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Basic firmware upgrade questions

I purchased my kit Aug. 2019. Built fine. Works fine. Firmware is 2.8.1

I use solar divert from my emonPi. Usually works fine except it won't stay in ECO mode (a pain).  Today it was stuck at 6 amps despite plenty of sunshine. Charge re-start fixed this. Web interface often needs refreshing. etc.

Considering a firmware upgrade. Looks like persistent ECO arrived with 2.9.0. That alone would be worth the freight.

Is all hardware compatible with all firmware? (eg: since Aug 2019 anyway?). Are there any hardware version codes I need to check?

I gather I need a programmer dongle?

Should I just go up to 5.0.1 or use some stable earlier version?

Is there a guide for upgrading with Linux? I can use windows if I have to but prefer not to.

Any other advice?

I updated to 5.0.1. When I updated to 7.1.3 the front button no longer worked and I couldn't change any settings. I couldn't find any information about it so I downgraded back to 5.0.1.

It turns out that I had the older WiFi version, so I updated to 2.9.1 for it and it works fine. I do not have a button on mine. I did this update over WiFi/internet so I did not need a programmer.

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