@rsdio: Eventhough Ian called it "Extended Temperature BusPirate" there was never one - the extended temperature PIC 24FJ64GA002-E/SS MCU doesn't make the whole BusPirate extended temperature conformant in particular not if none of the other components used on the board meet extended temperature specs.
Ian wrote:... The E chips are rated for -40c to 125c, compared to -40c to 85c with standard industrial chips. In practical terms this doesnâ€™t mean anything because another component might not like higher temperatures, and internal oscillator doesnâ€™t allow for overclocking. ...
The headline was a neat eyecatcher,so. :)
I can see why you used the "Extended Temperature BusPirate" example as a lead-in for what I think are arguments against hacking 50 MHz DS1052Es and against trusting the hacked units to conform with the specs of the 100MHz DS1102Es. Eventhough I agree that professionals should not (and for good reasons will not) hack DS1052Es and trust the hacked units to comply with DS1102E specifications I am inclined to say that the example of the "Extended Temperature BusPirate" would rather be an argument for the hack than against it - at least for hobbyists who have looked into the details of the DS1000E series design and what the hack actually does ;)
Until the last model update in 2008 Mercedes-Benz used to sell an ML280CDI model and a ML320CDI model ... both had absolutely the same engine (6-cylinder, 2987ccm) - actually they were identical cars (when ordered/manufactured with the same extras/configuration) but for the ML280CDI's fuel injection control system using different parameters that reduced the max power by 25kW (and the max. torque by 70Nm) compared to the ML320CDI - throtteled by a few different bytes in the firmware - production cost was the same but the ML280CDI sold for a few thousand EUR/US$ less than the ML320CDI.
This is not the only case of a product series that has been designed and was/is being manufactured to the specs of models of the same product line with higher performance and more features that get throtteled/limited after quality control then get labled/branded differently and are sold as (performance- and featurewise) lower ranking models of the line or a different brand at lower prices. Actually this practice is rather common in the food, cosmetics and many other (technical and non-technical) markets.
The Blackfin DSP, the ADC, the memory, all "clocked" components run at the same frequency in the DS1052E and in the DS1102E ... essentially both models require components that meet the same specs.
Anyway, I never intended to encourage anyone to hack a DS1052E into a DS1102E. For this I made absolutely no statement if and how well a hacked DS1052E would meet the specs of a DS1102E. As a matter of fact this can only be established through a rather complex test and verification process that would have to be conducted for each (hacked) unit and would cost many times more than a brand new 100MHz DS1102E or even a 300MHz DSO (unless the test/calibration would be performed using the specific test/calibration process developed by and the equipment in place at the manufacturer).
The hack is known on the English speaking internet for at least 5 month now and to some people most likely for much longer. My reasoning for trying out the hack, documenting the procedure and making the document available was neither driven by jumping on a rolling bandwaggon nor by the idea to get my hands on a cheap 100MHz DSO. Quite the opposite:
a) I was confused by RJSC's comment in the "distributors beware" thread
and similar comments I read on some other boards. In my opinions such comments do great injustice to the manufacturer and distributors.
b) I was going to buy a low-cost 50-100MHz/1MSps DSOs for evaluation purposes anyway - actually to tear it apart and dissect it for inspiration (I told Ian about it a few month ago ;) - so I got the DS1052E and applied the hack for a start of the torture to come - the unit won't be in a condition to use it for professional lab work afterwards anyway :D
c) I started reading the relevant threads on the EEVblog.com and RCGroups.com boards and got even further confused (and more) - not about the details I learned about the general DS1000E design (it's a great design) but about certain less technical but rather "political/idiological" posts that appeared after the word was out and the obvious and less obvious consequences of false information spread and accusations made will bring along:
- once the word is out and spreading there is no real way of closing the lid again except by replacing the product with a different or modified design - in some way the manufacturer attempted this by shipping the units with a new firmware that disables the direct entry for the hack.
- people started accusing/taunting the manufacturer of/for making the hack so easy or even worse, accusing the manufacturer/distributors of ripping-of the customers with the higher price for the DS1102E while others called him stupid (in my eyes, rather emotional and unjustified assertions).
- some people even started to spread false information about how the hack should be performed
- quite a few people bought DS1052Es and attempted the hack - many succeeded (I am neither saying their DS1052E perform to the DS1102E specs after they hacked them nor do I claim they don't), quite a few failed, some because of false information that has been spread.
- some of those, who have contributed to the hack, even altered their position for what appears to be rather emotional than technical reasons.
- nothing can really stop those who have decided to attempt the hack from actually performing it except the lack of access to a hackable unit ... and truthful information that may lead to understandable/acceptable arguments against performing the hack
d) all this made me even more curious and since I was going to take the unit apart anayway, I decided to apply the hack first and make the protocol available
- to give those who are confused by the ongoing discussion but will attempt the hack anyway a guidline of how I applied the hack to a fairly new unit without running into any problem ... just imagine some high school kids who have saved up money for a DSO, learned about the hack, get a DS1052E, try to apply the hack and brick it. Hardly anything will stop them once they have decided to do it. However, if they read my protocol and it helps them to evade the pitfalls or it makes them think twice after reading the warnings and not hack the unit or at least learn something from it then it has served it's purpose.
- for the other reasons given in my first post.
I agree with rsdio and Sjaak that no professional should under any circumstances apply the hack to units that will be used for development, testing, validation etc. of any commercial products/equipment.
P.S. No worries, there will be no cars, motorcycles, trucks, planes, helicopters, ships, manufacturing or any medical/life-critical equipment that will have circuitry designed/tested with the help of a DSO hacked by me.