Toy 2 Story: Light Dawns

As a result of having some fun and games with a Brennan JB7 recently, I have been in communication with another Brennan customer. I don’t believe his problems are the same as ours but, “it’s good to talk”, as they say. Part of my communication has been to keep him up to date on developments (see Toy 2 Story: The Sequel), a quick synopsis of which follows.

Brennan had emailed me a software update – a file attachment called “jb1hex”. The included installation instructions were:

To install the file onto your Brennan simply save the file (don’t open it) onto your USB stick, making sure there are no other files on there. Insert the USB stick into your unit, select USB functions and scroll through the menu until you reach ‘SW upgrade’. Select this option and let the file upload; it could take a few hours to process.

Upon complying, this happened …

  1. My JB7 said “No jb1.hex” (note the dot in that name).
  2. True, it was “jb1hex” (no dot)! Thinking my attached “jb1hex” to be a simple naming error, I renamed the file to “jb1.hex” (inserting the missing dot).
  3. This time my JB7 happily read in the file and asked me to “turn off & on”. (I did so.)
  4. My JB7 died completely – no menu, no nothing.

My new acquaintance, the other JB7 customer, emailed me to say that he, too, had been waiting for a software update. He went on to say:

I’m not technical but they said something about unpacking it before installing it. I didn’t know how to do that but they pointed me at a piece of software to do it.


With a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as suspicions rose and light began to dawn, I threw my original 228K “jb1hex” file at 7-Zip and, lo and behold, out popped a 1599K file called (surprise, surprise) “jb1.hex”.


Small wonder that plugging a zipped file into the JB7 killed it completely. I understand why a file attachment cannot be called – email systems are particularly concerned about security issues when it comes to zip files – but ‘t would have been nice to know it was a zip file before cancelling my order.

Back at square #1 still looking for a “music solution”.

2 comments on “Toy 2 Story: Light Dawns
  1. Jeff says:

    Hi do you still have the jb7 hex key as I’m after a copy of it as on the brennan website it states that a 1TB hardrive can be formatted to fat32 and works well with the jb7 once loaded with the correct hex key operating system which I’m trying to do to mine if you have can you email me a copy of it which I will send to you my email address when you reply

    • JC says:

      The short answer is no, I’m afraid not; I’m happy to say that I have not a trace left of anything Brennan.

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