Cord Cutters Part 1 – Breaking the bonds of the power conglomerate

Cord Cutters Part 1 – Breaking the bonds of the power conglomerate

It’s been my hope for quite sometime that my studies would eventually be tasked to solve a real world problem.  My current day to day work has little to do with electrical engineering or micro control applications.  We simply operate like most of the general population and purchase, instead of develop.  Recently we had deployed a device that interfaces using a USB cable.  That device is in a rather harsh environment and care has to be taken to prevent damage.

Since these were new, the procedures weren’t quite honed yet.  This resulted in 2 of the devices failing.  It was puzzling to see that the devices didn’t offer a bluetooth option at a reasonable cost.  We’ve already invested money in the current devices, so the option to change is no longer available.

While working on one of the devices, I noticed that it used an interface card that had a Mini-B USB connector on one end and a header row that connected to the main unit.  It started to dawn on me that it might be possible to inteface the logic with a bluetooth device.  I’m not sure the logic type.  Honestly the various terms I’ve been able to find confuse me at this point, FTDI, UART, TTL, etc.

What doesn’t confuse me is there is a wireless module for most every logic type.  One example is the Promi-ESD is a tiny unit that would fit easily inside the current devices.  What really got me thinking in this direction was the fact that the devices could currently be using something as simple as a UART to USB module, this one goes for $9.

It’s nuts to think that our vendor is selling the replacement boards for hundreds of dollars.  I’m tempted to bring the logic analyzer down to work and start probing it for secrets.  I might even be able to get some service manuals online that would spill the beans without using any test equipment.

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