A long-running story in the world of electronic security has been the reconstruction of on-screen data using RF interference from monitors or televisions. From British TV detector vans half a century ago to 1980s scare stories about espionage, it was certainly easy enough to detect an analogue CRT with nothing more than an AM broadcast radio receiver. But can this still be done in the digital age? It’s something [Windytan] has looked into, as she reconstructs images using leakage from HDMI cables.
The tale starts with a mystery RF noise, soon identified as not unlike the scanning frequencies of a video signal. Plotting the noise intensities while treating the supposed scanning frequencies as video synchronization yields a shadowy version of her Raspberry Pi desktop, so she’s on to something. It’s important to note that this isn’t a video signal she’s receiving, but the noise associated with the bit transitions in an uncompressed digital video stream, so she quickly concludes that trying to resolve color would be futile.
It does however leave the tantalizing possibility of using this as a medium to wirelessly export data from a compromised machine, and it’s down this route she goes. She finally arrives on a scheme of encoding data as lines of individual colors that look like interference patterns over a desktop, and from there can send and retrieve files. It works for digital audio streams, and as shown in the video below, even an MJPEG video stream, hidden in the noise from a video signal. That’s impressive work, by any standard!
We covered those BBC detector vans in detail a while back.
Continue reading “Pulling Data From HDMI RF Leakage”
The desktop manufacturing revolution has been incredible, unleashing powerful technologies that once were strictly confined to industrial and institutional users. If you doubt that, just look at 3D printing; with a sub-$200 investment, you can start making parts that have never existed before.
Sadly, though, most of this revolution has been geared toward making stuff from one or another type of plastic. Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly whip up an aluminum part as easily and as cheaply as you can print something in PLA? That day might be at hand thanks to Powercore, a Kickstarter project that aims to bring the power of electric discharge machining (EDM) to the home gamer. The principle of EDM is simple — electric arcs can easily erode metal from a workpiece. EDM machines put that fact to work by putting a tool under CNC control and moving a precisely controlled electric arc around a workpiece to machine complex shapes quickly and cleanly.
Compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing, EDM is a very gentle affair. That’s what makes EDM attractive to the home lab; where the typical metal-capable CNC mill requires huge castings to provide the stiffness needed to contain cutting forces, EDM can use light-duty structures and still turn out precision parts. In fact, Powercore is designed to replace the extruder of a bog-standard 3D printer, and consists almost entirely of parts printed on the very same machine. The video below shows a lot of detail on Powercore, including the very interesting approach to keeping costs down by creating power resistors from PCBs.
While we tend to shy away from flogging crowdfunded projects, this one really seems like it might make a difference to desktop manufacturing and be a real boon to the home lab. It’s also worth noting that this project has roots in the Hackaday community, being based as it is on [Dominik Meffert]’s sinker EDM machine.
Continue reading “Powercore Aims To Bring The Power Of EDM To Any 3D Printer”
When it comes to lower-energy home heating, it’s accurate in all senses to say that heat pumps are the new hotness. But unless you happen to work with them professionally, it’s fair to say their inner workings are beyond most of us. Help is at hand though courtesy of [petey53], who made his own ground source heat pump for his Toronto house using a pair of window-mounted air conditioning units.
Continue reading “A Ground Source Heat Pump From An Air Conditioner”
With soldering irons being so incredibly useful, and coming on the heels of the success of a range of portable, all-in-one soldering irons from the likes of Waveshare and Pine64, it’s little wonder that you can get such devices for as little as 10 – 15 Euro from websites like AliExpress. Making for both a great impulse buy and reverse-engineering target, [Aaron Christophel] got his mittens on one and set to work on figuring out its secrets.
The results are covered in a brief video, as well as a Twitter thread, where this T12 soldering iron’s guts are splayed around and reprogrammed in all their glory. Despite the MCU on the PCB having had its markings removed, some prodding and poking around revealed it to be an STC8H3K62S2, an 8051-based MCU running at a blistering 11 MHz. As a supported PlaformIO target, reprogramming the MCU wasn’t too complicated after wiring up a USB-TTL serial adapter.
Completing this initial foray into these cheap T12 soldering irons is the GitHub repository, which contains the pin-outs, wiring diagrams and further information. Although [Aaron] indicates that he’ll likely not pursuing further development, the mixed responses by people to the overall quality of the firmware on the as-purchased T12 may inspire others to give it a shake.
Continue reading “Hacking A €15 8051-Based Portable Soldering Iron With Custom Firmware”
Bar bots, or robotized bartenders, are a fun feature of events in our community, because there’s nothing like a cocktail untouched by human hand. Usually they have a row of bottles and a slide on which you put the glass, but [SecurityWriter] relates a tale of an altogether much grander affair. Given a weekend with a group of friends and an enterprise-grade IBM tape library robot, they did what any sensible engineer would do. They turned it into a bar bot.
