November 4th, 2009

DIY iPhone like device

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320240 LCD with resistive touch screen, USB, SD card, 3d engine, USB, movie playback, UI interface, sprite engine , would you believe all of this is handled by an AVR 8 bit device with 4K RAM running at just 12 MHz ? You’d better believe it because it’s real. Well the ATmega644 runs at only 12 MHz because it’s powered at 3.3 V so as you can imagine it’s stretched to it’s limit. The LCD with the integrated controller helps allot taking the job from the microcontroller.

The Pacman demo just fits in 8K flash and 512 bytes of RAM. It uses the sprite engine and runs at > 60fps. The images and animations don’t even touch the RAM they go straight from the SD card to the display. It turns out reading a 512 byte block from the SD takes ~1ms.

Source code, demo files, Eagle PCB and schematics are provided at the projects SF page.

DIY iPhone like device: [via Hackaday] – [Link]

August 19th, 2009

USB Joystick

USB Joystick

This is a AVR based joystick that connects to the PC via the USB port. The device utilizes the ATmega8, the 8-bit microcontroller from Atmel and is capable of movement on 8 axis with its analog inputs. The joystick also has 28 buttons for various uses and is fully plug and play, being immediately recognized when connected (no driver is needed).

This project is based on the Mjoy16, designed by Mindaugas Milasauskas, with a few adjustments. It is open source, both hardware and software, and the schematics, Gerber files, parts list and source code are all available for free, just follow the link below.

USB Joystick: [Link]

August 7th, 2009

DIY USB Oscilloscope

DIY USB Oscilloscope

A fairly simple and extremely useful project, this USB dual trace scope can help a great deal in testing and verifying all sorts of electronic projects you might want to develop. It’s easy to build, easy to use (if you have a computer running Windows and .NET framework installed) and it replaces much more expensive equipment, while still giving you the ability to see what’s going on with your breadboard.

It is constructed on a homemade PCB and it’s designed to be directly inserted into a breadboard using a 4 pin header (the device is able to provide a 5V voltage using this header). This scope features the Atmel Tiny45 microcontroller running at 16.5Mhz. This is done in software since there is no crystal providing clock rate, the internal PLL clock is synchronized with the USB clock. The code for the MCU was written in C and was compiled with Winavr.

Other components include an LED, a resistance for the LED (the smaller the resistance, the brighter the LED), two resistances for the D+ and D- lines of the USB port, one pull up resistance for USB device detection, two Zener diodes for USB signal levels, a USB socket and a few more (you can find a detailed parts list in the link).

The device connects to the PC using the USB port (HID mode). It doesn’t require a driver for actual usage and it can be found in the Control Panel, in Game Controllers once it’s up and running. The data is displayed using C# and a C# version of the code is also available for download in the link.

The project costs about 5 euros to build and that’s the reason it is named “the cheapest dual trace scope in the galaxy”. A simple project that can prove to be very useful in making your future hardware projects.

DIY USB Oscilloscope: [Link]

July 28th, 2009

DIY Solar USB Charger

DIY Solar USB Charger

A while ago I’ve talked about a Solar Recharger for iPodTouch that could be used to recharge an iPhone or an iPodTouch with great success. Now, if you have other devices that can be charged using a USB port and you enjoy the idea of using solar energy, you might wanna try this Solar USB Charger. It is a fairly simple do-it-yourself project that can pretty much charge anything using USB.

For this project you will need an USB extension A/A cable, a diode, a solar panel to transform solar energy into electrical energy and, of course, tools for soldering and drilling. The solar panel used here is a 6V one, and although normal USB voltage is 5V everything should be ok with 6V too.

Now to the build steps. First, you have to cut and clear the extension cable to the bigger side, having easy access to the two wires. Then, you need to solder the diode to the red wire from the solar panel and the red wire from the extension cable to the diode. The black wires from the panel and the extension cable must also be soldered together. Don’t forget to isolate the soldered parts with electrical tape.

The last part is putting it all together and drilling holes for the cables to pass through, one for the panel and another for the USB cable (assuming you also have a box to put all this into). Everything has to be glued to stay in one piece and it is complete, you have a functional Solar USB Charger ready to go (you can find a demonstration of the solar charger recharging a Blackberry in the link below).

Extremely handy in trips where electrical plugs may be scarce, not to mention being environmentally friendly, easy to use and quite cheap to make, the Solar USB Charger is a simple yet very useful device to have with you.

DIY Solar USB Charger: [Link][via]

Keykeriki, the universal wireless keyboard sniffer

Wireless equipment ranging from mobile phones to routers, car alarms or PC peripherals have become an important part of our lives. Most of us use at least one wireless device every day whether you’re at home or at work because it’s a lot more comfortable having no wires connected.

Keykeriki (from ‘kikeriki’, the sound of a rooster) is a very useful tool for verifying the security level of transmissions from someone’s wireless keyboard. An OpenSource hardware and software project currently working with Microsoft keyboards and free for non-commercial use, the Keykeriki can also demonstrate sniffing attacks for educational purposes only.

Using the Texas Instruments TRF7900 chip, an ATMEL ATMEGA microcontroller and an SDCard interface for logging, the sniffer also has a USART channel for future hardware add-ons that the designers like to call ‘backpacks’. The device requires a 5V power source and can also be powered using the USB port. It can be used with a terminal application or the keyctrl software partially provided in the software package of the project.

Being a very small and flexible project in terms of hardware, but quite ambitious in terms of information provided to the user, most features are built within the software. And it’s a pretty long feature list, with radio frequency channel switching, signal strength display, encryption key handling, deciphering Microsoft’s XOR based encryption, decoding of keystrokes from Microsoft 27Mhz based keyboards and more.

Entitled as ‘universal’, the creators of the sniffer pride themselves with having decoded Logitech keyboards transmissions and they plan on adding this feature in a future release. They are also working on designing a few Backpacks, including LCD display and Iphone interface and they plan on providing ready-made boards at a fair price in just a few weeks.

While the project raises some questions about privacy, it’s definitely an interesting and useful one. As I have mentioned before, it’s an OpenSource project, so coding and hardware schematics are available for download in the link below.

Keykeriki, the universal wireless keyboard sniffer: [Link][Via]

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