Author Topic: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter  (Read 44742 times)

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Offline metacollin

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Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« on: July 23, 2014, 10:51:35 am »
So I have an Agilent U1253A multimeter, the blue kind, the one famously reviewed by Dave himself in one of his videos.  My warranty is long toast.  My OLED screen was always kind of a lemon I think.  It was never very bright, even at the highest setting, nowhere near like the video.  It also burned in some digits, faint but noticeable, the first day I used it.  Anyway, I modified the driver board (warranty of any kind is totally out of the question.  I voided the hell out of it, even if it wasn't expired) so the boost converter put out a couple volts more, and that vastly improved the brightness.  And made it draw more current.  And made the useful life of the OLEDs that much shorter, as they dim over time.

Well, I've reached that time.  The screen is really dim.  I am going to bump the voltage up again, this time to just under the maximum, but it will dim even faster after that, and there is no head room to up the voltage once it's gotten too dim a second time.


Does anyone know if/where a replacement screen might be had? I don't want the actual Agilent board (plus I already asked and they don't sell it to customers, and if they did, it would probably cost a trillion dollars and probably at least one human sacrifice, so might as well just get a new meter at that point), just the display with the ribbon sticking out.  The part printed on it is SSD1303T10, but that sounds like the display controller, not the display.  I am not even sure of the resolution, I think it's 128x64.  Dimensions are 6cm by 3cm.  I would like a screen of the same size and resolution, and definitely needs to use the SD1303 controller, but there is room to bodge something if the pinout is arranged differently, so different pinout is even ok.  Different color, ok.  At this point, I am desperate enough that I might even go with a smaller display, as long as the controller is the same, because I was only able to get this U1253 meter because it was at a great price ($300), open box return, probably cause of the screen.  If anyone has any ideas on the screen, or suggestions, for a replacement of any kind, I'd appreciate it.  Buying a broken meter from someone is also an option, assuming the screen is intact, but I really can't pay much more than $50. 


I can't afford a $450 meter, or a new $500-$550 meter, and couldn't really afford a $300 meter, but I found a way.  But basically my options are fix this meter, or revert back to some shitty $40 meter.  I really don't want to do that,  since $40 meters are the ones that might murder you.
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 10:44:03 pm »
Not sure where to get an OLED that will fit (suspect custom part), but I think it might be possible to swap in the LCD screen that's in the U1252B.

FWIW, the P/N for the LCD screen is U1252-39300, and it's not expensive ($17.58).
 

Offline metacollin

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 03:17:21 pm »
nanofrog, thank you so much. I contacted Agilent support about this, and they said they did not sell the screen or screen assembly, that it was not customer replaceable (despite being a pluggable pin header module) and that my only option was to send them the multimeter and pay a repair fee.  So I didn't even know to look.  I am going to try to find the u1253a or b assembly part now that I know it can be done.  Maybe.  Unless all you could find was the lcd screen.

I highly doubt the LCD screen can be swapped in.  The U1252B has a fixed segment LCD display, the U1253A/B have full graphic displays.  But regardless, you've been a big help.  Thanks again!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 03:31:30 pm by metacollin »
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 08:38:10 pm »
nanofrog, thank you so much. I contacted Agilent support about this, and they said they did not sell the screen or screen assembly, that it was not customer replaceable (despite being a pluggable pin header module) and that my only option was to send them the multimeter and pay a repair fee.  So I didn't even know to look.  I am going to try to find the u1253a or b assembly part now that I know it can be done.  Maybe.  Unless all you could find was the lcd screen.

I highly doubt the LCD screen can be swapped in.  The U1252B has a fixed segment LCD display, the U1253A/B have full graphic displays.  But regardless, you've been a big help.  Thanks again!
Unfortunately, they don't offer the OLED display at all (no P/N listed at all). FWIW, this thread might be of interest.

I know you said it's no longer under warranty, but Agilent might be able to give you a newer LCD version with quite a discount (possibly free, but wouldn't expect it to be zero cost). What I expect they'd do instead of repairing the existing unit. Certainly worth getting a quote.

