GIVEAWAY: Scratch and dent boards

Scuffs and dings in the silkscreen, misprints, an occasional short circuit or dead chip – whatever the reason, these prototypes are too dangerous to be sold. Seeed Studio sent us all the scratch and dent boards that have gathered over the years – Bus Pirates, Infrared Toys, Bus Blasters, and even the now discontinued #Twatch. We did the sensible thing and added them to the Free PCB Drawer in a new Scratch and Dent category.

This week we’re giving away 5 special coupon codes that can be redeemed for any one of these boards. There’s no guarantee they work, or what specific problem ails each board, but the vast majority appear to be silk and mask errors.

You know the drill – leave a comment below with a project idea and we’ll send out some codes on Thursday. This was a big bunch of stuff, look for more special coupon giveaways soon.

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132 Comments

  1. I need a new Bus Pirate! I gave mine to my Girlfriend… I just got brand new I2C RTC chips for a control panel embedded in my house’s wall and since I can’t bring network to it (except by WiFi and it’s much more expensive), a RTC chip would be great to keep up the time in case of power failure.

    I just never used that chip before and a Bus Pirate would definitely help me in this matter!

    1. I was about to write “please send a logic sniffer pcb my way so I don’t have to smuggle the gerbers into the regular company pcb orders to build one”, but then I saw Tom’s post.
      His project idea is actually novel (as far as I know), feasible and fun, unlike the usual begging-for-swag stuff you read here. It really deserves a coupon!

  2. This would be pretty awesome actually. A great way to hone electronics skills by debugging the item.

  3. I’m working on a SPI recording device which features an SRAM memory for
    high speed logging. The OWLS would sure make my work easier to figure out the bugs
    in the com between the MCU and the SRAM memory.

    Thanks!

  4. Bought Bus Pirate, and it absolutely works wonders. Never tried Bus blaster though. Didn’t have a dire need for it actually.

    But, with a test one, I can try to make a Pirate Blaster maybe? :D

  5. The MCP2200 looks like the perfect part for my current project. I’m repurposing a WR802N (thanks for the tip, by the way) as a base for a project which involves WiFi and some basic I/O. The MCP2200 would let me do the IO without having to solder to the delicate pads of the WR802N itself by using this connected to the USB port.

    The project is pretty simple, basically it’ll poll a local website which indicates if it is currently legal to burn wood in a fireplace. I haven’t decided on the specifics of how it’ll indicate the status (an LED indicator of some sort, but done in a way to be sleek), but basically it’ll be installed next to the fireplace to provide instant feedback on whether or not the fireplace can be used.

  6. I would like to practice my smd soldering & repair skills – ideally replacing components without lifting too many tracks!

  7. i’m building a rgb bike light with and other beautiful features, for debug i will love one bus pirate.
    It will not be a classic bike light…trust me.

  8. I would really like to work on HID firmware and client for the Bus Pirate V4 so that there are no drivers necessary and one can have a completely portable Bus Pirate experience. Walk up to any computer in a lab, or at a friends, or even on your house without having to mess with it. In addition, a really cool thing would be have an add-on (flash memory board) for mass storage device that includes the client code! A full self contained hacker toolset.

  9. NEEEED :P

    I’m doing some retro-engineering on some Belkin hardware, and a Bus Pirate would be awesome

  10. I would like to use the OpenBench logic Sniffer in the photograph to teach my students at the U the structure and functioning of a basic but really useful logic analyzer.

  11. I will use the Webplatform to make an RFID entrace system for the office at work. Because be have a lot of equipment and we can control who enters o leaves the office. It will store data about people who enters in a database.

  12. Finally want to get started with VHDL and one of the CPLD boards looks like a good place to start.

  13. I’d love an old, possibly functional Twatch. See if I could get it to do other stuff, too, like a small file server or a web connected weather monitor.

  14. I am beginning to develop an open hardware/open source automobile “chip” that would integrate into some of the more popular “carputer” programs out there. The Open Workbench Logic Sniffer would be a great help in developing/troubleshooting the CAN interface to the automobile.

  15. I was thinking in an automated greenhouse for carnivorous plants, this will control temperature, humidity, lights and water level

  16. Well, I have been meaning to hook up a Yamaha YMF262 (FM) sound chip to a modern microcontroller, making a synth/music player thing. Problems: The original YMF262 is 5V, and it uses a proprietary Yamaha bitstream format for the audio, which means you are tied to the complementary Yamaha DAC.

