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Picture of Project 2: How to Reverse Engineering
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Hello fellow Hobbyist,

A good friend of mine had put together several components along with a Raspberry Pi in order to decode RS232 protocol to TTL. The end result was thrown all in a box that contained 3 main components: a power converter to power the Pi, a dual channel relay that ensures power is not wasted by controlling when the communication has to happen, and a RS232 to TTL module converter. The task at hand is to create a better solution that combines all the hardwares into one PCB. The end result will have less elements laying around -> less cables -> vibration proof design. This means that the task at hand is a hardware reverse engineering task. The following steps should help solve tasks of these nature.

Step 1: Identify the Components

Picture of Identify the Components

You will need to google based on either of the following:

- Using the name printed on the board itself.

- Using the function of the device.

- Using the main component in the board itself: look for the beefy chips -> get their names -> google their application.

- Google image any key words found and scroll down until you find the device or any lead to another search.

Long story short, I have found all the three devices and went ahead and ordered them on ebay:

- MAX3232 TO TTL: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/MAX3232-RS232-to-TTL-Serial-Port-Converter-Module-DB9-Connector-MAX232/262241627343?epid=25013268400&hash=item3d0ed1accf:g:FSgAAOSw7Vpa8roe

- 5V Dual Channels Relay : https://www.ebay.ca/itm/5V-Dual-2-Channels-Relay-Module-With-optocoupler-For-PIC-AVR-DSP-ARM-Arduino/263347137695?hash=item3d50b66c9f:g:DlUAAOSwIVhaG-gf

- DC-DC buck converter: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/DC-DC-Buck-Step-Down-Converter-6V-80V-24V-36V-48V-72V-to-5V-9V-12V-Power-Suppply/122398869642?hash=item1c7f8a888a:g:3vkAAOSwuxFYyQyb

ReconaissantL (author) 10 months ago
Thanks a lot for endorsing my project. It means a lot when it comes from someone with your experience :) This is the first time I have done a project of this kind. As you can guess, I made few mistakes here and there while decoding the traces on the PCB but overall I did get a lot of fun doing it.
gm28010 months ago
Before I retired, I did reserve engineering to gain schematics diagrams and redesign new replacement circuits to take their place. And this was for military aircraft. Old individual components to integrated designs and modern components and even micro-controllers and programs to replace large amounts of old circuits. I thoroughly enjoyed doing that type engineering work. If you have the need and desire, you can reverse engineer any circuit. It just takes a very good working knowledge of what is going on and how you can redign it to work better. Thumbs Up on your project!