Simple Hardware Modification

Started by TimC, August 14, 2016, 08:03:13 PM

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I finally got fed up with the occasional loss of response to the remote control that required a reboot. In my case this required reaching through a gap the height of the Skippa and feeling around the back until I could reach the power lead and pull it out for a few seconds before putting it back in. The 240 Volt end of the power was even more awkward.

I decided to do a simple hardware mod to let me interrupt the power from the front panel.

When I opened it up I found it wasn't quite as simple as I'd hoped. The power inlet is Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Mounted making it difficult to interrupt the power from there, So I had to interrupt the power before it got to there.  The trick would be to connect the power to a second socket then on to a switch to interrupt the power when needed and then back to a plug that plugs into the original power socket. This is how I did it.

First I purchased a 2.1 mm chassis mount socket, a 2.1 mm plug and a momentary off push button switch at Altronics.
Jaycar will have similar items available.
Note: What I mean by a momentary off switch is one that interrupts the circuit when the button is pushed.

Its worth noting that the rear chassis panel unclips from the rest of the chassis. This makes drilling much easier and prevents bits of metal being showered onto the PCB.

I drilled two holes in the rear chassis.
* One in the rear of the chassis above the HDMI socket for the 2.1 mm socket
* a second hole 1 cm to the outside of the existing power socket to provide access for the wires that connect up to the plug that connects to the existing socket.

I then drilled a hole for the switch in the front panel behind the flip up lid where the control switches are located. 
You need to take consideration for the location of this hole.
* Too low and you wont be able to close the lid without activating the switch and interrupting the power.
* Too far to the outside and the screw fixing the front panel in place will be in the way.

Next I mounted the 2.1 mm socket and the switch. You will need to pack the back of the switch with a couple of washers to minimise the amount it protrudes.

I then had to work on the flip up lid.  Fortunately it unclips from the front panel and is actually made up of two pieces. The outside is a thin sheet of plastic that can be unclipped from the lid frame. I drilled a hole in the lid frame in front of the new switch button to provide more space for the switch, reattached the front sheet and clipped the lid back in place. A quick check with a meter showed the lid no longer activated the switch.

I then used some spare wire I had and a soldering iron to wire it up.
* I connected the centre connector on the 2.1 mm socket to the switch
* I connected a wire from the other side of the switch that passed through the hole in the chassis beside the existing power socket.
* I connected a wire to outside connector of the 2.1 mm socket and passed the other end of the wire through the hole beside the existing power socket.   
* I connected the wire from the switch to the centre connector of the 2.1 mm plug and the other wire to the outside connector of the plug. (Don't forget to put the plastic shroud of the plug onto the wires before you connect them)

I then checked the wiring with a meter and confirmed pushing the button interrupted the circuit and plugged the new 2.1 mm plug into the existing 2.1 mm socket.

Finally I connected all the AV/HDMI/Aerial plugs and plugged the power lead into the new 2.1 mm socket. It worked perfectly.
When the unit was up an running I opened the flip down lid and pressed the new button for a few seconds and whin I released the button the unit rebooted.

A couple of points.
It would not have been difficult to do away with the 2.1 mm plug and connect the wires directly to the PCB. I was just wary of taking a soldering iron to a surface mounted PCB. It also means that if you want to remove the PCB from the chassis, the wires would need to be unsoldered.

When selecting the switch, consideration is needed to get one that protrudes a little as possible.  If worse comes to worse, you can always remove the lid and discard it.

You could easily mount the switch on the rear panel as well.

If anyone is interested in doing this and you want pictures let me know


Toppy, 2400, Toppy 2460, Skippa