    Something like a XC9572XL could help here, being 5V tolerant, and maybe it would even be possible to use it for twiddling the bits and putting out a more standard I²S stream. Maybe. This is all pretty theoretical and not really something I would specifically buy a CPLD board for.

    But if you have a scratched and dented one to spare, well, then at least there is not much of a loss if this does not work out.

  17. A logic-Shrimp or OHLogic Analyser would help my other projects along, But as a keen amateur, any board would be most welcome, and a great learning tool

  18. Bus Pirate LCD adapter v2 will be great to complete my OSH Park pack that i won last month.
    It is a good tool to test these LCD which sometimes doesnt work properly on my projects, in most case, due bad mount on breadboard.

  19. Bought lots of the Dangerous Prototypes products already, but could actually use another Bus Pirate, and haven’t tried the Bus Blaster.

    Would in general be fun/useful to practice the soldering skills – and get something useful out of it.

  20. So cool! A fun project or if nothing else, a soldering practice board for my daughter! At any rate, a project using one of these defective boards can’t be anymore broken than anything else that I design and make! : ) Thanks!

  21. I’m still looking after that BusBlaster v2 to finally programm all these MCUs under Linux, without using VMWare/VBox or code-size limited IDEs.
    Btw: when we get it fixed/working, do we get another coupon (since one cannot use the normal coupons for this category, I suppose)?

  22. USB IR Toy, to decode and reuse a lot of remote control from RGB controller, old DVD and TVs, given to scraps to reutilize resistors/capacitors. Some of these controls already were decoded, but most of then not, because the grand variety of frequencies and different IR that they use.
    USB IR Toy is the simple and easier mode/tool to do this.

  23. I’d love to snag a bus pirate. I’m tinkering with automating my AC head units (which have no day-time scheduling), and it would be handy for prototyping with the digital thermometer and hygrometers I have. The plan is to shut off the AC units at night and use stepper motors and 3d printer gearboxes to open the windows, unless it’s too hot or humid outside.

    A web platform would also be nice for building a web portal for adjusting the system from a smartphone/tablet.

    D.

  24. I would love th get a bus pirate even if I might have to repair it!!!!

    Thank you for your generosity,

    Dan

  25. I could really use the SMD soldering practice to fix something, but having a bus pirate in the end would be even better. I have never used SPI, but I would like to experiment with it. A bus pirate appears to be one of the best tools for the job.

  26. I’ve got some gadgets I’d like to reverse engineer the JTAG port for. I understand there’s a tool for the Bus Blaster that can do this now…

  27. If there’s a LCD backpack in the mix. I’ll put my name down for one. I just acquired a few hundred 4×40 LCD modules that I’d like to test.

  28. I am working on a TTL 8 bit computer that needs troubleshooting so a logic analyzer would help a great deal to help me with it. as soon as i get this one off my breadboards and make a back-plane board i would love to expand it to 16 bit TTL computer with an 74181 ALU

  29. It would be cool to get one of these boards. Been following this site for a while and you guys definitely have a lot of cool ideas and designs!

  30. I was discussing today with a friend about interfacing with a gps module to track locations, from there it could be amended to use sms to send a message to his phone or even push a notification through the internet. I know a lot of different boards could make that closer to reality. That or maybe look into hacking my Keurig.

  31. Drill? ya, I got a drill, but honestly, if you send me a board I’ll keep it from the drill, more likely it go under the hot air solder station instead!!!

  32. I have all ways wanted to try out the web platform but never had the chance, would love to track down the fault with it and bring one back to life and finally try it out

  33. SYN Shop can always use some boards to play around with. Practice your solder rework, and see if you can get a working board. What a great idea for a class.

  34. I’m busy building a system (automatic fueling system) that uses CAN, SPI, and IIC. Would like a bus pirate to ease the design process.

  35. I’m working on a raspberry pi additional boardtthat will control MPD (Music Player Daemon) and show information about current song etc over i2c. I’d like a bus pirate to test it without too much coding on the pi!

  36. Please… I never have been chosed for any giveaway, let me star using your boards (I really prefer to mount them rather than buying it mounted, so…)

    Pleeeeease!

  37. I’m trying to compile a more modern U-Boot for the WR1043ND router, it’s already supported by OpenWRT but the lack of a “good” U-Boot means no netboot, or booting from USB. A bus pirate would be great since it doesn’t have write access through the JTAG but it seems the flashrom utility can do what I want. Thanks!

