Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Electronics NOOBIE!

Status
Not open for further replies.

mendsley

New Member
Hello, i am very interested in some electronics that I own and I have been reading as much as I can to learn how it works. I was wondering if someone can direct me to a good tutorial on how certain things on the board work. The board I have goes to a paintball gun and allows you to change certain options along with modes of fire which is all displayed on a LCD screen. The board is not large at all and does not contain alot of components. So I have choose this as my learing project. This board obviously has software on it but I do not know where it is stored, how it gets changed and how the software get stored (in binary or hex or ?) Any help will much appreciated-
 

goodpickles

New Member
could you provide us with photo's of the board, and also part numbers of the chip...without that it is very nearly impossible to guess how it works.
 

Roboticinfo

New Member
reply

Ya you have to supply more info in order for us to help you with your question.

you got a website a pic anything.
 

evandude

New Member
I'm a paintballer myself, so if you provide us with a little info... ideally a few pictures of it, or at least a make and model so we can look into it a little... then perhaps I can be of some help as well :wink:
 

mendsley

New Member
Here is the pics- Now I know what most of the components are so I posted 2 pics 1 without labels and 1 with labels. The motor provides vibrations when needed(for alarms and to also tell the user there is a link to a palm pilot). The switches allow the user to toggle thru options he can set and also to confirm settings, the charging port allows you to charge the battery, the long clear thing is LED 1. J1 on the bottom which is for the battery, J2 is for a hopper(which is like a magazine on a firearm), J3 is for the solenoid which is the connect between the mechanics and electronics(firing the gun), J4 is for the Piezo which basically a switch that tells the user if a paintball is in the breech or not, and J5 which I think is what a technician uses when he wants to hook up to the gun and upload updated firmware, but I am unsure, the way the board sits in the gun this accessable without much disassembly. This J5 was under a removable cover which had a tamper seal sticker on it. The 2 jumpers are for ? I do not know what they are for they were also under the cover. That is pretty much all I know, the main thing I am trying to figure out is what the big chip in the middle is and the 4 other chips next to it. No I know one is a processor and has to be some type of EEPROM. Know when I locate the EEPROM how do I extract the software that resides on it? I think I can extract the software thru the J5 but how do I decide which pin does what? Here is the numbers off the five chips;

the big one - microchip PIC16LF877

to the immediate right - A7001 H99030215

above that - 8 8D

right of that - RIC

right of that - 25AS LM75 CIM3

Hope this helps I am pretty sure all the numbers are correct, if not I will check them thru a loupe. Thanks for all your help!
 

Attachments

  • 1_146.jpg
    1_146.jpg
    113.9 KB · Views: 722
  • 1_792.jpg
    1_792.jpg
    113.9 KB · Views: 725
  • 2_996.jpg
    2_996.jpg
    117.1 KB · Views: 728

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
The 16LF877 is a micro-controller, it runs the entire device - it has 8K of program space inside - BUT, it's capable of being read protected, which in this case (as a commercial item) will certainly have been done.

So you won't be able to read the contents, you would have to write your own from scratch - in which case you may as well start the entire design from scratch?.

These sort of devices aren't a good starting point for learning electronics, they are far too complicated, and the biggest part of it is software that you can't even access!.
 

SocMatt

New Member
The software will be stored in the PIC and will be executed when the power is turned on.

Without knowing the software it will be difficult to tell you how the circuit is working
 

mendsley

New Member
Thanks for the help, I am starting to think your right. This is NOT a good project to begin with. I just have a few more questions. 1) When the tech hooks up to the board thru the J5, is he flashing the board then putting the new software on, or is he simply over wirting it. 2) Now this board has an IR port on the back side to conect to PALM PILOTS. The PALM software allows you to make changes to the gun settings and then simply beam the new user settings to the gun thru the IR. I have reversed engineered the PALM software and found out there is screens that the general public cannot view. One of the biggest things about this gun is that when it was made in the UK it was legal to have FULLY AUTOMATIC air guns, but in the US it was not. I am wondering if I can make the screens accessable and then change the firing modes thru the PALM software rather than the PIC? Or do you think it is locked in the PIC? When you try to go to the firing modes on the gun it it just says no acc. I know this is kinda vaugue but I have been working on trying to see how to access those firing modes for a relly long time. I know when a tech wants to do certain things he has to hook up to the J5 and then people say "no he can do everything thru the PALM PILOT", What do you think?- Thanks!
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
mendsley said:
Thanks for the help, I am starting to think your right. This is NOT a good project to begin with. I just have a few more questions. 1) When the tech hooks up to the board thru the J5, is he flashing the board then putting the new software on, or is he simply over wirting it. 2) Now this board has an IR port on the back side to conect to PALM PILOTS. The PALM software allows you to make changes to the gun settings and then simply beam the new user settings to the gun thru the IR. I have reversed engineered the PALM software and found out there is screens that the general public cannot view. One of the biggest things about this gun is that when it was made in the UK it was legal to have FULLY AUTOMATIC air guns, but in the US it was not. I am wondering if I can make the screens accessable and then change the firing modes thru the PALM software rather than the PIC? Or do you think it is locked in the PIC? When you try to go to the firing modes on the gun it it just says no acc. I know this is kinda vaugue but I have been working on trying to see how to access those firing modes for a relly long time. I know when a tech wants to do certain things he has to hook up to the J5 and then people say "no he can do everything thru the PALM PILOT", What do you think?- Thanks!

There are a number of options, one is that the PIC contains the complete software, and it's set to only use certain parts of it (which you could do through the Palm Pilot interface). But I suspect the more likely option is that the PIC is simply programmed with just the code it needs - this is very simple to do via ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programming), which presumably is what the five pin connector is for?.

Another programming option is a 'bootloader', which this PIC supports, but you don't need five pins to do that - and five pins is exactly what you do need for ICSP.

When you program a PIC, it's just like programming an EPROM - in that you can only changes '1' bits to '0' bits - so the first part of the programming process erases the complete chip (making all bits '1'), then the actual programming is done.
 

mendsley

New Member
Hey Nigel thanks for all the info. Do you think I would be wasting my time if I pursue on ammending the PALM software? When you say the PIC may only be programmed with only the software it needs, do you mean it may have software that only contains the NON fully auto software? Now the the secret palm forms have check boxes that allow to turn the fully auto on or off, so I am thinking that all I need to do is make the form active and it will work and the PIC has the software to allow this. If I understand correctly, if I have to change the software in PIC than I will have to write my own code and then hook the board up to a programmer and install my own software, and I cannot simply extract the software that is presently on there and ammend that? Thanks again for the help, I know that we are getting a little of the subject but I have been working on this for weeks and as this goes on I am gaining a lot of knowledge about this gun!
 

evandude

New Member
I think there's a good chance you are wasting your time. The company would get in some big trouble if their marker sold in the US were capable of being put into full-auto simply by being beamed with a palm pilot, rather than reprogrammed. And given the number of eager experimenters like yourself, they had to know that someone would try it sooner or later. For them, it would be a simple matter of removing a small chunk of code from the main program, so I would say it's probably very likely that the board itself is not capable of full-auto, not just that the palm software isn't set to enable it.

and no, you most likely won't be able to read the firmware from the marker board.
 

mendsley

New Member
Yeah I guess your right. Thanks agian for all your guy's help If I come up ith some other information on this issue I will post here!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top