Here a tape is installed in the printer. This unit can handle tape widths up to 18mm. The pinch rollers are operated by the white lever at the top of the image, which engages with the back cover.
This printer is supplied with a rechargeable battery pack, but AA cells can be used as well. Some of the AA battery terminals can be seen above the battery.
Pretty standard fare for a 2-cell lithium pack. The charging circuitry doesn’t appear to charge it to full voltage though, most likely to get the most life from the pack.
With the cartridge removed, the printer components can be seen. As these cartridges have in effect two rolls, one fro the ribbon & one for the actual label, there are two drive points.
The thermal print head is hidden on the other side of the steel heatsink, while the pinch rollers are on the top right. The plastic piece above the print head heatsink has a matrix of switches that engage with holes in the top of the label cartridge, this is how the machine knows what size of ribbon is fitted.
Most of the internal space is taken up by the main board, with the microprocessor & it’s program flash ROM top & centre.
The charger input is located on the keyboard PCB just under the mainboard, which is centre negative, as opposed to 99% of other devices using centre positive, the bastards.
The dot-matrix LCD is attached to the mainboard with a short flex cable, and from the few connections, this is probably SPI or I²C.
The printer itself is driven by a simple DC motor, speed is regulated by a pair of photo-interrupters forming an encoder on the second gear in the train.
The back case has the battery connections for both the lithium pack & the AA cells, the lithium pack has a 3rd connection, probably for temperature sensing.
Here’s the biggest portable USB powerbank I’ve seen yet – the PowerAdd Pilot X7, this comes with a 20Ah (20,000mAh) capacity. This pack is pretty heavy, but this isn’t surprising considering the capacity.
The front of the pack houses the usual USB ports, in this case rated at 3.4A total between the ports. There’s a white LED in the centre as a small torch, activated by double-clicking the button. A single click of the button lights up the 4 blue LEDs under the housing that indicate remaining battery capacity. Factory charging is via a standard µUSB connector in the side, at a maximum of 2A.
The front of the PCB holds the USB ports, along with most of the main control circuitry. At top left is a string of FS8025A dual-MOSFETs all in parallel for a current carrying capacity of 15A total, to the right of these is the ubiquitous DW01 Lithium-Ion protection IC. These 4 components make up the battery protection – stopping both an overcharge & overdischarge. The larger IC below is an EG1501 multi-purpose power controller.
This chip is doing all of the heavy lifting in this power pack, dealing with all the DC-DC conversion for the USB ports, charge control of the battery pack, controlling the battery level indicator LEDs & controlling the torch LED in the centre.
The datasheet is in Chinese, but it does have an example application circuit, which is very similar to the circuitry used in this powerbank. A toroidal inductor is nestled next to the right-hand USB port for the DC-DC converter, and the remaining IC next to it is a CW3004 Dual-Channel USB Charging Controller, which automatically sets the data pins on the USB ports to the correct levels to ensure high-current charging of the devices plugged in. This IC replaces the resistors R3-R6 in the schematic above.
The DC-DC converter section of the power chain is designed with high efficiency in mind, not using any diodes, but synchronous rectification instead.
The back of the PCB just has a few discrete transistors, the user interface button, and a small SO8 IC with no markings at all. I’m going to assume this is a generic microcontroller, (U2 in the schematic) & is just there to interface the user button to the power controller via I²C.
Not many markings on the cells indicating their capacity, but a full discharge test at 4A gave me a resulting capacity of 21Ah – slightly above the nameplate rating. There are two cells in here in parallel, ~10Ah capacity each.
The only issue with powerbanks this large is the amount of time they require to recharge themselves – at this unit’s maximum of 2A through the µUSB port, it’s about 22 hours! Here I’ve fitted an XT60 connector, to interface to my Turnigy Accucell 6 charger, increasing the charging current capacity to 6A, and reducing the full-charge time to 7 hours. This splits to 3A charge per cell, and after some testing the cells don’t seem to mind this higher charging current.
The new charging connector is directly connected to the battery at the control PCB, there’s just enough room to get a pair of wires down the casing over the cells.
Here’s an oddity from the 1980’s – a CRT-based portable TV, with a very strangely shaped tube. Sony produced many types of flat CRTs back in the 80’s, with the electron gun at 90° to the curved phosphor screen.
The front panel has the display window, along with the tuning & volume indicators. Unfortunately since analogue TV transmissions have long been switched off, this unit no longer picks up any transmissions off the air, but it can be modified to accept a composite video input.
The back panel has the battery compartment & the tilt stand.
The certification label reveals this unit was manufactured in May 1984, 32 years ago!
Rated at 6v, ~2.1W this device uses surprisingly little power for something CRT based.
The battery holder is a little unique, this plastic frame holds 4 AA cells, for a 6v pack.
The battery holder slots into the back of the TV, there’s also an extra contact that the service manual mentions is for charging, so I assume a rechargeable 6v battery pack was also available.
Removing a pair of pin-spanner type screws allows the front glass & screen printed CRT surround to be removed. Not much more under here other than the pair of screws that retain the CRT in the front frame.
Here’s the back cover removed, after unscrewing some very small screws. As per usual with Sony gear, the electronics is extremely compacted, using many flat flex cables between the various PCBs. The main PCB is visible at the back, this has all the deflection circuitry, RF tuner, Video IF, Audio IF, video amplifier & composite circuitry.
Lifting up the main board reveals more PCBs – the high voltage section for the CRT with the flyback transformer, focus & brightness controls is on the left. The loudspeaker PCB is below this. The CRT electron gun is tucked in behind the flyback transformer, it’s socket being connected to the rest of the circuitry with a flat flex cable.
Here’s the back of the CRT, the phosphor screen is on the other side of the curved glass back. These tubes must require some additional deflection complexity, as the geometry will change as the beam scans across the screen. There’s a dynamic focus circuit on the schematics, along with extensive keystone adjustments.
Here’s the tube entirely extracted from the chassis. The EHT connection to the final anode is on the side of the tube bell, the curved phosphor screen is clearly visible. The one thing I can’t find in this CRT is a getter spot, so Sony may have a way of getting a pure enough vacuum that one isn’t required.
I’d expect the vertical deflection waveforms to be vastly different on this kind of CRT, due to the strange screen setup. Not much of a beam movement is required to move the spot from the top to the bottom of the screen.
No doubt to keep the isolation gaps large, all the high voltages are kept on a separate small PCB with the flyback transformer. This board generates the voltages for the electron gun filament, focus grid & the bias to set the beam current (brightness) as well.
Here the deflection yoke has been removed from the CRT, showing the very odd shape better. These tubes are constructed of 3 pieces of glass, the bell with electron gun, back glass with phosphor screen & front viewing window glass. All these components are joined with glass frit.
The electron gun in the neck looks to be pretty much standard, with all the usual electrodes.
Here’s a view from the very top of the CRT, the curve in the screen is very obvious here. The electron beam emerges from the bell at the back.
Here’s the full schematic of the entire TV, I extracted this from a service manual I managed to find online.
More to come on hacking this unit to accept a standard composite video input, from something such as a Raspberry Pi!