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May 07, 2009, 06:02 PM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
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Turnigy Accucell 6 pc connection patch


There's some confusion as whether it is possible to connect this charger to PC for logging charge/discharge data or not.

Being the tinkering guy I am I followed the twisted paths of these chargers back. It seems that if you open up five different 4-button-and-2x16-char-LCD-6-cell chargers you will see 5 times very similar layout and virtually identical schematic underneath. See https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904162 for few examples with photos - IMAX B6, Bantam BC6, GT A-6, Turnigy Accucell 6 - they all share same base design.

All these chargers have a 3-pin servo-connector-like port on the left side.

Depending on the menu setting (USB or Temp Probe) the ĩC will either read voltage on one of it's ADC inputs (and interpret it as temperature) OR it will output TTL RS232 stream of data on its TXD output. Contrary to the popular belief these are two different I/O pins, that in the original design were just connected together and routed to one pin on the side port. There's no general hardware conflict forcing these two functions to be mutually exclusive else then saving an extra plug. Some later designs used this fact and added internally a serial-to-usb converter, firmware, however, remained unchanged. The original design used external USB to RS232 TTL-level converter though.

This converter (minus wrapping) looks like this:

(author unknown, I found it through google and can't find the original thread it was posted in anymore)

Now, if you have the current revision of Turnigy Accucell 6 you might notice, that a temperature probe connected to the 3-pin header is working, USB adapter however won't. Looking at the underside of the PCB we'll find few unpopulated components. Having a close look will reveal part of a circuit that's IDENTICAL to the external adapter. Even the part that was meant to protect the interface from damage if plugged wrong way around has been implemented on the PCB - even though there's no plug that could be put wrong way around anymore
(photo shows an already patched PCB, originally there are no components at all):

The pin that can output serial data isn't routed to the 3-pin connector anymore. It goes directly to the usb interface circuit, but the circuit isn't there. That's why LogView won't work out of the box. All you need to do now, is to get the signal routed back to the 3-pin connector and you can enjoy LogView curves.

To play it safe you will need a 10k 0805 resistor, a 100k 0805 resistor and a 1n4144 mini-MELF diode and a piece of wire. This way the serial output is 100% safe if you plug in the temp probe and forget to change menu setting. See photo for where to put these components.

To play it dirty you just need a piece of wire, connect the left pad of where the 10k resistor is in the photo with the middle pin of the 3-pin connector. Voila.

Output signal is 5V-TTL RS232, to connect to PC serial port you'll need level shifter - MAX232 will do, or use an old mobile phone data cable.

update:
You can get an interface cable REAL cheeeeeap. You need:
1x Futaba Servo Lead Male 30CM $0.79

One of these two, either
1x
Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx USB Cable for Windows Vista
$4.29
or if you don't need Vista compatibility:
1x Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx USB Cable for Win2000/XP
$2.99

From the USB cable cut the mini-din plug off. You will be left with three wires:
- white is DATA FROM PC, will not be used (this charger has no data input, only data output).
- red is DATA TO PC and will be connected to the middle pin of Futaba connector (also a red wire).
- black is GROUND. It's on the pin, that's furthest away from the power connector of our charger. When you plug the Futaba plug according to the plug keying, it will be the white wire.

Code:
Turborix USB |    | Futaba plug

black ------------------ white
  red  ------------------ red
white -X                   X- black (cut off on both ends)
I have swapped the wires in Futaba plug to keep to the standard (black being ground all over), but you may just connect the wires as above.
I have tested the Vista compatible cable with the full patch as shown above. It should work with the quick&dirty solution too, as CP2102 is 5V-tolerant, but proceed at your own risk.



If you have questions or need assistance don't hesitate to ask. I don't know if anybody cares for this mod, so I won't waste my time on better instructions unless there's some resonance and data provided already proves insufficient.
Greets!
Marek
Last edited by mareklew; Jun 23, 2009 at 01:32 PM.
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May 08, 2009, 01:24 AM
Registered User
that sounds interesting. You talk about 232 (but also about serial? thought 232 was parallel...), how hard would it be to have a plain usb connection?

