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Old 07-21-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
klinquist OP
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Howto: Convert your Scala Rider G4 SNOWMOBILE to a Scala Rider MOTORCYCLE unit

To rehash the story that I posted earlier today (now with a solution):

I wanted a more permanent installation than the regular Scala Rider G4 provides: You get an ugly mic on a "flexible boom" that you have to route up near your mouth. While this is more useful for riders that switch helmets often, I don't - I prefer having a corded mic stuck to the inside of my full face helmet.

The regular Scala Rider G4 Powerset (2 units) is $359 ( A single corded mic kit (1 unit) is $44, bringing the the total cost to $450 for a pair of motorcycle units and a pair of corded mic kits.

The Scala Rider G4 Snowmobile kit, which has identical specs and comes with the corded mic kit, is $379. I'd save $70 by buying the box that seems to have exactly the same specs.

I received the snowmobile kit last night and mounted it in my helmet. Charged up the units, paired one to my phone, and was playing music. Awesome. Now, time to see if it's got the latest 3.0 software update. You see, 3.0 added a lot of new features. See a list of them here:

I was a bit concerned when the words "snowmobile version" were printed on the back of the G4 unit... and as it turns out, rightfully so. I installed the update software, plugged it in... and received this error when I attempted to update to 3.0:

Damn. So I call Cardo Systems, maker of the Scala. I explained my situation and asked if I could "convert" this to the motorcycle version. They said that software may be out in a few weeks allowing me to do this. Hm... I asked if I could send these units in to trade. Guy checked with his manager.... No. The tech did confirm that the hardware was the same, the only difference was the snowmobile software was tuned to a snowmobile's noise (for the noise canceling/vox). Well, the fact that the hardware is the same gave me hope. Hope that I could somehow bypass the "if current software version = x, don't allow upgrade to y" check.

Googling the name of the USB driver that is loaded [CSRBlueCoreUSB] revealed that the Scala uses a CSR bluetooth chipset. It also reveals that this bluetooth chipset is used in dozens of other bluetooth products (you can even buy the module to play with here [this may not be the exact 'heart' of the Scala, but I'm sure it's similar]).

A bit more research revealed that the app I was looking for is called DFUWizard. It's a CSR app that is designed to do firmware updates. DFU stands for 'Device Firmware Update', a USB firmware update standard:

I also noticed that the Cardo update software did download the latest firmware, it just didn't install it. I found it in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Cardo Systems\Cardo Upgrades\Downloads\current.dfu

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Cardo Systems\Cardo Upgrades\Temp\versions.txt" revealed that's definitely the right version - it contained web links to all previous versions:
[G4 Versions]

The .dfu filename extension definitely made me think I was on the right track. I finally found a version of DFUWizard for download on a third party's site that used CSR's bluecore modules. Since it could go down anytime, I've put it on my web site:

I ran DFUWizard, pointed it to the current.dfu file, waited about 20 minutes.. and success! Motorcycle software version 3.0 was installed on my Scala!

So... here are the instructions that will save you $70 if you like a corded mic (follow these instructions at your own risk!)

* Run the Cardo Update software and make sure it can communicate with your Scala G4. You'll want to turn on your Scala G4 by pressing the power [phone] button only for 3 seconds (not phone+volume up like the software says).

* Click on the button to update the firmware, click on the download link. That'll download the .dfu file.

* Close the Cardo Update software.

* Download DFUWizard above, extract it to a directory of your choice. Run DFUWizard.exe.

* Hit next, choose USB:

* Choose the top option, "download a new version of the software":

* Browse to and select C:\Program Files (x86)\Cardo Systems\Cardo Upgrades\Downloads\current.dfu (or just C:\Program Files... if Program Files (x86) does not exist)

* Hit next until you get to the page with the firmware flash progress bars.

* Now in order to flash the firmware, the G4 must be in DFU mode. If the unit is still on (blue light blinking occasionally), turn it off by holding down the power [phone icon] button for 3 seconds. Now, power it up in DFU mode by holding down phone+volume up. You should see the flash beginning (byte count going up). It will take about 20 minutes. Leave it alone, don't touch the abort button :).

* When it's done, it'll power off your G4 and it'll want you to power it on in normal runtime mode (phone button only) in order to verify. If you don't power the unit back on for verification within a certain time limit, it'll report that it FAILED. Don't worry, without verification it will still work fine.

* Now, with the unit powered back on, go back into the Cardo Update software and you should now see your unit running v3.0! You can now set all the great 3.0 options:

The DFUWizard, after an update, will even let you roll back to the previous firmware if for some reason you need to (warranty?)

Hope this helps someone!
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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Great job.

Thanks for the info and the research
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
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This is a very interesting post. You must have some sort of software background, to be able to figure this out so easily. Also I did not realize that it would be so easy to circumvent. I wonder if an enterprising software engineer could enable the Scala to pair with the Sena, or other Bluetooth units.

That would be quite awesome.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
klinquist OP
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Originally Posted by cyclebot View Post
This is a very interesting post. You must have some sort of software background, to be able to figure this out so easily. Also I did not realize that it would be so easy to circumvent. I wonder if an enterprising software engineer could enable the Scala to pair with the Sena, or other Bluetooth units.

That would be quite awesome.
Not really a software background, my job title is 'technologist'... I kind of have a 'bit of everything technology related' background :).

With the CSR Casira Software development kit: ( I'm sure someone could write G4 firmware to get it to emulate a Sena (I wouldn't be surprised if the SENA was also based on the CSR chipset). Maybe even make the G4 "A" button talk to another G4 unit while the G4 "B" button talks to a SENA unit :). It'd take a good amount of reverse engineering (or at least bluetooth sniffing between SENA units).

Unfortunately between the cost of the SDK ($3k+) and the development time, it probably doesn't have enough payoff in such a limited market.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
klinquist OP
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I should also mention that this thread is now a bit obsolete - Cardo systems now offers firmware v3.1 for the snowmobile versions which adds the "motorcycle" mode to it:
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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convert M/C model to snow model?

I wonder if this same methodology could be used to convert a M/C only version to be selectable like the snow model is?
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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FYI for anyone interested, I was able to follow this, and load the motorcycle firmware. The official Cardo software even recognizes it as such.

Only issue I have encountered is trying to go back to snowmobile firmware. After flashing the snowmobile version, the cardo software recognizes the software as the current snowmobile version 3.1, but if I try to update using the official Cardo snowmobile software, if says the my g4 can not be programmed. Essentially the f/w is updated, but Cardo will not fully recognize that I have a snowmobile version when it comes to upgrading through the official software, it shows that there is an available 3.1 update (although that's whats on the g4) and will not let me program it.

Anyone else have this issue, or know how to remedy it??
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
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Worked Like a charm for me... Thanks for the excellent post! I noticed another difference between the M/C and the sled versions... the sled version's buttons are noticably bigger and the helmet side of the G4's case is black instaed of silver. Not a surprise considering the size of the gloves pressing them.

PocketRocket screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 03:19 PM
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
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You are the man! Thanks!!

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