Ollie v2 USB to UART/CAN/RS485/RS232 converter gets USB-C port, plastic enclosure, and more (Crowdfunding)

USB-C to UART, CAN Bus, RS485, and RS232 converter

Ollie v2 is an improved version of the Ollie USB to isolated UART, CAN Bus, RS232, and RS485 converter that gains a USB-C port, a plastic case, the ability to set the voltage from the target board, and various other minor improvements. Like the first version, the Ollie v2 is a portable tool designed for hackers and field engineers that allows them to work with a single device instead of a bunch of USB converters, each handling a single protocol, and isolation makes sure the host, such as a laptop, is protected from high voltages. Ollie V2 specifications: Serial chip – WCH CH344 quad-serial port chip (instead of XR21V1414 in the first design) Host interface – USB Type-C port Isolated interfaces (all with ESD protection) 2x UART ports up to 6 Mbps with 1.8/3.3/5 V or target voltage levels (set by slide switch) CAN 2.0A/B up to 1 Mbps bus […]

Quansheng multiband radios’ firmware can be flashed and customized from a web browser

WebSerial Interface Flash Quansheng UV K5 multiband radio

We’ve recently written about the Quansheng UV-K5 multiband radio which supports experimental firmware to work in a wider 18 MHz – 1300 MHz frequency range than with the stock firmware so it can be used for amateur radio, air traffic control, Citizens Band (CB) radio, and other fun stuff. But flashing the firmware requires downloading the manufacturer’s Windows-only programming software and customizations are provided through multiple firmware files. But it has now become much easier to flash the firmware for Quansheng devices thanks to the work of whosmatt who developed the UVMOD web interface using WebSerial to flash the firmware and even customize it from Windows or Linux. The interface supports Quansheng UV-K5, UV-K6, UV-K5(8), and UV-5R Plus handheld radios, and you’ll need a web browser that supports the WebSerial API to flash the firmware directly from the web browser directly, which means only the desktop versions of Chrome, Edge, […]

Flipper Zero hardware & wireless hacking tool gets an app “store” with open-source app

Flipper Zero

Flipper Zero portable multi-tool for pentesters and hardware hackers has now gotten an app “store” with currently around 100 free and open-source apps available through the device’s Android or iOS app. I missed it at the time, but the Flipper Zero launched on Kickstarter in July 2020 and was massively popular with close to 5 million dollars raised from almost 38,000 backers. The tool looks like a toy but it allows hacking with GPIOs and short-range wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, RFID, NFC, and infrared. Flipper Zero specifications: Wireless MCU  – STMicro STM32WB55RG with Arm Cortex-M4 application core @ 64 MHz, Arm Cortex-M0+ network core @ 32 MHz, 1024 KB flash, 256KB SRAM Storage – MicroSD card slot up to 64GB Display – 1.4-inch monochrome LCD (black on orange background) with 128×64 resolution via ST7565R SPI display controller Connectivity Bluetooth 5 LE & 802.15.4 via STM32WB55 microcontroller Bluetooth LE – […]

Quansheng UV-K5 multiband radio gets experimental firmware to work in the 18 MHz – 1300 MHz bands

Quansheng UV-K5 multiband radio

Quansheng UV-K5, an inexpensive walkie-talkie/multiband radio that works in the 50 MHz to 600 MHz bands, has gotten an experimental firmware from the community that expands the range to 18 MHz to 1300 MHz, the maximum limits of the Beken BK4819 chip it is based on. The device is popular enough in the ham radio community that an unofficial blog has been created for it. The author explains that UV-K5 is better than other typical Chinese radios with “intuitive controls although the naming is a bit cryptic, and a nice crisp display”. He goes on to explain how to flash the firmware and reminds users they do this at their own risk in case they brick the device or break any regulations. The Quansheng UV-K5 supports the following bands with the stock firmware: F1: 50.0000-76.0000MHz (RX only) F2: 108-.0000-135.9750MHz (RX only) F3: 136.0000-173.9750MHz (TX and RX both) F4: 174.0000-349.9750MHz (RX […]

