Fixing An HP 54542C With An FPGA And VGA Display

Fixing An HP 54542C With An FPGA And VGA Display

Despite the fact that the HP 54542C oscilloscope and its siblings are acquiring on in yrs, they are still quite useful nowadays. Sadly, as some of the first oscilloscopes to switch from a CRT exhibit to an Lcd they are commencing to suffer from degradation. This has led to if not correctly useful examples staying discarded or marketed for low-cost, when all they require is just an Liquid crystal display swap. This is what occurred to [Alexander Huerner] with an eBay-bought 54542C.

Whilst this was supposed to be a completely working unit, upon acquiring it, the show just confirmed a brilliant white as an alternative of the a lot more oscilloscope-like image. A short when later on [Alexander] was remaining with a refund, an apology from the seller and an HP 54542C scope with a pretty lifeless Lcd. This was when he stumbled above a comparable repair service by [Adil Malik], proper below on Hackaday. The deal with? Substitute the Lcd with an FPGA and VGA-input able Lcd.

While this could seem to be counter intuitive, the problem with Lcd replacements is the absence of standardization. Finding an 8″, 640×480, 60 Hz color Lcd with a compatible interface as the one observed in this HP scope usually gets you salvaged LCDs from HP scopes, which as [Alexander] discovered can run up to $350 and outside of for second-hand ones. But it turns out that related 8″ LCDs are identified almost everywhere for use as portable shows, all they will need is a VGA enter.

Taking [Adil]’s job as the inspiration, [Alexander] used an UPduino v3.1 with ICE40UP5K FPGA as the core Liquid crystal display-to-VGA translation element, creating a custom PCB for the voltage level translations and connectors. One awesome facet of the entire method is that it is entirely reversible, with all of the initial wiring on the scope and new Liquid crystal display facet left intact. 1 niggle was that the scope’s picture was upside-down, but this was set by putting the new Lcd upside-down as properly.

Following swapping the initial cooling enthusiast with a superior one particular, this aged HP 545452C is now [Alexander]’s daily scope.