As per modifying it to accept the LCD screen, it may still be possible. I seem to recall there's 3x boards in it, and the LCD screen assembly (can't recall if the driver circuits are soldered to the back of the screen or on the board it's headers connect to). Worth checking out if you don't get good news from Agilent. Going by the previous link I gave (LCD screen), I'm able to add it to the shopping cart here in the US. Perhaps this isn't possible for those outside of the US/CAN.  :-//

FWIW, I have a U1252B and can open it up and take some pics and/or tell you the IC P/N's used if it helps you.

Let me know if you need them, and I wish you luck getting this sorted.  :)

BTW, where are you located?
Setting your country in your user profile helps immensely, especially with posting links (relevant pricing and availability).  ;)
 

Offline metacollin

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 06:51:02 pm »
BTW, where are you located?
Setting your country in your user profile helps immensely, especially with posting links (relevant pricing and availability).  ;)

Whoops, fixed that!


As per modifying it to accept the LCD screen, it may still be possible. I seem to recall there's 3x boards in it, and the LCD screen assembly (can't recall if the driver circuits are soldered to the back of the screen or on the board it's headers connect to). Worth checking out if you don't get good news from Agilent. Going by the previous link I gave (LCD screen), I'm able to add it to the shopping cart here in the US. Perhaps this isn't possible for those outside of the US/CAN.  :-//

FWIW, I have a U1252B and can open it up and take some pics and/or tell you the IC P/N's used if it helps you.

Let me know if you need them, and I wish you luck getting this sorted.  :)

Yep, got the worst news possible from Agilent - they have completely dropped all support for the U1253A.  They will not repair, replace, to a trade-in discount, or even still provide paid calibration service for the meter.  Basically, I managed to buy the only meter Agilent (Keystone Light or whatever they are called now) has decided to wash its hands of entirely. Nor can you get the U1253B screen except with warranty service on the meter. 

The good news is I actually looked at the SD1303 datasheet.  It has some extra instructions for a shading/grey level look up table, but otherwise it is identical, byte for byte, to the SD1306, used in pretty much all the 128x64 OLED screens I can find.  And beyond that, the SD130x chips are basically just pixel buffers, and all have a 6800 or 8008 parallel interface, as well as an I2C and SPI interface.  I haven't actually checked yet, but I am guessing the U1253A uses one of the parallel interfaces, I base this on the number of pins the display assembly board has plugged into the board below.  So, at least as a emergency ghettobodge, I can probably just, uh, creatively wire and mount one of the readily available 1.3" OLED modules directly to the multimeter, and save for a loss of the left 4 pixel columns (which is fine), I can still use the meter, but it won't be pretty.  That's one option - the other is simply make a little go-between board with a uC on it that will handle house keeping stuff and clock in the data from the multimeter directly to a direct SRAM write mode on a 128x64 graphics LCD...uh...probably glued onto the front. 

There are $35 2.7" (same size as the one in the meter) OLEDs on digitkey, but they use the SSD1325, which, depending on what commands the U1253A is using, could also work as a drop-in replacement, or may not.  I'll have to sniff the bits.  Anyway, for the short term, I am probably going to bodge in a SSD1306 display, and may attempt something more if it seems worth the effort. 

Since it's sending pixels directly, the only way I can think to adapt that to the LCD screen for the 1252 is using some pretty painful brute force pixel checking (are these random bits that only light up if there is a 1 displayed here lit or not? And so on. )  And I'd lose access to a the menu and several other functions that require the graphic display, and I am not sure having a native, perfect fit screen is worth the effort and feature loss, at least for me anyway.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 06:56:00 pm by metacollin »
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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 06:08:09 am »
Yep, got the worst news possible from Agilent - they have completely dropped all support for the U1253A.  They will not repair, replace, to a trade-in discount, or even still provide paid calibration service for the meter.
Hmm, then somebody at Agilent should update the website, because according to this screenshot I took, the U1253A is supported until March 2017.  Additionally, there is a text blurb at

http://www.keysight.com/en/pd-1440288-pn-U1253A/handheld-digital-multimeter-45-digit-organic-led-display-oled

Description
Keysight discontinued its Handheld Test Tools in blue.

