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Thread: W-3 HHCH Help Needed

  1. #1
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

    Default W-3 HHCH Help Needed

    I noticed in a Google search that someone on this forum is pretty familiar with the inner workings of the W-3 HHCH. I have about 7 in various stages of repair. I just completed modding the backlight from the pitiful, weak, seasick green, to bright white, so I can now read it in daylight and at night at any viewing angle. Did the same for my remote DEK and Wildcard box. Turned out awesome. What I came across is that there seems to be several different firmwares (?), or versions of the microprocessor on the mainboard. Some have a rev (3.02, 3.04, etc.), others, just random numbers and symbols. Some of the W-3's are purely donor boards - bad / broken displays. Others just have a few minor issues that are probably pretty easily repairable. I'd like to do that if anyone is familiar enough to contact me via PM or respond. In exchange; I'd be more than willing to do a similar mod on your W-3 (your choice of color), or simply hold you in the highest esteem when referring to you in future posts. I'd also like to post some photos and possible a "How to" article if someone would kindly steer me to the appropriate forum. Thanks!


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    Did you ever get around to making the how-to for this, or post up some pics of the results? In interested to see how this came out.

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    4n6inv, the forum for Hardware mods would be best.

    https://www.p25.ca/forums/45-Hardwar...tions-Parts-ID

  4. #4
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

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    I'll try to post some photos of before and after photos when I get back in town in the mods forum. Thanks for the replies. I tried several different colors in the backlighting and white seems to be the most successful based on the circuits, resistor values, etc. I'm going to experiment with some different resistor values to try to raise the operating voltage to the LED's. As for the microprocessor that controls it, it is the dreaded Motorola microprocessor that also contains the firmware that I can't seem to find a reader / programmer for, so it looks like I'm out of luck on that. More to come... In the Mods forum.

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    There may be a way to do it, but I don't know if it's been tried yet. There are two boot prom locations for the 68HC11 processor, one is normal, and the other is "special". It may be possible to boot the processor using an external ROM in the second location and have that read out the internal ROM and store it in a SRAM or EEPROM device. Or send it out of the SIO.

    There's 1MB of address space total for the 68HC11, so whatever the SIO rate is set to can define how long it takes to sweep the entire space and upload it to an external device. It does pre-date JTAG functionality, unfortunately.

  6. #6
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

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    The actual chip number is MC68HC705C8CFN and is the same chip used in the Spectra and Astro Spectra A/W 3, 5, and 7. The W-9 apparently is an easy convert. I'm really more curious about the different firmware versions in the W3 HHCH. I've been working on a number of them and found the Motorola decals on them reading different and interesting things. To start; on the top line; they have the chip series "HC705C8". Underneath that, some have "$ADCC" and a (I'm assuming) firmware revision of "D3.02" or "D3.04". Oddly, the "D3.04" revs don't display the "$ADCC", but have "9513" underneath them. Man, I'd sure like to know what the differences are...

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    The 705 doesn't appear to have the alternate boot locations like the HC11. It would be difficult to read PROM bytes without some sort of inclination about how the head labels are programmed. Even then, being an 8-bit controller, the limited address space makes intentional math errors harder.

  8. #8
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

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    There aren't many programmers that can read that chip. These ones that do are very expensive. That's assuming that Motorola didn't burn the fusible link after it was programmed.

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    It's actually not a fusible link, its a bit in the UV-erasable EPROM area, but the analogy applies. Once the security bit is set you cannot read the 68HC705's without completely erasing them first. (Assuming yours has a window, the HHCH's appear to use OTP versions). We used to use them as security tokens for video game PCB designs. They were hooked between the coin door and the main game PCB, so if the security checks failed, the game would not start, and if that were to be bypassed, the game would rack up credits mysteriously without it. There is nothing worse than a non-profitable arcade video game!

    The $ADCC is a checksum of the EPROM data sent to it for that revision, the D3.02. The "9513" sounds like a date code more than a checksum, esp. since it's not prefixed by a "$" character.

    But again, all this is academic if they have set the security bit on the chips. There is NO known reader that can extract the EPROM data at that point, all you can do is swap the programmed parts out one for another by desoldering.

  10. #10
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

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    Wow! Now that's some interesting information! Interestingly; most of the ones I've seen have the CFN affix, but a few were A affix's. I'm not sure what, if any difference there is. My main interest is: What's the difference in the data. Secondly; and one that a LOT of us would like to know is; it's the same controller for the Spectra / Astro Spectra non-W9 control heads. It would be really nice if you could convert the older heads to Astro. Soldering / desoldering PLCC chips is nothing to me. A good many others here would like to be able to do that, too. My Xeltek programmer does not support that chips, but they make several that do. Mine is a hand me down from up the street. The Xeltek 5000's and later support it, but they're around $2K and I can't justify buying one for no more than I do. All the firmware used in my product line fits in a simple 27C512 and we offer free firmware upgrades. What I have is already overkill for what I need. But, Astro is already yesterday, so I'm beating a dead horse. Intellectual curiosity?

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    The ones I have predominately seen are the $ADCC D3.02 versions, those were in the HMN4044D/E units, I believe. I have a picture of a newer PLN7737 and that shows a checksum of $ABCE but does not show the corresponding revision. Since it's probably newer, I am guessing that may be the checksum for D3.04, or it may be yet a newer version than either of them. Odd the versions start with a "D" since that usually means "D"evelopmental (i.e. Lab/Depot) versions of things.

  12. #12
    4n6inv No Longer Registered

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    That is odd. There never seems to be any consistency in how Motorola labels their parts or SW / FW revs; so I just chalked it up to being their usual selves to make it as confusing as possible. My programmer is a Xelteck SUPERPRO 280 U, but am running the Xeltek 3000 software which also DOES NOT list it as a compatible chip. I needed one that ran off a USB when my computer was upgraded and no longer had a parallel port. I have no idea what they may have up the street, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be a 5000 series, since we don't need that much capability. Another oddity is: I've seen the D3.02 and D3.04 in all three versions - HMN4044D/E and the YMN4016B. I've never dissected a PLN7737, so I don't know. I have several of the chips that I'd already removed from corpse boards (working, but bad displays) if anyone has the capability to try to read one. These are from W3's, but I can also remove some from the analog Spectra A7's and W7's if anyone thinks they can make any headway. I have a PLCC adapter, but haven't crossed the PN of it to see if it's the one that you'd need to read that chip.