WiFi and Bluetooth sniffing rifle

[.ronin] built an all-in-one WiFi and Bluetooth sniffer. He used a Nerf rifle as a base and added two Pringles cantennas, a tablet PC, and other various bits to tie it all together. Now he wanders the streets, explaining the device to bewildered passersby. After showing the device at CarolinaCon 2010 (here’s a PDF of his presentation) he stopped by the mall nibbled about 250 Bluetooth devices using SpoofTooph. The software is running on a Fujitsu u810 tablet and he’s making good use of Backtrack 4 during his wireless adventures.


  1. strider_mt2k says:

    Someone please drop something heavy on Killcam?

    -and, uh…don’t cross the streams.

    This is incredibly cool! Well done!

  2. markii says:

    now try going through an airport security with THAT thing

  3. Patrick says:

    It looks like something from the movie ‘Ghost Busters’.

    It’s Nerd Cool !!!!

    I like it !!!!

  4. barry99705 says:

    Unless he lives in the DC area, he did. Saw this at Shmoocon, pretty cool.

  5. TronPaul says:

    I really want to make one… now to find someone’s old nerf gun and some pringles (hate those chips).

  6. fartface says:

    So hot gluing a bunch of crap is a hack now?

    I’ve got duct-tape, can I “hack” together a 4 wheel drive iphone caddy with beverage cooler and hottub?

  7. Hater says:

    How about stop whining and “hack” something up that is better.

    He has a made a cool little device and it works well. He may not have pulped and moulded the fibres in the Pringles tube and im guessing he didnt give birth to the tablet pc either but he had the insight to put it together which is something you so obviously didnt.

  8. J says:

    What’s wrong with some of you guys? Just appreciate the fact that anything new was posted and that this site even exists.

    If you don’t like the post or the project, scroll to other things, or go eat a pop-tart.

    Hack a Day is free, and yet people get indignant when they post something that may or may not be a “true hack”. There are better things in this world to complain about.

    Just my 2 cents.

  9. jeicrash says:

    BFG comes to mind when I seen this. Even if its not the most complicated “hack” still very sci-fi.

  10. peter says:

    this looks awesome! well done! :)

  11. Slanesch says:

    dang. very well done. make more awesome stuff.

  12. anon says:

    I’ll tell you what’s wrong with us: some people believes that pulling together some real technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth sniffers with a toy gun and pringles cans antennas is childish.

    Maybe the authors of the software who spent months writing C code who ended up in a duct-taped toy are thinking the same.

  13. NatureTM says:

    Very discreet.

  14. Fink says:

    This is the greatest looking thing of all time.

  15. MS3FGX says:

    “Maybe the authors of the software who spent months writing C code who ended up in a duct-taped toy are thinking the same.”

    He also wrote the SpoofTooph software mentioned in the article.

  16. hum4n says:

    the real question is,

    does it still shoot nerf darts?

    otherwise why bother?

  17. Meta says:

    This has been done a bunch of times before and most have looked a lot better. I don’t get what is with people and Pringle can based wave guides, can’t you make helical or biquad antenna?

  18. McSquid says:

    @fartface actually hot gluing a bunch of crap together IS a hack if it accomplishes the task you want it to. your kind of people make this site less fun.

    @hum4n +1

  19. Mahoney says:

    Man, forget the haters. I think this hack is amazingly awesome, and I appreciate the authors of Hack a Day for bringing it onto the site. Not all of us have the money or tools available to do a Ben Heck job on every project. I’m sure that even Ben himself uses cheap parts for a prototype.

    Sometimes cheap ingenuity is the benchmark beginning of a good hack. Especially in today’s economic times functionality should always be the primary concern. Ease of construction a second, and form a third (if not later) on the list of priorities.

    Thanks again Hack-a-Day for your work.

  20. Paul Potter says:

    Oh man! Awesome. Good work that man.

  21. Nick Fury says:

    There are more pictures of this thing here:


    CarolinaCon is always a fun event. You should come to it if you can.

  22. therian says:

    Just had a poo so big that I had to brake it in half with a coat-hanger to make it flush !!!

  23. barry99705 says:

    Yes, it still works as a nerf gun.

  24. cantido says:

    With Open/WEP networks becoming rarer and rarer.. is there much point? Its not like you can bruteforce a WPA/WPA2 network quick enough to actually use it with you’re driving about.

    and… drum roll … you can buy good enough directional antennas and USB cards with external antenna connections for next to nothing from dealextreme.

  25. Brett says:

    From wikipedia: “Hacking (English verb to hack, singular noun a hack) refers to the re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner, administrator, or designer. ”

    So let’s see. Pringles can: original purpose – holding chips, new purpose – accepting signals. Nerf gun: original purpose – shooting darts, new purpose – sniping signals. To me, that sounds like re-configuring a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner or designer, so yes, it’s a hack.

    If you don’t like that definition of a hack, open your own blog where you post examples of what you think hacks are and show us how it’s done so you can feel special about how much more elite you are than us lowly wannabe hackers.

