Programming a Texecom Premier Elite 12-W using a FTDI cable

The Texecom Premier Elite series of alarms can be programmed using Windows software called Wintex. This makes setting up these alarms far easier than using the keypad menus – they have hundreds of options and settings.

Texecom sell two products to connect to these alarms using Wintex – PC-COM (a serial port adapter ~£20) and USB-COM (a USB to serial adapter ~£35) . I strongly suspected these were just serial TTL converters, but I was concerned that there might be some jiggery pokery stopping this from working. Some software requires very specific VID (vendor ID) and PID (product IDs) on the USB device. Some software uses custom drivers. Others use microcontrollers and obfuscation to make sure you buy the genuine product.

As an avid hardware hacker, I have a lot of USB to TTL serial converters. The most useful (and reliable, in terms of drivers) are FTDI cables based on the FT232R chips. Genuine cables are ~£14, breakout boards can be as low as £2 on eBay. So let’s try and get connected to the Premier Elite 12-W using this cable.

There are two ports on the Premier Elite board – Com Port 1 and Com Port 2. These are 5 pin Molex connectors with only 4 pins populated. There didn’t seem to be a direct pin-out in the manual, so from the manual and with a multimeter we have:

Pin 1 – 12V

Pin 2 – nothing

Pin 3 – GND

Pin 4 – Receive

Pin 5 – Transmit

Com port 1 and 2

Com port 1 and 2

Signalling appears to be 5V. So, get out the 5V FTDI cable (they come in different voltages):

A 5V FTDI cable

A 5V FTDI cable

Pin 1 – GND

Pin 2 – Don’t care

Pin 3 – Don’t care

Pin 4 – Transmit

Pin 5 – Receive

Pin 6 – Don’t care

We then need to connect transmit to receive, receive to transmit, and common ground. This terminology might be at odds with alarm equipment – RS485 buses often label one wire “T” and it means transmit on the master, receive on the slave. I suspect this simplifies wiring as you just connect all “T” wires.

So, to connect the two:

Texecom – FTDI

Pin 3 GND – Pin 1 GND

Pin 4 Receive – Pin 4 Transmit

Pin 5 Transmit – Pin 5 Receive

Just be cautious of the 12V on pin 1 of the alarm board – sending this up the chuff of your PC will result in damage.

Using jumper cables, you could make up a proper cable

Using jumper cables, you could make up a proper cable

Find out which COM port the FTDI cable is using (generally go into Device Manager, and it will be listed there).

COM6 is my FTDI cable

COM6 is my FTDI cable

Go into Wintex and change the PC-COM port to this COM port:

Change Wintex to use COM6

Change Wintex to use COM6

Connect, receive settings, change settings, and monitor Ricochet devices to your heart’s content!

And start setting things up

And start setting things up



32 thoughts on “Programming a Texecom Premier Elite 12-W using a FTDI cable

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Martin Collett

    February 8, 2014 at 10:08am

    Thanks for this great post! I wasted an awful lot of time trying to connect to my Premiere Elite 48 panel using a brand new but what turned out to be faulty Texecom USB cable. I knocked up my own using an FT232R cables and it connected first time. My cable is 3.3V not 5V and connection seems to be fine.
    Thanks again, Martin

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      February 15, 2014 at 11:05am

      Glad it helped – it’s much cheaper like this.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


        April 4, 2014 at 9:21am

        Hi,, great post ,, Could you by any chance send me a diagram or message o f how you did it…I can buy a ttl to usb for £4 to comnnect my laptop to a texecom 12-w control panel but don, t want to blow anything…much appreciated stomin

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2014 at 10:34pm

    Can you tell me what is the protocol (what data are exchanged during login process)? What is the baud rate? I have original cable and also made one like yours but with both I get error. Maybe this panel is locked and factory restore does not help. Is the alarm (bell) output 12V at startup? I do not have keypad, only naked board and wanted to talk to it only with rs232

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      March 26, 2014 at 1:59pm

      I haven’t actually done much investigation here. It looks encoded at the minimum, potentially encrypted.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 8, 2014 at 9:06am

    top top man just read your post,,,exxxx.
    just bought a usb to ttl and will try this ..
    many thanks for taking the time to do this post…
    I have been looking on ebay for a week now and the price they are charging for the
    texecom downlod cable is an insult ..
    thx Stormin

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 13, 2014 at 10:23am

    Sorry to dissapoint anyone but this will only download upload to the premier 24 upwards.
    It will not work with the 12-w panel. ,,,Stormin

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 19, 2014 at 6:28pm

    Thanks for the post very informative. Can you may assist with my issue in that I have been trying to set up my PC to work on the Wintex software but will only work on COM 2. As COM 2 is already used for the GSM signalling( and this also will only work on COM2) I seem to be stuck. I have followed the set up and have “nothing fitted” in the COM1 set up. Any advice would be appreciated.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2015 at 11:27pm

    This is very interesting. The price of the real Texecom USB-COM is as nothing compared to what they are charging for the the ethernet adapter – £102! And all it seems to do is translate ethernet frames back into serial again.

