the Teleco Flatsat Classic control panel looks with the molding removed. To dismount if just remove the four screws.

The neat housing means that updating the unit is a bit more hassle than it would be for a more open unit but luckily enough updating firmware isn’t something we need to do very often so the tidier appearance more than makes up for the accessibility issues. To access the main unit the facing plywood needs to be removed which reveals the control unit behind. In our van the control panel had to be disconnected to allow control of the unit while simultaneously having access to plug a USB cable into the front of the control unit to link it to the laptop.

Teleco Flatsat control unit with USB cable plugged in
Depending on how your control unit is installed you may have better access than was available to me. As you can probably tell from the picture access was tight and I had to remove one of the cables to allow access to attach the USB cable

With the hardware accessible we needed to run the update software which we had previously downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. The Teleco website required that we create an account first. After logging into our account we could then download the software. There are lots of software options depending on which satellite is installed so you have to make sure you download the correct one. Some manufacturers might use a USB stick update where you copy the update onto a USB stick and then plug that into the control unit but in our case the software was a Windows-only executable file that had to be update the control unit using a USB cable. The cable required was a standard type of ‘printer’ cable. As I mainly use wireless at the moment I didn’t have the correct one to hand so I had to order a replacement in advance. It cost about 5 euros from Amazon and was delivered in a couple of days.

Once the USB cable was plugged in it was time to run the update software from the laptop. The software runs you through the process and requires that you first switch the unit on, then off, then on again, then off again, then on again while holding in a specific button I have included a number of screenshots of the process to show how straightforward it is.

Teleco satellite firmware update initial screen
Step 1: The initial screen identified the firmware version as 7.3 and the database version as o74


Teleco satellite firmware update screenshot
Step 2: Switch off the unit (which is why you still need to be able to connect the control plate as pictured above)


Teleco satellite firmware update screenshot
Step 3: Hold down a button on the control unit and switch the unit back on to enter the firmware update mode. This applies to the Flatsat Classic update and may differ from model to model.


Teleco satellite firmware update screenshot
Step 4: With the control unit in update mode and the laptop properly connected it runs the update which takes less than 5 minutes.
Teleco satellite firmware update succesful
All done! The software now shows the firmware version as 7.6 and the database as 096

After the last step is complete the firmware is now up to date. This fixed our issue and the satellite managed to lock on Astra 2 within a couple of minutes. Hopefully we don’t need to rely on television to pass the time while away but if we do encounter a spell of bad weather it’s reassuring to know it’s there.