Sorry if i sound illiterate...
May 08, 2009, 02:50 AM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
rs 232 is the common serial port of a PC. The hardware layer uses +3..+12V as "0" and -3..-12V as "1".
This charger implements so-called TTL-RS232 that uses 0V and 5V for 0 and 1 respectively. To get it to standard serial port voltages you need a circuil like MAX232.

There are TTL-level serial-to-usb cables on the market, mostly for older mobile phones. You should check your local $0.99 shop. Or just get the original IMAX USB adapter and use it (you might need to move pins in the plug around though).
May 15, 2009, 04:09 PM
Registered User
Hi:

I made the dirty solution but donīt work
I have de next soft and hard
Windows XP Home edition
accucell-6
wire usb (the same in your pictures)
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=8290

I have instaled the software and USB ENABLE in the charger.
When I conect the wire just green light,
please can you help me? I have two accucell6 one for field and one for home and I'll use home one to know what batteries are bad.

Thanks
May 15, 2009, 04:16 PM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatadorAV8
I made the dirty solution but donīt work
I have de next soft and hard
Windows XP Home edition
accucell-6
wire usb (the same in your pictures)
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=8290

I have instaled the software and USB ENABLE in the charger.
When I conect the wire just green light,
please can you help me? I have two accucell6 one for field and one for home and I'll use home one to know what batteries are bad.
The cable you have linked to is just an USB-USB cable, with no TTL-RS232 converter, so I'm puzzled as how did you wire it up.
Take a photo of your board wiring and of all the setup as you have it, I'll try to figure it out.
Marek
May 15, 2009, 05:04 PM
Registered User
Hi:
some pictures:
First the "dirty job"
second the wire to connect

soft to view data e-station but can't see nothing
May 16, 2009, 03:47 AM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
From the pictures: it should work fine.
Remember, that the charger sends data only when charging/discharging. When it sits just there, it only sends every second or so 'i'm here'.

Try logview (http://www.logview.info/cms/d_download-logview.phtml)

It's in german (the website) but software installs in english if you select so. Select e-Station BC6 - Bantam from the list. At the bottom of the screen there's CON RX and TX ''leds', con should start blinking every now and then once you power the charger up, once it starts charging you will see plots of data.
May 16, 2009, 04:37 AM
Registered User
Hi again:

I installed the software Logview, select the bantam6, com port2 (see the driver) and put the charger in discharge mode, and... pfff nothing just green light of com but nothing else.

more pictures to try to find a clue
May 16, 2009, 07:04 AM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
swap white and red wire in the plug. They are the wrong way around.
May 16, 2009, 08:53 AM
Registered User
Hi:

I changed it but then red and green lights turn on but (solid no flash) the soft can't see any com port.
May 16, 2009, 05:50 PM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
try rebooting and re-plugging it into another usb port. Also, check that when plugged into charger, the red wire coming to the board of your adapter has contact thru to your patchwire on the charger PCB. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work now, as your setup should be exactly same as mine now.
Sure you plugged the 3-pin the right way round? from the power plug: white-red-black
May 17, 2009, 05:50 AM
Registered User
ok. been looking at doing this, nothing bought or anything but I have come to a bit of a dead end.

Been trying to find a 5V-TTL RS232 like the one in the pictures but all I seem to find is with the old serial plugs, not usb... any help/ideas? Should I just go with that and use a rs232 to usb to converter (have one already)? would prefer just a usb plug to be honest.
May 17, 2009, 11:31 AM
Team Hitec, Customer Support
Xpress..'s Avatar
Oo, I should do this with mine
Latest blog entry: Weekender Warehouse
May 17, 2009, 12:12 PM
How does it work? How did it?
mareklew's Avatar
Vipe, I actually use just a rs-232 to USB converter (one that ends with a DB-9 serial plug) and an MAX-223 chip in its standard application (level converter 232 <-> ttl) to get an USB-TTLRS232 combo. It works like charm.

In principle you could gut an USB-RS converter, and rip max 232 away, as most of these are actually an USB->TTL-RS232 + TTL-RS232->full RS232 tandem, like FTDI232 + MAX232 etc.
May 17, 2009, 12:20 PM
Registered User
cool. i'll try and work it out...

thanks for the help


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