Saturday, 23 November 2013

(Ab)using CurrentCost dev boards part 3

In the previous parts, I looked at how things were connected and how the RF transmitter was configured. This time around, I want to see if I can actually transmit something! The PIC16F689 is the microcontroller in use, and Microchip have made the IDE (MPLabX) and a compiler freely available for those running Windows, Mac or Linux.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


  1. The branch of physics and technology concerned with the hacking of circuits using 
sub-optimal equipment. Typically carried out in a shed, spare room or somewhere else equally unsuitable for the task at hand.

Quite often when messing with electronics you get to the point where doing something is either too expensive to do properly or too hard to cheaply. For example, you could precision laser decap a chip you want to reverse engineer or you could throw some acid on it and hope for the best. You could buy a multi channel logic analyser or you could try and build one using your spare arduino. You could invest in a rework station for removing chips from a circuit board or you could just try your luck with your soldering iron.

The cheap and probably-going-to-fail-but-fun-trying approach is what I call ghettotronics and I seem to spend a significant amount time involved with it. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

(Ab)using CurrentCost dev boards part 2.5

In parts 1 and 2, I flew over the board, how the things were connected and the data that was sent over the SPI bus. I didn't really cover how I got that data out of the device, and Billy picked me up on that. So I thought I should write something to rectify this situation.

If you remember previously, I'd posted a picture that had the pins marked on it. This is really handy reference, as it makes connections plain. From reading the datasheet, there's three pins that are "interesting" at this point. What's really handy is that they're next to each other!

Monday, 4 November 2013

(Ab)using CurrentCost dev boards part 2

In part 1 of this series, I went over what the CurrentCost digital dev board was, and what was on it. In this part, I'm looking a bit more in depth at the components, and trying to figure out how it works.