Last night I was a bit bored so I sat down and did some pointless hardware mods to my Dingoo.
First, I added a power LED. When the backlight is off, or if you boot it with the B button to go into flashing mode, it’s hard to know if the Dingoo is on or off. And in any event, I’m a sucker for LEDs. “Real electronics should glow in the dark.”
The easy part was attaching the LED, I used a surface mount blue LED that draws 10mA at 3.6v and stuck it near the start button, then wired it between Vcc and ground. I found a point on the rear of the board where the power is switched so I just ran a bit of 28 gauge wire around from the back to the front. The hard part was getting a hole in the black layer of the front case, without also going through the clear part of the front case. I used a cheap soldering iron to melt some of the plastic then some small precision chisels to cut out the plastic and get the hole to be just about right. Actually it was about 80% luck, I’m usually not this good at modifying the plastic parts.
The other thing I did while I was in there was add a serial port. I’d seen someone else’s mod for this, and it looked easy enough. I don’t know that it’s needed or useful in any way, but hey, it was possible so I did it. Using some more of the 28-gauge wire, I tapped onto the TX / RX pads under the screen, then fed the wires around to the back. In the empty space where the 2nd flash chip would go, I mounted a 4×1 socket with 0.1″ spacing. The two outside pins I soldered right to the board’s ground plane for signal ground & stability, then the two inside pins were used for the tx/rx signal.
This time my plastic cutting skillz were back to normal and I made the hole rather too big… but at least it’s accessable.
From left to right, the pins are (unused), RX, TX, Ground. I coloured the one on the right silver so I’d know which way was which, and plugged the one on the far left. The crazy thing is I don’t know if I even have a computer with a serial port, so I haven’t tested this yet. I know I have an FTDI chip in my parts bin so I might have to make a serial->usb adapter before I can test the Dingoo’s serial port.
Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to take any pics of the mods while I was doing them… duh.