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 GPS Receivers for PDAs and PCs
 Holux GPSlim 236 Reset HowTo + Pictures

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
cpqkgpsa Posted - 26 déc. 2005 : 06:12:08
Resetting Holux 236

I have recently opened my 236 unit to reset it and took some pictures for those who are interested.

Why? After synchronizing protocol and baud rate through the SiRFDemo utility my 236 would only send unrecognizable byte sequences over the Bluetooth connection. There was no way of resetting the protocol or baud rate with any software. I verified the raw output format was not in the Sirf binary protocol as some posts in this forum suggested.
The most likely reason for this behavior was that the Sync feature had set the Sirf chipset to a baud rate that exceeded the 236's builtin Bluetooth radio's capabilities. In this situation a software reset is probably only possible via a separately sold special USB cable. (A standard USB cable will not work).
Living in a place where obtaining such a cable would incur higher costs and a longer waiting time, I had to find another way to reset the unit.

After failed attempts to cause a reset by running down the internal buffer battery for several days (removed big battery), the best solution seemed to open the unit and physically reset the internal ram.

The biggest challenge was to find a way to open the case. After some trial and error (need strong finger nails), the unit opened from the side of the USB connector. You should be able to get a better understanding of the connecting mechanism from the pictures below.

Originally my intention was to unsolder one of the backup battery pins to reset the 236. However there is a faster way: the battery pins are very close together and after causing a short-circuit by connecting both pins for a fraction of a second, the unit was already reset! Although it would be preferable to cause a voltage loss by unsoldering the battery, causing a quick short-circuit should not damage the battery.

Hope the pictures are helpful to anybody in the same situation.

Cheers. Chris

Remember: Never use the "Synchronize Protocol & Baud Rate" menu option in SiRFDemo with the 236 connected via Bluetooth.


There is another common problem with the 236 which cannot be solved with the technique above. If your GPSlim236 has trouble to start or maintain a Bluetooth connection (Blue LED permanently OFF) then the following might help:

Open the case as described and press down the area indicated in the following picture, while you turn on the device. You might need to keep it pressed for a longer time if the blue light goes off again instead of blinking.
JayW has come up with this effective solution, which is however only a temorary remedy. He further suggests that soldering some PCB connections on the mainboard will permanently fix the problem.
There have also been suggestions that putting the unit into a refrigerator or near the aircondition can temporarily get the Bluetooth to life, however resoldering seems to be the first solution that would permanently fix the problem.

Remember that any surgery you perform on the 236 will most likely void your warranty. So if you still have warranty I would recommend to return the device and describe the erratic error. Make sure the 236 is tested over a longer time if they cannot immediately reproduce the problem, as some users stated they have been returned their defective unit as "functioning" since it would work flawlessly when tested by the seller.

Have a look at this thread for more information:

Good Luck
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
macformat Posted - 07 mai 2012 : 07:35:04
hello do you have a diagram of the usb cable and if that worked?

thank you
Originally posted by txl

Hello all,

Of course I played with sirfdemo and of course I screwed up the unit...

But I have the data cable so is there a way to make it come back "from the dead" with the cable ?

Thanks a lot

TheHun Posted - 06 déc. 2008 : 11:20:46
JFYI, if you don't charge the GPSlim240 frequently, the Li-Ion goes below 2.4V real fast ( 6 months in my case ) and after that you can throw it away... Or do what I did :
bbloff Posted - 02 août 2008 : 17:21:57
Update: The GPSlim 236 can run from external power with battery removed, had someone email me this information.

Would someone be able to quickly tell me (test) if the GPSlim 236 can operate from external power when battery is removed? I have the Holux M1000, I can remove the battery, leave the slide switch on, and have it auto power on/off with car or charger connection. Just wondering if this model can do the same thing, as I'm having stability issues with the M1000 (frequent drop outs). Many receivers (such as i-blue 737) simply won't turn on without a battery..
wallacel Posted - 23 juin 2008 : 05:53:45
Me too. For those who have trouble after flashing via BT, my 236 was dead after flashing firmware 3.2.2. After resetting it comes alive again, thanks alot Chris!
sur_king Posted - 29 sept. 2007 : 06:36:32
Today, i experimented SirfIII Demo with my Holux gpslim 236 and got screwed up. I don't think that changing from NMEA to Sirf will make the unit unable to work! I go through SirfIII Demo and Holux manual and experimented changing many parameters in SirfIII Demo. But everything went vain and my GPS was not responding.

I thought that my GPS was almost dead and think of returning to the shop where i purchased. But when i google it, i find out this useful topic in this forum. I followed the reset procedure mentioned by Chris. Couple of times, i didn't get proper contact. But atlast, i just kept short circuiting for around 10 secs. Oh God! my GPS resets successfully and now its working fine.

I joined this forum particularly to thank Chris. Thank you very much Chris. A wonderful post!!!
spitz Posted - 05 août 2007 : 11:19:52
The hard-restart works flawless, the pins have to be shortened for about 5 secs.
Versions of Sifrdemo > 3.8 seem to me causing such a great mess. With 3.75 everything is ok.

