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Maplin A24GU Wireless Audio Module Teardown

Transmitter
Transmitter

This is a pair of modules that Maplin was selling some time back, to send stereo audio over a 2.4GHz radio link. The transmitter identifies as a USB sound card, I’ve personally used these units to transmit audio about 60ft. The transmitter, above, has a single button for pairing with the receiver below.

Receiver
Receiver

The receiver unit has a large external antenna, a link status LED & volume buttons, these directly control the volume level on the host PC via the sound card drivers.

Receiver PCB Top
Receiver PCB Top

Popping the case open on the receiver reveals a large PCB, holding the chipset, along with the audio output jacks & Mini-USB power input. The antenna Coax is soldered to the PCB.

Receiver PCB Bottom
Receiver PCB Bottom

The top of the board has the control buttons, and the status LED.

Receiver Chipset
Receiver Chipset

The chipset used here is a Nordic Semiconductor nRF20Z01 2.4GHz Stereo Audio Streamer, there’s a small microcontroller which does all the register magic on the RF transceiver. The RF chain is at the top of the photo, audio outputs on the top left, and the micro USB power input & voltage regulators at bottom left.

Transmitter PCB Top
Transmitter PCB Top

The transmitter PCB has a Sonix USB Audio Codec, to interface with the host PC. This is then fed into another Nordic Semi part on the opposite side of the board:

Transmitter PCB Bottom
Transmitter PCB Bottom

The bottom of the transmitter has the RF section, and another small control microcontroller.

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Behringer DEQ2496 Mastering Processor

Bootscreen
Bootscreen

I was recently given this unit, along with another Behringer sound processor to repair, as the units were both displaying booting problems. This first one is a rather swish Mastering Processor, which has many features I’ll leave to Behringer to explain 😉

Input Board & Relays
Input Board & Relays

All the inputs are on the back of this 19″ rackmount bit of kit, nothing much on this PCB other than the connectors & a couple of switching relays.

Main Processor PCB
Main Processor PCB

All the magic is done on the main processor PCB, which is host to 3 Analog Devices DSP processors:

ADSP-BF531 BlackFin DSP. This one is probably handling most of the audio processing, as it’s the most powerful DSP onboard at 600Mhz. There’s a ROM on board above this for the firmware & a single RAM chip. On the right are a pair of ADSP-21065  DSP processors at a lower clock rate of 66MHz. To the left is some glue logic to interface the user controls & dot-matrix LCD.

PSU Module
PSU Module

The PSU in this unit is a pretty standard looking SMPS, with some extra noise filtering & shielding. The main transformer is underneath the mu-metal shield in the centre of the board.

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Sony Watchman FD-280 Composite Video Hack

Hacked
Hacked

As with the previous Sony Watchman hack, injecting a composite video signal into this one is just as easy. I desoldered both the VIF/SIF IC & the digital tuner control (the tuner controller was still injecting it’s indicator into the video circuitry with the IF IC disconnected).

Composite video is on pin 18 of the Video IF IC, with the audio on Pin 13.