The final key – Hardware password manager

in DIY, hacks by DP | 0 comments


The final key – Hardware password manager by

The Final Key is a piece technology that solves a problem. The Final Key is a hardware password manager with encryption and focus on combining portability, compatibility security and easy of use. It is a hobbyproject of mine and not under any commercial distribution, you are also free to build your own clones if you like the idea. The Final Key is based around a 16 MHz Atmel ATmega3U4 microprocessor and 64 KiB of EEPROM for storage.
You connect to The Final Key using any serial terminal, and “triggers” the account you want to log into. Then you can focus the username/password field of the website/application you want to log into, and then you press the button and The Final Key acts as a keyboard and types your credentials directly into the receiving application.

Via Hacked Gadgets.

Cleanly de-soldering a pin header

in how-to, techniques by DP | 0 comments

boldport has written an article describing a technique he’s used for removing the header cleanly:

Know that sinking feeling after realising that you’ve soldered that 40-pin header on the wrong side of the board? I’ve come up with a technique that works for me for removing the header cleanly and I describe it in the video.

Hacker Camp Shenzhen Day 3: Big Hacker Shaokao (BBQ)

in Hacker Camp Shenzhen by DP | 0 comments

By ian

Time flies! No one believes this is the last day of Hacker Camp Shenzhen. There’s just one event left. A Hacker Shaokao (BBQ), and every hacker in Shenzhen is invited. Once again, we gathered at Exit C of Science museum metro stop, where every event started throughout the whole workshop. See the hacker BBQ chaos below the break!

Continue reading →

chipKIT Project 4: Digital light meter

in DIY, tutorials by DP | 0 comments


Raj of Embedded Lab has a series of chipKIT tutorials.  This 4th project of a series will show you how to build a digital light meter using the chipKIT Uno32 board and the BH1750 digital light sensor:

A light meter is used to measure the intensity of illumination in a given area. It is widely used in schools, warehouses, factories, hospitals, office buildings, museums, art-galleries, parking garages, stadiums, and many more, to measure and maintain proper lighting levels. The intensity of illumination is usually expressed in Lux or foot-candles. As the 4th project in our chipKIT tutorial series, today we are going to build a digital light meter using the chipKIT Uno32 board and the BH1750 digital light sensor. This project uses Digilent’s chipKIT Basic I/O shield for displaying the measured light intensity in Lux, foot-candles, and Watts/m^2 units.

16F1509 ramp generator using the internal 5-bit DAC

in PIC by DP | 1 comment


Charles Douvier of PNW/Electronics writes:

Turns out the DAC is probably the easiest peripheral I’ve used on the PIC. It took me longer to wait for the PICKit to update from 18F configuration to 16F. BUT.. if you’re having issues.. here you go:
A simple voltage follower (or however you want to buffer the output) is needed on the DAC output. It’s not designed to drive anything.
Don’t expect screaming speeds out of this thing…it’s just not going to happen. I ran mine up to 1.3KHz, which is more than enough for what I’m trying to accomplish. If you put an A/D converter in you could use that to control your ramp speed and you’d have yourself a nice driver for your VCO input on test equipment with properly conditioned output.

Posted in PIC | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

in Free PCBs by DP | 0 comments


Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters.

Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Creating a Spotify remote with an Arduino and LCD shield

in Arduino, code, hacks by the machinegeek | 1 comment

Steven from Hackshed writes about their latest project.

We have put together a Spotify remote using an Arduino and LCD Shield; it uses a .NET application as a controller and communicates with the Arduino to take input via push buttons and output to the LCD.

Project details are available from

Optical mouse video output hack

in DIY by DP | 0 comments

The $5 mouse that you just tossed in the garbage might have had some hackable life still in it. As Conor Peterson shows us most optical mice are actually quite simply in operation with most of the hard work being done by the low resolution camera sensor. With a bit of Arduino code he was able to read out the serial image data directly from the mouse and display it on the monitor.

Via Hacked Gadgets.

Posted in DIY | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reverse engineer wireless temperature / humidity / rain sensors, part 1

in Arduino, wireless by DP | 0 comments


Ray Wang writes:

I just wrote a series of three posts about how I reverse engineered a few off-the-shelf wireless temperature, humidity sensors and rain gauge, and used an Arduino to listen to and decode the sensor data. The tools involved are quite simple: an Arduino and a 433MHz RF receiver. I also used a sniffing circuit, sound card, and Audacity audio recording software to capture and identify the signal timings initially. The Arduino programs I wrote are provided in each post. Thanks!

