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Openbench Logic Sniffer is an open source logic analyzer. It’s designed to support the SUMP logic analyzer software at the lowest possible cost. Download the source and design files from the Gadget Factory project page.

This project started in the comments on a post. Initial circuit design, PCB layout, development, and testing continued in the forum under the code name Project SUMP PUMP. Many, many people contributed ideas and advice, the Gadget Factory and Dangerous Prototypes coordinated circuit development and routed the PCB. We borrowed heavily from the Gadget Factory’s Butterfly Platform.

The Open Logic Sniffer is a purpose-built logic analyzer board designed to be low cost but high speed. It sacrifices a lot of the features you’d look for in a full-scale development board to achieve our primary goals:

  • 70MHz+ sample speeds
  • 32 channels
  • 16 buffered, 5volt tolerant channels
  • USB interface, USB powered
  • USB upgradable everything
  • Make it as DIY as possible
  • Make it as open source as possible
  • $30-$40 price range

We didn’t quite hit our initial price range, but we got really close.

You can get your own assembled Open Logic Sniffer at Seeed Studio for $45, including worldwide shipping. Continue reading about the design and collaboration below.

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Infrared remote controls are ubiquitous, they’re used everywhere but we don’t give them much thought. The goal of this project is to investigate the invisible signals emitted by remote controls.

This IR hacking tool can visualize infrared signals on a Java logic analyzer, record and replay infrared signals, and decode them. USB infrared remote control receiver transmitter is a mouthful, so we just call it the USB IR Toy.

  • Control your computer with a remote using the IR decoder mode
  • Visualize IR remote signals on a PC logic analyzer
  • Raw IR IO mode receives, transmits, and clones IR signals
  • Play the TV-B-Gone TV POWER codes
  • USB upgradable
  • Open source code and hardware

You can get an assembled USB IR Toy for $20, including worldwide shipping. Seeed Studio is currently hosting a preorder. The hardware will be manufactured the first week of February, but it might not get packed and shipped until later in February due to the Chinese New Year holiday.

Read about the design after the break.

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The Dangerous Prototypes web platform is a tiny server designed for networked hacks where a full PC is inconvenient. There’s lots of interesting projects that bridge the internet to microcontrollers, but most of them have a PC in the middle to handle network stuff. This business card size internet appliance can connect to web services, control physical objects from a browser interface, or email sensor status reports; no PC intermediary required!

This isn’t our first small server. Ian designed a popular web server on a business card featured at Hack a Day. The new web platform is also in the profile of a business card, but everything else is kicked up a notch. The microcontroller is a fast dsPIC33 (80MHz/40MIPS) with twice as much program space, DMA, and hardware math assistance. There’s also a simple USB connection for firmware updates and communication with a PC.

This article introduces the hardware. We demonstrate it with an small web server that controls I/O pins and accepts new web page uploads through a web browser.

The Web Platform is available as a kit for $35, including worldwide shipping. Seeed Studio will assemble yours for $5 more.

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Holiday cards that blink and beep have always fascinated us. This is our hackable DIY version, made with an ATtiny13A and a few LEDs. Push the button to play a short light show in the tree. We’re sending these to friends and family this year. It’s a handmade, hackable gift, and it was a ton of fun to build.

The card is also an homage to Velleman’s blinking Christmas tree ornament kit, and a kit-biz reference to the Adafruit Promise. (Did you know Velleman has a nixie tube clock kit? Really!)

You can buy a copy of our card at Seeed Studio. Assembled cards are $15, and a kit for adventurous solderers is $12. We’re excited to gauge interest an SMD kit, and hope to offer it as an option for future projects.

Video, hardware, firmware, and more, after the break.

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Halloween is only a few days away. We’re getting into the spirit by building a remote control color changing pumpkin. Channel buttons 0-8 on the remote toggle the colors of the rainbow. Button 9 activates an ‘angry pumpkin’ mode that flashes a scary red strobe for a few seconds.


It uses a minimal PIC 18F2550 circuit that decodes the remote control signals and drives a ShiftBrite color changing LED module. The F2550 is a USB PIC with a USB bootloader, so it’s technically a USB upgradable pumpkin too.

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BPv3 is the latest hacking multi-tool from the Bus Pirate project. It connects to a USB port and interacts with electronics through a simple terminal interface.

stack-exampleUse it to see how much of your private information is stored on smartcard SIM chipsExplore the Wii Nunchuck over the I2C bus like Johnny Lee. Read and write EEPROM chips in consumer electronics at any voltage. Check out all the existing chip demonstrations.

