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RS232 Serial Seat Power

Discussion in 'Electronic Projects Design/Ideas/Reviews' started by aviationteacher, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. aviationteacher

    aviationteacher New Member

    Jul 8, 2017
    Hi everyone--first post for me, so here goes.

    I recently came into possession of a pair of ex-Northwest Airlines business class seats from a DC-10. One in the pair has a video monitor that comes out of the armrest. The monitor is labeled "Northwest Worldlink", a defunct system aboard early 90s long-haul NW airplanes. There is also a remote control on the side which has several buttons like flight attendant call, light, and video selecting/game controls -- but I believe that feature was long turned off/disabled.

    Coming out from below the seats are three cables: an electrical (black)-wrapped 9 pin male serial cable (RS232 I realized), a soft sided silver wrapped wire containing nine very small thin cables, and a red/white cable which I believe is for the headphone jack.

    Any thoughts on which is the power and which is the remote? How was it powered? And, if possible, can I get it running again or send a signal to the monitor?

    Thanks! See attached photo of the serial cable and wrapped wire.

    UPDATE: I found the US Patent and electrical designs...hopefully someone can decode it for me. The system was called Hughes-Avicom APAX-150.

    Attached Files:

  2. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    North west UK
    Interesting things to play with.
    Patents describe the item without giving too much away so often the info you need isnt there, that said the diagram in the patent shows the screen being driven via serial, that being the case it will be a very high speed serial lonk, and possibly not standard Rs232.
    I'd be taking the monitor apart and looking for something that is a video input, theres a good chance somewhere there will be, unless its pure digital. Try looking at all the Ic's in the monitor and googling for the datasheets, that will give you some idea, one of them may be a video processor or something.
    As for the remote, you could either try connecting up a cheap saleae logic analyser after sussing out the power connections, or just bypass all the electronics and connect everything direct.
    A quicker way might be to make a standard vga/video monitor fit, you can set one up to use only part of the screen if required.
  3. Little Ghostman

    Little Ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Now that would make a awesome gaming seat!! those things cost a fortune :d

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