Burning custom drum machine sound ROMs

alesis hr-16

The Alesis HR-16 was an inexpensive, easy-to-use MIDI drum machine from the early ’90s. [Burnkit2600] had a lot of experience circuit bending the HR-16 and decided to burn some custom sound ROMs for it. The HR-16 has two 32-pin ROMs that are conveniently socketed. He pulled the chips and dumped the image using an EPROM reader/writer. The ROM only contains sound samples, so you can open it up in raw mode using a program like Sound Forge. The samples are separated by short negative regions. All you need to do is place your new samples between the pits and burn a new ROM. You can piggy back the chips using the chip enable line to add even more samples.

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CCFL backlight replaced with white LEDs

jornada backlight

[Jeroen Domburg], one of our favorite hackers, has posted how to replace a cold cathode based backlight with white LEDs. He had recently purchased an HP Jornada 680 on eBay and the backlight was looking very pinkish. The Jornada has a QWERTY keyboard, CF slot, PCMCIA slot and can run Linux. Sounds like a pretty decent mini-terminal (now that we posted it you won’t be able to find one cheap though). In the space where the backlight was he was able to place 14 white LEDs. To get the  40V necessary to drive the series he built a boost-converter using an ATTiny13. The new backlight is just as bright and uses a 1/3 less power than the original. Half the Jornada’s power was being used by the original backlight, so this mod should give a decent increase in battery life as well.

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Game Boy Advance MIDI interface

gba midi

[Avelino Herrera Morales] wrote in to tell us about his Game Boy Advance MIDI project. It’s pretty neat since it only takes two resistors and a link cable to use. The link cable has a slotted connector so you can use a chunk of protoboard to connect to the pins. He has software the does all of the MIDI packet generation. As an example, he uses the GBA to control a Chameleon synthesizer.

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Reverse engineer your BIOS

wooden laptop

[th0mas] has a fun guide to modifying the boot image in your BIOS. This could very easily brick your laptop, but it’s interesting to see how it’s done. He starts by dumping the plain text strings. The magic number for bitmap format appears in the file so he copies a large chunk of data starting at that point. th0mas opens this in MSPaint to maintain the format. After modifying the image it’s placed back in the BIOS file and a couple checks are performed to make sure only the image data has changed. The final section involves running the flash utility in a debugger to find where it checks the CRC. By modifying the program he can then flash the image without the program complaining.

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3D video microscope

stereo microscope

Gerald Heine’s stereo microscope uses a field sequential method for generating 3D video. A CRT draws half the screen’s lines with each frame. So, if you send the video from two different cameras on alternating frames you can generate a 3D using shutter glasses. Gerald’s setup uses the sync signal from one camera to control the other. Both video signals are fed into his custom 3D video sync box which combines the frames into a single video feed and also outputs a control signal for shutter glasses.

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Metasploit running on a WRT


The folks from See-Security have gotten the Metasploit Framework running on a Linksys WRTSL54GS. They were inspired after seeing the Hacker Pimps pen-testing firmware, which we’ve covered before. The Metasploit Framework is used to develop and execute exploit code against target machines. The See-Security team ran into trouble getting Metasploit running due to RAM limitations. This particular model of router has a USB port so they were able to create swap space on a flash drive. The web interface worked as well once they set the bind address to the gateway IP. They’ve got all the steps you need to do this starting with OpenWRT.

[thanks muts and stillbourne]

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Remote controlled alarm clock

remote alarm

Not everyone can have a cute alarm clock that runs away from you like Clocky. Most just resolve to place the clock on the other end of the room so they have to get out of bed to switch it off. That’s what [ryan] had to do to get up in the morning. He wasn’t able to set the time or confirm that the alarm was on from bed anymore so he decided to hack in an IR remote for his alarm. Ryan has written a thorough article on how he decoded the remote codes and implemented the clock control using an ATMEGA8. Now he can just key in the time he wants and the microcontroller takes care of setting it.

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