Friday, June 3, 2011

Magic Base Unit

In this first part of the Magic Blender dissasembly I will be tackling the MBU.  Here is the underside of the MBU:

 There is an interesting secret door:

But there is no magic behind the secret door, just a standard wall-cube type transformer.  It outputs 13 volts AC.  The transformer is rated at 1.5 amps, and so is the MBU:

If I pull the sticker off the MBU display it looks like a circle of green LEDs around a single digit display:

After removing a few screws the MBU easily opens up.  Inside is a circuit board, and a motor unit with a couple of strong magnets attached to it.

It is a single sided curcuit board; there is nothing on the bottom:

Looking at the components on the curcuit board reveals something interesting:

One of the components is a PIC16C54.

The PIC1654 is an interesting programmable 8-bit microcontroller. It is often used for simple LED projects like binary clocks electronic dice, or LED-Dial-type clocks.  In this case it undoubtedly runs the Tinkerbell ring, and the countdown timer.

Here is a picture of the Tinkerbell ring display removed, and laid on the DPA-MBU interface ring on the top of the MBU.  You can see that there are no additional logic devices on the ring display board.  You can also get a slightly better view of the hexagonal water image I posted a picture of in the last post.

After careful examination I can safely say that the MBU is simply a magnetic stir plate with a countdown timer and some additional nifty flashing lights.  The circuit is similar to an intermediate-level electronics project available from most retailers of such things.  Aside from the use of a PIC microcontroller this unit is, and does, just what I expected it would.  If there is any magic I expect to find it in the DPA magic basket.

The dissection of the DPA magic basket will have to wait until my next post.

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