BPv3 has features an intrepid hardware hacker might need to prototype their next great creation:

  • Talk to 1-wire, I2C, UART (async serial), SPI, JTAG, MIDI, LCDs, PC keyboards, and a ton of generic serial devices from a terminal.
  • Scriptable from Python, Perl, etc.
  • 0-40MHz frequency counter, 0-4MHz pulse-width modulator.
  • 0-6volt measurement probe.
  • 3.3volt and 5volt power supplies with reset.
  • On-board pull-up resistors for multi-voltage interfacing.
  • Address scanners, chip dumpers, and other helpful macros.
  • USB interface, power. USB firmware updates.
  • Translations (currently Spanish and Italian, add your own).

Get an assembled red BPv3 for $30, including worldwide shipping, thanks to Seeed Studio. You can also grab the plans from the Bus Pirate project page and build your own.

This article introduces BPv3, the latest hardware from the Bus Pirate project. We’ll look at the history of the design, share our experience organizing the production of Bus Pirate v2go, and talk about issues that influenced hardware version 3.

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Character LCD screens that scroll information are a popular case mod. They’re usually controlled through a parallel port, serial port backpack, or USB backpack (more). This article demonstrates our open source ethernet network LCD backpack.

demo.250LCD control programs like LCD Smartie (Windows) and LCDproc (Linux, OSX?) can use the ethernet LCD backpack just like the serial and USB type, but over a network. It’s useful for monitoring any system from anywhere on a network: put LCDs where you can’t put a computer, or monitor a computer that’s difficult to reach.

We use it to scroll system info, RSS feeds, playlists, new email, Folding@Home stats, etc. away from the PC.

In this article we show you how to redirect LCD Smartie output from a serial port to the LCD backpack. This is part 2 of the network LCD backpack project, read part 1 here.

Seeed Studio has a few assembled ethernet LCD packpacks for $45, including worldwide shipping. Get them while they last because we won’t make more soon. If you missed this project, sign up here to be notified of future preorders.

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The #twatch scrolls the latest trending topics from Twitter on an LCD screen. It’s a stand-alone network appliance that stays updated without a PC. It was awesome to watch #iranelection, Michael Jackson, and other historic events scroll by while we developed the #twatch. This article documents the #twatch hardware and design.

overview-ii.250In addition to a Twitter trend ticker, the #twatch is a generic ethernet LCD backpack. It’ll show playlists, PC stats, and other info with programs like LCD Smartie. It’s also software upgradable, so it’s never outdated.

The #twatch is open source, so you can download our designs and build your own. Seeed Studio has a few assembled #twatches for $45, including worldwide shipping. Get them while they last because we won’t make more soon. If you missed the #twatch, sign up here to be notified of any future #twatch preorders.

More videos and complete design details after the break, more discussion in the #twatch forum. We’ll send a free #twatch PCB if you’re the first to tweet the #twatch!

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Cheap character LCDs based on the HD44780 chipset come in a variety of sizes: 2×16, 4×20, etc. These displays have two standard interface modes, 4bit and 8bit parallel. 8bit requires a total of 11 data lines, 4bit requires 7 (6 for write-only). Some LCDs support an additional serial data mode, like the VFD Ian covered at Hack a Day.

adapter-mini.225HD44780 LCDs are generally 5volt parts with a separate supply for the back light. The Bus Pirate only has five 5volt tolerant I/O pins, so we made a small adapter board with enough pins to control the LCD. The Bus Pirate controls the adapter board through its LCD interface library.

Continue reading about the Bus Pirate HD44780 character LCD adapter board and interface library after the break. We can have PCBs, kits, or assembled kits produced by Seeed Studio for about $15, including worldwide shipping, more here. Read the rest of this entry »


Now you’ve got one of Hack a Day’s Bus Pirates, what do you do with it? Learn about 1-wire, I2C, and SPI EEPROMs with the 3EEPROM explorer board (we pronounce it THREE-PROM, emphasis on the EE).

EEPROM is a type of memory chip that stores data without a continuous power supply. It’s useful for permanent data storage in small logger circuits, or holding custom pages in a mini web server. EEPROMs come in lots of sizes and protocols.

The 3EEPROM has three common EEPROM chips: the DS2431 (1-Wire), 24AA- (I2C), and 25AA- (SPI). All three were previously demonstrated on Hack a Day, but each demo uses a different version of the Bus Pirate hardware and firmware, its difficult for a beginner to follow using a Bus Pirate v2go.

Continue reading for an updated, step by step guide to using the DS2431, 24AA-, and 25AA- EEPROMs with the Bus Pirate v2go. We’ve also got the full session logs as text files so you won’t miss a single detail.

We can have 3EEPROM explorer board PCBs or kits produced at Seeed Studio. PCBs are about $10, kits are about $15, shipped worldwide. We need to organize a group purchase of 10 PCBs or 20 kits to get started. If you’re interested in a Bus Pirate, version 3 is coming.

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