WiFi Networks Turned Targets In This Pocket Game

Looking for a way to make his warwalking sessions a bit more interactive, [Roni Bandini] has come up with an interesting way to gamify the discovery of new WiFi networks. Using a Heltec WiFi Kit 8, which integrates an OLED screen and ESP8266, this pocket-sized device picks up wireless networks and uses their signal strength and encryption type as elements of the game.

After selecting which network they want to play against, a target is placed on the screen. The distance between the target and the player is determined by signal strength, and how much damage the target can take correlates to how strong its encryption is. As you can see in the video after the break, gameplay is a bit reminiscent of Scorched Earth, where the player needs to adjust the angle of their artillery to hit distant targets.

The Heltec board is attached to a 3D printed front panel, which fits neatly into an Altoids tin. The controls consist of a button and a potentiometer, and with the addition of a battery pack salvaged from an old cell phone, this little device is ready to do battle wherever you roam.

While this is just a fun diversion for the time being, [Roni] says it wouldn’t take much to actual log networks to a file and generate some statistics about their strength and encryption type. If the idea of a portable WiFi scanning companion seems interesting, you should definitely check out the Pwnagotchi project.

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Converting A 3-in-1 Printer Into A WiFi Scanner, Just Because

[Zaprodk] had trash-picked a defunct HP Envy 450 AIO, a 3-in-1 printer, scanner, and copier. Normally there usually isn’t much use for these unless you’re willing to hunt down the cartridges which it used, so your next step is to dismantle it for parts. That’s what he was going to do but then decided to see if he could remove as much as possible while leaving just the scanner.

Converted WiFi scanner boards

He ran into trouble after he’d “fixed” the lid-open sensor and unplugged pretty much everything. He was getting too many error messages on the LCD panel to reconfigure the WiFi. Luckily he could connect it to his computer using USB and do the configuration from there. One dubious mod involved turning an “unflipped” flexible flat cable into a “flipped” one by doing a little cutting, scraping and gluing. Check out his write-up for the full hack.

Interested in more dumpster hardware recovery? Check out how [Adil Malik] rescued a scope with some reverse engineering and an FPGA. And then there’s how [Matt] turned a dumpster-found WiFi router into a 3D printing server.