Premier Elite v3.00 Firmware

Visiting the Texecom website today I’ve made the exciting discovery that the firmware for the Premier Elite panels has had a major upgrade from v2.11 (which is what mine shipped with) to v3.00

Now I’m a firmware junkie – doesn’t really matter to me whether I want or need the new features, but I just want to be on the latest version. So whether it’s TVs, microwave ovens, dishwashers or guitar amps I’m always interested in getting the newest software release.

Texecom provide a very useful summary of the changes here

From a initial look through, much of it is expansion and improvements rather than major new features but one thing particularly caught my eye. Since I’ve been playing with these panels I’ve thought that I’d really like 3 COM ports – one for the GSM interface (when I finally get it working), one for integration with the Vera smart home controller (more of this in another post) and one for a permanent COMIP connection. This is apparently available on the most expensive panel but I didn’t think of that when I bought it.

Anyway it seems this new firmware allows COM3 to be accessed via the existing communication port – confirming my suspicion all along that it was just a COM port in disguise. It will require a breakout board which no doubt one will have to buy from Texecom:

comport

Although judging by this picture it will simply connect out a few pins – so maybe it will be possible to identify which pin is which and connect directly to it and I am worried that this new board will be expensive.

The other problem is that one cannot simply flash the new firmware using a COMIP or USB-COM which is a bit of a pain. The firmware is held in flash ROM, but they seem to have left the programming chip off the main board and so one has to buy the ‘CDH-001 Firmware Flasher’ which is going to be about £30 from the usual sources

Premier Elite Flasher Interface

Looking at this picture really makes me unwilling to pay £30 for the privilege – it is clearly just a MAX662A flash programming chip plus a couple of capacitors, a switch and a button which can’t be worth more than a few quid. However without knowing the pinout of the programming port and without being able to study one of these I’m a bit stuck. I’d love to be able to DIY one of these… but I suppose I may have to grit my teeth and stump up if I want to get the upgrade. I suppose if you are an installer you make your money back after the first job but for me the ‘cost per use’ is very high. If only they showed a photo of the underside!

To make matters worse the above adapter still needs the USB-COM to work, but at least I already have one of those.

If I do get one I’ll analyse it and post the results… or I could just stay at v2.11 but I’m not sure I can tolerate that now I know I’m out of date.

In other news I’ve now got all the bits from China so will try again with my ComGSM DIY effort and will post the results.

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8 thoughts on “Premier Elite v3.00 Firmware”

  1. I had the bottom-side image somewhere. I’ll try to hunt them out. From what I remember, the Max chip was just lifting the flash voltage level and there was a loop back for programming mode. I got distracted with other stuff, or would have put together a low cost USB flash lead.

    I was going to do more Texecom stuff, but put it aside due to protocol issues. I never really liked the Texecom hardware compared with the Honeywell, but there are plenty who think the opposite 🙂

  2. Great, I would like to see that and it would be very good to be able DIY something. It seems a bit cheapskate on their part not to include it all on the main board… but I suppose it’s better than having a non-flash EPROM or something which needs off-board programming.

    I do quite like the Texecom stuff although I am not experienced in such things. I did look at Honeywell and it looked nice, but what swung it for me was that someone had written an interface for Texecom kit to the Vera home automation controller I have.

    If you find the pics I’d be very keen to see them

  3. Did either of you chaps come up with a home brew version of the flash board? I’d be interested to see the bottom side of the PCB too if available.

  4. Unfortunately haven’t got anywhere with this as yet – I did ask around on a security installers forum but didn’t get very far. I think they thought I was bonkers for not just stumping up for the genuine article, but of course they were all using them time and time again. I’ll probably end up buying one in due course and when I do I’ll post some pictures and I’ll try and draw out a schematic.

  5. No worries. I haven’t got my panel yet so can’t look but can you say what brand of processor is on the premier elite main board?

  6. I’ll have a look later on. Unfortunately on the pics I have it’s not clear! If you are getting a new panel then it really should come with v3 anyway, although I see there is already a 3.01 released.

  7. Thanks for sharing your adventures on this blog.
    Did you make progress on the FW upgrade?
    Found the flasher for Including VAT: £23.40 @ Cctv central, but they only do UK shipping (not for me sigh…)

  8. See my latest post – I did end up buying it from CCTV central as you suggest, including the ComPort+ breakout boards (£7 for 5). Problem is… I can’t make it work! I suspect that this is something to do with the Pin 1 not being connected but I don’t know what it is expecting. Frustrating… and I really do not want to have to buy the proper cable!

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