Radian Software Upgrade 

[Please Read]

This software upgrade will soon be available in regular sale units. However we wanted you to have these features without having to buy a new unit, so we built a Software Upgrade Application that can be used at home. Unfortunately for the foreseeable future, this will only be available for Apple computers (more below). We have made the  App as stable as possible given testing constraints, however some computers still have issues with it. If you are having trouble, please see the tutorial video and detailed writeup below. As a final option, you can ship us your Radian and we will upgrade it for you. Please see below for more details. 

Complete List of New Features:

Available in the Radian app versions 2.0 and above


                  Preview Motion                                                    Video Direct Drive                                           Bramping w/o PC Sync      



Time Lapse Motion Preview: The ability to preview Radian's time lapse motion, so you can get the shot perfectly.

Direct Video Panning: There is now a special feature for direct video control of Radian's motion, including variable panning speeds.

Expanded Hold Settings: You can now have Radian control your camera's shutter for exposures of up to 4 hours

Bulb Ramping Non-Integer Values: Previously there was an error that only allowed for Bramp change rates that were integer values

Non-PC Sync Cable Bramping:  You can select in the app whether or not to use a PC Sync cable when Bramping

Packet Protocols: Improved Upload Packet protocol to increase transmission fidelity

Startup Settings: Option to not execute last saved time-lapse settings upon power-up. Via a setting in the app, you can now choose whether or not to have Radian execute the last saved settings upon power up. 

Queue Looping:  When setting up a queue, you can now set the “loop” option to set your Radian to execute the time-lapse queue ad-nauseum.


How to Upgrade:

1. Download the Software Upgrade App (Click Here) onto your Macintosh computer and leave it in your downloads folder.

2. Restart your computer.

3. Close and Restart the Radian smartphone App, don't change any of the settings and upload a new time-lapse to your Radian (make sure the light turns green to show success).

4. Turn off your Radian.

5. Connect Radian and your computer via the provided USB charging cable, open the Software Upgrade App, and press upload R2 Software. (More detailed directions below)

6. Select R2 Firmware in the Radian App Settings on your phone, and enjoy! 

Video Tutorial

Detailed Instructions:

Items Needed:

1. Mac OSX + Internet

2. Radian 

3. Micro USB Cable (the one that comes with Radian for charging

In addition, you will need to upgrade your smartphone's Radian app to Version 2.0 or newer. 

Unfortunately we are unable to update Radian via the Windows Operating System. The issue appears to be that Windows will not recognize Radian as a USB device, as the Mac OS does. This is an issue that we are still investigating, but for now there is not have a solution to this issue. 



1. Download the Software Upgrade App

We have created a special application to allow your computer to load the new Radian software. It is a small application (~6 MB) and should download fairly quickly. Click the link below to start the download.

*Click Here to Download the Software Upgrade App*

Once the application is downloaded, you can either leave it in your Downloads folder or you can move it to your computer's Applications folder. 



2. Restart Your Computer

Once you have successfully downloaded the Application, you will need to restart your computer. In addition, we strongly advise that you perform the upload shortly after restarting your computer, as this seems increase the success rate of updating the software. 



3. Prepare Your Radian (Upload Startup Settings)

Before changing the software on your Radian, make sure to load the default setting of 45 degrees CCW, 1 hour duration, and 10 second interval, with no advanced settings on. These are the settings that will appear if you restart the Radian app. Make sure that the programming was successful (look for the green confirmation LED). 




4. Turn your Radian off.

 Make sure to turn your Radian off before plugging it into your computer! 


5. Upload the Software

Once you have prepared your Radian and you have restarted your computer, open the application on your computer, and plug your Radian into your computer via the USB port. Please note that your computer's security settings may not want to open the Radian app because it is not downloaded from the Apple App store. To bypass this, hold the 'command' key and click on the Software Updater Application, and then click on the "open" option, as shown below.


When you open the Software Upgrade App, you will notice that there are two buttons: one for uploading the new software, and one for reverting to the original firmware. We have done this so that if at any point you decide to move back to the original software, you can. 


