How to hack an IM-Me dongle for power, serial and reflashing.
Now that I’m doing projects with the IM-Me, I’m getting the hang of modifying them. Here’s my process.
Buy an IM-Me. My local Toys’R'Us has them for £4.99.
Gather some tools.
Unscrew and remove the casing.
Remove the USB connector. Apply gentle pressure while heating all of the pins on the top.
Then do the same for the bottom two pins and remove the connector.
Find and remove the Cypress USB controller chip.
Blob solder down one side. Heat the solder and lift the legs, so that one side is raised. Then repeat.
Clean up the pads with solder wick.
Glue some pin strip along the edge to turn the dongle into a SIL module suitable for a breadboard.
Use thin insulated wire to connect the pins to the board. I’m using a laquered copper wire.
Use this reference to help you. Connect your power and ground pins to the legs of the electrolytic capacitor, connect your serial port to the two pads from the Cypress (TX = MOSI, RX = MISO), connect your programmer to the vias with the white circles.
Build a handy programming, serial and power cable. Mine plugs into a SmartRF board, you may want a different header for GoodFET.
Plug and play.