Purpose of 2 pin header connection?

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Purpose of 2 pin header connection?

Post by pfeerick » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:58 am

Hi Mark (and Paul!),

Firstly, would like to say my new toy arrived this afternoon, and works great so far. Nice blinky lights, and is giving some batteries a good working out. Thank you for the great charger Paul! And Mark, your software is great - makes customising settings a breeze, and the graphs and status sidebar in the GUI are great.

Now, just one question (for now!!) What is the purpose of the two pin header just to the right of the FTDI chip? Any chance it's the serial Tx & Rx lines? As I was hoping to be able to intercept the serial data to make my own standalone LCD thing... or attempt to anyway! ;) Here is a pick of the model I have just received, which is charging some NiZn batteries just for something to do... :)


ImageUltra Smart Charger charging some Turnigy NiZn batteries by pfeerick, on Flickr

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Re: Purpose of 2 pin header connection?

Post by Mark » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:58 pm

Those 2 pins when shorted together connect the DTR output of the FTDI chip to the reset pin on the controller - something which makes it easier for doing firmware updates with the Arduino IDE. It should in theory be possible to update the firmware without shorting the pins, but it's not heavily tested yet because I haven't released a general firmware update since this version of the charger was released.

In theory, you could solder on a wire to the appropriate ping on the FTDI chip to get access to the serial data coming from the controller - it would be a fairly tricky operation doing it with surface mount components though. If you want to be able to send data to the controller you would either have to remove the FTDI controller altogether or at least cut the appropriate track - I really wouldn't recommend any of these options!

If you're really keen on having full access to the serial data, it might be worth checking with Paul to see if he has any of the old V1 chargers that don't have the FTDI chip - it's then just an easy matter of connecting to the appropriate header on the bottom of the old charger.

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