Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Username: Password:

Author Topic: Broken AstroEQ - USB socket  (Read 51 times)

Jimbob17

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Broken AstroEQ - USB socket
« on: June 06, 2021, 14:35:32 »

Hello all,

Just wondering what the best way to fix my AstroEQ v4.7 is as the USB socket has broken off the circuit board - it lifted a couple of the ground pads too  >:(

I can't see any points on the circuit board where I could easily connect to the USB lines apart from the PIC chip socket, unless I'm missing something. I was hoping I might be able to use something like this https://thepihut.com/products/usb-type-a-plug-breakout-cable-with-premium-female-jumpers to connect it to my Raspberry Pi. My soldering skills are definitely not up to replacing the SMD USB socket and at the moment the board is just sat waiting for a fix. Any ideas?

I soldered up a V4.6 bare PCB as a replacement but the only thing I can't do is program the PIC as my TL866II doesn't have it listed as supported. Will one of the cheap 'knock-off' PIC programmers on Amazon program this chip?

Thanks  :)
Logged

TCWORLD

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 780
    • View Profile
    • AstroEQ
Re: Broken AstroEQ - USB socket
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 00:16:17 »

Given its only full-speed USB (12Mbps), the wiring is quite forgiving, so you can probably bodge something reasonably well.

I'd probably get a through-hole USB connector (same PN as the BOM for the V4.6). You could try placing the connector upside down in the same place and glue or solder the sides of the connector to the board.
Some hookup wire to the pins marked in the image on the diode D2 and on the PIC socket (probably drill a small hole through the board and solder on the bottom using something like magnet wire or other thin wire).

For the PIC programming, any programmer that claims to program a PIC18F14K50 should do the job. The hex file contains the program and various settings. A PICKit 2 clone would be best as that's what I use (will I use genuine one that I got way back, but a clone should work too).
Logged
Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

Jimbob17

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Broken AstroEQ - USB socket
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 20:15:51 »

Thanks for this and apologies for the delay replying.

Would it be a mad idea to desolder the chip socket and add wires when I resolder the socket back in? This is another option I was thinking about ...unsure whether I'll be able to squeeze small cables in as well as the socket. I did have an idea of making a cable with a diode inline for the 5V line rather than trying to solder to the SMD diode as it's so tiny.

Thanks for the PicKit info as I have no idea at all. The clones seem to be really cheap but I also found a PicKit 3 made by another manufacturer that I might try ... just deciding whether to take a punt on a clone or not.
Logged

Jimbob17

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Broken AstroEQ - USB socket
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 17:53:15 »

Just a small update, purchased a BlueTooth module (https://thepihut.com/products/hc-05-bluetooth-module) and connected it to the AstroEQ ... seems to work but I haven't used it connected to the motors on the mount. I can see the AstroEQ in the config utility and edit / save the config, so looks good to me. The only downside is I couldn't fit the BlueTooth module in the case and it's taped to the outside - looks crap but works so far ;D
Logged