DIY Read Channel Shorting Tool

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LarrySabo

Member
I finally got fed up trying to short read channel VIAs using tweezers while madly hitting Ctrl+Z, so I just made myself a shorting tool. No way I was going to pay 35 Euros +VAT + S/H ($72 CAD) for a ready-made tool. Ten spear-pointed pogo pins cost me $22.24 CAD and 5 tactile push buttons cost me $9.00 CAD. I already had the Acrylic and the Bondic. I’ll make up others in various widths, as required -- it takes just 30 - 45 minutes each. If I make all 5, they will have cost me $6.25 CAD each.

Ugly as sin, but it works great! :)

Shorting tool on PCB.JPG
 

LarrySabo

Member
@RolandJS, it's used to short the read channel on Seagate drives in order to get a F3 T> prompt in terminal. My understanding is that corrupted SA modules prevent normal drive start-up, so shorting the read channel prevents the SA from being read, forcing the drive to look to the serial port for instructions. Or something like that. ;)
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, and with certain drives (namely Grenadas like ST3000DM001) you need to very carefully time when you short it during initialization. Too early, and it won't load part of the firmware needed to get terminal, too late and the drive gets stuck busy.
 

LarrySabo

Member
Thanks for the video link, Michael. My incentive to build the tool had nothing to do with getting the timing right -- it was trying to get both tweezer tips to connect and stay connected as I started to hit Ctrl+Z. The spacing of the tips would change and one tip would become disconnected from the VIA as my focus shifted from the tweezers to the keyboard and screen then back again.
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
I tried the foil trick from this video a few times and never had much success with it. I've still found my tweezers to work best, but maybe because I'm just used to doing it that way.

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Jared":14aksgfj said:
[post]8422[/post] I tried the foil trick from this video a few times and never had much success with it. I've still found my tweezers to work best, but maybe because I'm just used to doing it that way.

Did you put a little bit of solder on those points?
I suggest to use 60/40 solder that is better than free lead solder.
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
I did. In fact, even when I use tweezers I usually fill the points with a bit of 60/40 solder.

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