Refurbishing Armored Tablets

Who can resist the insane deals on bizarre hardware that pop up on auction websites? Not [Dane Kouttron], for sure. He stumbled on Armor X7 ruggedized tablets, and had to buy a few. They’d be just perfect for datalogging in remote and/or hostile locations, if only they had better batteries and were outfitted with a GSM data modem… So [Dane] hauled out his screwdrivers and took stuff apart. What follows is a very detailed writeup of the battery management system (BMS), and a complete teardown of this interesting tablet almost as an afterthought.

First, [Dane] tried to just put a bunch more batteries into the thing, but the battery-management chip wouldn’t recognize them. For some inexplicable reason, [Dane] had the programmer for the BMS on-hand, as well as a Windows XP machine to run the antiquated software on. With the BMS firmware updated (and the manufacturer’s name changed to Dan-ger 300!) everything was good again.

Now you may not happen to have a bunch of surplus X7 ruggedized tablets lying around. Neither do we. But we can totally imagine needing to overhaul a battery system, and so it’s nice to have a peek behind the scenes in the BMS. File that away in your memory banks for when you need it. And if you need even more power, check out this writeup of reverse-engineering a Leaf battery pack. Power to the people!

10 thoughts on “Refurbishing Armored Tablets

  1. Woah, nice writeup, i was looking for something like this to do field work data entry / datalogging. Cheap rugged tablets are hard to come by. DIY extra-storage batteries are a nice touch too

  2. ive a small pile of itronics itx290s I bought for nothing a few years ago. I use them around the shop to drip feed cncs and anywhere else where low computing power a rugged casing and a touchscreen is useful

    1. Hi Ze’ev, The X7 does use swappable batteries, i was interested in having increased runtime, the mechanicals for the higher-capacity pack are the same as the lower capacity pack, which allowed me to upgrade the unit. Thanks!

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