Problem with blinking lights

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by elreedy2000, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. elreedy2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 10, 2013
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    Hi
    We got this tracheal intubation device which is basically made of plastic handle in which 3 lenses live and ends with small light. it's designed for single use. The problem is we need couple to use for training. The problem we're facing is when the battery is about to run out,the light of the device starts to blink, we tried replacing the batteries but the light continued to blink afterwards. Excuse my ignorance, I know little about electronics, my feeling that there must be something in the circuit that switch the blinking mechanism under or above certain voltage, or may be something in the circuit that shift the mode to blinking mode if we replaced the battries. It's not so cheap and we just need couple to train people with, so how can I override this mechanism. I got pictures of the circuit, it works with 3 AAA batteries. I'll be thankfull for any help.
    Dr. ME
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Wow! Good thing there is an unmarked integrated chip in there. If it only had 3 batteries and a light bulb we'd be stumped. (Sarcasm)

    Nothing personal, Dr. This is my pet peeve about how the world is changing as I get old. Everything has a microprocessor..or two or three...even if it's only a flashlight.

    I can suggest removing the batteries and reconnecting them x number of times to see if it cycles through to the continuously on condition, but an unmarked 14 pin chip tells no tales. Does the overall machine have a brand name, manufacturer, model number, schematic, or owners manual? The best of us will find this difficult to impossible unless the guy who designed it happens to be on this site. Perhaps forget the circuit board entirely, make a completely separate lamp, and just fake it?
     
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  3. JohnInTX

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Or an EPI-pen. My latest Rx was changed to Auvi-Q - it talks. Hopefully, I'll never go into anaphylactic shock but if I do, do I really want to hear a countdown? Of course, the package is flat, unwieldy and likely to be dropped in an emergency but hey... it talks.


    For the Doc, agreed. More info would be helpful. Just thinking out loud..
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  4. #12

    Expert

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    Three triple A's, John.

    Buck up, dude. Who would prefer survival over having an epi-pen that can't talk?:rolleyes:
     
  5. JohnInTX

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Ha! That one goes on the list, too.

    Re: AAAs - thanks, missed that.. But as long as I'm guessing...
    The IC on the picture is consistent with 14pin PIC midrange (TSSOP package). The pads below it look like they run at least in the area where the ICSP would for programming (Pin 1-Vdd is connected to J18. J12/13 at least are on the side of ICSPDAT-Pin13 and ICSPCLK-Pin12) Some of these (Ref PIC16F526) have some data memory that could remember that the batteries went down and object to replacement. Hard to tell for sure though without connecting to a programmer. OTOH, it may be nothing of the sort..

    Try leaving the batteries out overnight then reinstalling them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  6. #12

    Expert

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    Yeah, I thought about intentionally programming the chip to fail permanently after using up one set of batteries but I didn't want to disparage microprocessors.:rolleyes:
     
  7. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    What would happen if a new set of batteries were paralled with an operating unit , then old batteries might be removed?? Use AA or C to keep from changing often??
     
  8. JohnInTX

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    Sounds like a good idea to me.
     
  9. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Have you tried contacting the manufacturer, or even reading the instructions? It wouldn't surprise me if there is some magic button pressing procedure that resets the unit.
     
  10. elreedy2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 10, 2013
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    Thanks guys for your replies
    It's called Airtraq. Basically it's designed for single use, but apparently the manufacturer wanted to force us to pin it after single use, fair enough, but now we need couple of units just to train people on and it’s not sensible to spend loads of money every time we do a training session. I haven’t tried contacting the manufacturer, though it’s simple to override this stupid mechanism, but apparently it’s not. The problem is any solution should maintain the outer structure of the product otherwise won’t be able to use it on the manikins.

    Dr. ME
     
  11. JohnInTX

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    On the Airtraq site FAQs, the reasoning for having it do this is valid. Presumably, its licensed and approved for single use as its not designed (or demonstrated) that it can be safely cleaned. The legends on the picture would imply this.

    That said, it seems reasonable that demo/training units be available but what do I know?

    It does seem, though, that one of the functions of the uC would be to enforce single use for the above reasons. That said, if some clever fellow had one he could probably hack it/reprogram it but I shudder to think of the liability implications.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Can you just bypass the IC and wire the light via a manual switch (and a dropper resistor if necessary) directly to the battery?
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I'd bet any electronics nerd could hack the original light in this thing, forfeiting the blinky lights and pushbuttons, as long as you promise that the mannequin won't sue. Any TV repair shops in your hometown? They are often populated by nerds.
     
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