After a brief detour into heating control I’m back to talking about my Texecom adventures. I will as promised come to the more detailed software side of the heating project soon. However, with the Spring weather coming I’m feeling keen to start taking on some new projects so I’m back to thinking about upgrading my Premier Elite to v3.01 (it’s already gone up from v3.00).
As some commenters have pointed out, one can buy the firmware flash interface from www.cctvcentral.co.uk for a good price at the moment:
And they also are the only place anywhere that seems to be selling the ComPort+ accessory which gives you an additional serial port output using the on board communicator output.
These need more discussion and I’ll come to this in another post. As you will see I had to buy 5 of them… so if anyone wants one of my 4 spares for a nominal fee to cover costs please let me know.
Anyway I took the plunge and ordered them all, and they arrived last week. The service from cctvcentral was pretty good, as the firmware flasher got damaged in transit and they sent me out another very quickly.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon with the firmware flasher, but unfortunately so far have met with failure.
I connected everything up as per the instructions, and I have learned a few things. First of all, this is the first time I had tried powering the whole panel down and one of the problems doing this is that it sets off the tamper alarm on the external siren. I have a Texecom Odyssey 1 which I installed some time ago. It is quite smart for a bell box, and one of things you can do is temporarily disable it if you are working on it. You can do this by using the engineer utilities to switch the strobe on 3 times in 30 seconds. This worked quite well, although it resets itself when you put the power back on. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to do any kind of work on alarms without making a dreadful racket.
I’ve also learned that the Texecom firmware software only recognises FTDI serial ports – presumably because that’s what is in the genuine product.
However, on running the software and trying to flash the panel… nothing happens. It just gives an error message saying ‘board not responding correctly’.
I’m a bit stumped by this – I’m sure that the pinout is the same for the serial port and the software recognises it. I’m quite sure that I’ve connected the ribbon cable to the alarm board properly.
The only difference between my home made cable the real one is the first pin – which on the board gives 12V out. Looking at the flash interface, the corresponding pin is linked to a couple of pins on the flash board including a capacitor or two. So it must be doing something… but what? I’m really not sure what I should do about this, as unless I can get hold of a real Texecom flash cable I can’t know what that pin is for.
So all in all, not good news at the moment. I have the flash board… but I can’t use it. And I really do not want to be spending £40 on a genuine Texecom cable after getting this far! I have seen people on ebay selling third party copies which they say do work with the interface, so I might have to resort to getting one of these. It seems a shame though… I’m sure the solution is pretty simple but at the moment I have no way of finding it out!
Any comments or thoughts would be welcome. I will post some hi res pics of the board (including the all-important underside) shortly.