To upload the latest software press the button in the bottom right corner of the application, and the application will update to indicate that it is working to load the new software. This process can take up to a minute, and the application will indicate whether or not it was able to successfully upload the new software. Do not disconnect your Radian during this process, or end the process before the application has indicated whether or not it was successful. That being said, if it has been a few minutes without any closure, force quit the Application and try again. 


If the application says that it was successful, then congratulations! To verify that you have successfully uploaded the new software, turn your Radian on, and check that it moves Counter Clockwise every 2 seconds and with a large step size. 


If the application indicates that it was not successful

Please try the below steps : 

  • Plug your Radian into a different USB port if possible
  • If your computer was not restarted shortly before the upload process, please restart your computer and try again
  • Unplug your Radian from the USB cable, make sure that it is set to the off position, and plug it back in to the USB port
  • If it is not already, please move your Radian to your computer's Applications Folder
  • If possible, you can try it with another computer


If the above steps do not solve your issues, please contact us via our support site and we will do our best to assist you.


6. Change your Phone App Settings

Once you have updated your smartphone's app to the latest version (2.0 and above) you will need to select the R2 firmware option. This can be accessed from Front Page -> App Settings -> App Version. You will not be able to upload to your Radian if you have the incorrect firmware version selected in the app. 



Unable to Upload the New Software? - Final Solution:

If you are unable to download the new Radian Software Upgrade, you can ship your unit to us, we will update it for you, and ship the unit back the return address listed on your package. For more information, please Click Here.

Tech Tip #5 : R2 Software

In this week’s tech tip, we will be discussing the new Radian R2 Software. We are really excited to release this upgrade and will explain below about what features are now available and the challenges we had in creating them.

If you're curious to see what's up with the new Software, but don't want to super detailed version, please click here

1. Why does Radian need new Software?

When we first designed Radian back in 2012/2013, we built it with motion time lapse in mind, specifically for use outdoors and in remote locations. Because of this, there were a number of features that we included that we thought were great, but that others found less appealing (like executing the last saved time lapse on startup). To improve Radian in the past, we made a number of changes to the control app, but other features required a change to the software that runs on Radian itself. Fortunately we designed Radian to have its software programmable via its micro USB port. Unfortunately it turned out that that actually doing that was pretty tricky. 

2. New Features:

Time Lapse Motion Preview: This was the biggest change to Radian and we really like how it has improved the time lapse workflow. This now allows for a separate (non time lapse) packet that can be sent from your phone to your Radian, that tells the Radian what angle to rotate, and how fast. When using this preview page, Radian will move at its fastest speed (~4.3 degrees/second).

Direct Video Panning (Variable Speed): There is now a special interface (Front Page -> Direct Drive) that allows you to rotate Radian at variable speeds for use in video. Please see below for some details and limitations of the direct drive feature.

Non PC Sync Cable Bulb Ramping: This feature has been added is to allow for Bulb Ramping on cameras without PC Sync Cables. You now have the choice to use your normal camera cable alone, or to include a PC Sync Cable to enable feedback from your camera to your Radian. If your camera does not have a PC Sync Port built in to it, you will want this option turned off (as it is by default). To read more about Bulb Ramping, please see our Bulb Ramping Tutorial

Execute On Start Is Now Optional: This option will allow you to set whether or not your Radian will execute the last saved settings upon startup. This defaults to off, to maintain current behavior. If turned on, your Radian will sit still upon startup and will wait for you to program it. If you do not program it within a few hours, the unit will revert back to a power saving mode, and you will have to turn it off, and then on again to program it.

Expanded Hold Settings Options : Since a lot of cameras will not go past ~30 seconds as their largest exposure, you can now use your Radian to control your camera’s shutter by placing your camera into Bulb Mode, and setting your Radian’s hold setting to your desired exposure.

Improved Upload Packet protocol to increase transmission fidelity : As discussed in Tech Tip #4 your phone communicates with Radian via your phone’s audio port using an Asynchronous protocol. However, it turns out that most phones’ audio ports are not really meant for that kind of use case and we found that some phones are better than others at reliably transmitting the settings needed. To remedy this, we added some extra space to the middle of the packet (basically data that is ignored by the Radian). This way we can do a bit of packet manipulation to even things out and make your phone happier. Perhaps one day there will be time to really geek out on this one...

