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Ford Mondeo CAN bus hacking

After building the CAN sniffer with Elduino CAN128 board I wanted to see CAN messages in my old Ford Mondeo.Ford Mondeo MK3 CAN hacking

After connecting the board to OBD2 connector and turning on the ignition I started seeing quite a few packets. This is a very good sign - it shows that the board is connected properly, CAN baud rate is correct and that the Arduino software works.

Elduino CAN128 as a standalone CAN-bus sniffer

Few weeks ago I have figured out that my old Ford Mondeo's ECU and ABS module are connected to the CAN bus. I was willing to hack the messages and make something useful. However, I could not find any valuable information about my Ford's CAN bus messages and their contents. The only thing I found is that RPM  and gas pedal values are in the packet sent with CAN id of 0x201.

Happily I have an Elduino CAN128 board which is Arduino-like board targeted for car hackers. It has built in modules and transceivers allowing to connect it to CAN and LIN busses without any external shields.

Elduino CAN128 - prototype assembly and testing in process

As mentioned in the previous post, I am working on the new board.  When designing hardware it is usually very hard to define final requirements of the design. Quite often you have to add something you have never tested before in a real life. Also, it is very rare to make things work from the first time, mostly there is allways something to tweak after you have your device built.

Elduino CAN128 prototype

Elduino CAN128 - CAN bus enabled Arduino compatible board

Playing with Arduino mega 2560 board I started liking the concept of having easily stackable standardized hardware. Since I am interested in electric vehicles, car electronics and CAN bus in cars I started looking for Arduino version with CAN support. Quick research gave me the only solution - an Arduino shield which uses SPI-CAN converter. This is a nice implementation of CAN bus on Arduino powered device, but it is still not what I was looking for. During a couple of long nights I came up with a concept of my own version of Arduino board which would have the AT90CAN series microcontroller as a heart.Elduino CAN128 - Arduino compatible board with CAN and LIN connectivity

Arduino Icebreaker - make your girlfriend talk to you again!

IceBreaker Answer

Introduction

Once in a while you make your woman angry. So angry, she refuses to talk to you and even shows the middle finger instead. Here we can use technology to brake the ice and start the conversation again! I proudly present you the Ice breaker - a device, mediator, allowing you to make the angriest woman speak to you again :) "How?" - you ask. Simply - put the technology between you. Put your Arduino close to your girlfriend and type the question. Question will appear on the LCD and there will be only two possible answers - Yes or No. This will prevent you from having those nasty answers and dramatically improve the possibility to get at least some answers from your girlfriend :)

First meeting with BLE (Bluetooth low energy)

Introduction

This post will mostly consist of pictures, since I did not have too much time to play with the device itself. Hopefully I will find more spare time to write more detailed article about this particular development kit. Some time ago I have spotted really cheap Bluetooth low energy development kit from TI. It was only $25USD, shipping included! I ordered one immediately. More than a month later I have received a ridiculously big package from Netherlands. There was a small box of CC2541 SensorTag Development kit and a lot of air-filled bags :)

CC2541 SensorTag in the boxCC2541 SensorTag in the package

Raspberry Pi: First Steps

Raspberry Pi

Introduction

Raspberry Pi is a popular single board computer with 700MHz ARM11 microprocessor, Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU, 256 or 512 MB of RAM and uses SD card as its storage for operating system and user data/files. This single-board computer has a stereo audio output, easily accessible RCA Video and HDMI outputs, 10/100 Mb/s LAN connector and 1 or 2 USB ports. These peripheral makes Raspberry Pi interesting for all people who have knowledge of Linux operating system. Additional GPIO connector makes it interesting for electronics engineers as well.  This single-board computer can be used in many applications - from home media center to the "brain" of a complicated robot.

From electronics engineering point of view, computing power and available LAN, USB, GPIO connectors of the Raspberry Pi are the main interests. For this reason, it is necessary to remove the need of extra keyboard and TV/monitor to operate and control this single-board computer. This article describes how to set up a Raspberry Pi so it would be possible to set up, use and hack it without external keyboard or screen. First we will discuss the necessary software, required steps to setup and boot Linux, as well as setting up a network connection. Raspberry Pi will be prepared for making further changes using SSH terminal client from a PC.

Reverse engineering a chinese segway: working principles of motor control

After dismantling chinese copy of segway I wanted to check how the controller is made.   After a couple of hours of work with multimeter, pen, a sheet of paper and Kicad I came up with a block diagram and schematic of motor controller. This motor controller is made in a cheap and a very simple way. Reverse engineering and analysing this unit is a very good way to learn the basics of motor control. Here are some pictures of dismantled motor controller:

DC motor controller without coverDC motor controller main boardDC motor controller main boardDC motor controller main board, bottom sideVoltage delay circuit

Segway in a Chinese way

 
Some time ago I bought a chinese copy of segway. From far away you could think it is a real segway, but when you come closer you see that this is only an optical illusion :) It seems Chinese people don't like to bother themselves by using accelerometers, gyroscopes or even microcontrollers (we'll come to it later). The best way to make this "segway" look and work like a real segway is to put two extra small wheels and hide them under the plastic cover. Because this is the first time I see this kind of thing and it was not working properly (batteries were dead) I had to take it apart. I didn't have camera with me, so all pictures are taken with a cellphone. Sorry for bad quality.
 
Under the hood
Rear view of Chinese segwayBase of Chinese Segway

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