Posts tagged: Asm

Esquire E-Ink code disassembled

Originally posted September 9th, 2008

I got the Esquire magazines today (2) and ripped one apart before even looking at the first page.  I have to say I’m a little  underwhelmed considering the E-Ink is only 2×5 inches and isn’t a matrix like I hoped :-(.  However that underwhelmedness lasted only a few minutes until I discovered the whole thing was controlled by a PIC16F629 and there are connections for an ICSP connector!

A little about the setup, like the post on the Make blog said there are two panels that change shapes and text black then white.  The top panel has 11 distinctly controllable cells with 4 blocks, 3 rectangles, “The 21st Century”, “Begins”, “Now”, and the space in between.  I read a little today on how eInk works and it doesn’t surprise me they made distinct blocks, an addressable matrix seems complicated.

Tonight after work I soldered some wires onto the controller and downloaded and disassembled the firmware.   I was a little surprised there was no Code Protection enabled. It’s all PIC asm so it’s going to take some time to decode/modify, however expect some different animation sequences.

Reading Esquire eInk controller

I’ve decided to not post the code since it is copyright to Hearst Media or the engineer who wrote it.  If you want to pull the firmware here’s how:

  • Get/borrow/make a ICSP programmer (parallel programmers will work, just lead out the Vdd,Vss,MCLR,CLK,DATA pins
  • Remove the battery since it is only 3v and most likely you will be using 5v
  • Hook up the programmer and read the HEX (Code protection is NOT enabled)
  • Disassemble the code using your software of choice (mine is PikDev and gpasm)

I uploaded a new album to the gallery with some photos, take a look:

If you have any questions leave a comment here, on or talk to me on EFNet #geeksinside

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