Author Topic: HC-2 opened up photo's  (Read 6430 times)

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Re: HC-2 opened up photo's
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2015, 12:11:41 PM »
Originally posted by rgourley@... on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 12, 2015

Hi Kevin,

Although, I have not taken the plunge yet, I'm a huge fan.  I'm extremely impressed with the engineering, so I didn't think they would take the easy/cheap route of using average consumption and timer method.  If the consumption varies to that degree, you'd already be aware if they'd used a consumption rate/timer.  I'm sure someone would have already been surprised by a unit "dying" during heavy usage, while still indicating a fair amount of remaining charge. 

I checked out the link and saw where the throttle was opened.  It states that the batteries are Rayovak Platinum double A's.  I quickly checked and it appears they are spec'd around 2100 mAH, which is already at the upper end of the capacity for an AA NiMH.  There are other brands that are closer to 2600 mAH, which would extend the runtime slightly.  The photo also explains why they require factory replacement of the batteries.  Not only must the throttle be "opened" up, but the touch panel must be lifted out of the way to gain access to the batteries.   Not only putting the electronics at risk of being zapped, but those ribbon connectors are extremely fragile.  I'm sure this was done for space saving purposes.  I understand, but it's unfortunate.  If they could have designed it with a battery access plate, then the user could easily swap out the batteries without risk of damaging the unit.  This would also help solve the runtime issue.  The batteries are cheap enough to have a couple extra sets.  That along with purchasing an external charger, one could have an extra set already charged and ready to go.  When the set in the throttle gets low, they could simply be swapped out with a fresh set and you're good to go.  The only other thing that would prevent this, would be if all the programming was stored in volatile memory, without some sort of battery backup, to maintain the RAM state during battery change out.  However, I have to believe they used non-volatile memory to store the settings, so this should not be an issue.  Are at the very least, have a coin battery to maintain the memory state.

Have a great weekend,

Rian

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Re: HC-2 opened up photo's
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2015, 12:12:01 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 13, 2015

Hello all,

I opened my HC-2 up and can confirm the batteries as follows (at least
in my unit).

Rayovac Recharge Plus
1.2v 2400mAH NiMH
AA size.

Now, when I say opened up, I really mean opened up. I got the circuit
board out (the 4 silver pins hold it in, they are just a push in pin)
and inspected the component side. It is very neat and tidy and
done well. I took a photo I can post if wanted.

Rian is right about the ribbon cable, it even has components on it, not
just PCB tracks. So in all, the risk of damage in changing the batteries
by one's self is very real. However that risk is all due to poor design;
this device is by nature consumer electronics and one should be able
to change batteries by themselves without risk - it's not specialist or
industrial electronics.

Tim
Land of OZ

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Re: HC-2 opened up photo's
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2015, 12:12:13 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 13, 2015

yes, please post your pictures Tim.


Archive

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Re: HC-2 opened up photo's
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2015, 12:12:34 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 13, 2015

Ok Bill, done.

I've posted the photo to the "Tim's photos" album in the groups photo
albums page.  [Moderator edit: now attached here]

As the article I bought up at the start of this thread pretty well
shows the front of the PCB and the battery holder I only took a photo
of the back of the PCB.

Of note, paranoia is alive and well. There is protecting your
intellectual property and then there is scrubbing off the id markings on
IC's! You can see this in the photo. There is also a scrubbed IC on
the front, as part of the transmitter.

Best to you all,

Tim
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 12:15:17 PM by Archive »

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Re: HC-2 opened up photo's
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2015, 12:12:42 PM »
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 13, 2015

So if the batteries are 2400mAH, then it sounds like there isn't much to be gained by switching them to other batteries.  Certainly not worth the risk of damaging components or the ribbon cable. 

Therefore, it seems like the best solution to this problem with the HC-1 and HC-2 is to modify the software to allow use of the HC while plugged in and charging.  A future HC-3 could possibly have a battery door to quickly change out the batteries for freshly charged ones.

I'm hoping personally that Tim is able to rewrite some code and modify the charging characteristics.  It seems like the best way forward.

-Kevin