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Dyson DC35 “Digital” Teardown

DC35
DC35

Here’s another Dyson teardown, in my efforts to understand how marketing have got hold of relatively simple technology & managed to charge extortionate amounts of money for it.
This is the DC35, the model after the introduction of the brushless digital motor.

Back Cap Removed
Back Cap Removed

On this version the mouldings have been changed, and the back cover comes off, after removing the battery retaining screw. It’s attached with some fairly vicious clips, so some force is required. Once the cap is removed, all the electronics are visible. On the left is the motor itself, with it’s control & drive PCB. There’s another PCB on the trigger, with even more electronics. The battery connector is on the right.

Trigger PCB
Trigger PCB

Here’s the trigger PCB, which appears to deal with DC-DC conversion for powering the brush attachments. The QFN IC with yellow paint on it is an Atmel ATTiny461 8-bit microcontroller. This is probably controlling the DC-DC & might also be doing some battery authentication.

"Digital Motor"
“Digital Motor”

Here’s the motor & it’s board. The windings on the stator are extremely heavy, which makes sense considering it’s rated at 200W. The main control IC is a PIC16F690 from Microchip. Instead of using an off the shelf controller, this no doubt contains software for generating the waveforms that drive the brushless motor. It also appears to communicate with the other PCBs for battery authentication.

Stator
Stator

Desoldering the board allows it to be removed from the motor itself. The pair of windings are connected in anti-phase, to create alternating North-South poles depending on polarity. Since the existing controller is unusable due to software authentication with the other parts, I might have a go at building my own driver circuit for this with an Arduino or similar.

Blower Assembly
Blower Assembly

The blower assembly is simple plastic mouldings, pressed together then solvent welded at the seam.

Impeller
Impeller

The impeller is just a centrifugal compressor wheel, identical to what’s used in engine turbochargers.

Motor Control Board
Motor Control Board

The inside face of the control PCB holds the 4 very large MOSFETs, IRFH7932PbF from International Rectifier. These are rated at 30v 20A a piece, and are probably wired in a H-Bridge. There’s a bipolar Hall switch to sense rotor position & rotation speed, and an enormous pair of capacitors on the main power bus.

Motor Control Board Reverse
Motor Control Board Reverse

Not much on the other side of the PCB other than the microcontroller and associated gate drive stuff for the FETs.

Battery Pack Opened
Battery Pack Opened

The battery pack is similar to the DC16 in it’s construction, a heavily clipped together plastic casing holding 6 lithium cells. In this one though there’s a full battery management system. The IC on the top of the board above is a quad Op-Amp, probably for measuring cell voltages.

Battery BMS Bottom
Battery BMS Bottom

The other side of the BMS board is packed with components. I wasn’t able to identify the QFN IC here, as it’s got a custom part number, but it’s most definitely communicating with the main motor MCU via I²C over the two small terminals on the battery connector.

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Quantum LTO2 CL1001 Tape Drive Teardown

Drive Top
Drive Top

I have recently begun to create an archive of all my personal data, and since LTO2 tape drives offer significant capacity (200GB/400GB) per tape, longevity is very high (up to 30 years in archive), & relatively low cost, this is the technology I’ve chosen to use for my long term archiving needs.

Unfortunately, this drive was DOA, due to being dropped in shipping. This drop broke the SCSI LVD connector on the back of the unit, & bent the frame, as can be seen below.

Broken SCSI
Broken SCSI

As this drive is unusable, it made for a good teardown candidate.

Cover Removed
Cover Removed

Here the top cover of the drive has been removed, showing the top of the main logic PCB. The large silver IC in the top corner is the main CPU for the drive. It’s a custom part, but it does have an ARM core.

The two Hitachi ICs are the R/W head interface chipset, while the smaller LSI IC is the SCSI controller.
The tape transport & loading mech can be seen in the lower half of the picture.

Main Logic
Main Logic

Close up of the main logic.

Tape Spool
Tape Spool

Here the main logic PCB has been removed, showing the tape take up spool. The data cartridges have only one spool to make the size smaller. When the tape is loaded, the drive grabs onto the leader pin at the end of the tape & feeds it onto this spool.
The head assembly is just above the spool.

Bottom Plate Removed
Bottom Plate Removed

Bottom of the drive with the cover plate removed. Here the spindle drive motors are visible, both brushless 3-Phase units. Both of these motors are driven by a single controller IC on the other side of the lower logic PCB.

Head Drive Motor
Head Drive Motor

The head is moved up & down the face of the tape by this stepper motor for coarse control, while fine control is provided by a voice coil assembly buried inside the head mount.

Tape Head Assembly
Tape Head Assembly

The face of the tape R/W head. This unit contains 2 sets of 8 heads, one of which writes to the tape, the other then reads the written data back right after to verify integrity.

Cartridge Load Motor
Cartridge Load Motor

The tape cartridge loading motor. I originally thought that this was a standard brushed motor, but it has a ribbon cable emerging, this must be some sort of brushless arrangement.

A replacement drive is on the way, I shall be documenting some more of my archiving efforts & system setup once that unit arrives.