I finally gave up on the notion that I'll ever be able to do a software upgrade of the Vertical Power VP-50 unit today, packed it in a box and sent it back to Albuquerque where people smarter than me can figure it out.
I thought that getting new features free would be a neat thing and, indeed, it is, except for the "it's not really free" part in real life.
Here's what I've spent so far:
Serial to USB converter cable - Radio Shack - $49
New laptop because the desktop PC erased software but didn't install - $436
New serial to USB converter cable under theory that that's the problem - $15
Postage to mail the unit back - $10.05
$1,500 of postal insurance - $16.70
Delivery confirmation - $.80
Total cost so far: $527.55
But, really, it's more. With the software upgrade, Vertical Power made a wig-wag feature available, which convinced me to buy and install another Duckworks landing light. Cost: $85
I notice the other night -- I had a really bad week of airplane building -- the lens is cracked. That'll need to be replaced. That's $15. Maybe I'll order two.
I'm hoping that Vertical Power can find something wrong with the unit itself, or the cable I built because if it's just a matter of temperamental computers and cables, that's a honkin' waste of money without getting it to work.