Last Order date: November 30th, 2011
End of support life: March 1st, 2017

The replacement models are the handheld in orange colour for greater visibility. The replacement model for U1253A is U1253B.
 

Offline Ferrie

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 07:48:08 am »
As any one know the SSD1306 is good for U1253B OLED replacing? In China TaoBao can source such OLED about 2USD. Thanks
 

Offline macboy

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2017, 02:58:34 pm »
As any one know the SSD1306 is good for U1253B OLED replacing? In China TaoBao can source such OLED about 2USD. Thanks
if it only costs you $2 and a little time, then why not try it and report back here?
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2017, 10:01:35 pm »
Agilent OLED possibly made by Raystar Optronics
I was buying the displays for a commercial product, the RET012864 but newer models are out now. Display manufacturers obsolete stuff very quickly.

The SED1303 is long obsolete, so that is the problem as I see it.

I would hit up the NewHaven Display forums and see if the newer controllers i.e. SED1306, 1309 are backwards compatible with the 1303. I vaguely recall some doc on that.
 

Offline Ferrie

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2017, 08:15:43 am »
Dear macboy,

Yes, that is only 2$ cost, I will do it and report here soon.

Ferrie
 

Offline Ferrie

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 03:56:34 pm »
I has open my 1253B, find out the display is 2.42" OLED.

And, I am checked on China TaoBao which is a old packing OLED SSD1305, the date sheet as attached, the price is RMB70( USD10).

I will try it and let you to soon.

Ferrie
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 08:30:07 am »
Hi Ferrie,

If possible could you take some photos of both sides of the display daughter board?
I ordered similar displays a couple months ago to try it as a replacement, only to find that I had misplaced the daughter board... Since then I have been slowly working on creating a replacement but I have some doubts over where some of the traces go.

I also think that I found the original display (well a display with the original controller) on TaoBao before. I will share the link if I can find it again.

My attempts at tracing the circuit out:
https://puu.sh/x5xlE/2e8f73aad3.jpg
https://puu.sh/x5xnh/7deef8c36e.png
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:32:29 am by mcookieman »
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 08:55:43 am »
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 10:31:05 am »
Sorry for the triple post..
 
Have you had any luck Ferrie?
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 03:55:29 pm »
Agilent OLED possibly made by Raystar Optronics
I was buying the displays for a commercial product, the RET012864 but newer models are out now. Display manufacturers obsolete stuff very quickly.

The SED1303 is long obsolete, so that is the problem as I see it.

I would hit up the NewHaven Display forums and see if the newer controllers i.e. SED1306, 1309 are backwards compatible with the 1303. I vaguely recall some doc on that.
I haven't looked at OLEDs in detail but from my experience with CSTN/TFT controllers a lot of them use a variation on the same common set of commands. It wouldn't surprise me if these OLED controllers are similar, and some not even manufactured by Solomon are completely compatible. You could try looking at similarly-dimensioned monochrome LCD controllers since the command set would likely have a history inherited from those.
 

Offline alexwhittemore

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2017, 04:38:08 pm »
So has anyone had any luck either with a replacement part or well-out-of-warranty service from Keysight? I've now got a paperweight here as well, and I'm kinda salty about it.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2017, 01:06:03 am »
mcookieman pics shows the Agilent OLED module is a Solomon Systems SSD1303T10
Datasheet SSD1303.pdf

The SSD1303 controller IC is long obsolete, I think SSD1306/SSD1309 replaced it H/W and 31-pins are compatible.
But... this 128 verses 132 segment mapping may be different. I did not dig into that.

Ferrie did not write back to us if a SSD1305 works here. It does not have the internal charge-pump regulator (H/W mod) and possibly different config registers. So I am not optimistic.
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2017, 02:52:37 am »
@alexwhittemore
Keysight does have a replacement display module as a part for the U1253b. I'd assume that this would be compatible with the U1253a but $151 is a bit expense for me to justify trying.

