Instructables

Disabling Auto-Off on a Sunbeam Health at Home heating pad

Picture of Disabling Auto-Off on a Sunbeam Health at Home heating pad
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Statement of Empiricism
I have used this heating pad for several years now (I wrote these instructions in December 2007, it's now February 2011).  I have had exactly ZERO issues with it - it works perfectly and the hedgehog is fat and happy.  YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!  PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION IF YOU FOLLOW THESE STEPS.  If you do this, closely observe the pad for at least a few days to make sure it's not overheating or catching on fire.  See the obnoxious red text below:


WARNING! DONT BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE!
USE CAUTION! TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK!
YOU WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY!

So, I got this heating pad at the store a while back to use as a hedgehog heating pad. I found out that the 2-hour auto-off timer was hardcoded into the circuit, and they didnt even bother to put a switch on the casing to disable it. Typical overprotection of the consumer - this wouldnt exist if our country was a bit less litigious.

African hedgehogs need at least 72F to be happy, so a heating pad under the cage is recommended. I mean, how could you say no to his face?

So, to disable it, I decided to take it apart and find the culprit like this guy did. Its too bad that for some reason they decided to make it even harder to change this feature.

 
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Step 1: Surveying The Situation

Picture of Surveying The Situation
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Here, we can see the circuit board and outer casing.  It’s an Eagle LOPP4, and apparently it was made on Christmas of 2006 (2006-12-25)! It also bears a marking of 07.28, and I have no idea what that means.
netlog11129 days ago

I modded a slightly different Sunbeam heating pad. My circuit board looked different, and the microcontroller was a HEF4060BF (Phillips/NXP).
The chip was the same and had the same pinout. On my board, there was a
capacitor between pins 13 and 16. I replaced it with a 10K Ohm
resistor.

Images can be seen at: http://jimlund.org/blog/?p=348.

bdesigned2 months ago

perfect info, just what I needed to sprout my seeds right.

mverdun10 months ago
Thanks! Now my hedgehog will stay warm all the time. Hard to find one without an auto off for not much money. Thanks again!
fergusontea3 years ago
That's a nice and simple mod! And, now I want another hedgehog! :)
jensenr303 years ago
Very nice! Is this safe? Will the heating pad heat up long enough to catch fire and cook your hedgehog?
hardwarehank (author)  jensenr303 years ago
It's on low all the time, and it doesn't get too hot. Again, like the introduction says, I've used it for 3 years with no issues. Cheers.