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What can I use an eprom programmer for and can I use it to repair MCU's and CPLD's etc?

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I am new to electronics but I do fix appliances to earn $$ on the side which is why I'd like to take this up to the next level. I come across customers who need their PCB or PCBs repaired. I've been successful with some (simple stuff like capacitors, resistors, etc) but I have no way of testing them other than to re install back into appliance (refridge, dryer, washer, etc...). Can I purchase a good eprom programmer that does MCUs and CPLDs, find good ones, upload them into the programmer and fix any future bad one I come across?  Also, how do I test the IC?  Buy an actual IC tester?  If so, which one is relatively cheap ($1k or less) that will do the job? Thanks in advance for everyone's help!!!!!

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Let me take a slice at your question.  The full answer is a long one.  I will say that many modern electronic control boards and peripherals certainly contain micro processors and eeproms.  Reading and re-writing the data contents of such devices varies from simple (EEPROM) to almost impossible for programs stored in the main controller-processor.  The two devices require specific hardware and in some cases cannot be unlocked by the consumer.  To go a little further, each honorable appliance has a unique set of programs inside.  You would require a file of programs for each model you encounter AND the ability to re-write the data as necessary- next to impossible unless you are a dedicated board remanufacturer.  This is not a job for a journeyman in electronics.  And, the idividual programmed IC's are not available as spare parts.  Other more common ic's are available from electronics suppliers but these do not contain programmed data.


That said, I encourage you to work with the more common problems like loose connections, burned traces, bad soldering and obviously faulty parts on the boards.  That way you can eliminate all but a few really ugly situations that arise from faulty processors and corrupted memory.  Since many brands actually use the same interior controls, keeping good notes on what fails on which board will pay dividends.  Good hunting.



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There are some guys on planetlaundry dot com that could do point you in the right direction, as I have seen it discussed over there. I don't know if just anyone can join (you may need a CLA membership). It is something commercial and coin laundries are interested in because small changes in the wash cycle can reduce long term costs. I believe besides a machine that interfaces with the epprom and a computer, you'd need to know the programming language it was done in, and be able to compile it.

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