@floobydust
Yep it is a SSD1303 controller. I'm pretty sure that the display I linked in my previous reply is the actual same display that Agilent used, and would work if I still had the daughter-board.

Regarding the internal charge pump of the SSD1303, I don't think this is a problem when using the SSD1305/6/9 since the display daughter-board has its own 12V boost converter and doesn't use the built in charge pump of the display. If I can get a clear scan/photo of both sides of the board to fix up my attempt at tracing the board's pinout I think it may work.
 

Offline alexwhittemore

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2017, 09:49:24 pm »
The response from the parts department was "the assembly for the U1253B looks different, so I can't guarantee compatibility, and the repair plan is to replace the whole unit." They also said, and I quote, "Since the U1253A is obsolete now, it's a throw-away part"

Pretty pissed about that. Especially since I've got a Fluke 8060A here produced in 1981 that works perfectly (okay, I did have to douse the switches in deoxit).

He did give me some part numbers - the manufacturer P/N of the display module itself is RIT Display P19701. Which is also obsolete, probably because it's a POS that lasts 5 years regardless of use.

I think I'm just going to buy a "looks compatible" SSD1309 based display from eBay and hope for the best. $15 repair if it works, 100% paperweight if it doesn't.
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2017, 11:03:02 pm »
That's pretty shitty, but at least they gave you the part number of the display. This confirms that the display I linked earlier is actually the same part. Supposedly there is 4000 pieces in stock.. https://world.taobao.com/item/556241996733.htm

When you do try a repair, could you please take a photo of both sides of the daughter board?
 

Offline alexwhittemore

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 11:21:38 pm »
Crap, I was just in the case and didn't bother taking any pictures. That part does look identical though, for all that I can tell by that crappy low res picture. The flex board and controller chip look exactly the same.

Any idea how I order from there shipped to the USandA? I have an irrational fear of non-roman alphabets   :-\
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2017, 12:38:46 am »
All good, I'm happy to wait. :)

The part number in the title is the same as well, P19701.
For ordering from taobao in the USA the easiest way is probably through an agent who will do the purchasing and shipping for you. If you know someone who can read a bit of Chinese they can order it and ship it to a reshipper in China who will then ship it to you. I've used Yoybuy for reshipping before and they've been alright. I think they have a agent service as well. Obviously the agent service will be more expensive then the reshipping service.
 

Offline alexwhittemore

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2017, 01:13:19 am »
I'm trying to order through yoybuy, but the confirmation email to set up my account can't seem to make it through :(
 

Offline mcookieman

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2017, 07:41:43 am »
If it doesn't come through there are lots of other places that offer taobao agent services. I think Bhiner was pretty popular when I looked up how to buy from Taobao a while back.
 

Offline ultrasmurf

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Re: Replacing OLED screen on an Agilent U1253A Multimeter
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2017, 09:01:01 am »
Someone succesfully repaired the oled display.. unfortunately no information on who can supply the display...
http://new.mash.webclient6.de/index.php/bauen/sonstiges/47-agilentu1252
Or maybe google translate removed those information...

I have just recently acquired a U1253B with dead display as well, and am looking forward to the possible replacement display

RS component has a similar display http://sg.rs-online.com/web/p/oled-displays/6686118/ should be a desolder and solder to u1253x job.
But it doesn't solve the SSD1303 obsolete issue.

Just finished a read up on the ssd1303 vs ssd1309 command (U1253B is using 8080 MCU mode based on the trace), and some command that is not supported by 1309 :
82 : color bank brightness
91 : look up table for color bank current drive
92 : color bank (1-16)
93 : color bank (17-32)
AD : Activate/deactivate DC DC converter
B8-BF : GDDRAM start page address (SSD1309 only addres B0-B7 while SSD1303 address B0-BF)
D8 : Area color mode
DB : Vcom deselect level, on 1309 last 2 digit is ignored

since the display is mono, most of the command that is not supported by 1309 should not be a concern, except B8-BF....  and to some extend DB.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 12:38:52 am by ultrasmurf »
 


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