Flashed The Wrong Firmware? Swap Out The LCD To Match!

We always joke about the hardware guys saying that they’ll fix it in firmware, and vice-versa, but this is ridiculous. When [Igor] tried to update his oscilloscope and flashed the wrong firmware version in by mistake, he didn’t fix it in firmware. Instead, he upgraded the LCD display to match the firmware.

See, Siglent doesn’t make [Igor]’s DSO any more; they stopped using the 4:3 aspect ratio screens and replaced them with wider versions. Of course, this is an improvement for anyone buying a new scope, but not if you’ve got the small screen in yours and can’t see anything anymore. After playing around with flashing other company’s firmware (for a similar scope) and failing to get it done over the JTAG, he gave up on the firmware and started looking for a hardware solution.

It turns out that a few SMT resistors set the output screen resolution. After desoldering the appropriate resistors, [Igor] bought a new 7″ LCD screen online only to find out that it has a high-voltage backlight and that he’d need to build an inverter (and hide the noisy circuit inside his oscilloscope). Not daunted, he went digging through his junk box until he found a backlight panel of the right size from another display.

Yet more small soldering, and he had frankensteined a new backlight into place. Of course, the larger LCD won’t fit the case without some cutting, double-sided tape, and a healthy dose of black tape all around insulates the loose electricals. Et voilá!

We have to hand it to [Igor], he’s got moxie. It’s an ugly hack, but it’s a definite screen upgrade, and a lesser hacker would have stopped after flashing the wrong firmware and thrown the thing in the trash. We’d be proud to have that scope sitting on our desk; it’s a definite conversation starter, and a badge of courage to boot.

26 thoughts on “Flashed The Wrong Firmware? Swap Out The LCD To Match!

        1. It was close to 1am when It start to work, the same day you get up after 5 to work, so really there is no thought about how it should look like. It’s working – fine, leave it, don’t touch. It will get a new look, when I will be modifying something more in it. I was in the middle of a project, when this knobs-firmware-thing happened so the priority was to get it up and running first.

      1. Siglent could have a money maker there with an upgrade kit of firmware and new display. They’d lose few, if any sales of new scopes and would make $ off owners of these older scopes who otherwise would be spending nothing on new Siglent stuff.

      2. It’s nice from Siglent, but this new display data cable is to short to fit L-size box. I would use the old case, and just glue this display to the front (I bought double sided tape for this), but the cable was to short and I needed to stick it directly to the metal case and shift to the right to fit, keyboard too.

        If I’d RTFM more carefully, and check all options like cable length and backlight type, new case would be ideal!

    1. I feel this deserves better than that; Modern plastic scope casings always seem pretty ugly, and here we have a prime un-cased example, in need of new clothes… I reckon it could do with something a bit vintage, in the style of an old CRT scope maybe. Or just to what the hell you feel like; It’s a blank canvas now, so I’d make the most of it.

    1. He said the firmware for his scope was no longer available…….
      I wondered if he could have changed the screen size within the new firmware but I imagine installing the larger screen was a bit more robust decision.

      1. I’ve tried to mess with screen size resistors in HX8817 with old TFT, but with no luck. Image BT.656 data is coming from DSP processor booted from DSO firmware, so I thought that this data is just wider for 7inch TFT, because is generated ‘software way’.

  1. I can’t help but notice how much his scope resembles my Rigol. One has to wonder which company is actually making them and which ones are just slapping a label on them.

    Brilliant upgrade/fix/mod/hack (choose whichever verb works for you). Very clever.

    1. If I recall correctly, Siglent makes their own scopes, along with a whole bunch of scopes for other companies (these scopes are generally not identical but very very similar). I don’t recall if Rigol is on that list.

  2. Some years ago a technician at the car dealership accidentaly flashed number of modules of my W203 (C-Class sedan) Benz with a software intended to be put on a W209 (That is, a nice two door coupe). Naturally, everything went bananas and it took quite a bit of effort to reverse the consequences of this mishap. Unfortunately, matching the body to the installed software wasn’t an option available at the Dealers…

    1. I have mercedes star and associated stuff at my garage, the very first thing it asks you to do is punch in the vin to get the correct modules in the car, so the only way this could happen is if the tech was lazy and didnt read your vin and just bashed in what he thought was right. Naturally they wont admit that lol

  3. This is not about flashing wrong firmware and fixing the mistake with different hardware:

    >Flashed the wrong firmware?

    >After playing around with flashing other company’s firmware (for a similar scope) and failing to get it done over the JTAG, he
    >gave up on the firmware and started looking for a hardware solution.

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