Most readers probably won’t have seen a consumer grade data tape for decades, but in the enterprise space they’re very much the most cost effective backup solution. Large corporations have vast numbers of them, and IBM sells robots which retrieve them automatically from huge storage racks. When a group of young techs were given the tedious task of cataloging the whole thing and found themselves stuck in an empty data center for a weekend, of course they produced what was probably the world’s most expensive automated drinking game. Stocking the shelving system with booze and using the command line control for the robot they were able to have it deliver their beverages, and shockingly they managed to do so without the whole thing breaking.
It’s a hack, even if it’s one of which by necessity no evidence remains. Sadly Hackaday doesn’t have a tape library, or you can bet we’d be tempted to give it a try ourselves. Never mind, we can continue to sample more conventional bar bots from time to time.
We’re super excited to announce the first round of speakers for Hackaday Berlin! We’re set to convene on Friday night, March 24th for an evening warm up before the main show on Saturday, March 25. Featuring the triumphant return of Voja’s 4-bit badge, a crew of awesome speakers, lightning talks, workshops, music, food, badge hacking, and all the best of the Hackaday community, this will be a day to remember. And then we’ll chill out Sunday morning with a Bring-a-Hack brunch.
So without further ado: the first round of speakers!
Hacking Closed-Source: Reverse Engineering Real-World Products
Closed-source software is prevalent in our everyday lives, limiting our ability to understand how it works, which privacy implication it poses to the processed data, and addressing potential issues in time. Despite the growth of open-source movements, users often have no choice but to rely on closed-source solutions, e.g., for medical devices and IoT products. We’ll discuss key techniques to help you get started with reverse engineering. Hacking your own devices can be challenging, bricking a device is not uncommon, but so is celebrating the moments of a revived and modified device.
Being a Full-Time YouTuber
YouTube is my full-time job and has been for four years. I create STEM education content using everything from 3D printing, CNC, Welding, to Microcontrollers and Coding. Find out how I got started, how I make money, what goes on in the background, and what my future plans are. I’ll tell you how you can do it too!
Hacking your dishwasher for cloudless appliances
Why does your dishwasher, laundry or coffee-pot need to talk to the cloud? In this presentation, Trammell Hudson shows how he reverse engineered the encrypted connections between Home Connect appliances and the Bosch-Siemens Cloud servers, and how you can control your own appliances with your self-hosted MQTT home automation system by extracting the devices’ authentication keys and connecting to their local websocket ports. No cloud required!
Oops, my project ended up in a museum
Parameterized design allows for the adaption of projects to different needs but can also change the aesthetic to a persons liking. Bleeptrack will walk you through the creation process and tools of her generative projects, talk about her experience manufacturing unique pieces and explains how to cope when your freshly finished project gets locked up in an art exhibition for a few months.
Creating Hardware Development Platforms for Real-World Impact: FlowIO Platform
What does it really take do create and deploy a development platform for real-world impact? Why do we need development platforms and how can they democratize emerging fields and accelerate innovation? Why do most platform attempts fail and only very few succeed in terms of impact? I will discuss the key characteristics that any platform technology must have in order for it to be able to useful for diverse users. FlowIO was the winner of the 2021 Hackaday Grand Prize as well as over a dozen other engineering, research, and design awards.
Come join us!
Whatever you’re up to.
We want you to bring your current project, world-changing ideas, or simply fun hacks for a 7-minute lightning talk!
Small in size, low-resolution, blocky segments, and a limited color palette — all characteristics of the typical vacuum fluorescent display, any of which would seem to disqualify them as the display of choice for a lot of applications. But this is Hackaday, and we don’t really pay much attention to what we’re supposed to do, but rather to what’s fun and cool to do. So when we see something like a VFD game console, we just have to sit up and take notice.
In a lot of ways, the design of [Simon Boak]’s Arduino-based VFD console is driven by his choice of display. The Noritake Itron GU20X8-301 VFD is a “tricolor” display with eight rows of 20 rectangular pixels. Each pixel is composed of six short linear segments, with alternating red and blue colors. Turning on either set of segments yields one of the two base colors, while turning on both yields a sorta-kinda whitish color, if you squint a bit.
[Simon] chose a two-piece design for his console, with a separate controller and display. The controller holds the Arduino Nano and all the controls, plus a piezo buzzer for fun. The display case connects to the controller with a ribbon cable and holds the VFD power supply and driver. To celebrate the retro look of the VFD, both cases are decked out with woodgrain side panels. [Simon] chose appropriately blocky games for the console, like Snake, Conway’s Game of Life, and the venerable snow demo. We’d imagine Pong would be a good choice too, as well as perhaps Tetris if the display were flipped on its side.
We really like the look of this console, and we appreciate putting an otherwise obsolete display to use in a creative way. If you want to learn a little more about these displays, check out this love letter to the VFD.
Continue reading “This Retro Game Console Puts Vacuum Fluorescent Display To Good Use”