I have an old smart charger (Tenergy TB-6AC) which boasts the ability to interface with my computer. Upon further research, I have found that the software is no longer supported and no where to be found. Furthermore, there is a special cable to bridge the two devices which is also not sold by the manufacturer anymore. Considering this, I am wondering if I can replicate these two items.

I would like to know if anyone can recognize the cable that is needed, and how the software might be programmed? In researching the device, I believe the cable to be a UART to USB bridge, however there seem to by multiple variants. The smart charger features 3 pins to plug into, as can be seen in the photos below

{insert photo here}
^ Photo of similar smart charger with companion cable

{insert photo here} ^ My setup with logic analyzer

From my understanding of UART, these are likely a Tx pin, an Rx pin, and ground. Assuming that, I went ahead and hooked up a cheap logic analyzer to each of these pins, making sure that the pin with the lowest voltage was select to be the ground pin. Then I ran a simple process on the smart charger and captured whatever was on the pins. The results are what appear below

{insert photo here} {insert photo here} {insert photo here}
^ "Logic" by Saleae for serial comm capture

At first glance, this information doesn't seem legible. I would hazard a guess that some settings with the baud rate and/or parity and stop bits need to be changed. Then again, maybe this is some handshake protocol that I am unaware of. Yet, I also feel like the software wouldn't be sending signals to the smart charger, but instead would only be receiving and displaying the measurements.

I have also provided some DC voltage measurements from the pins (in the same orientation as the image provided above).

Voltmeter measurements of UART pins:
Leftmost-middle = 0.78 - 0.98
Middle-rightmost = 3.86 - 4.06
Leftmost-rightmost = 4.98

So, having laid out all of this information, I wonder a few things. First, could the serial communication be decoded into useful information without needing the software that comes with the charger? Second, is the UART to USB bridge necessary, or could an Arduino work in it's place? Would love to hear from the community's expertise.

Lastly, here is a link to the original software's user manual (for a different model charger, but functionally the same):

  • \$\begingroup\$ You should probably research this in RC user communities. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton May 3 at 18:30

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