  38. A Open Workbench Logic Sniffer would help when porting libraries for others for the leaflabs platform as well as for working with high IO devices such as a cheap eBay LCD screen I got which has 16 data lines!

  39. I want to build several things, all ham radio related:
    An antenna noise bridge (it needs 12V of power, perfect if you have one of those PC power supply boards). This would help me test antennas that I build.
    A USB-interface antenna tuner and standing wave radio meter (I’d NEED something like the USB breakout board for that). This is critical for making sure your antenna is matched to the radio and consequently not melting the final amplifier stage of the radio!
    A better PTT-connection (push to talk, to control my rig when I’m using digital modes… I’d love to have a USB breakout for that and not a serial port).

  40. Ive never programmed a bare microcontroller before. This would be a great opportunity to learn on inexpensive hardware. A breakout board would be a great way to get started.

  41. I would use an Open Logic Sniffer in parallel to my existing one to develop a wider sample (32 bits of buffered inputs) at the same depth.
    some extra logic would be needed to synchronize triggering between both cards.
    A simple solution would use both USB connection, while at a later time one board could be slaved through the extra pins, making the 2nd USB connection redundant.

  42. For a long time i wanted to acquire a Logic Sniffer, so many projects require debugging or protocol decoding. I would also like to troubleshoot one if some defects are present.

  43. would like to build a mini server for sega naomi netbooting. with some parts from here i will beable to do so.

    so please help me make this happen

  44. Sometimes 4 Channels on my Scanalogic 2 aren’t enough… a logic sniffer with more channels would be great. Oh look, there is a Open Workbench Logic Sniffer laying around in the picture… :)

    Project? Sure! At work there are a couple of frequency inverters (motor control) laying in the trash and with nice looking front panels with LCDs and buttons. Unfortunately with proprietary protocols and connectors. Would be very nice for my controllable dummy load project. Great for getting rid of much heat are the cases.

  45. I have this idea from a long time now, build a standalone 7 segment display (five 7 segments display), so I can hook up the module to read voltage or current, it can also work as a timer, that can be triggered from an external input and can send an output signal when the timer goes to zero.

  46. I am looking to make a telescope pointing system. I have a scope whose electronics have issues (and I never really liked how the hand-controller worked). So I will keep the motors/mechanical portion and replace the electronics with my own creation. Something that will let me use either a Wii nunchuck (for basic directional control), or my smartphone (that can use things like GPS) to point at particular objects.

  47. I’m looking for a bp to add to my tool box at work for those times when waiting a day or two for me to track one down is too long.

  48. Hi

    Working on a interface for the RTL based SDR receivers, for those of you who dont know these are actually dvt-b dongles that with the correct drivers work as a cheap sdr with a frequency range of 60mhz – 1700mhz google rtlsdr for more info.

    I am building an interface that shows you the current trunk id number when the receiver is scanning the #Twatch would be a great display.

  49. I am working on a isolated small station that collects data from near sensors and backed up with a battery sends the data at regular intervals to a host when it is available, through wifi or infrared… I still don’t know how I will do the communication.

  50. A Bus Pirate would greatly help in getting a gyro and other sensors explained and working for the high school robotics team I work with.

  51. I’m working on a robot (mobile platform) and I’d like to use bus pirate to debug some serial communications between the CPU and sensors

  52. A bus pirate v3 would be extremely useful in reverse engineering the security system that came with my house that I just bought.

    I really don’t feel like paying some company “just over a dollar a day” to monitor the system when I should be able to do that myself!

    bus pirate + security system + asterisk = win?

  53. I got a bricked D-Link network camera, and a T-Mobile myTouch 4G with busted MMC chip. I want to use Bus Pirate (which I bought) to unbrick those. I’d like Open Workbench Logic Sniffer, that would help to debug the problem.

  54. I’m working up to building a small battery powered box with an accelerometer connected to an xbee pro. The boxes would talk back to a central node that feeds midi into a mac to generate different notes when each box is struck. The initial idea is to plant them in our old couches so the kids can jump from seat to seat to make music. They could also be buried in ziplocks to be jumped on (perhaps for halloween?).

    I’m using the xbe pro as I need i2c so I need the second cpu on the pro. I’d love a bus pirate to prototype the driver for the i2c to the accelerometer and to program/debug the second cpu in the xbee pro.

