Thursday, May 27, 2010

WikiReader Serial Port Hack Pictures

Per a recent request...

Here are some pictures of my small hardware hack.

First, I just added 3 header pin sockets to the already exposed debug port:



But that proved too cumbersome to maintain a good tethered connection to my laptop (plus the batteries would have to be exposed).

So, with the aid of a master machinist (Sandor -- a co-worker), I put a stereo "micro" jack on the top side of the device:




Here is the finished result:




You can see where I (badly) pried open the case ;-)

And here is where I am today:



Now, onto software...

8 comments:

Nicolas said...

Really cool. Your posts on finding the right platform for kids and hacking the wikireader in the process are really inspiring. Did you get to program this arcade game on the device finally?

Nicolas said...

Really cool. Your posts on finding the right platform for kids and hacking the wikireader in the process are really inspiring. Did you get to program this arcade game on the device finally?

Todd Coram said...

Not sure which arcade game you are talking about, but I haven't played much lately with the Wiki Reader. It served me well as a data logger for a while (via the serial port hack), but it sits dusty on a shelf :-(

LeeK said...

Hello Todd, Could someone store and retrieve files from a computer via serial port with this? I already have a wikireader. Thanks

Todd Coram said...

I don't see why you can't use the serial port to do this. The WikiReader Forth interpreter is a bit slow, so if you do it in Forth you need to consider a slow-ish (9600 baud) rate. Also, some sort of checksum protocol would be prudent.

Rickman said...

I'm interested in making similar mods, but I want to solder a connector to the pads so I can also pick up the debug signals. Any idea what the pin spacing is? I'm guessing 2 mm, but I haven't taken my unit apart to measure it yet.

Todd Coram said...

It has been a while since I opened the reader up, so while I don't remember the pad spacing, it is definitely soldering-friendly. I used either 26AWG or 30AWG wire to go between the mini-jack and pads.

Rickman said...

I took a measurement of the opening in the case above the pads and it looks like it is just large enough for a standard 2 mm connector if it is the type that uses crimp pins rather than the insulation displacement type. The insulation displacement type has extra body on the ends for the two halves to clamp together.

The USB to TTL cables I have seen use pins that I expect will fit in this space, but I won't know for sure until I get one which should be another couple of days.