AMD Radeon PCIe graphics card tested with a Rockchip RK3588 SBC (Radxa Rock 5B)

AMD Radeon PCIe graphics card Rockchip RK3588 SBC

When Rockchip first introduced the Rockchip RK3399 processor with a PCIe interface people initially hoped they could connect graphics card, but those hopes were quickly squashed due to a 32MB addressing limit. However, the PCIe implementation on the newer Rockchip RK3588 processor does not have such a limitation, and last November, Radxa teased a demo with an AMD Radeon Pro WX 5100 PCIe graphics card connected to the Rock 5B SBC running the glxgears demo on the Radeon GPU. I couldn’t find any instructions to reproduce this setup, but this got Jasbir interested, and he tried to do a test of his own with the Radxa Rock 5B connected to an AMD Radeon R7 520 (XFX R7 250 low-profile) through an “M.2 Key M Extender Cable to PCIE x16 Graphics Card Riser Adapter” ($14 plus taxes on Aliexpress) and powered by an LR1007 120W 12VDC ATX board. The experiment was […]

GHLBD Android calculator mini review – An Allwinner A50-based Android 9.0 calculator

Calculation Funciton

I found this GHLBD calculator on a platform selling second-hand electronic products. Three labels of this product appeal to me: “Calculator”, “Android 9.0” and “Allwinner A50“. If you only look at the appearance, this calculator is not much different from that of ordinary calculators, but the Android operating system is running on it and the screen tells me that it is definitely not an ordinary calculator. When I bought it, I only spent 69 RMB ($10 US). I didn’t really have a use case for it, but curiosity drove me to buy one. I decided to introduce it and disassemble it to check out the hardware design. Function demonstration of GHLBD calculator Press and hold the ON and OFF keys on the keyboard to turn on the calculator. The Allwinner A50 processor icon and Android logo show up in the boot animation. Here, you can preliminarily confirm that the promotional content […]

HackyPi Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB dongle serves as an educational “hacking” tool (Crowdfunding)

HackyPi USB stick

SB Components’ HackyPi is a Raspberry Pi RP2040-based USB dongle whose main purpose is to teach ethical hacking and coding programs, in other words, some sort of portable educational hacking tool. The small USB stick features a 1.14-inch color LCD, a MicroSD card to store data such as scripts and photos, and a button to enable programming like on other Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards. HackyPi specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM Storage – QSPI flash, MicroSD card slot Display – 1.14-inch color LCD with 240 x 135 resolution USB – 1x USB 1.1 Type-A port Misc – Boot “Initiate Program” button Power Supply – 5V via USB port Dimensions –  55.04 x 23.20mm SB Components says the HackyPi USB dongle can be programmed with Raspberry Pi Pico C/C++ and MicroPython SDKs as well as CircuitPython, and they will release hardware design […]

Inexpensive, Snapdragon 410-based “4G LTE WiFi Modem” made to run Debian 11

4G LTE WiFi Modem Debian 11 Linux 5.15

Some ultra-compact 4G LTE wireless routers housed in what looks like a largish USB dongle are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 401 (MSM8916) quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and have been hacked to run Debian 11 with Linux 5.15 instead of the pre-loaded Android OS. Soon after Extrowerk had purchased a ~$20 “4G LTE WiFi modem” USB dongle, he noticed it would show as “Android” when connected to his PC. It also turned out that Chinese hacker HandsomeYingYan had already done some work on the device modding the lk2nd bootloader and the Linux kernel for the OpenStick project for “mainline Linux on msm8916-based 4G USB modem”, and documented his work (in Chinese) to run Debian 11 on the “4G USB WiFi Modem” pictured below. Let’s go through some of the specifications of the said wireless router: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) quad-core Arm Corte-A53 processor with System Memory – 512 MB RAM […]

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EDATEC Raspberry Pi 5 fanless case