  55. I could really do with a bus pirate pcb (to make one obviously) to program a micro controller to make an n64 simulated controller.

  56. Ordered some dings and dent boards from sparkfun and one of them was a open logic sniffer :) Doesn’t seem to work as it should… So I thought what could be better than a scratch and dent open logic sniffer from DP to debug it :D

  57. I would use a USB IR Toy to build my remote music control. In a closet, I have two stereo’s, CD player, etc. that provide music to my porch and pool. I need to build an IR Toy that I can remote control play/pause, volume, track skip, etc from the porch or pool without the need to come inside.

  58. I would like get a logic sniffer, i have to check communication protocols between uC and peripherals in many projects.

  59. The Open Logic Analyzer looks awesome. I’ve been looking for a pro-hobbiest analyzer for some time. I can’t believe I missed it before. I’d love to have one to fix up. It also be fun to use a bus pirate and compare it to my GoodFETs.

  60. A Bus Pirate would be helpfull in completing my DMX controller desk.
    Oh, and fixing production faults can be a project as well…

  61. I’d like to use a Web Platform for home control (lights, Garage door, measure inside/outside temps, perhaps control the thermostat). Or perhaps a web-based weather station…

    Alternately, I wouldn’t mind a Bus Pirate, so I can write a protocol for Digital Calipers, allow the BP to do the translation, and drop the generated numbers from the calipers into notepad, excel, etc.

  62. Last weekend i wanted to use the BusBlaster as serial interface with “level shifter”. I wanted to see TXD with a Logic Analyzer but could not trigger due to many glitches on the line. When DTR is high there are many spikes to see. I would need another BusBlaster to verify that this is not a hardware issue ;-)

  63. I’m trying to build my own weather station with web server fully powered by solar panels (and super-caps for the night). It’s not novelty idea, but I’d love to get one scratch and dent board :D

  64. I’d like an OWLS to
    1) Hone my repair skills if necessary
    2) Fix the intermittent problem in my XG-55 “Adventure watch”

  65. I could use a bus blaster so that I can get started with the cool runner II board that I have laying around.
    And maybe enter the 7400 contest.

  66. It sounds like the boards are either cosmetically damaged or nonfunctional.. That’s okay, although obviously I would prefer a cosmetically challenged one.. I already have a Bus Pirate and I am enjoying it quite a bit.

    I guess the apple of my eye is the Open Workbench Logic Sniffer – I have found that the thing I need the most right now is a multichannel logic analyzer. I am beginning to work on projects that require me to have one with more capabilities than the logic probe in the Bus Pirate. I couldn’t care less about cosmetic defects and I could probably fix most basic hardware issues on a dinged up board.

    Regardless, I am enjoying this amazingly resourceful, useful global community quite a bit.

  67. Many of my project ideas involve things you have not jumped into yet, like PCB antennas. Currently I am working on a sort of rtlsdr-extender that gives them super powers.. *lol* No, its actually a fairly straightforward digital switchbox to make it easy to work with multiple external devices with an rtlsdr without having to constantly switch cables.

  68. I’ve been working on implementing SPI and I2C interfaces by bit-banging for a project. I’d love to use a logic sniffer to make that easier!

  69. Mmm, got a new hot air station here, would be nice with some exta projects to work on.
    Could certainly use a bus pirate to reverse engineer that big nice TFT display I got from a defunct videophone, it would be great as a server rack status display together with a RasPi…

  70. The t-watch! I dream to use one as geek away message for my office, which I can remotely update with my current location. But I’ve never been able to get one!

  71. Some boards can help me to develop my projects, such as the exact time of the system. This would be great for me

  72. I’ll need some board to make a cool Arcade machine in an arcade stick for two player with an embedded Raspberry pi.
    The idea is that you’ll only have to plug in HDMI and power and you’ll have a complete retro gaming console for two players.

  73. 1. I will fix it, if broken.
    2. I will use it for trying to hack my aquarium controller. The heat is never quite right and I’m not satisfied. Taking a few measurements should clarify things a bit.
    3. And if I cannot hack it by reflashing the EEPROM, I will just drive the wires directly, maybe with the addition of some high current buffers… :)

  74. I have a concept for a remote surveillance station that uses a wireless near area network of sensors to monitor physical activity and reports back to a server on the internet using the cell network.

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