Black Hat 2009: Powerline and optical keysniffing

sniff

The 2009 edition of the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas has just begun. The first interesting talk we saw was [Andrea Barisani] and [Daniele Bianco]‘s Sniff Keystrokes With Lasers/Voltmeters. They presented two methods for Tempest style eavesdropping of keyboards.

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1-Wire HVAC monitoring system

1-wire hvac control

The 1-Wire HVAC monitoring system is for residential Geothermal HVAC systems. This project utilizes the so called 1-wire temperature sensor. A single board computer handles the brunt of the work including web accessible trend data. With access to the underling temperatures, the over all system performance may be gauged. Earlier this year we covered a HVAC web enabled monitor that adds an element of control. As the industry adopts modern control architectures, we hope to see more HVAC hacks around.

Music Visualizer (oscilloscope)

musicscopetv

The Music visualizer is actually a second build based on an earlier design[Thanks Roger]. The build was influenced by Zyra’s How to make an oscilloscope out of a television. The hack is quite simple, patch the output of an amplifier into the vertical deflection coils of the CRT. This is a good use for that old TV you may have laying around  but don’t want to recycle it just yet. While on the subject we had covered the Mac SE/30 audio visualizer in 2006. For those looking for something a little more hard core, here is a bit about Homemade cathode ray tubes.

Perpetual Ball Roller

This interesting little sculpture caught our eye. Called the Perpetual Ball Roller, it simply rolls a ball on a track. It has both manual and automatic modes with variations in the automatic mode to keep it amusing. This is very elegant, and would be fun to have sitting around to play with. The only problem is the noise. The servo that he is using is quite loud. What could he do to make it function silently?

[via Instructables]

IntoGrafix: portable TurboGrafix

[Bacteria] tipped us off to his latest portable system mod called IntoGrafix. The TurboGrafix-16 was awesome when it was released. the graphics were, compared to Nintendo, astonishing. Its games were these little cards, like a thick credit card. [Bacteria] wanted to revive his old one in a more portable fashion.  He designed a custom case to fit the whole thing into, which is pretty impressive itself. The screen is the trusty old PSone screen.  The last time we saw a TurboGrafix, it was in a mini Arcade cabinet.

Rotary DECT phone

phones

[Al] sent us over to his Rotary DECT phone project, and we think its pretty cool. He’s attending Hacking At Random, and as usual, there will be a DECT network there. Rather than having a normal DECT handset like everyone else, [Al] wanted something a little homier. He chose to combine the guts of the DECT handset into an old rotary phone. He had to use an Arduino to convert the rotary output to someting the DECT handset could use. There’s plenty more information as well as some source code on the project page.

Making a tilt-shift lens

tilt

[Bhautik] is on version 2 of his tilt-shift lens, and wrote in to share what he has learned. Some aspects of the design on version 1 made it a bit quirky to use. You had to hold the lens in place, manually adjusting the focus. This meant that no two shots were the same. Since [Bhautik] wanted to do time lapse with it, he needed to re design it. He kept it simple and cheap, around $22 total.  Version two takes a lot longer to setup for the shot, but the result is reproducible. This means he can make his tilt-shift time lapse videos.

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