3. Subtleties, extra details, and troubleshooting the Radian R2 Software

The App

The app will remember the Radian software version that you are using and will initially be set to the R1 software. Because of the new features, the data sent from your phone to Radian needed to be altered (believe me, I really didn't want to do that) and if your App is set for the wrong software version you will not be able to program your Radian.

You can set your Radian’s software version under Front Page -> App Settings -> App Version. Once you change the software/firmware setting in your app, you will notice that PC Sync Cable & Execute On Start? are now on the Settings Page, and Direct Drive is now on the homepage.

The Radian

Radian will still behave pretty much the same way as before unless you are using one of the new features. So don’t worry about changes to the startup timing, or the timing between motion and photos (see Tech Tip #3 for more info on that). The one difference is that when the Radian completes its time lapse, it will now wait for a few hours before shutting down into its low power state. This is to solve the issue whereby a Radian that has completed a timelapse needs to be power toggled to upload new settings. It does still go into a low power state after two hours, to avoid draining the battery if you forget to turn it off.

4. What were some issues in releasing the R2 Software?

Making the updates to the Radian and to the app were relatively straightforward (and fun!), as these are the sorts of things that we do regularly. However, the actual distribution of the software to our users has proven a lot trickier to manage and that’s what we’ve been grinding away at recently.

The first big roadblock is that Windows computers will not recognize that Radian is a USB-enabled device. This is definitely a software problem since this happens even on Apple computers running Windows. If this is your domain and you have some insight into what could fix this, please shoot us an e-mail. In the meantime we’ve essentially given up on Windows support since if it cannot detect the Radian, we certainly cannot load code to it. As for linux, it will probably work since the Application is written in python for OSX, and makes a few unix calls, but I haven't tested that. 

To get it working with a Mac computer running OSX, we wrote a python application that does all of the necessary USB port sniffing, device connections, and code loading. That part wasn’t easy, but we did get it working reliably for internal use. However, we then found that deploying the application to other computers was tricky since Apple generally distrusts things downloaded form the internet (I don’t blame them). I think that we have now solved that problem, and so with that last issue gone, we can now release the software upgrade!

5. Direct Drive Limitations

Radian uses a stepper motor, which is a motor that moves in steps of a set angular amount (this is good for when you want repeatable motion). After all of the gearing, it ends up being that Radian can step as little as .0173 degrees per motor motion. In addition, Radian can step as quickly as 250 motions/second, so the fastest that Radian can move is .0173 deg/step * 250 step/sec = 4.33 degrees per sec.

Because Radian does all of its internal thinking in units of milliseconds (1/ 1000 seconds), the wait time between steps are all integer values in milliseconds. The fastest Radian moves is 250 steps/second so there is at minimum a 4 milliseconds pause between steps (1000 milliseconds/250 steps = 4 millisecond pause at each step). Radian can also move more slowly, pausing for 5, or 6, or 7, etc…. milliseconds. This means that the actual Radian speeds are non integer values: 4.3 or, 3.46 or, 2.88, etc... degrees per second. Fortunately, the panning and tilting speeds that looks good on camera are slower the 4 degrees/second and as you go slower your the resolution improves.

This does mean that when you use the direct drive interface and set, say 40 degrees in 10 seconds, Radian cannot do exactly 4 degrees/second. So it will make its best attempt at matching that, which in this case is to move 40 degrees at 4.3 degrees per second, for 9.3 seconds (the angle is prioritized).

We are currently working on a way to display the exact results that you will get in the app, but for now this is how it works. If you use this feature a lot and have a preferred way of going about this, please do reach out to us as you folks are the entire reason this feature exists and we would love to get your input on making it better.

That concludes Tech Tip #5! I hope you found it educational and entertaining, and as always shoot us an e-mail if there is a clarification you would like, or a tech tip you wish to see! 


Still stuck? Shoot us an email. We're here to help.