    Don’t wish to seem ignorant, but is a USB-TTL adapter the same as a USB-Serial adapter? I have several USB to RS232 cables which are spare – could I use the TXD / RXD pins on this or is it something entirely different?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      March 28, 2015 at 10:43pm

      The Ethernet adapter actually does a fair bit, though I’m sure a clone could be made cheaper.

      USB-TLL and USB-Serial are the same.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


        March 29, 2015 at 6:06pm

        Thanks for that – will proceed!

        I’m reliably informed that if you connect up to a computer with a USB lead and run ser2net:

        Then you can pass the serial communication into ethernet frames and off to any destination you like. You could use a Raspberry PI or similar for this and it would be a quarter of the price of the COM-IP. I’ve not tried this (alarm still not installed) but I will once it is up and running.

        Thanks for the site!

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


          August 24, 2020 at 5:55pm

          Wow I’m in here looking for this solution 5 years later. Thanks all for the knowledge sharing!

          Great Post

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 16, 2015 at 9:22pm

    I’ve now done this and have an equivalent to the COM-IP for effectively no cost.

    Details here –

    I’d be interested to hear from anyone else with similar experiences


  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 2, 2015 at 7:51pm

    Hi! I tried with SUCCESS and connected to a premier 816 . Simple and clean job!
    (I used a very cheep USB to TTL adapter)

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 31, 2015 at 9:13am

    Alex .help me ,I’m try to connect premier 832 ,but i can not

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      January 5, 2016 at 5:15am

      Hi my friend I’ve just seen your post (!) Have you solved your ptoblem yet?


  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    David Wallis

    November 19, 2015 at 10:38pm

    have you done any snooping on the protocol used to the keypads and expanders, or do you know what is uesd? ttl, 232, 485?

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    James Reed

    December 8, 2015 at 7:05pm

    Have you seen the latest v3.00 firmware upgrade? One of things it does is enable a third com port using the communications header. You have to buy a breakout board but I’m sure it is just a simple pin to pin connection. We’ll need to work out the pinout for that too.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 9, 2016 at 6:02pm

    General question: Why are there no *-W panels listed in the account settings. Whatever I set it to (my panel is a 12-W LIVE) the Ricochet button is greyed out.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 18, 2016 at 1:09pm

    hey guys im doing the same with COMIP pls help me in this

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 22, 2016 at 10:41pm

    Great post. I am looking in ways for cheaper ”version” of ComGSM Texecom has. Any ideas?
    I guess it needs to be some sort of modem M2M GSM to RS232 or I am wrong!

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 10, 2017 at 8:15pm


    This post is really interesting and useful – I’m just about to try and connect my texecom alarm to the lan following this and a few other articles. There’s one thing that’s confusing me – the 5 pin molex connector out of the texecom board, I’m totally confused what to buy to connect to it. Can you tell me/link me what’s suitable? If I look for connectors on google/ebay the range is just baffling me and i’m certain it’ll take me 20 attempts to get the right one!

    Help much appreciated

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 16, 2018 at 7:49am

    Would be interested in hearing from anyone who can figure out a way to connect to the panel with a download lead without knowing the UDL code. There must be a way, a Backdoor method as such. I know with a keypad, you only get so many attempts to input the correct code but if there was no Backdoor I’m thinking a simple macro could be implemented to quickly try all code combinations from 0001 to 999999. Any ideas?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Juan Pablo Barrio

      March 20, 2019 at 9:53pm

      Hola Miguel lograste entrar sin el Code UDL ?? Yo tampoco lo tengo

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      May 1, 2019 at 10:07am

      Did you ever figure this out? I too am looking for a way into panels with locked engineer codes. I was considering reading the NVM direct and can read the memory on a Veritas no problem but can not replicate this on the Premier Elite range. I have heard there is a way to unlock the engineer code but have been unable to fathom this too. Any pointers?

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 15, 2018 at 8:53am


    I’m hoping as a hardware hacker you might know the answer to this. On the same lines as Michaels post above, are you aware of any way to circumvent a locked engineer code on the Texecom Premier Elite panels. I’ve had a quick poke around but can not figure out a method, I’m sure there must be a way.

    Also, for some reason I am unable to directly read the NVM chips on the panel via a USB reader as I was hoping for a way to find a code or even erase the chip completely. They all seem to use the Microchip 24LC chips which I think store the codes and the datasheet shows there is a write protect pin but from my testing it doesn’t appear that this is what they are using to lock the NVM.

    Regards, Warwick

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      June 11, 2020 at 2:30pm

      Hi Leo, any chance you can share your code in full?

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 4, 2019 at 1:38pm

    This ‘hack’ was particularly useful – I used the FTDI board to connect an 816 via USB and its brilliant.
    I’d be very curious if you happen to know the internal settings of the COMIP module which effectively converts the three wire RS232 to Ethernet.

    Johannesburg, SA

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