Captain Hermano’s Mystery Box Is Full Of Puzzles


[Raffi] needed a birthday present idea but he wanted to do something extra special. He realized that a big part of gift giving is the anticipation and excitement of opening the present. In order to prolong this experience, [Raffi] built an electronic puzzle box. The box contains the final gift, but first a series of puzzles must be solved in order to open the box.

The project runs on an Arduino Mega. This is hooked up to several sensors, including a temperature sensor, GPS unit, and CO sensor. There is also an LCD screen and numeric keypad for user input and output. The project page contains a flow chart that shows all of the puzzles and their solutions. One of the more interesting puzzles requires the user to blow tobacco smoke into a tube. The CO sensor detects the smoke and unlocks the next puzzle.

Some of the puzzles require interacting with outside systems. For example, one puzzle requires the user to send an email to the fictional Captain Hermano’s email address. If the correct keyword is included in the email, the user will receive a reply with the code to enter into the box. Another puzzle requires the user to call a particular phone number and listen for another riddle. We’ve included the video demonstration below.

This isn’t the first puzzle box we’ve seen, but each one has its own special flair. This one is very well made and looks like a lot of care was put into it. We’ve seen another that uses only discrete components. We’ve seen yet another that uses Morse code.

[Thanks Simon]

9 thoughts on “Captain Hermano’s Mystery Box Is Full Of Puzzles

  1. The woman’s scream sounded like it ended with an orgasm, is that what they mean when they say German porn is strange? Any self respecting pirate would destroy the chest to get to the booty that supposed to be inside, not play games.

    1. i noticed this too, but recovering the telephone number from the youtube clip isn’t as simple as you might think.
      so i was bored and recorded the dtmf tone from the youtube clip into audacity, band-passed it (500-1800), saved the file and went straight to dtmf decoders.. no dice. I tried some Goertzel code i wrote way back, that was pretty solid then, no dice. So I start analyzing the spectrum for each tone and do some more filtering (+48db for row frequencies), but i still needed to analyze the spectrum plot myself for each tone to know what each row frequency looked like to be able to make some distinctions and rule out artifacts. The 5 known digits (visible in the clip) helped a lot too. So I am reasonably certain the number is 021 32x 72x x43. where x is omitted to protect the author from spam, however that digit is very clear in the audio. I did spend way more time than I was planning to, but you know how it goes..

    2. Hey I just blurred the number to avoid massive misuse. The voice box is a free service of a german provider. So if you want you can find out the number and call it. No problem. I think I just left the number in plaintext in the source code on github. But if I didn’t blur the number on YouTube anybody would call it an I think the provider would block this.

      So if you’re really interested in it. You can find it and call it. But I wanted to get sure, that not hundred of calls will be done. ;-)


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