Fixing An HP 54542C With An FPGA And VGA Display

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Although the HP 54542C oscilloscope and its siblings are getting on in years, they’re nonetheless very helpful at present. Unfortunately, as a number of the first oscilloscopes to change from a CRT show to an LCD they’re beginning to endure from degradation. This has led to in any other case completely useful examples being discarded or offered for reasonable, when all they want is simply an LCD swap. This is what occurred to [Alexander Huerner] with an eBay-bought 54542C.

Although this was imagined to be a totally working unit, upon receiving it, the show simply confirmed a shiny white as a substitute of the extra oscilloscope-like image. A short time later [Alexander] was left with a refund, an apology from the vendor and an HP 54542C scope with a really useless LCD. This was when he stumbled over a similar repair by [Adil Malik], right here on Hackaday. The repair? Replace the LCD with an FPGA and VGA-input succesful LCD.

While this may increasingly appear counter intuitive, the issue with LCD replacements is the shortage of standardization. Finding an 8″, 640×480, 60 Hz shade LCD with a appropriate interface because the one discovered on this HP scope often will get you salvaged LCDs from HP scopes, which as [Alexander] found can run as much as $350 and past for second-hand ones. But it seems that comparable 8″ LCDs are discovered in every single place to be used as moveable shows, all they want is a VGA enter.

Taking [Adil]’s challenge because the inspiration, [Alexander] used an UPduino v3.1 with ICE40UP5K FPGA because the core LCD-to-VGA translation part, making a customized PCB for the voltage stage translations and connectors. One cool side of the entire system is that it’s totally reversible, with the entire unique wiring on the scope and new LCD aspect left intact. One niggle was that the scope’s picture was upside-down, however this was mounted by placing the brand new LCD upside-down as effectively.

After swapping the unique cooling fan with a greater one, this previous HP 545452C is now [Alexander]’s every day scope.

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