Wow, more interested parties than I expected.. I thought since this thread was getting long in the tooth that there wouldn't be much interest.. I would like to stick to my $30 target. If people wanted to donate above and beyond after trying it (and hopefully liking it), then I'd leave that to their own decision. I certainly don't want to be too greedy, but also cannot subsidize every unit sold. Based on what I've read, it should be fairly simple to accomplish all this for the $30/unit price point. it also becomes cheap enough that if a board fails after a year, I won't be expected to offer support, they can just buy a new one. Breaching higher than $30 and people will start to expect support, and I certainly don't want angry customers tracking me down.. If the micro I plan to use works out (I have some questions out to some people waiting to hear back), then $30 affords me the cost to buy parts, a small pittance for my time (connecting cables, soldering, and wrapping the solution in shrink-wrap or hot-glue or whatever works), and postage.
Originally Posted by clktmr
From what I remember you can ground I2C_CONT while the TV is on, but I couldn't get write access this way. When it's grounded and you switch the TV on, the power LED goes green but the panel stays off. This is where I think I could have write access. This would mean that you have to do the reset manually.
But it's some time ago since I opened my S10. You better check it yourself.
Thanks for that information. I will have to open up my G10 and have a look myself. As I recall (I'll have to go back and read some posts), the I2C signalling is at 3.3V. The service connector has a 5V supply, so a simple LDO to regulate a few mA down to 3.3V would be easy to add. I was hoping the self-contained solution could just do it on powerup. I'll have to get my 'scope out and measure when the +5V signal goes high on the panel compared to when the TV is turned on. There is still a chance that a small micro can power-up and ground the pin (after the hour mark flag has passed) quickly enough so they TV thinks it was grounded before turning things on. That would be the idea case. If that does NOT work, then I could put a pushbutton in there along with a super-cap to hold a charge long enough to go with the approach of telling the end-user, "when you want to manually reset your MLL, turn the TV on for at least 10(?) minutes to trickle-charge the self-contained battery, push the button, then turn the TV off for 1 minute, then turn back on. Push the button to reset the MLL, then turn the TV back off again." That's a bit cumbersome, but a simple step by step guide would walk the user through the process very easily, and still not require opening up the back but the one time to install the device.
Give me a few days to work out if I can get the micro board at the price I need to hit (for my $30 target price), and I'll come back with some more details.
thanks to everyone for their interest, and thanks again to the brave souls who have paved this road ahead of me, and especially for mironto whose online documentation I have visited more times than I can count to make sure I understand what needs to be done.