Reprogram Old Water treatment board?

Thread Starter

Astoshan

Joined Aug 6, 2021
9
Hello, so I recently got 2 computing boards from a water treatment unit. I found them for free, and it is from 1997. I am looking for a way to reprogram them, but I have been confused on how I could, and what a few of the components are. If anyone could tell me how I can acess the software, and or explain a couple of the components that would be great. Thanks.

Here is the photo:
2021-08-06-204917.jpg
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
12,249
Welcome to AAC!
If the boards are from commercial equipment it is likely that their microprocessors or memory chips hold proprietary software and are read/write-protected.
We would need sharply-focussed close-up pictures of the board and its components to have a chance of identifying components. Any component markings/designations would be particularly helpful.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,867
Just a note: if the program is in flash memory there is a significant chance that between 1997 and today the software became corrupt. If the program is stored in ROM it is probably ok but cannot be changed.

let’s see those part numbers and see whether they cause any inspirations.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,485
There were, probably still are, IC devices that include both program memory and the processor, and I/O ports. For short production runs sometimes one-time-programmable versions were used. If you can discover which family the ones on your board belong to, you may be able to obtain a replacement needing to be programmed.
 

Thread Starter

Astoshan

Joined Aug 6, 2021
9
Hello again, and thank you all for the input. Here are some better photos:

Whole Board:
IMG_2662.jpg

Components I don't recognize:

IMG_2665.jpg\

I have no idea what this one is.

IMG_2666.jpg

Here is the big IC:

IMG_2663.jpg


Thank you all again for the input.
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,525
The first unknown is an IC socket with a built-in decoupling capacitor. The second is a 8 digit LED display.
The big chip is an 8 bit microcontroller. The D78C10ACW does not have built-in ROM and it would need ROM which is what I expect was originally in that empty socket.
So, simplistically, you just need to program a ROM with whatever program you want and stick it in that socket.
But there is a lot of work to do if that is to do anything useful.
 

LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
3,513
The D76C10ACW is a NEC microcontroller This is a link to the data sheet.
The component between pins 14 an28 (Power supply pins.) of the 28 pin DIL socket will be a decoupling capacitor. (Probably 100 nF)
The next picture that is totally out of focus I THINK is an LED display.
You will have to read up on available programmers for the D78C10ACW.
Is the reason you want to reprogram the Micro to get the board working for it's original function or is it to use it for some other purpose.
Edit. After seeing Albert's post I had another look at the data sheet and he is correct that that member of the device family does not have built in PROM so ignore my comments about programmers.

Les.
 
Last edited:

Thread Starter

Astoshan

Joined Aug 6, 2021
9
By the open socket I presume you mean the socket with the E127492 connectors. Right? (Sorry I am extremly new to this)
The first unknown is an IC socket with a built-in decoupling capacitor. The second is a 8 digit LED display.
The big chip is an 8 bit microcontroller. The D78C10ACW does not have built-in ROM and it would need ROM which is what I expect was originally in that empty socket.
So, simplistically, you just need to program a ROM with whatever program you want and stick it in that socket.
But there is a lot of work to do if that is to do anything useful.
By open socket you mean the E127492 cable opening correct? (sorry I am extremly new to this.)
 

Thread Starter

Astoshan

Joined Aug 6, 2021
9
The D76C10ACW is a NEC microcontroller This is a link to the data sheet.
The component between pins 14 an28 (Power supply pins.) of the 28 pin DIL socket will be a decoupling capacitor. (Probably 100 nF)
The next picture that is totally out of focus I THINK is an LED display.
You will have to read up on available programmers for the D78C10ACW.
Is the reason you want to reprogram the Micro to get the board working for it's original function or is it to use it for some other purpose.
Edit. After seeing Albert's post I had another look at the data sheet and he is correct that that member of the device family does not have built in PROM so ignore my comments about programmers.

Les.
It is for a different purpose.
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,525
What exactly would I put there? And where could I get it?
An EEPROM, but you would need to check the pin connections on the board get a matching chip. Also they come in various sizes so you would need to decide how much storage your new program would need.
 

LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
3,513
I agree with Albert that it will be a lot of trouble to use that microcontroller. First I think the firmware will be stored in a erasable
UV ROM. So you will need a programmer and eraser. You will need to find a compiler for the programming language that you use.
That will probably cost more than a modern microcontroller chip. Think about the task you want it to perform. It is likely you could do it using a PIC chip or an Atmel AT series chip. You will find many people that will be able help help you using those families of chips but I think there are very few that will be able to help you with the D78C10ACW .

Les.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,485
What yoused for something else. What you do have is an interesting board that could be used to do something else. So you would need to understand how to write program code for that device. and also learn the I/O structure of that board. So it wold be an education.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,867
To compound the problem you would have to trace each I/O pin to find out to what each pin was connected. A difficult chore with little reward.

There are some much simpler and modern microcontroller boards available, such as AVR based Arduino boards, or clones thereof. Arduono with 32k of progrm memory

You can program these Arduino boards (or one of many with AVR microcontrollers) in C, assembly language or with Arduino sketches.
 

dcbingaman

Joined Jun 30, 2021
455
First of all you would need to know how to power up the board from what is apparently the bottom connector. It appears that connector probably goes to multiple sensors that there is no information on. Being there is no schematic you are going to have to literally reverse engineer the schematic using a DMM. That alone is going to take a lot of work. Being you have the datasheet for the microcontroller will help. This is not going to be an easy task.
 
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