thepcdude

Hardware Hacking

18 posts in this topic

Well, I have tried countless times to get into hardware hacking, but have never succeeded because I cant get a clue where to start. I will soon be taking electronics classes so that might help, but it would be great if anyone here can nudge me in the right direction, for example linking me to some sites, drop some pdfs, and one thing I'm curious about is serial cables pin outs and that stuff, I saw a site where a guy dismantled some cable and plugged it up to his Amazon Kindle and somehow logged in and got a linux shell. It has something to do with telnet or sumtin, but I don't really have a clue about this wiring and pin outs and stuff. I would greatly appreciate some starter info. Thanks.

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this is a great site for gettin information and look, rs232 pinout as a first hit. if you want to get into hardware hacking you sure will have to put some more effort in it than just runnig some kiddie script. You have to study electronics, reverse engineering etc if you really want to get into this.

you wont find some short tutorial that will make you master at this, it takes a lot of experience and studying to be good with electronics

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I completely understand, I will spend the time to learn electronics, etc. But, I have no idea what to do with those pinouts. Haha, you see? I'm not sure where to start. Are there any sites or docs on where to start?

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I completely understand, I will spend the time to learn electronics, etc. But, I have no idea what to do with those pinouts. Haha, you see? I'm not sure where to start. Are there any sites or docs on where to start?

If you have something you want to tinker with and have no idea where to start...

I usually google whatever part numbers I can find on, or better yet, inside the thing plus the words "datasheet", "schematic", sometimes "hack" and/or "solder" if I am looking for a how too.

After reading whatever pops up, I generally get some ideas for better keywords to refine the search.

Also the wiki's are a great place to get basic information.

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Well, does anyone have info on things like firmware dumping and reverse engineering? I cant get a clue how people take a random system, and start making apps for it, modifying it...sigh* So much to learn....

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Well, does anyone have info on things like firmware dumping and reverse engineering? I cant get a clue how people take a random system, and start making apps for it, modifying it...sigh* So much to learn....

I'm not any good at it.. some systems have a 'background diagnostics mode' where the processor can be frozen and single stepped by outside hardware...

there is "JTAG" also.. you might learn something there.. but it don't work on everything, or most things.. but it's a tool for the tool box anyways..

You might also want to look into some of the microcontroller projects.. I personally tinker with AVR stuff every once in a while.. and there are others here who are into the PIC controllers. Search the forums. There was a good blue-box built on a PIC that'd would, at the very least, serve as an introduction to hardware hacking.

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It doesn't look like you "dont know much" :) Well, I just got a BASIC stamp dev board, gonna start tinkering... although I noticed that whenever you tell me stuff, I dont understand one thing :( I'm really a noob at this apparently... :'(

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It doesn't look like you "dont know much" :) Well, I just got a BASIC stamp dev board, gonna start tinkering... although I noticed that whenever you tell me stuff, I dont understand one thing :( I'm really a noob at this apparently... :'(

The little bit I've told you is really stuff I learned when I was looking into hacking a cable-tv box one time...

Don't worry about not understanding.. it's that simple fact that you do want to understand that is driving you to ask these questions.. I see that as a good thing.

Just read, and read more.. I know I need too follow that advice myself (that's why I feel I don't know much)

And don't be afraid to nap. Amazing how new concepts reorganize themselves after a good nap!

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And don't be afraid to nap. Amazing how new concepts reorganize themselves after a good nap!

:D

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Oh where to start....

Hardware hacking entails experience on both the computer programming side and the electronics side. "You gotta know both sides of the house." as my uncle (who ran a small company that fixed medical electronics) once said.

Start by reading the Navy NEETS series. http://www.digivill.net/~ticom/neets/ It's designed for someone with an 8th grade education. Get a copy of the ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications.

Microcontrollers are a good way to learn how hardware and software interact in the real world. Pick up an Arduino from Ladyada.

Set aside a small workspace area where you can go and work on projects, preferably without any disturbances. I wrote a few random thoughts about that over here. Pick up some tools. Then go play.

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8th grade: I didnt research too much before i dug in. Sometimes my projects worked... sometimes not. Thats where I learned the majority from. Trial and error. I started with simple alarm clocks and radio control cars though. Once I got into it, then I started taking classes and reading. I found it easier to learn though if I actually tried what I was learning.

Now(23 yrs old): I have a 30gb collection of ebooks all computer/electronics related that I read through. I am still learning.

Moral of the story:

Find a place to start and keep at it. If you stay with it, you will never run out of things to try and hopefully, more work than don't work

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I'm not sure how old you might be, but I know one thing that hindered my learning experience was $. I could read all the material I wanted but never really had the cash to buy and play with equipment until I got a job of course. If your still in high school I'd suggest hacking up a nice way to make some $ on the side some how. Unfortunately money is always a factor, but one can always dumpster dive or checkout the local flea market for good deals. One thing I noticed is that once a product gets hot in the hacker community ebay prices soar for that certain product such as MSNTV boxes and such. Getting the hardware for a certain project is always half the fun for me. :)

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What helps is that some stuff is standard.

Serial ports have the standard V+, RX, TX, Gnd, as minimum. So does USB, etc.

Consoles being on serial ports happen on most devices.

Just looking at device pcbs and you can figure out what might be what, and what does what from reading around.

Look for IC's and then type in the part numbers into Google to see what you get.

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The best way to get involved:

Take shit apart, put it back together.

Take shit apart, break something, fix it, put it back together.

Take shit apart, break something, fix it, put it back together, forget to reconnect something, do it all over again.

Take shit apart, and lose all hope.

Get on the enternet, read some shit, and put the shit back together.

The best way to learn: Learn from experience.

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It doesn't look like you "dont know much" :) Well, I just got a BASIC stamp dev board, gonna start tinkering... although I noticed that whenever you tell me stuff, I dont understand one thing :( I'm really a noob at this apparently... :'(

I'm really good at getting shit to rip apart and I recognize certain devices and pin numbers.

Trick is, find a type of device you like most, mine are X86 based machines such as my TV boxes, those are fun :)

Find a type of hardware you want to tinker with the most and google the shit out of it, how I learned about PCs :)

Edited by IndexPhinger
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It doesn't look like you "dont know much" :) Well, I just got a BASIC stamp dev board, gonna start tinkering... although I noticed that whenever you tell me stuff, I dont understand one thing :( I'm really a noob at this apparently... :'(

I'm really good at getting shit to rip apart and I recognize certain devices and pin numbers.

Trick is, find a type of device you like most, mine are X86 based machines such as my TV boxes, those are fun :)

Find a type of hardware you want to tinker with the most and google the shit out of it, how I learned about PCs :)

You gotta start somewhere.

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