Zeno zit zapper tip reset

The Zeno is an acne treatment device with disposable tips that are electronically limited to 45 or 60 uses. Matt did a system teardown that revealed a Cypress cy8c27443 microcontroller in the main unit and a 128byte I2C EEPROM in the tip. He used the Bus Pirate to sniff I2C traffic going to the EEPROM in the tip, and then used standard I2C EEPROM write operations to reset the use counter.

It’s amazing where you find microcontrollers, and this is a fantastic use of the Bus Pirate. However, this hack tampers with an FDA-approved medical device that controls heat applied to the skin. An interesting academic exercise, but please don’t reuse the tips!

Via the forum.

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The 'us too!' Black Friday post

Today is Black Friday, the bustiest shopping day in the US. Every kit-biz is promoting their wares (Adafruit, Make, HacknMod), here’s our plug.

In the past three months we’ve released three geeky open source projects that you can buy at Seeed Studio:

Seeed also has some accessories, such as:

We’re proud to work with Seeed Studio to make copies of our open source projects available. When there are cheap rapid prototyping machines you’ll be able to print our projects at home, until then, there’s Seeed Studio. Seeed has inexpensive worldwide shipping starting from $2.85, most of our projects include shipping in the cost.

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Bus Pirate restock

Bus Pirate v3 preorder 2 is almost sold out. Bus Pirate v3 preorder 3 is now online. Seeed Studio made some additional Bus Pirates, but they won’t ship until next week when the current backlog is cleared. Seeed should list them ASAP. If you want one and they’re sold out, please check back in a few hours, or leave a comment on this thread and we’ll notify you when the new batch is listed.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the project through comments, bug reports, code, and making a purchase. Your support has been overwhelming! You enable further Bus Pirate development, like the logic analyzer mode, AVR programmer firmware, and the upcoming PIC programmer. You also support the bounties that go to a fantastic group of independent contributors who add so much to the project.

Thank you to everyone who’s been involved in this project in any way!

Beautiful picture of the Bus Pirate v3 by Uwe.

C programmer needed for PIC support!

We’re looking for a C programmer who can add serial port output to usbpicprog. It’s all that stands in the way of bringing PIC 12F/16F/18F/ds30 programming to the Bus Pirate*.

usbpicprog is an open source multi-platform programmer that uses wxWidgets toolkit and libusb. It currently sends byte commands to a USB HID driver. Your goal, should you accept it, is to send output to a serial port instead.

We’ll send the author a PIC programming charge pump accessory board, and another Bus Pirate goodie that’s not yet public.

*You’ll need a 13volt supply and simple switch too, we’ll release a few simple circuits that will work.

SparkFun XMOS dev-board

Uwe sent some photos of an XMOS development board from SparkFun. We had never heard of XMOS, but Uwe explains:

The XMOS concept can be seen in direct competition with FPGAs – simple logic design in software (C/C++) using very complex standard logic cells (XCORE) while FPGAs use far simpler standard logic cells that require a far complex development approach (VHDL/Verilog).

To me the XMOS approach is very appealing for various reasons, one being that XMOS makes their IP (core code) freely available (open source) while the FPGA manufacturers attempt to make a lot of money with their IP, so they let you test their IP for free (with stringent restrictions and limitations in many cases because they don’t want you to use the IP on their competitors products).

Open tools and C programmer friendly, looks like an interesting platform.

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Laser etched Bus Pirate case

Ril3y made a fantastic laser etched Plexiglas case for his Bus Pirate v3 with a command cheat-sheet etched onto the bottom. There’s more pictures of this awesome case in his Flickr photo stream.

Bus Pirate preorder 2 should ship this week. There’s still a few (<30) extra preorder 2 Bus Pirates at Seeed Studio, get one while you can.

Via the Bus Pirate forum.

Bus Pirate PIC programmer?

Last week we made the Bus Pirate into an AVR STK500v2 compatible programmer by porting some existing open source code. Now we’re looking for a similar code-base that programs PIC microcontrollers.

