Update the Cat-M1 R410 Nova's Firmware

IoT-specific cellular technologies are a new and exciting branch of cellular technology. However, as with all new technologies, there are some growing pains that get addressed as the field matures. In this guide, we go over the process of updating the Cat-M1 R410 Nova's firmware to use the latest version, which irons out several issues with older firmware versions. 

Note: The 3G/2G U201 Nova does not need any firmware updates.

Updating Nova firmware

Prerequisites: Install the Hologram Python SDK on the host Raspberry Pi or Linux Machine.

1) Run git clone https://github.com/hologram-io/hologram-tools.git on the terminal of the Raspberry Pi or Linux machine that you use for your Nova to download the firmware and tools needed to install it.


2) Run cd hologram-tools/novaupdate/ to go to the cloned repository.


3) Run sudo pip install -r requirements.txt .


4) Run sudo python nova410update.py, read the instructions, and enter y to initiate the firmware update.

Note: This can take up to 25 minutes, during which the Nova must remain plugged into the Pi undisturbed.


5) The firmware update program will periodically post updates to the terminal screen and let you know once the update is complete.


This firmware update will change the behavior of the red LED on the Nova. Instead of staying solid when on the network with a Hologram SIM it will now slowly blink.

Furthermore, after the new firmware is installed on your Nova, the behavior of certain cellular network commands like  AT+URAT  and  AT+UMNOPROF will have changed. Appendix B.5 in the ublox Sara-R4 AT command manual has more details on this.


After running the firmware update, some boards may repeatedly shutdown after about a minute when a SIM is inserted and it is connected to the network. The following procedure resolves this:

1) Connect to the modem via a serial port using the terminal program of your choice. This guide has instructions on how to do this.

2) Run the following commands:


Wait for board to restart and let it sit for a few seconds then reconnect and run:



Note: The Hologram Nova is no longer in production.

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