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Official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touch LCD

Raspberry Pi LCD
Raspberry Pi LCD

Finally the Raspberry Pi Foundation have released an official LCD for the DSI connector on the Pi. When these were announced, I placed an order straight away, but due to demand it’s taken quite a while for it to arrive in the post.

Interface PCB
Interface PCB

The LCD itself is an RGB panel, to interface the Pi via the MIPI DSI port, some signal conversion is required. A small PCB is mounted on the back of the LCD to do this conversion. It also handles the power supply rails required by the LCD itself & interfacing the touch screen.

LCD Power Supply
LCD Power Supply

Taking care of the power supply is a Texas Instruments TPS65101 triple output LCD power supply IC. This also has a built in linear regulator to supply 3.3v for the rest of the circuitry on board. The large transistor to the left of the IC is the pass transistor for this regulator.

Main Controller
Main Controller

The video signal comes in on the FFC connector on the left, into the BGA IC. I’ve not managed to identify this component, but it’s doing the conversion from serial video from the Pi to parallel RGB for the LCD.
There’s also an Atmel ATtiny88 on the board below the main video conversion IC, not sure what this is doing.
The touch controller itself is mounted on the flex of the LCD, in this case it’s a FT5406.

Raspberry Pi LCD
Raspberry Pi LCD

Here’s the LCD in operation. It’s not the highest resolution out there, but it leaves the GPIO & HDMI ports free for other uses.

Pi Mounted
Pi Mounted

The Pi screws to the back of the LCD & is connected with a flat flex cable & a pair of power jumpers. I’ve added a couple of small speakers to the top edge of the LCD to provide sound. (More to come on this bit).

 

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New Scope!

Alas, my old trusty Hameg HM303 30MHz oscilloscope has finally died. I’ve had this scope for many years, an eBay buy when I noticed they were going cheap.

It’s been replaced with a brand new Rigol DS1054Z, a 4-channel 50MHz DSO.

Scope
Scope

This is a big jump from the old analogue CRT scope I was using, it’s certainly going to be a steep learning curve!

System Info
System Info

I chose this scope through the help of the EEVBlog & it’s associated forums. Through this I discovered that I could upgrade the scope with a key to enable some extra features! In the above screenshot, the key has been applied, and the model number now shown is the DS1104Z.

This is the next scope up in the model chain, with many more triggering options, serial decoders, higher memory depth, recording & 100MHz bandwidth. While I rarely need to measure anything higher than in the kHz range, these options will definitely come in useful! The list of installed options is below:

Installed Options
Installed Options

And now for some sample waveforms, the scope has the option to save screenshots to USB flash disks, so when I make posts with waveforms in the future, the need to photo the screen of the scope is gone!

DS1Z_QuickPrint1 DS1Z_QuickPrint2 DS1Z_QuickPrint3 DS1Z_QuickPrint6 DS1Z_QuickPrint7 DS1Z_QuickPrint8 DS1Z_QuickPrint9

 

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Evolis Dualys3 Card Printer Teardown

I recently dug out my other card printer to fit it with a 12v regulator, (it’s 24v at the moment), and figured I’d do a teardown post while I had the thing in bits.

This is a less industrial unit than my Zebra P330i, but unlike the Zebra, it has automatic duplexing, it doesn’t have Ethernet connectivity though.

Unlike domestic printers, which are built down to a price, these machines are very much built up to a spec, and feature some very high quality components.

Naked Printer
Naked Printer

Here’s the mechanism with the cowling removed. This is the main drive side of the printer, with the main drive stepper at left, ribbon take-up spool motor lower right, and the duplex module stepper motors at far right.

Main Motor Drive
Main Motor Drive

The main drive motor runs the various rollers in the card path through a pair of synchronous belts, shown here.

Main Stepper
Main Stepper

The stepper itself is a quality ball-bearing Sanyo Denki bipolar motor.

Main Stepper Driver
Main Stepper Driver

Electrical drive is provided to the stepper with a L6258EX DMOS universal motor driver. This chip can also drive DC motors as well as steppers.

Ribbon Supply Spool
Ribbon Supply Spool

Here is the encoder geared onto the ribbon supply spool. This is used to monitor the speed the ribbon is moving relative to the card.

Printer Top
Printer Top

Here’s a top view through the printer, the blue roller on the left cleans the card as it’s pulled from the feeder, the gold coloured spool to it’s right is the ribbon supply reel. The cooling fan on the right serves to stop the print head overheating during heavy use.

Spool Take Up Motor
Spool Take Up Motor

The spool take-up reel is powered by another very high quality motor, a Buhler DC gearmotor. These printers are very heavily over engineered!
This motor drives the spool through an O-Ring belt, before the gear above. This allows the drive to slip in the event the ribbon jams, preventing it from breaking.

Duplex Unit Stepper Drivers
Duplex Unit Stepper Drivers

The pair of steppers that operate the duplexing unit are driven by a separate board, with a pair of L6219DS bipolar stepper driver ICs. There are also a couple of opto-sensors on this board for the output hopper.

 

Main Control PCB
Main Control PCB

All the mechanisms of the printer are controlled from this main PCB, which handles all logic & power supply functions. Sections on the board are unpopulated, these would be for the Ethernet interface, smart card programming & magstripe programming.

Main CPU
Main CPU

The brains of the operation is this ColdFire MCF5208CVM166 32-bit microprocessor. It features 16KB of RAM, 8KB of cache, DMA controller, 3 UARTs, SPI, 10/100M Ethernet and low power management. This is a fairly powerful processor, running at 166MHz.
It’s paired with an external 128Mbit SDRAM from Samsung, and a Spansion 8Mbit boot sector flash, for firmware storage.

USB Interface & Power Input
USB Interface & Power Input

Here the USB interface IC is located. It’s a USBN9604 from Texas Instruments, this interfaces with the main CPU via serial.