Aircraft instrument teardown TCAS / TCRD LCD display unit

I obtained for teardown via the wonders of eBay another aircraft instrument. This time it’s a Honeywell LCD display unit that can be used as a TCAS (Traffic Collision and Avoidance System) display or TCRD display. It is for older aircraft that do not have glass cockpits that need to have a TCAS system installed as otherwise such TCAS data would be shown on the main MFD’s. This unit is actually from a helicopter and has modified firmware to turn it into a TCRD display which I’m not entirely sure what that is. I think it stands for Torque Cruise RPM Display but I stand corrected if anyone knows otherwise.

It’s a well engineered unit consisting of a couple of power supply boards, an analogue board and a couple of processor boards containing a custom ASIC and FPGAs with the main CPU being a TMS34010 which is actually a combined CPU and GPU. It is capable of generating 2D graphics for the various symbols and graphics needed to display the data. This chip was used in several arcade cabinets of the late 80’s and early 90’s including the Terminator 2 game cabinet. Which is kind of cool. Speaking of which data is supplied over the ARINC-429 bus and this device generates all of the graphics required; it is a fully self contained computer system in a tiny box. The only disappointment with this is that it runs off 115V 400Hz rather than 28V DC so I’m unable to power it up. It’s also pretty much unsuitable to be used for parts so it’s going to end up either as a man cave item or be re-sold on eBay.

Here’s some photos and a video of the teardown



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