TuppetStar Surgery

TimW

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Following on from David's thread I got hold of some of the (now infamous) LPD6803 24V Tuppetstars from Ray (here)
Got them delivered, rushed to plug them in and test.... but maybe a bit too fast!!!
So here’s what I’ve learned so far....
Lesson 1: It is possible to connect the polarised connectors on these stars in a manner counter to their correct polarisation.....
Lesson 2: The 6803 chip appears somewhat intolerant to 24Vdc connected to its signal inputs.... (which tends to happen as a consequence of learning lesson 1.)
Lesson 3: I am not a fast learner.. It took the destruction of 3 stars to learn the above lessons.

So, the cost of shipping from China being what it is, I thought I should try to redeem myself by assessing the internal damage and attempting a fix. The cover of the star is glued onto the back case.. so I tried to cut it away with a dremel.
Lesson 4: Cutting the star open is not the best way to achieve this objective (!)
Lesson 5: Undo the 5 screws, place a flat bladed screw driver between the screw hole in the case and the cover and you can lever the cover off (glue and all).
[attachimg=1]
Inside is the LED board and the ‘brain’ including a 6803 (dip) chip.

Lesson 6: with a bit of work, it is possible to repair the TuppetStar with a slightly modified bionic LPD6803 pixel transplanted to replace the DIP chip.

I took a 6803 pixel, removed the encapsulation, the led and the smd led resistors. Converted the setup from constant current to voltage switch (with a jumper wire). Desoldered the cooked chip on the controller. Attached the modified pixel board to the controller (where it drives transistors to switch the star leds)
[attachimg=2]
Normal service has now resumed, using only parts available to the rgb pixel enthusiast!
 

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Mike

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Tim so now you figured out what the pinouts are can you post them so I dont destroy mine when they come?
 

Beacy

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"It took the destruction of 3 stars to learn the above lessons."

At least it was only 3 LOL I think I might give these a miss if the techsperts are having issues what hope have the electronically challenged got
 

TimW

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Mike said:
Tim so now you figured out what the pinouts are can you post them so I dont destroy mine when they come?
Here's how mine are wired.
[attachimg=1]
I found out (at the bottom of the box) that they had provided a pig tail socket with coloured wires that matches this pinout. If in doubt I'd use the wire colours...
Usual disclaimers apply! Use at own risk.
 

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Mike

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Cheers Tim

I will double check when mine come in though.
I just gotta remember NOT to plug them all in together first so they all go BANG at the same time.
 

TimW

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What got me into trouble was trusting the connectors (not the pinout). The key is to plug them in the right way (and probably not try plugging them in with the power on!) :-[
Its always the short cuts that get me... (oh and the excitement of new toys!)
 

Mike

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Ok on recieving my stars I ripped one apart and had to check it out just in case something was different to Tims

They were :eek:
Here are the findings

The chip and little board is connected like this
2011-11-20 08.13.37.jpg

The input side is the left side. It is marked with an arrow. You can see the other markings on the backside of the board CL for clock, DA for Data, + for positive (+ve) and - for ground (-ve)

I followed these and matched up the pins on the connector plugs via a continuity test.
My connectors were also different from Tims
2011-11-20 08.16.33.jpg


No stars were hurt in the process :D

If you do buy them I would suggest pulling them apart and looking for yourself as it seems like it all depends on what connectors you get with them to how they are wired up.

HTH
 

TimW

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I've got 20/20 hindsight.
... and I can also predict the future. (I first discovered I can predict the future next Wednesday)
Mike, your stars thank you for your good sleuthing....!
 
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