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Reverse engineering/ reprogram a PCB

A10WARTHOG

New Member
Hello everybody. I have a little issue hopefully some of you can help me with. I would like to add some features to a PCB and I cannot find any information on it. It is a Power FX pack from Hasbro for the Avengers series action figures. I have attached some pictures to better understand what it is. I would like to add some voices to it that are triggered by different DIP switch pins. I have a few programmers that could be used for this but I just need a little direction. I have a few Arduinos, a CH314 and a few others. Does anyone have experience with something like this? Also before anyone says anything about copyright stuff, I did contact Hasbro first:
Hello, I was wondering if i could get some information on your Titan Hero Power Pack for the Avenger/ Spiderman Series figures. My 3 year old loves them but gets mad that some of the different characters use some of the same sounds as others. I would like to program in sounds for him. While my next step is to use a custom module, I was hoping I could just reprogram this one. Do you have any information or direction on where I can find the details on the one in the picture?
They wrote the following:
Thank you for contacting Hasbro!
Regrettably, we do not have information or replacement parts requested, I'm sorry! But I do admire your initiative and creativity!
Thanks again for reaching out us, have a wonderful rest of your day!
Kind regards,
Summer
Hasbro Consumer Care Representative
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dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Not quite sure what you mean.
If you wanted to add some audio then you'd probably need to build a complete new pcb, the arduino can produce low quality 8 bit audio, but would need some extra memory, say from a sd card interface, it would be a squeeze with the small space but you might be able to do it.
 

A10WARTHOG

New Member
Not quite sure what you mean.
If you wanted to add some audio then you'd probably need to build a complete new pcb, the arduino can produce low quality 8 bit audio, but would need some extra memory, say from a sd card interface, it would be a squeeze with the small space but you might be able to do it.
Sorry, I would like to see if I can patch into the programming pads on the PCB and flash it. I dont think even a NANO would fit in it. Its pretty cramped.
 

unclejed613

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
there are two possibilities. first the chip is probably "mask programmed" which means theres an etch mask use during the fabrication of the chip that makes the programming permanent, or second, . the chip is programmed through a JTAG interface, and the jtag pins connect to the test pads on the board. one thing you probably won't be able to identify is the chip itself because it's mounted directly on the PCB, the bond wires are bonded to the board and the chip, and then the thing is covered with a blob of epoxy. programming, if done by JTAG is done on a "bed of nails" fixture, where the board is pressed down on pogo pins, and held by some type of clamp. the pogo pins supply power, interface with the JTAG port, and there may be other pins for testing the functionality of the board at the same time.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
It's unlikely to be programmable at all - it's the cheapest possible device (as required for a mass produced toy), and the COB (Chip On Board) is almost certainly actually manufactured with the required audio already inside it.

As always in these type of cases (it's a regular question here) the best solution is probably a tiny MP3 player module, that plays from a microSD card.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
yes I'm with the other 2, the chip is either burned from new or its a one time programmable, even if it is programmable you have no idea what device it is and what protocol it uses.
If you were to design a board you might get an arduino processor board down to that size, and possibly get a sd card on it too, but it'd be tight.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
yes I'm with the other 2, the chip is either burned from new or its a one time programmable, even if it is programmable you have no idea what device it is and what protocol it uses.
If you were to design a board you might get an arduino processor board down to that size, and possibly get a sd card on it too, but it'd be tight.
I've already mentioned MP3 modules, these are available just over the size of a micro-SD card, and can be used with or without a processor.
 

AtomSoft

Well-Known Member
Ive made tiny arduinos... but dont sell much since virus outbreak... If needed you can order one from me:

or

That might solve your size issue. The code portion is up to you tho.
 

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