Continue to Part 2 and Part 3.

Via the contact form.

Hak5 video: quadcopter with WiFi enabled Linux computer and RTL-SDR

in hacks, Linux, RF, SDR, wireless by the machinegeek | 1 comment

What happens when you send up a quadcopter equipped with a Linux box, WiFi and an RTL-SDR dongle? Darren and company from Hak5 decided to find out. Their project used the SDR to receive ADS-B signals from aircraft hundreds of miles away.

The Hak5 team took a quadcopter up on top of a high mountain, attached to it a WiFi Pineapple (a small WiFi equipped Linux computer), an RTL-SDR dongle and a coax collinear antenna and then flew it up high. They ran dump1090, a Linux based ADS-B decoder on the WiFi pineapple and then broadcast the decoded information back to a laptop on the ground.

Although the results were less than favorable, it is still an interesting project to explore. Their poor results may be due to a nearby RF broadcast tower which could have been overloading the dongle, or EMF from the quadcopter motors.

Audible Morse code to text message converter

in software by DP | 0 comments


Dilshan Jayakody writes:

Morse View is an open source software project to convert audible Morse codes to text messages. This application is capable to convert Morse codes from wave files or from the audio line/microphone inputs. Conversion from Morse code to text can perform based on amplitude and frequency decomposition of the input audio stream.
We extensively test this application using Morse code files available at ARRL – W1AW code practice page. During the testing we may be able to use this application to decode 5WPM – 40WPM Morse code inputs.

Check out the video after the break. Continue reading →

Hacker Camp Shenzhen Day 3: Soldering workshop

in Hacker Camp Shenzhen by DP | 1 comment

By ian


Hacker Camp Shenzhen’s main event, the BGA reballing course, continues for a second day. At this point most people had reballed a chip, or were close to finishing. For the rest of the day out instructor, a master solder ninja, took on every challenge we tossed at him.

Before the workshop stated though, we wander a little in the classroom and scope out a lot of cool stuff. There are a bunch of tools that diagnose memory and CPU chips, as well as phone screens. Zack holds a CPU and memory tester with two BGA chip clamps custom made for the school.

Continue reading →

Hacker Camp Shenzhen Day 2: Soldering workshop

in Hacker Camp Shenzhen, Shenzhen by DP | 0 comments

By ian


Hacker Camp Shenzhen’s main event is a two day soldering course at a mobile phone repair school in Huaqiangbei. They teach a technique to replace the solder balls used to connect modern BGA chips to circuits boards. Usually this process requires special machinery, but the repair school teaches a simple hand technique that we learned on recycled cell phones. We also learned advanced soldering tricks and techniques from a master. See the first day of soldering workshop below the break. Continue reading →

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

in Free PCBs by DP | 76 comments


We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Continue reading →

Posted in Free PCBs | Tagged | 76 Comments

App note: FT800 video controller from the ground up

in app notes by DP | 0 comments


Enable lower cost graphics capability solution integrated to your MCU with this FT800 video controller from FTDI (app note).

The FTDI FT800 video controller offers a low cost solution for embedded graphics requirements. In addition to the graphics, resistive touch inputs and an audio output provide a complete human machine interface to the outside world.
This application note will describe the process of integrating the FT800 into a design with a simple MCU.

App note: Stepper Motor Driver for Smart Gauges

in app notes by DP | 0 comments


A smart gauges stepper motor driver app note from Cypress.

This application note shows how to use the PSoC® Programmable System-on-Chip to drive a low-power stepper motor for smart pointer gauges. This application note demonstrates how to perform micro stepping in the stepper motor using PSoC 1.In addition; this application demonstrates using a PC-based utility to control the pointer position in the stepper motor.

30c3 video: hacking RFID public access control systems

In this video from the 30th Chaos Communications Congress, Adrian Dabrowski lectured on RFID based access control systems which are becoming common in Europe. These systems debuted in 2006 and use RFID cards as a substitute for a previous mechanical key system to allow emergency service, delivery and other personnel unassisted access to the common areas of multi-occupant buildings.

We present a black-box analysis of an electronic contact-less system that has been steadily replacing a conventional mechanical key on multi-party houses in a big European city. So far, there are est. 10.000 installations of the electronic system. The mechanical key has been introduced about 40 years ago to allow mail delivery services to access multi-party houses but has since then aggregated many additional users, such as garbage collection, police, fire brigade and other emergency services. Over 92% of residential buildings in this city are equipped with such a solution.