Self-contained TED receiver

My previous entry introduced a homebrew receiver for the powerline-based data protocol used by The Energy Detective. I just designed a second revision of that receiver. This one is self-contained: It gets power and modulated data from a 9V AC wall-wart transformer, and decoded data leaves via an RS-232 serial port at 9600 baud. Best of all the circuit is very simple: Just an 8-pin microcontroller and a single op-amp. Major changes in this version: DC... Read More

Interfacing with The Energy Detective

I recently bought The Energy Detective (TED), a pretty inexpensive and friendly way to keep tabs on your whole house’s electricity usage. It’s a lot like having a more featureful version of your utility company’s power meter, sitting on your kitchen counter. It can estimate your utility bill, and tell you how much electricity and money you’re using in real-time. The resolution is pretty good- 10 watts, 1 second. As a product,... Read More

Using an AVR as an RFID tag

Experiments in RFID, continued… Last time, I posted an ultra-simple “from scratch” RFID reader, which uses no application-specific components: just a Propeller microcontroller and a few passive components. This time, I tried the opposite: building an RFID tag using no application-specific parts. Well, my solution is full of dirty tricks, but the results aren’t half bad. I used an Atmel AVR microcontroller (the ATtiny85) and... Read More

Playstation 2 Dual Shock protocol, revisited

Last summer I did some hard-core reverse engineering of the Playstation 2 Dual Shock controller protocol, so I could build a fully-featured Playstation controller emulator/extender device. I wrote up a fairly minimal protocol document, and published source code for an emulator that could impersonate a Dual Shock 2 controller well enough to fool every game in Paul’s comprehensive library Anyway, this device has been working really well for Paul... Read More

NOP 0x004031A9

It’s like circuit bending for digital art. Medium: Fyre 1.0 (Win32), IDA Pro (The Interactive Disassembler). (Okay, maybe I’m just having too much fun with my new copy of IDA…)  Read More

Playstation controller extender

The little hardware project I started almost 2 months ago is finally done. Completely finished. Bug free! Well, almost. It is, however, in a fully assembled state with firmware that is actually pretty usable. The Unicone2 is the result of my mini-quest to extend Playstation 2 controllers over long lengths of cat5 cable. A while back I did something similar, extending Game Cube and N64 controllers over ethernet. That was the original Universal Controller... Read More

Hardware hackery and the Dual Shock protocol

The hardware-tinkering mood I’ve been in lately shows no sign of subsiding. The theme this time: Everything over cat5. Backing up a bit… It’s summer! Hooray. So, how does one make the most of the season without actually doing something crazy like going outdoors? Of course the answer is to play video games in a different room which has more fresh air and a better view of the day-star. Some people would pick up the Playstation and... Read More

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