Mark 2 Firmware Release Notes

Date: July 31, 2020
Device Compatibility: Arable Mark 2 Rev 3.0 and 3.1
Module Compatibility: Quectel BG96MAR02, A07M1G (AT&T 02A07_01.016 and Telstra 02A08M1GA)
Markets: For Deployment: US (LTE-M AT&T), Mexico (LTE-M, 2G AT&T), Argentina (AT&T 2G), Australia (LTE-M Telstra), Canada (LTE-M AT&T), France (LTE-M, 2G AT&T), Germany (2G AT&T), UK (2G AT&T), Ukraine (2G AT&T), Poland (2G AT&T), Spain (2G AT&T), Netherlands (LTE-M, 2G AT&T), Brazil (2G AT&T). For homologation: Brazil (Claro LTE-M), US (Verizon LTE-M).
Impact: Medium
Type of Release: General


Release Overview

This firmware release is a general release targeted for commercial use with AT&T, Verizon and Telstra M2MOne SIM SKUs and Internet APNs. While the firmware has been verified on Claro APN and SIM for LTE-M in Brazil, it is still going through the homologation process there.

This release contains several reset-related defect fixes that aim to improve the Arable Mark 2 device’s durability in the field. Other major improvements are related to testing functionality for factory fixtures, audio data capture for model development, and data reduction; these improvements will not be used in commercial field deployments at this stage, but are used in field testing and data collection by the Arable team to improve quality and accuracy over time.

The release will be applied both in manufacturing and in over-the-air upgrades of the existing Mark 2 fleet in the field.

The use of Arable Mark 2 and Arable Solar with a 20-min sync interval for weather alerts is in a limited release as we build more field data for different geographies and conditions. Reach out to Arable Customer Success at or via the Help icon in the app to enable this on a seasonal basis for the new weather alert capabilities in Arable Mobile 3.0.0 or higher.


New Features

  • While updating the Arable Mark 2 hardware revisions, we took the opportunity to optimize sensor readings to adapt to each hardware revision, bringing more robustness and better performance with firmware In combination with other power optimizations, this has reduced the sampling period from 3.5 seconds to ~3.0 seconds (the exact number depends on the hardware revision). The 20-sync interval setting was validated for an entire battery discharge cycle, and was shown to shorten the uptime by 4-5 days, depending on rainfall.
    Sync Time  >  Days on one charge and no sunlight
    20-min        >  15
    60-min        >  21
  • A new command line interface forms the starting point for new device testing. So far this is only used by Arable internally, but more work will be done in this area in upcoming releases.
  • An ongoing data reduction effort seeks to reduce overall bandwidth requirements from 25MB/month to 10MB/month with hourly sync intervals. It is so far kept as a separate build for further interna testing by Arable but shows promise for future adaptation to lower bandwidth networks like NB-IoT.
  • We built a mechanism to check existing firmware versions and show an error if an incompatible upgrade (e.g., too large a step from existing to target firmware) is attempted.


Defect Fixes

  • Firmware can now recover from an individual sensor reading error within seconds instead of minutes, without triggering a system level reset8. This improved self-healing capability is expected to reduce the impact of a reading error on overall data availability to the user.
  • Firmware has resolved a race condition that occurred between the real time clock (RTC) register updates and the Mark 2 reading of the same. That mismatch created unwarranted reset0s on the device. These have now been removed.
  • In previous releases, the Mark 2 might time out too soon on the connection attempt on a very slow connection, e.g. on 2G. This is now handled in a smarter manner where the device waits for a message from the modem before giving up.
  • A memory leak was discovered in relation to the modem that triggered unwarranted reset9s more often than necessary. This memory leak has now been resolved and reset9s will only occur when there is a real communication issue.
  • For the experimental feature of audio recording, sometimes audio uploads did not resume after a link drop with the backend. Now the audio uploads resume after the link connection is up again.


Known Issues

  • In order to ensure year-round operation with firmware at the Mark 2 idle power level of 900 μA, it is recommended to deploy with Arable Solar.
  • The Mark 2 does not trigger redeployment when the mount is inserted, as it did for the first-generation Mark device. The Mark 2 redeployment is done by pressing the new user button.
  • While native Claro LTE-M support has been validated, the ANATEL regulatory approach and Claro homologation are still ongoing.
  • While native Verizon LTE-M support has been validated, the Verizon homologation is still ongoing.
  • We have seen a few occurrences in the field where the Arable Mark 2 undeployed at low coverage without user intervention. Moving to good coverage and doing a long reset (> 15 sec button press) is suggested as a workaround. Please also communicate with Arable Customer Success via or the orange Help icon in the app, as we are actively assessing this problem.
  • The logic that counts the pulses from the Davis anemometer via the Arable Bridge has shown to have deficiencies in some scenarios. Updates to this is expected in the next release.