Monday, December 27, 2010

Brain Guts Data Light

12-27-2010, 12:28 PM  BRAIN GUTS DATA LIGHT
How to Convert the Power LED into a Data LED
(using the Parallax Propeller Proto Board)

The objective here is to gain a brain data light by rewiring the power light from the disabled power circuit. Unfortunately, it initially did not appear simple as this is a surface mount component along with its supporting resistor and soldering directly to the component ends would prove futile. In fact, even seeing the item or how it was wired looked impossible until a microscope was used. The microscope revealed a whole new world!
Brain Guts data light on the PPPB

Traces appeared from the LED leading to a resistor. The LED took shape. Remarkably the resistor had a tiny number imprinted on it - a remarkable feat. The span of the microscope image revealed a way to connect wires. As seen in the image, while Vss can be picked off the array of multiple holes, the resistor leads to a tiny hole near the power switch by the number two. Simply scrape off the board coating at this point and solder a wirewrap wire, as a standard Parallax jumper connector breadboard wire is too thick for use. Solder this thin wire to a connection point, then adjoin a full size jumper wire and lead it to the solderless breadboard which in turn connects to the appropriate Propeller chip pin.

A microscope image shows the LED & resistor combination on a Propeller Proto Board. Note holes near number 2 and Vss. Route 2 to the appropriate Propeller pin to gain a Data LED converted from the original power LED circuit. Pick off Vss and the circuit is complete. Recycling the power LED and resistor pair enables display of various brain computational data and activity using the board's existing components.