Helix Board Universal Mac OSX USB Compatibility
Posted by Rick Shao on 16 November 2015 06:07 AM

To run the Helix Board 18 Universal or Helix Board 24 Universal on a Mac through USB, a firmware update is required. This article gives instructions on performing this firmware update. After the firmware is updated, the abovementioned units will be plug-and-play compatible with the Mac. Read on for details...

This update can be applied to the following models:

    • Helix Board 18 Universal
    • Helix Board 24 Universal

First and foremost, this firmware update is only required if you wish to use one of the aforementioned units through USB on a Mac. While all of these units were previously plug-and-play with the FireWire interface, the USB interface was not recognized on Macs. With this firmware update, the aforementioned models will be plug-and-play through USB on Mac OSX 10.8.x, 10.9.x and 10.10.x.

For this firmware update you will need:

To begin, you need to establish a FireWire or USB connection between your Helix Board and the computer. This requires you to install the current driver (latest version is 5.22.1 for USB, 6.17 for FireWire) and connect the unit to your computer. To completely ensure that the connection has been established, go into the Phonic Control Panel to see whether your inputs/outputs are available and that there are no connection problems.

WARNING: This update will require a constant, stable connection to your computer. As you are about to update the firmware (ie. the software within the Helix Board), please ensure that your unit does not become disconnected from the computer during the update, and that both the Helix Board and the computer are connected to a stable power source. Disconnecting the unit from the computer during the update may render the unit inoperable.

      1. Extract the contents of
      2. If you are currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, run PhonicUpgrade.exe
      3. If you are currently running a 64-bit version of Windows, run PhonicUpgrade_X64.exe
      4. The installer should complete the update without any further user involvement.
      5. After the update is complete you will be asked to 'power cycle' the unit. Simply turn it off and on again.

After the update is complete your previously installed driver will not be able to recognize your Helix Board. You will need to install the latest driver for your firmware (version 5.22.1 for USB, 6.17 for FireWire):

Helix Board 18 Universal (USB) – PC driver

Helix Board 24 Universal (USB) – PC driver

Helix Board 18 Universal (FireWire) – PC driver

Helix Board 24 Universal (FireWire) – PC driver

Your Helix Board should now be compatible with Mac OSX through both FireWire and USB. The most recent version of OSX these models are compatible with is OSX 10.10 Yosemite.

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