Monthly Archives: March 2009

Firmware Updates

The device can do firmware updates in two ways. It either connects to the Internet and loads from there or it can load from USB. So I decided to grab the firmware and take a closer look at the format. The file “KW-1004-” was the most recent firmware for my Neon. Internally, Firmware files are starting with a header followed by a binary and a ROMFS block. ROMFS is one of the unix file systems and common for uCLinux.

Firmware header information:

The Header is located at the beginning of the upgrade file (0x000000) and goes till 0x0003FF

Following info is based upon firmware

Offset  Info          Type   Data
0x00000 Company Name  STRING "PenBex Data System Inc"
0x00020 Device Model  STRING "KW-1004"
0x00040 Filename      STRING "image.upg"
0x000B0 *unknown*     STRING "00010000"
0x000C0 FileSize      STRING "386d8c" (decimal: 3698060)
0x000D0 ID            STRING "OFW"
0x000E0 Description   STRING "CREATE BY REN-DE WANG"
0x00120 *unknown*     WORD   0002
0x00122 Checksum      WORD   BEA7
0x00126 *unknown*     STRING "0000000...."

The header reports a FileSize of 3698060 bytes. This is the block starting at 0x000400 and goes all the way till the end of the file. Calculating a Checksum-16 on this data block gives the word value stored at 0x000122.

0x000400 Begin of code

0x187988 Begin of RomFS (starts with “-rom1fs-“)

Different brands

After doing some searches on the net and looking at where the device tries to find firmware updates, I found that Penbex is the manufacturer and that the same device is sold under many different brand/model names:

DMTech IR-5000, Watson, ctiradio, Joybien WR-201, eradio, KW-1004, HipShing MC609, Goodmans CD1505WI, Proline CD1505WI, Neon N1004, ClasOhlson, Orchard, Yusan, Zylux, Logik, Sabre, MPMan MIR5000, Uptoday, LA302, Olympia Web Radio 300, Centrios KW-1315117,  Amitech Internet Audio System 310, Odys i-Net MusicBox, Forworld2, Penbex Boom, VEGA, Pbirkit, IRM8001, Lafayette KW-1012, DNT IPMicro KW-1004, Akira KW-1004, Neon KW-1004, SL-D960, GP-60X, PBXBoom2-SI and Pbitkit2.

The exact differences are not clear yet, but they are all based on similar hardware and firmware.

The start..

I recently got a Neon MicroHiFi Internet Radio. It is a decent Internet radio device but there were some things that did not work for me. So I started to do some research on the hardware/firmware side of it. I will use this blog to reflect my findings. If you have additional information do not hold back and post it in a comment or mail me at