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PCB Reverse Engineering Or Make new board from zero

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  • PCB Reverse Engineering Or Make new board from zero

    Hello everybody,
    Would you like please help me with some questions?
    We bought a thermal camera module, it came with this board.
    This is DSP board with microprocessor tms320dm270. We need to make some copy of this board, but it is closed.
    We don't have source files or reference schematic. I couldn't find development kit with this processor tms320dm270.
    We're stuck, because PCB Reverse Engineering is hard and expensive, and we don't have enough document to design from zero.
    Could you give me some advice? Any help is welcome.
    Thank you,

  • #2
    It is a difficult situation. Re-designing the boards will be difficult, time consuming and expensive. If you don't have much reference documentation it could be nearly impossible. You didn't mention anything about software/firmware for the board. Reverse engineering might be slightly easier, but it depends how many layers you have and what's happening on the internal layers. Then again at least some documentation would be very handy and you would need software/firmware again.


    • #3
      This is board with closed sourse code, we do not have the software. So it seems like we need to write the software. And in your opinion, how did they do this kind of board? Because I can not find the development kit for this processor in the market.


      • #4
        I barely know anything about the board. But the processor seems to be really old. That could be the reason why you can't find any support documentation for it. It doesn't seem to be widely available online as well, which is normally a bad sign.

        Why do you need to use this board exactly? Maybe your general approach of the problem is wrong.


        • #5
          I want to use this board exactly because it works well, and I think that it will reduce development time. But as you said, it doesn't have documentation and supports. Now I'm thinking about using new processor with more supports and with development board that I can buy. I hope that is correct approach.


          • #6
            TMS320 reminds me my old time at University The main question would be how many of these boards you need. If only a few for your own use, I would buy more thermal cameras - it will be much cheaper than developing it by yourself. If you need this board for your own product, then you may want to develop it by yourself - but not doing reverse engineering. This chips looks quite old, there may be something better today and also as mairomaster mentioned - software is going to be extremely important.
            Possibly, try to contact manufacturer of the board / camera, maybe they will sell the boards to you - again, that would be much cheaper than developing it by yourself.
            PS: I found this development kit DM270EVM, but I am not sure if you can buy it:


            • #7
              Thank you mairomaster and robert very much for advice ^^