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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

UNI-T UT61E RS232 serial interface cable to USB diy mod

I'm using my UT61E a lot. One great feature it has is that it can send data to pc for data logging. And it has interface cable included in the box with no additional cost. But the cable is RS232C compatible using DE-9 connector and +/-12V logic levels.
Do you have DE-9 connector on your laptop? I don't :) You obviously can use that RS232 to USD Adapter cables, but DIY guy can make his own cable, right? Add bluetooth too perhaps?
Let's take a closer look at the supplied RS232C cable:

From the first look it has only one working "eye". Which means there is no connection from PC to the meter, easier to hack then.

What's inside:

Definitely only one RX IR sensor diode used, TX circuitry is not populated.
Here is a schematics I reversed from the pcb:

This thing pulls up RX line when IR diode senses light from the meter. UT61E sends inverted serial signal to its IR led.
There is a bit of space inside this sensor box. And I need to fit a circuit inside, which senses IR light and pulls down RX line from 3.3V to Ground. This is classic UART serial interface.
Unsolder everything from the pcb except IR sensor diode.
This is new schematics using 2 n-channel mosfets, any general purporse mosfets will do. I used 2N7000.

R1 needs to be set lower than original because we are using 3.3V now and there is not enough juice to turn Q1 on fast enough with 4.7k.
OK, then I made this piece of art:
This fits perfectly inside original enclosure. New cable needs only 3 wires: +3.3V, GND and RX, I cut the rest. You may be wondering why I call it RX, well this is how DE-9 was wired. RX means PC side RX pin.

At this stage you already can connect UT61E to the microcontroller or Arduino or anything else which understands 3.3V UART. But I started it as USB mod, so we continue.
I have some CP2102 Serial UART TTL USB converters laying around and this is enough for this mod. Just connect that 3 wires and there we go.
Female header used so I can disconnect CP2102 converter and use it anywhere else.

Raw output from the meter:

Correct serial port settings for this meter are: speed 19200, bits 7, stop 1, parity odd.

That's it.
But, there is more! You can even add a Bluetooth feature to this UT61E multimeter. It's easy as soldering 6 wires to some serial bluetooth module with this mod.
UT61E with Bluetooth, sounds great! Interested?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Game Boy Micro battery upgrade

Can you play your Game Boy Micro for several hours? I can't till now.
This blog is all about diy, so let's make a new battery for it.
In my region original battery cost a lot and I searched for similiar size lithium battery.
 And found this 9v rechargable lithium battery.

I thought there are 2 3.7v lithium cells in series inside and I was right. You can actually build two batteries for the price.
Protection circuit inside which prevent deep discharge and overcharge.
I cut out protection pcb and split battery cells.
Then I unwrap original battery to compare old and new cell sizes.

Checking how it fits inside Game Boy Micro.

New cell is half mm thicker, but it's a no problem.
Then I soldered wires from original battery and tested charging and playing.

I also added a sticker from original battery, so it looks almost original =)
New cell has a bit more juice too. Works and chrages great, as expected. Battery cover sits ok.