BUS PIRATE: pin order and cable colors

The Bus Pirate pinout was supposed to be intuitive, except for one Arduino-like mistake. Each protocol uses the same pin for similar functions, and the pins used are supposed to “walk” up the row. 1-Wire uses Master Out Slave In (MOSI, pin number 1). I2C uses MOSI (1) and CLOCK (2). UART uses MOSI (1) […]

BUS PIRATE: 2bit anti aliased font for small color LCDs

Bus Pirate prototype “Ultra” v1b has an IPS LCD to show pinout labels, voltage levels, and other useful info. The background image was done in Photoshop and is stored in the 32Mbit flash chip on the board. Pin labels and voltage readings are drawn on top of the background image with a fixed-width font. Most […]

Chinese cable and connector vocabulary

Bus Pirate prototype “Ultra” v1c will use a 0.5mm flex cable (FFC/FPC) to connect the display board. Of course we could just order the standard parts from Mouser or SZLCSC, but rooting around on Taobao is fun and gives a better idea of the range of stuff out there. Here’s some Chinese vocabulary that helped […]

BUS PIRATE: LCD with pinout labels and live info

The Bus Pirate prototype “Ultra” v1b has a 10 pin 1.25mm connector for a display daughterboard. We wanted a more dynamic way to keep track of the pinout and other handy information like pin states and voltage levels. There are various reference stickers and labeled probe cables for the Bus Pirate v3 and v4, but […]

BUS PIRATE: Love the USB C connector!

Bus Pirate prototype Ultra v1b uses a common, cheap USB C connector and we are in love! Micro B connectors are a nightmare. Very inconsistent footprints, poor materials and build quality, and very weak mounting supports. Often the leads are hidden under the housing and conceal pesky shorts. Almost every Micro B connector we hand […]

PROTOTYPE: Bus Pirate “Ultra” v1b

Today we finished stuffing the first Bus Pirate “Ultra” v1b board. This includes the updates we posted this week, and a few other improvements from v1a: 8 general purpose IO pins 0.8-5.0volt programmable power supply Voltage measurement on all 8 IO pins Pull-up resistors on all pins, fed from Vout/Vref pin Display connector USB C […]

Bus Pirate: Reclaiming the Vpullup pin

The Bus Pirate Vpullup pin supplies a voltage to the on-board pull-up resistors. In the “Ultra” hardware it also powers the external half of the bi-directional IO buffer. MOSI CLOCK MISO CS AUX AUX2 (formerly ADC) Vpullup AUX4 (formerly 3.3Volts) 0.8-5.0Vout (formerly 5.0Volts) GND So far we’ve added voltage measurement to every IO pin and […]

BUS PIRATE: 0.8-5.0volt programmable output power supply

MOSI CLOCK MISO CS AUX AUX2 (formerly ADC) Vpu 3.3V 5.0V GND After adding buffered voltage measurements to every IO pin, we eliminated the dedicated ADC pin and turned it into a general purpose IO (AUX2). Now we’re going to take a hatchet to the on-board voltage regulators (3.3V, 5.0V) and replace them with a […]

BUS PIRATE: Voltage measurement on every pin

Bus Pirate Ultra v1a follows the same pinout as previous Bus Pirates. 5 I/O pins (MOSI, CLOCK, MISO, CS, AUX), a voltage probe (ADC), a voltage source for the on-board pull-up resistors (Vpu), two power supplies (3.3, 5.0volts) and ground. While we were building the prototype it became obvious that a few tweaks could make […]

PROTOTYPE: Bus Pirate/Logic Analyzer with Ice40 FPGA

Bus Pirate “Ultra” taps an iCE40 FPGA to power a combined Bus Pirate interface and logic analyzer that is infinity hackable. Previous Bus Pirates relied on the hardware peripherals available in a microcontroller, which vary in features and have the occasional bug. With an FPGA we can implement practically any peripheral with all the fixes […]

Shenzhen to Hong Kong on High Speed Rail

Even though Shenzhen and Hong Kong are basically the same city on opposite sides of a border, it’s still a frustratingly long trip to Hong Kong Central for a Reuben at Morty’s Deli. The new high speed rail line linking downtown Shenzhen to downtown Hong Kong makes the trip in just 15 minutes. A lot […]

HOW-TO: Add live websites to GIT without interruptions or security risks

Over at the DEV site we’ve been using GIT repositories hosted at BitBucket.org to push (deploy) changes to the live server instantly. It’s way slicker than uploading changed files by FTP, which has no roll back if something goes wrong. It also solves one of our China internet problems: routing to Bitbucket is much more […]

HOW TO: Chinese work permit and residency visa

First we started a Chinese company, then we got a bank account and import export permit. The last major thing is a work permit and residency visa. Americans, Canadians, and soon Australians, all get an automatic 10 year multiple entry visas for China. It’s quite common for foreigners to post up in China for years […]

HOW TO: China import/export permit and company bank

Last week we described the painful process of opening a Chinese company. That was actually the fast and easy part. There’s still a pile of paperwork and months of waiting ahead. This week we look at the proper, and improper, ways to export from China. A Chinese import export permit is permission to exchange foreign […]

HOW TO: Start a Chinese Company

While Shenzhen is becoming “Hollywood for Makers”, and not always in a good way, there don’t seem to be a lot of foreign open hardware/maker/start-up/accelerated/innovated/incubated people starting Chinese companies. As far as we know, we are the first foreign owned open hardware centric Chinese company in Shenzhen. With everything going on here, we definitely wont […]

DP 2016: Live from China!

Today Dangerous Prototypes is a legal Chinese company! 100% legit with import/export license, work permits, visas, and an office in Huaqiangbei (the world’s largest electronics market). It is likely the only Open Hardware centric WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in Shenzhen, and perhaps China. It took over a year to complete the process, and we […]

Screw it, lets go live! Dev site launch

Dirt cheap SLA 3d prints, custom color PCBs, and not-ripping-you-off pogo test pins are now available at dev.dangerousprototypes.com! We built a bunch of new, no nonsense, instant pricing services modeled after the simplicity of DirtyPCBs.com, please help us test them! Dirty SLA 3D prints – $0.95 per gram for beautiful white SLA 3D prints. Upload […]