SUP DeMO. November 2016
SUP
SUP DeMO. November 2016
2016-11-22
By
David "DeMO" Martínez Oliveira

What is this about?. Well, as a matter of fact, I keep doing stuff but, lately, I'm very short on time. This means that, on one hand, it is taking quite some time to finish any of my ongoing projects and on the other hand, it means that I'm not managing to get enough time in a row to do proper writings for those projects. So, I will be posting my small progresses on different projects as a way to keep some kind of track on them.
The idea is this. Every month I will take a photo of my work desk and comment on what is in there. Stuff in the table are on-going projects so it will become obvious which projects get finished, which ones last forever and how many new things I put on my table every month :). I think it is gonna be fun... and also a bit depressing :).

Anyway, you can see my hardware desk on the header picture... but what is in there?.... Here is it again:

DeMO Desk. November 2016

Hardware Hacking Lab

This is one of my ongoing projects. lately, I've got interested on HW hacking and started to look into equipment to buy. Then I realized that those SBCs I have hanging around can do quite some work and I should check what is possible before spending money in more sophisticated equipment. I researched a bit and it looks like that for a complete noob like me, there are a lot of things to try before going pro.

The thing on the bottom right side of the table is a Raspberry Pi 3 attached to a touchscreen. The touchscreen is facing down, but it is there. I'll show you a picture in a coming post. This is a closer view of the setup:

You can see the Rpi connected to an Arduino Leonardo (on the left side of the image) and another board on the top. The thing on the top is wifi router I'm playing with.

The serial port of the Rpi is connected to a serial header in the router board to get console access. The router uses 3.3V so I can connect directly the Rpi. Probably I should use some protection circuitry, but I guess I will learn that the hard way. This is very convenient so I can avoid the USB-Serial adapter I use to use with my laptop.

The Arduino is connected to the Rpi through its ICSP interface, the one you use to program it with an external programmer. I have configured avrdude to bit-bang the ICSP interface and directly access the AVR microntrollers. Big thanks to the great tutorial from Adafruit. I will post on this soon... get ready, that post will include a difficult challenge!

Next in the pipeline is JTAG... but I think that will take a while.

Eventually I will change the Rpi by the BeagleBone Black. It has quite some extra features that makes it more suitable for building a Hardware Hacking Platform (ADC, USB OTG and those awesome PRUs). Furthermore I have some other plans for that Rpi with touchscreen. Keep tuned.

In the header image you can see another wifi router at the bottom left. That is my reference model, the one I have all the information about to check that things works on the Rpi before trying on my test router, that... is a bit of a mystery for the time being (the serial access does not drop a shell so I have to do something more advanced...).

ESP8266

Yes... hidden on the left side of the image... just above the reference wifi router there is a small ESP8266 wifi module I was testing, together with a small home-made 3.3V power supply... I have ordered some stuff to get a better power source for these experiments, but, for the time being, that is what I have.

The ESP8266 module is a bit hard to see because it is laying sideways, but you can see it with some jumpers going towards a small USB-Serial Adapter and the 3.3V power supply. I have already got it working but only from the computer. I want to use it with an Arduino and eventually program it directly... and that is taking some extra time.

This will probably become an Occam's Razor paper... but let's see if I manage to get it working as I want.

Bye from the Dark Attic Lab

:P... I was in a need to have a cool name for my World Domination Headquarter, and the "Dark Attic Lab" sounds pretty cool (and accurate) for the time being.

So this is it for the first "SUP DeMO" post. Finally all those thousands followers (LoL) will get informed about what is going on at the "Dark Attic Lab" and definitely get rid of that desperation feeling coming out of the uncertain about what is going on around here...

Let's see what can I get done for next month!!! Will be Xmas time!!!!

Signed
DeMO @ Dark Attic Lab