  26. therian says:

    dont be smart ass since you don’t even know purpose of Pringles can
    “Pringles can: original purpose – holding chips, new purpose – accepting signals.”
    It does not “accepting signals” neither it reflecting them or focusing it in fact not part of antenna at all just a case to hold Yagi inside

  27. therian says:

    ha it appear that author know shit about cantenna also believing that it can be build from Pringles can, (and he think he getting 12 dbi :D) Pringles can usage for Wifi probably oldest confusion on internet because of software hackers who think they can stick their noses in hardware

  28. therian says:

    just as a thought http://www.hackfromacave.com/pictures/vera-ng/building_vera-ng17.jpg ಠ_ಠ he cant solder. So from hardware point, all he did is brake all RF parts(they only continue to function because real engineers build them so idiot proof that they work [not as effective as they was] even after such horrors he did to the)and tape them to toy

  29. ewertz says:

    @therian – that wasn’t a poo, that was your reflection in the water

  30. moo says:

    I wonder what the range improvement is? I have seen a bluetooth rifle article (another project)that stated they could get signals from a mile away!

  31. therian says:

    nah, Im Caucasian

  32. therian says:

    don’t you get it? he make it worse by totally careless RF modification (cmon he cant solder a wire, so much solder probably shot circuit most signal by capacitance + he burn it and around), on 2.4Ghz every freaking mm make a difference between resonating antenna and coat-hanger, well most build in antennas perform as coat hanger because they on purpose wrong to limit range implied by FCC laws. But seriously there is no way to build wifi antenna at home without equipment costing more than home, and all those who try just know nothing about RF and producing infective solutions since there is no such luck to get mm precision + electrical length does not equal to physical and if antenna resonance on wrong frequency it only 5% effective (funny but this is what you usually get from all personal/home class hardware)

  33. Anonymouse says:


    PCB patch antennas, you self-righteous bitch.

  34. TheLegato says:

    “haters gonna hate”

    This would really come in handy imho

  35. therian says:

    one again, physical length do not equal to electrical length(and no you cant just run emulator, you know too little about properties of material you have) So Anonymouse PCB yourself a dildo

  36. Meta says:

    @therian are you high, or is your head so far up your asshole that the lack of oxygen is starting to affect your thought process?

    For 2.4GHz, it is more than doable with a set of calipers, wire cutters, soldering iron, hacksaw and general bits of wire and metal, to produce sector, helical, Yagi, wave guide, parabolic, biquad and other antennas that are very usable.

  37. strider_mt2k says:

    Less douchery and more hard info in the comments please.

  38. therian says:

    yep, not only me brain dead but every freaking manufacture or/and self respectable hams, why else they build laboratories full of equipment when all they need is “set of calipers, wire cutters, soldering iron, hacksaw and general bits of wire and metal”.

    I will not even continue, you clearly mistaken craft for complex electrical circuit

  39. thetruth says:

    This is what therian thinks of us

    Everyone on this site is retard and admins on this site idiots for letting post ridiculous “hacks” they should make requirement 8 years college electrical engineering for posts I am better then all of you!!!!!!! I say I am elite and I have tons of awesome hacks that are to good for mere mortals
    your brains would explode so that is why I dont show them to you you worthless beings bow down to me

  40. therian says:

    @thetruth I see you can read minds, so let me offer you a job, we can play poker with yours unique ability we will crash casinos and swim in gold in no time.

  41. therian says:

    Im just curious why haven’t you done it already

  42. therian says:

    And about “brain exploding hacks”, well I do have a hobby of digging up rare and useful circuit. for example http://sites.google.com/site/lionmax/PhaseAutoFrequencyTracking.gif it look like there is no way this circuit will work (did you know that BJT can be biased like this? and amplify with very low noise, this useful configuration is forgotten in history unless you study really deep uC manufacturing) This circuit is not super-regenerator and perform not worse than basic scanners at radioshack for WFM/FM and can auto lock on frequency (yep it use forgotten alternative to Phase-locked loop) also it can be build for almost any frequency and use micro-power. And here micropower transmitter http://vrtp.ru/uploads/post-44-1182960059.jpg
    So we get world cheapest RF link, mind blowing eh ?

  43. Meta says:


    Hams have all that equipment as they like having lots of expensive equipment around if they can afford it, as its a life long hobby so stuff mounts up, and some high end tools come in useful when fine tuning things (things really don’t need to be perfect to work okay).

    Most Hams have a basic tool kit and an SWR meter (which are cheap).

    I’ve had my license since i was a kid in the early 90’s and I’ve been a qualified RF engineer for a little over 8 years, working for a large UK based telecoms provider. If that helps.

  44. therian says:

    Im not trying to be an ass just want to save some time for others. By the way can you recommend simple method for measuring HF circuit output impedance ?

  45. thetruth says:


    Im just curious why you even tried to insult me with the mind reader comment,did you get that from a 1st grader sad indeed… i feel bad for you.
    So do us a favor and ask that 1st grader for a project idea and post it on HAD since you know so much.

    Im just curious why haven’t you done it already!

  46. therian says:

    insult ? just replying, eye for eye tooth for tooth, you know

  47. bob says:

    looks lol reminds me of Professor Farnsworth’s smell’O’scope.

  48. thetruth says:


    Either way I would like to see some +++POSITIVE+++
    criticism from you instead of something like this
    “hey author your (insert blank) project sucks donkey balls your use of a flux capacitor was very poor. You should mail it to me so I can take a dump on it and throw it on the freeway while I eat some fried chicken from KFC. Can you see why you tick a lot of people off.

  49. therian says:

    For this specific hack I did not find anything positive to say since author not only cant solder but mistaken cantenna with Yagi (Pringles cant be used for cantenna, yes they look similar from outside but totally different incise) so he made anything but not an antennas

  50. therian says:

    anyways I doth have goal of insulting anyone so sorry if I did

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