Sunday, January 30, 2011

IM-ME Hacking Progress - A Quick Update

As I figured, I spent less time on this on the weekend than I had hoped I would.  But progress has started to come quickly.  I have a ribbon cable and 2x5 pin connector hanging out of my IM-ME like the tongue of a cat.  It is connected to four of the five debug points at the back of the unit, while a fifth wire is hanging off 2.5V found off some capacitor in back of the LCD.  This connector plugs directly into the Bus Pirate, and I've got a Python script putting the IM-ME into debug mode and reading a few registers.  I could post some picture, but the ones at Dave's Hacks are much better than I could be arsed to come up with right now.

That makes it all sound easy, and it should have been.  But I made more than my share of stupid mistakes along the way.  Like getting the cable on to the back of the IM-ME wrong not once, but twice.  And like trying to put the IM-ME into debug mode by strobing the Clock line instead of the Data line.  And like thinking I was talking to the IM-ME when really I wasn't getting any further than the Bus Pirate.  That's why I don't do this stuff in my real line of work.  I'd starve to death if I did.

Next I've got to finish off the routines to re-flash the IM-ME, though I'm most of the way there.  Once the building blocks are in place, the IM-ME code will get mass-erased and it will begin its life as the flexible radio receiver this little purple and pink piece of plastic always wanted to be.

But I swear, as I was digging around in its internals last night with a soldering iron and screwdriver, I could swear I heard it sobbing.  Ever so softly...

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