Finally Picking it Up Again

A project log for Hacking the Brother WP-1250

Modifying a word processor/electronic typewriter from the 90s. Long term goal is to get this thing to load

furrysalamanderfurrysalamander 12/05/2019 at 20:381 Comment

Well, it's been about 4 months.  A lot's happened since then.  For starters, I finally got rid of my harbor freight soldering iron, and bought a proper iron.  I also discovered that I absolutely abhor protoboard.  

Before I could make any more progress, I needed a way to program the flash chips that I bought, and preferably have a way to dump the ROM so I could try to reverse engineer things a little bit more.  But alas, my attempts to build a flash programmer quickly descended into madness.  Honestly should've just breadboarded the thing.  Maybe protoboard is better when it has a solder mask.  I dunno.  All I know is that I hated every minute of it, and my problems were only exasperated by my terrible soldering iron.

The basic concept was sound, but I couldn't find the patience to actually finish the abomination I created.  I figured maybe someday I'd finally sit down and learn how to use KiCad, and until then, the project was officially on hold.

Until this week!

I finally sat down and forced myself to learn KiCad (so I can help other people do the same).  I needed a good starter project, and this was immediately the obvious solution.  

Not bad for a first PCB, eh?

I ordered the boards from JLCPCB, and they're scheduled to get here tomorrow.  Assuming I can make it through finals next week, I should be able to finally get some software put together.  My dream of connecting this typewriter to the internet may finally come true!

Here's the github repo if you want to check it out:


Ken Yap wrote 12/05/2019 at 21:39 point

Looks good. Looking forward to your report.

I understand your frustration with protoboard. The tinning of pads and solder mask of manufactured PCBs makes life so much more pleasant. Plus not having to route wires. Only thing is nowadays I ask myself do I want to make at least 5 pieces of this project?

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