Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Serial Port Cable

I suppose this post is a little out of order. It should have preceded Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Initialization Sequence

I had popped the side off my RAS 13 and looked at the port that had been used to control the autoloader. It was a mini din 8 pin port. It was connected to a serial level converter chip. I took this as a sign it used RS232. There were 4 pins actually connected to the chip, 1, 2, 3, and 8. Pin 5 was connected to ground. Picture: Control PCB inside RAS 13

Some trial and error with the breadboard. Picture: Messy Breadboard

Once I had the proof of concept, I wanted to order some connectors to make it a little tidier.

Diagram of cable connection. Note: both ends are looking into male connectors. Check out my Skills of an Artist!
cable

Connectors are pretty easy to find. I ordered from mouser and sparkfun since I was ordering other stuff too.

Perl One-Click DVD Rip with Win32::DriveInfo andDVDFab 8

Continuing my current obsession with ripping DVDs is my perlification of jmos1277’s Automated DVD ripping script using DVDFab

I’m using DVDFab to rip since it doesn’t seem to get tripped up as often with weird copy protection crap.

Luckily, Win32::DriveInfo will give me the volume name of the DVD. If I get time, I’ll rewrite so it checks for duplicates and appends the date&time to get a unique filename for output. It’s a little annoying when 3 discs are all named “DVD_VIDEO”.

I’m not setting it as an autorun action for the DVD drive because I’m going to call it from the ripinator script.

ripdisc.plContinue reading “Perl One-Click DVD Rip with Win32::DriveInfo andDVDFab 8”

Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Serial Control Commands

A continuation of one of my previous projects. http://www.ragingcomputer.com/2012/06/rimage-dtp-4500-ras-13-initialization-sequence

Each command starts with the nonprintable ascii character ESC (x1B) and ends with a capital C.
Each reply starts with the nonprintable ascii character ESC (x1B) and ends with EOT (x04). Since that looks pretty ugly in a terminal, I replace ESC with a + sign and the EOT with an = sign.

In the known command list, the commands aren’t indented and the known replies are indented.

I smacked together a little bit of perl to verify I was understanding the commands correctly.
Continue reading “Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Serial Control Commands”

DSL Woes

One of the drawbacks of living outside of city limits in Iowa… Internet connectivity is an issue. Century Link (formerly Qwest) is the telco for the area and our ISP. The service has never been stable, or even close. If good fortune was smiling upon us, it would stay connected for 6 hours or so. I think it was more normal to get 15-90 minutes of internets at a time. A tech did look at our connection, and things have improved, but it’s still not great.

I wanted to test the house wiring before blaming the ISP or the house. Luckily CenturyLink has a support page on exactly this topic. http://qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/wired-dmarc.html

Unplugged the house and plugged directly into the line feeding the house.

Continue reading “DSL Woes”

Beyond Logic Serial Analyser Log Printing

This was a quick hack with some perl to chop up the logs and spit out the results I wanted.

This is not normally something I would share, but I want to be able to find it again, should I have a need for it. The first one replaces the non-printable characters and separates the transmit and receive lines to improve printed readability.Continue reading “Beyond Logic Serial Analyser Log Printing”

Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Initialization Sequence

Initialization sequence for Rimage RTP-4500 RAS 13 autoloader duplicator robot.

Serial sniffing with Beyond Logic RS-232 Protocol Analyser in ASCII mode.

For interception, I made a cable with 2 8-pin mini din connectors wired straight through after patching through a solderless breadboard. Connection to PC is 38400-8-N-1 using hardware flow control. I will post pinout and diagram later. For now, Pictures of the hardware and connections. Rimage Serial Sniffing – Second Attempt

Video recorded using Blueberry software BB FlashBack Express.

Logged output from the rs232 protocol analyser has been reformatted with a bit of perl to make reading easier. I chose 80 chars for the column width because it matches what the protocol analyser displays in the video. Each line is broken into two lines. The first line is what’s sent from the computer/printer to the autoloader. The second line is the response. To make things printable, I replaced the ASCII ESC character (hex x1B) with a plus + symbol and the ASCII EOT character (hex x04) with an = symbol.

So far, it seems all commands and replies start with ESC! and all replies end with EOT. Log file from initialization follows.Continue reading “Rimage DTP-4500 RAS 13 Initialization Sequence”

Arduino Robotic Directional Wifi Scanning

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I wanted to be able to locate wifi signals, so I built a directional antenna and strapped it onto my panorama robot. The waveguide style antenna built from a used can (explains the name cantenna) looked to be the easiest to build. I bought a pigtail with an N male connector to RP-SMA male connector.  I plugged this into my Alfa Network AWUS036NH. I then fired up inSSIDer and used PuTTY to control the Arduino sketch and aim the antenna.

The signal strength was not what I expected to see at all. I assumed this antenna was directional and would be strongest when I pointed it directly at the AP. It was strongest pointing at about a 45 degree angle to the left of the access point. I’m a complete n00b when it comes to RF, so any feedback on why I’m not seeing what i expected for results would be greatly appreciated.

Note: Will update post if/when I have an answer.

Update:

I am a complete n00b when it comes to build antennas. I goobered another can on there and it works a lot better. I have to give a great thanks to several redditors for pointing me in the right direction. I’m always impressed with how helpful people are. http://www.reddit.com/r/electronics/comments/tmtbi/attempting_wifi_direction_finding_with_a_cantenna/ Even better, I’ve got some reading to do now.

I’ve included links I found useful or interesting and more pictures.

Continue reading “Arduino Robotic Directional Wifi Scanning”

Flash drive repair

Someone at work broke a sandisk cruzer micro flash drive. It was really broken. It ripped the pads off the PCB.

Of course it had the only copy of the data on it.

The power and ground traces were pretty easy to trace and solder onto alternate pads. I didn’t bother to take pics of that. The traces from the USB plug D+ and D- went directly to the tiny chip on the top of the board, as you can see in the second picture. Solder mask is pretty tough so I figured the pins of this chip would be the easiest place to connect.

I used 30 gauge magnet wire to make the connections. It didn’t have to last long, just long enough to transfer data off, so I just held wires in place with masking tape. I didn’t have a spare USB connector, so I rigged up the broken one on a piece of perfboard.

I was able to recover all the data.

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Continue reading “Flash drive repair”