The PIC programmer landscape is a bit sketchy. As we understand, it’s not feasible to impersonate an existing programmer interface like the PICKIT2 or the ICD2. MPLAB actually bootloads a different firmware into these programmer for each chip family (though that makes it easy to clone the hardware). Microchip doesn’t make the protocol public (?), which is probably why there’s no existing code to port.

The only open source PIC programming toolchain we could find is Usbpicprog (GPL), with Windows and Linux clients. It supports PIC 12F- 16F- 18F- and DSPIC30, all 5volt parts. These chips require 13volts to enter programming mode, which would have to be generated and controlled via a small breakout board. There’s only two simple source files toport to the Bus Pirate hardware.

The big catch is that the PC-side software doesn’t support serial ports…yet. This is where you come in. If one of our talented readers can add serial port output to the Usbpicprog application, we’ll port the PIC firmware. We’re also up for alternative suggestions, open source projects we may have missed.

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Chips: 1-Wire iButton overview

See the latest version in the documentation wiki.

Reliq sent a 1-Wire iButton demo using the Bus Pirate:

I work in an engineering firm, and the large format color printer we have uses iButtons on the ink tanks to tell the machine what has been plugged in. These particular buttons are write-only. As you can see in the pic, I have the body connected to GND, and the cap connected to MOSI. The +5v is jumpered to the Vpullup pin.

More demo goodness after the break.

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Free PCB Sunday: USB RGB color changer

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 professionally-made PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype.

This is a USB controlled RGB color changing light. Ian did this project at DIY Life, a Weblogs, Inc. site that shut down about a year ago. Someone made some minor modifications to the design and had a bunch of boards produced, we ended up with a pile of the extras. This PCB is as-of-yet untested, you can discuss it in the forum.

We’re giving away two PCBs this week, just ask for one in the comments.

Edit: sorry, forgot the title.

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Live prototyping

Today we’re refining the new AVR programmer firmware for the Bus Pirate. The plan is to implement an optional high-impedance output mode that can be used with pull-up resistors to program AVRs at 5volts (or any voltage).

You can follow our progress and get involved on an experimental chat page. Live prototyping was inspired by adafruit’s “Ask an engineer chat“, be sure to check out their weekly live stream.

Live prototyping is now over, thanks to everyone who dropped by. You can download the resulting firmware update here. A transcript of the firmware development portion is after the break.

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Bus Pirate high voltage power supply

The crew at Robots and Dinosaurs prototyped a high voltage power supply for a geiger counter tube using the Bus Pirate pulse-width modulator. They were able to step up 5volts to 800volts+ with a simple boost converter circuit on a bread board.

We always like to see new ways to use the Bus Pirate. Thanks for the tip!

Bus Pirate STK500v2 AVR programmer firmware

See the latest version in the documentation wiki.

Here’s an alternate firmware for the Bus Pirate that clones an STK500 programmer for AVR microcontrollers. We ported the GPL’d source from Guido Socher’s AvrUSB500 ATMEGA8-based programmer to the PIC.

The firmware should work with any applications that support the STK500 v2 protocol. We used it to program the Hackable Christmas card’s ATtiny13A from the latest version of AVR Studio. You could also use it for things like programming the bootloader into an Arduino.

You can buy the Hackable Christmas card ($12 kit, $15 assembled) and the Bus Pirate v3 ($30, assembled with shipping) at Seeed Studio.

More about using the programmer, and it’s limitations, after the break.

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Open source logic analyzer update

Development of the open source logic analyzer, first discussed here, has progressed rapidly in the forum.

We’ve looked at cost estimates, Uwe made some excellent block diagrams, and Jack has already added a basic layout to his SVN.

Read our goals and specs after the break.

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Instructables version of the Hackable Christmas card

The Instructables version of the Hackable Christmas card & ornament is up.

Seeed has copies of the card as a surface mount kit for $12, or assembled for $15. The card is already being manufactured so it can be delivered ASAP. The Seeed stock numbers aren’t accurate, less than 100 are being produced and we’re almost out of the assembled version now.

Thank you for supporting our projects!