After the restart I've noticed a strange behavior - with 5 locked sats. the longtitude is about 50 meters off the right position. After the restart yesterday the weather is really bad, but I don't think might be causing big difference.
kuzmewnko Posted - 11 juil. 2007 : 02:40:43
Could u plase send me this pictu
cford88 Posted - 06 juil. 2007 : 16:35:52
I also have a 236 but I have a different issue. I left the unit in the car for a while when it was cold and the battery died. Now I can't seem to get a fix on any satellite. I have done the reset and I can see data being transmitted to the PDA from the device usning SirfTech and GPSView but it will not lock. Does anyone have any information on what my problem could be or what I could try to get this thing working.
palmer74 Posted - 02 juil. 2007 : 11:31:39
Bonjour à tous,

Le 236 que j'ai acheté sur ebay souffrait de bugs incompréhensibles, après recherche sur tous les forums, il m'est apparu que ce n'était qu'une question de température. Après perçages de trous dans la coque : aucun changement.

Alors, pourquoi ne pas utiliser le système des PC ? Je ne parle pas d'y mettre un ventilateur ! lol mais d'y fixer un radiateur.
Ouverture de la coque, pas facile, faut forcer *, (et perte du bouton M/A), extraction de la carte, identification du proc' GPS (236) et collage dessus d'une petite plaque de laiton d'environ 2/3 mm d'épaisseur et de dimensions adéquates (découpe, limage).
A vos étaux ...

* Merci à cpqkgpsa pour les photos
dice336 Posted - 07 juin 2007 : 00:22:19
Thanks for the info.
bartn Posted - 02 juin 2007 : 00:24:30
I can attest that the new Holux GPSlim 240 model suffers from the same problem. I too tried to switch it to the binary Sirf protocol over bluetooth, from which moment I couldn't get it to work with any program. Since this model is much smaller and has a nice, slick casing, I won't be opening it up. I'll attempt the fridge technique and report what happens. I'll have to let it drain its main battery first, though, since that one cannot be removed in this model. I'll be getting a data cable sometime anyway, so if this fails I'll just have to do that sooner.
ron2000uk Posted - 09 mai 2007 : 05:09:47
Am I right in assuming that all the people who messed up the 236 was because of using SirfDemo over BT?
I use USB cable and fiddle with various settings. It lock up often but I can always reset it.
Does any mess up the GPS with a USB cable? (a proper one, not the supplied USB cable which is only for charging)
admin_0 Posted - 26 avr. 2007 : 04:56:45
Hi guys, I too have a Holux 236. I've had it for about 2 months I guess, and it has worked flawlessly until today. I used it with my Motorola Q to navigate to a client location, turned it off, did my work for about 2 hours. When I got back to the car, I turned it on to navigate to another site, but it would not pick up on my Q. The LEDs looked fine... the orange would blink, and the blue would blink quickly, and then slowly as I started my GPS app, but it could not detect a GPS signal. So I think it was connecting via BT, and according to the LED it had a lock, but it was not relaying any info for some reason.

So I took it home and plugged it into the PC via the provided USB cable (after I installed the drivers from the CD). And it would pop up the USB icon in the system tray, and it would disappear and re-appear constantly. I managed to click on it once before it disappeared and it said something about an unknown USB device, even though I am certain I installed the correct drivers.

So anyway, I tried the battery short reset method, and had no luck. I can still see the device via BT, pair it, connect to it, etc., and even thought the orange LED blinks, I get no GPS data from it. So I've removed the main batt and put it in my subzero freezer for the night. Hopefully that fixes it...
admin_0 Posted - 21 mars 2007 : 00:48:18
I accidentally let the battery die on my GPS unit, but oddly not in any SIRF mode that I know of, just using it as a GPS unit with my Palm using GeoNiche. And most likely GeoNiche was not open and the port closed.. None the less, I discovered it the next day still on and dead so I charged it, and got nothing but gibberish out of it when trying to connect to it.

Popped the case really easy with a jewelers screwdriver (careful! Mine went into the case, luckily there's not much to hit in the front) and put the screwdriver between the battery contacts for 1-2s to reset it. Happy now!

I might pack this screwdriver in my caching box, I'd loathe to get somewhere and realize this has happened again. I was going to grab a cache tonight when I found it. Ah well, it's good now, thanks for the pictures and instructions!
admin_0 Posted - 11 févr. 2007 : 21:38:28
Hi! Your reset procedure worked flawlessly with my Holux 236. I Short(!) Circuited (Through a long thin cable, just to make sure some resistance in the cable and give enough time to drain internal battery safely without damaging the battery) internal Battery for 10 seconds.
Great Help Thanks a Lot.

My problem was: Bluetooth communication with my Laptop and 236 or My Blackberry Pearl and 236 was flawless, Laptop and Blackberry both keep detecting 236 as a Bluetooth device. But Microsoft streets and Trips 2007 or Blackberry Maps failed to detect 236 as a GPS device.

After reseting 236, Now everything fine.

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