Author Topic: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card  (Read 338 times)

Offline Da_Stier

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Hi all,

a few weeks ago I was about to leave the scrap yard, when I came a literal crate full of "Linner Lastkarten".
These plugin cards belong to an automotive load test system, for testing automotive ECUs.
Out of curiosity I grabbed one of them and bought it for around 7€.

This is the card as I got it:







The card is a classical example of very low volume, high cost electronics.
Since stuff like this is made in extremely low volume, it is based on some "universal" parts and propably parts of older systems that the company made, that are modified by hand to fulfill the current needs.
This can be seen if you take a look at the construction. It consists of many small plugin cards and modules, modwires and perfboard areas. It also has a ton of dip switches to configure it.
However I found this thing a kind of exteme example of thrown togehter bits and pieces while still being a pretty nice contruced unit after all.











What I found interesting was a small 1Gb USB stick that was mounted on the unit that held some documentation of the mods done to it and a history of changes, which is a nice touch, I think.
This makes it pretty easy to keep an overview of the units.

There was a TPMS card which is propably the "tire pressure monitor system" which had four fakra connectors - which are the automotive variant of SMB connectors - and four single ended to differential baluns. I kept this module, since I might actually use it for something.



Another intersting card had some microcontroller stuff and a whole bunch of ADUM5400 digital isolators, which are expensive and I actually used them before, so those are a nice touch.
Also note how they bodged on another little PCB on these.





Next there were four "radsensor" or wheel sensor cards, each having an isolated 24V to +-12V DCDC converter and some interesting SOIC chips that can be reused.



There were also six "Stromverstärker" or current amp cards.
Each of them had 3 INA106U instrumentation amplifiers, some dual channel DACs, another DCDC converter and a ISO122 isolated analog buffer amplifer, which is a very nice part... that acutally costs 24$  :o



The load part of the unit is quite interesting as well.
There are 18 logic level N channel MOSFETs (2N08L07 by Infinion, 75V, 80A, 6.8mOhm) and 12 Isabellenhütte (1 and 33 mOhms) four wire shunts mounted on the heatsink, together with a single temperature sensor in the middle.
The load part is fused by a main 70A fuse.



The PCB has some substential bus bars, both on the top, as well as on the bottom of the unit.







So after all, the unit was quite a bit more interesting, than I originally thought.
It got a lot of expensive components, that can be reused.
There were 12 DCDC converter modules, 8 ADUM5400 ICs, 6 ISO122s, 18 nice MOSFETs, 12 Shunts, a nice heatsink, around 50 12V small signal relays, a lot of SMD LEDs and a few hours of work. :)
So I guess this is a good example, how even something that doesn't seem to be too interesting initially, can be pretty nice to take a look at.










I hope some of you found this look at the Lastkarte interesting,
Michael

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 08:08:40 AM »
Very nice teardown :)

From the generic DIN 41612 connectors to the two separate backplanes, it could be a wide range of "open" framework designs from CPU/microcontroller manufacturers. Like the Motorola 68K VMEbus ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMEbus ) So you did not find main CPU?

The generic mainboard is also a interesting thing with the seemingly through-hole testboard layout on some parts. Again this reminds me of the VMEbus layout where you can access the CPU on another card directly through the backplane, so you could make the insert cards very modular.

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Offline Da_Stier

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Re: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 08:32:47 AM »
Hi Mads,

first of all thank you.  :)

I couldn't really figure out, which bus they use / if they use a standard bus after all.
The cards don't seem to have a single main CPU, as most small modules have their own small Atmel microcontrollers on them.
As far as I can tell, the Linner Systems use a main CPU card or standalone mainfraime unit to drive all the testcards.
Since this one was labeled "Lastkarte", I think it is just one of the "dumb" interface cards without much CPU power at all.

Again this reminds me of the VMEbus layout where you can access the CPU on another card directly through the backplane, so you could make the insert cards very modular.

I guess this would be another proof of the "dumb" nature of the cards.

However when I compare the picture of the unit that was stored on the USB drive with what I got, there seems to be atleast one little missing card on top of the stack.
So maybe this card would have a somewhat central microcontroller on it, who knows.

The scrapyard also had the backplane PCB, however I didn't buy it since it had literally only connectors on it.
So I assume that they use atleast some bus architecture.


Greetings,
Michael



Offline Da_Stier

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Re: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 02:04:43 PM »
Sorry for double posting but I got some more information.

I just returned from the scrapyard again.
They still had the crate of Linner cards.

The backplane is as I said just a backplane with connectors and some power supply stuff.
There was a second kind of card, a "Interface card" that litereally brakes out all the pins from the backplane into several 37pin DSUB connectors on the front.
These cards don't have any active (or passive) components on them, not even ESD protection diodes.

So whatever the "Lastkarten" communicate with is in a seperate unit / mainframe.

Unfortunately I can't take pictures on the scrapyard and didn't really feel like buying one just to take a picture.



Greetings,
Michael

Offline Weston

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Re: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 08:32:46 AM »
Thanks for sharing!

The bus bar setup on that is pretty crazy. I have not seen anything that beefy on a PCB before.


Those isolated umodule chips like the ADUM5400 are pretty handy, they come up a lot when the engineering time/cost is going to cost more than the premium for the chip.

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Re: Teardown of a Linner electronics automotive load tester card
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 08:32:46 AM »

 


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