Updating the speed camera database on a Talex Lite / Novus Delta Speed camera detector

If you want to update your Talex lite (Novus Delta) (or other Talex/Novus unit) without spending 15 on a USB cable there is a fairy simple solution, (although will take some time if you do it this way and the result isn't the prettiest mod ever!)

I spent along time working this out - with hindsight it was alot simpler than I thought! I hope this may save you some bother.

After cracking the thing open my first thought was that it was 5v TTL level programmable, being as it had a 5v connection to the onboard little TRRS connector (3/32)/(2.5 mm). This was my undoing. To cut a long story short it is in fact just a RS-232 com port with a TRRS socket instead of a normal COM port. The lead for 15 is just a bog standard USB > RS-232 adapter with a TRRS socket on the end instead of a male com socket.

Pinout for Talex > COM/serial/RS-232

If you decide to add a COM socket so you can easily update it again (ugly but simple) this is the pinout;
Talex 'GRND' > COM pin 5 (common ground)
Talex 'TXD' > COM pin 2 RxD (Received Data)
Talex 'RXD' > COM pin 3 TxD (Transmitted Data)
+5v no connection (you can actually power the unit through this, so not needing the power input connected - this is probably only useful if you are modding it for other purposes.)

Receiving the GPS data via serial link from your Talex Lite / Novus Delta

(In device manager I suggest setting the com port to 115200 and the FIFO buffering on full)

If you then open Hyperterminal or terminal program of choice, choose correct COM port (either real or emulated) set
Bits per second (BAUD rate): 9600
Data Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: None

Once this is set, hit connect, nothing will happen yet - but it shouldn't error.

Set the Unit to normal and ONLY THEN power it on. If you have the speaker plugged in, which I didnt while I was fiddling, it says 'fasten your seatbelt' and you should get the database revision flash up on the display for a second like '9097' at this point in time.
(If it has been on beforehand it may have a GPS lock and the time should change to current time, if not it usually comes on saying 12:00.)

Something like the below should come out of Hyperterminal thus;

$Version 231.000.000ES
$TOW: 0
$WK:  1192
$POS: 6378137  0        0
$CLK: 93126

$Baud rate: 9600  System clock: 12.277MHz
$HW Type: S2AM
$Asic Version: 0x23
$Clock Source: GPSCLK
$Internal Beacon: None
$                  2008. 01. 21
$------------------- Talex type ------------------------
$S/W Version(by JCOM) : Jcom_Ver1.15
$DataBase Ver: Year:0009, Month:09, Day:41, Week:07
$Embedded inUK, UK DB
$Wave Version: ISD4002= 2004.06.10
$FND : 500 serise
$GPCAM,0,0,CN=0,  0.0000(  0.0000),  0.0000(  0.0000),0,0M/h,0,0,0*62

..then lots more lines of NMEA GPS data all starting $GP.. you should be getting about 4 / second.

If nothing comes out you may have got the TX and RX back to front or not connected ground. This worked on both my USB > RS-232 adapters and on the standard COM cable.

Updating your Talex Lite or Novus Delta

Assuming this is ok then it is time to update.
Get the update form either
Talex Directly or
Novus Systems
The Novus one seemed newer at the time of writing.

They are both ultimately a frontend for the flashing program SiRFflashcl.exe
You can either flash directly or do this test first that dumps the current firmware to a file.

Warning: Only ONE of my USB > RS-232 adapters worked with this and the other only just started working since I added the port (rather than bits of wires hanging off) so it is possible you may get unlucky if you want to use your existing USB RS-232 adapter. (We seem to have this issue at work with some things being funny with USB adapters for com ports). For simplicity and reliablility I think using a direct onboard COM port is best. Even most new boards do have com port headers on them, even if they dont have COM ports on the back anymore.
The other advantage is you dont need drivers and it will work on any windows version.
The item I have that doesn't work is "CP2102 USB/TTL/RS232 Serial Port Converter Transceiver" - it is possible it's faulty or I damaged it, although it receives GPS data fine so I imagine its some incompatability.

Reading firmware from Talex Lite (can skip this if you want)

Note it reads and writes firmware at 115200 not 9600 bps.

If you copy and paste the below SiRFflashcl.exe command (extracted from the Talex update program (not the Novus one - or at least I cant extract it from it), within about 2 seconds it should start giving you a % transferred. On my dodgy USB adapter it just has 'Connecting...' scrolling across the screen endlessly. If there is an issue it will tell you straight away it cant program it or cant see a com port.
Please note the -l x , where x is the com port number.

Via motherboards onboard com port into Talex Lite's added COM port 1

c:\>SiRFflashcl.exe firmware.bin -l 1 -b 115200 -r -f 0x0 -t 0x1fffff
COM1 : Target configuration: GSP2e/LP baseband with GRF2i RF chip
COM1 : One ST M29W160EB chip will be read
COM1 : Flash successfully read in 208.8 sec

Summary: 1 success, 0 failures
Via "USB-SERIAL CH340" USB to RS-232 adapter (wch.cn VID_4348&PID_5523) into Talex Lite's added COM port.
Driver ver 3.0.2008.12 dated 22/12/2008 (x64 bit version in Xp x64), on COM 2
c:\>SiRFflashcl.exe firmware.bin -l 2 -b 115200 -r -f 0x0 -t 0x1fffff
COM2 : Target configuration: GSP2e/LP baseband with GRF2i RF chip
COM2 : One ST M29W160EB chip will be read
COM2 : Flash successfully read in 212.5 sec

Summary: 1 success, 0 failures 

So I guess you are looking at about 4 minutes to dump it.
Anyhow if this works you are quids in and flashing it via the program (DeltaUpdate.exe I used) should work ok in about same amount of time!
REMOVE the power, switch it from normal to 'DL' and reapply the power - there should be nothing on the display but a small red LED should illuminate above it.

Addition of 9-pin COM port

The only way I could get a com port to fit was in the back - it's abit ugly but its fairly simple to do. Please note it's upside down as the three connections are on the 'top', thus keeping them further away from the PCB inside to give a fraction more space.

I used a Dremel tool (actually one from Aldi) to drill a hole then used the 'drill saw' bit to enlarge it to fit the 9 pin com female socket.

I then used a hot glue gun to glue it in at the back and soldered the rx/tx/grnd up. Be careful soldering the wires on they dont obstruct the moutning hole for the cover of the unit.

It seems to work ok, just have to be careful yanking it out. I left the metal parts on with the holes incase the glue doesnt last and it needs bolting on.

I hope this is of some help to someone!