NODE Mini Server V3 Transforms Raspberry Pi 4 Into a Server or Mini PC

NODE Mini Server V3 Enclosure

Hardware hacker NODE has had a busy month starting with the announcement of Zero Terminal V3 modular Raspberry Pi Zero W powered handheld PC, and now he’s just showcased NODE Mini Server V3 that transforms a Raspberry Pi 4 into a compact server or mini PC. The project brings all ports to the same side in a similar fashion as Argon One enclosure through the use of custom adapter boards, but also enable easy integration of USB SSD drives, easier access to the MicroSD card socket, and support for fanless or dual-fan cooling. Besides the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, NODE Mini Server V3 includes the following components: HDMI Micro HDMI Male Component. “Wedge Type” as this HDMI connector on Aliexpress. HDMI Type A Connector (47151-1001) USB Pololu USB 2.0 Type-C Connector Breakout USB-C Male Plug Breakout Board Male USB 3.0 Plug (692112030100) Female USB 3.0 Connector (48405-0003) Storage USB3 to […]

CANTact Pro Open-source USB to CAN Device Enables Car Hacking (Crowdfunding)

CANTact Pro USB-to-CAN Device

The Controller Area Network (CAN) serial communication bus allows microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other without a host computer. It’s especially used in automotive applications where various components (dashboard, ABS, air conditioner, and other sensors) may need to communicate with each other, but it has also found its way into robots, industrial control systems, and avionics. CANTact Pro is an open-source USB to CAN device that can help you debugging or hack components inside a car or other vehicle. The tool features two CAN Interfaces and can be controlled from Windows, Linux, or Mac OS computers. CANTact Pro key features and specifications: CAN Interfaces – 1x CAN/CAN-FD/SWCAN (Single Wire CAN), 1x CAN/CAN-FD; Both via DB9 connectors Host Interface – USB 2.0 device port Misc – 4x LEDs Safety – Isolation between CAN and USB Power Supply – 5V via USB port CANTact Pro works with Windows, macOS, and […]

Nordic Semi nRF52 WiSoCs are Susceptible to Debug Resurrection using APProtect Bypass

nRF52 APProtect

Nordic Semi nRF52 are popular wireless Cortex-M4 SoCs with Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.15.4 radios. APProtect (Access Port Protection) is a new security feature of nRF52 MCUs designed to enable readback protection and disable the debug interface. This is supposed to prevent an attacker to obtain a copy of the firmware that would allow him/her to start the reverse engineering process or access some sensitive data such as keys and passwords. It’s all good, except “LimitedResults” managed to bypass APProtect and permanently resurrect the debug interface on nRF52840-DK and a Bluetooth mouse. This requires physical access to the hardware and relies on a fault injection technique. The APProtect background and hacking technique are all explained in detail on LimitedResults blog post, but basically he first had to remove some capacitors and use a low-cost homemade voltage glitching system combines with an oscilloscope to try to locate a particular pattern into the […]

This Business Card is a $3 Linux Computer Powered by Allwinner F1C100s SoC

The smallest, thinnest Linux computer There are many business card-sized SBCs, like RPi 4. But George Hillard, an embedded systems engineer decided it would be interesting to build an actual business card that was a computer. His card runs Linux and houses an Allwinner F1C100s carrying an ARM9 processor with 32MB RAM and 8MB flash storage. The Basics It holds some of his photos, a copy of his resume and a couple of games, which is pretty good for something like a business card. There is a USB port off one corner, and the unit can connect to a computer and boot up in about 6 seconds and shows up under USB as a flash drive.  But that piggybacked computer-attached display is really the only type of display the card can manage. The Shell and Linux Version The shell has the games, including a version of 2048, and a small […]

Some Tesla EV’s Control Screens Went Dark as Excessive Logging killed the eMMC Flash

Tesla eMMC Flash

Despite wear-leveling techniques, eMMC flash memories tend to wear out over time as they have limited write cycles. So we’ve seen in the past the importance of wear estimation in eMMC flash chips, and methods to limit write operation such as disabling logging when possible or write the log to RAM with log2ram in order to extend the life of flash-based storage devices. My Xiaomi A1 smartphone basically became unusable after a little over a year due to eMMC flash issues, but that was not that big of an issue since I could just get another phone and the most important data is saved in the cloud nowadays. That’s one thing when it happens to a phone, and another when it happens to your car, as some Tesla S & X owners realized when they lost access to the control screen in the car because the eMMC flash was worn […]

PIS2 DIY Handheld PS2 Game Console Uses Raspberry Pi 2 SBC as SMB Server

It’s a Handheld PS2 Game Console The PIS2 is a handheld PS2 game console that has the chopped-up insides of PS2 game system stuffed into a small console, along with a display, controllers and a Raspberry Pi 2 to access the games from the Ethernet to load directly to the hardware.  Sony has officially discontinued all handheld PSs as of March 2019, so these DIY consoles are popping up regularly. This one is quite an accomplishment. It Took a Long Time The creator of the PIS2, a hacker named Darkwing, started work on the unit in 2013. He stopped for some time, then started documenting his work on the system in 2017.  The ambitious first design specs looked like this PS2 scph-79002 5.6″ Dalian Good Display and VGA chip Genius MaxFire Blaze 2 controller 11.1V 6200mAh made of 6 ncr18650a cells Texas instrument ptn78020 switching regulator IBM Lenovo 05K5494 Laptop […]

GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous […]

FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule


FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to […]