• September 26, 2023

Opposite Engineering Saves Weller With A Wonky LCD From The Trash Pile

There’s not anything extra enjoyable than discovering a damaged piece of drugs within the trash and bringing it again to existence. Pleasant, but additionally doubtlessly extra time-consuming — anyone tossed it for a reason why, finally. Working out what that reason why is and discovering a method to again it higher is the place the thrill — and the peril — are.

Thankfully, some items of apparatus have a reasonably brief listing of well known failure modes, a indisputable fact that [Lauri Pirttiaho] depended on for this repair of an outdated Weller WD1 soldering station. The unit, wearing the acquainted gentle blue Weller livery and various scratches and dings, had an LCD that was once DOA. Usually it’s the driving force that’s the issue right here, however [Lauri]’s analysis published it was once the LCD module itself that was once unhealthy.

With OEM replacements being mainly unobtainium at this level, the repair was once to intercept the knowledge heading from the driving force to the outdated LCD and ship it to a brand new, simply sourced 16×2 persona LCD show. This started with an inspection of the show controller’s datasheet, and a little of probing of the outdated show to determine which segments and backplanes map to which pins. Just a little little bit of case modding allowed the brand new show to suit, the outdated controller chip was once got rid of, and a PIC16 went into its position, in a tidy nest of Kapton tape and bodge wires. The PIC does the process of translating the unique show, which had an even collection of customized icons and logos, into smart text-based equivalents and sending them to the 16×2 by the use of I2C. The video beneath displays the hack in motion; it in truth seems find it irresistible will have come from the manufacturing facility like that.

The great factor here’s that [Lauri]’s repair applies to a complete vary of Weller stations, so in the event you to find one within the trash, you could possibly resuscitate it. Failing that, you might want to at all times roll your individual Weller from (more-or-less) scratch.