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rc battery charger

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I have a victor engineering Hi Iq battery charger  for rc batteries. This charger is at least 20 years old and the company went out of business and of coarse no schematics. The dip chips about 10 in number have been sanded and the numbers are not legable but appear to be off the shelf in the day. There was no patent on the product but it is one of the best chargers ever made. The charger will do battery matching with charge and discharge charts. Has a zapper that burns internal resistance out to make the nicads more effiecent and better discharge power dumps. So to my question  Is it possible for someone to reverse engineer this with 10 of the 20 Dip chips most of them 14 pin with no numbers on them. The software chip is still ok and can still be bought online thru the rc world. There is someone selling the programable chips pre programmed with the latest software that was available. To my knowledge there is no one that is repairing these the last guy quit 10 years ago in canada. Your thoughts please. Thanks


Some detailed images of the internals would help. May be someone can recognize parts of the schematics and identify some of the ICs.

That's puzzling, if its the best charger ever made and they went out of business? ???

Reverse engineering is a field on its own, and you need a pro to decipher it as chips get denser. 

20 year old design could be deciphered by design familar EE, with good likelihood of success, but its a lot of work.

As edonork said, a photo helps, because the layout can estimate analog from digital logic.  Even if the chips have been sanded, if you use a microscope you may still find traces of the etched numbers.

The formal process is you have to trace all the components and create a schematic.  Label everything you can label and identify.  With a DMM, check the output of each pin as the device is functioning and get voltage levels.  Label all the voltage levels on each line.  Now check the same with a scope and identify the type of signal on each line. 

From the signals on each pin, you can approximate what type of chip it was: op amp, clock, logic gate etc.,

Now which model op amp, clock, logic gate etc., it is, become even more difficult, but at least you aren't in the dark!  Luckily, you can substitute a superior chip for an inferior one, so for example, if you find a 741 op amp, anything above it will work, assuming it has the same pin outs.

This info generally helps in troubleshooting and repairing a damaged device, but to clone it, you have to I.D. all the components.   This becomes more difficult if there are any custom ICs or memory chips with firmware, as then you need to extract the firmware and reverse engineer that too.

Zilog - Z80

This is a good starting point

z80 require at least one maybe more memory chips or Eprom directly connected, An external clock and a standard
three-state driver chip probably a Z80-PIO

It will have some constant current chips for charging and discharging, voltage regulation chips, voltage sence chips, DC Analoge to digital converter

Post some detailed photos please

This is OLD technology and it would be cheeper and easyer to redisign a new charger with the same functionality as it if you wanted another one. its a 20year old design using 30 year old technology

The charger is more likely to be 27 years old. There are a few chips under the keyboard and under the 16x2 display. Here are a few pics to look at if you think I am chasing my tail I wont bother anyone with this. If you think its possible to get this figured out Ill create a schematic. Thanks


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