What to do with a Blackcat USB?

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What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:58 am

Well, this just dropped into my lap recently for free:
http://blackcatusbjtag.com/
I have no idea what to do with it. Apparently, it's a whole SoC, with 10 pins with which to make its mark on the world. The official website says it's a "flash programmer", but I've never seen a flash chip that wasn't TSOP, plus, they all have more than 10 pins.

So I guess I'm asking: what does it do? Can I control each pin individually, and kinda use it like an Arduino?
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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:43 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:Well, this just dropped into my lap recently for free:
http://blackcatusbjtag.com/
I have no idea what to do with it. Apparently, it's a whole SoC, with 10 pins with which to make its mark on the world. The official website says it's a "flash programmer", but I've never seen a flash chip that wasn't TSOP, plus, they all have more than 10 pins.

So I guess I'm asking: what does it do? Can I control each pin individually, and kinda use it like an Arduino?



Look up JTAG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Test_Action_Group

It is a device programmer designed to program flash chips that are installed in a system that has a JTAG chain. Think things like a wireless router or a print server. My big question would be "how did you end up with it?", given that its obviously outside your general realm of experience.

To answer your question, no you cannot use it like an Arduino in its current form. It can talk JTAG or SPI which are both serial protocols. You could theoretically install different firmware on the Atmel chip and use the pins as GPIO, but that would take some doing. You would have to write your own USB code for both the host PC and the board.

Calling the AT90USB162 and SOC is a bit of a stretch. It is a microcontroller with built in USB hardware. It has 16KB of flash memory for program storage, 512B of EEPROM for use by the application program, and 512B of RAM. Yes, bytes. It has no facility to expand the amout of RAM -- it's just a microcontroller.

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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:25 pm

I came in this thread because I saw Blackcat and read Blackmagic. (。・//ε//・。)

I'll just be leaving now...
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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:40 am

Apparently it was used to hack a PS3, and now that there's PS3 CFW, the guy had no need for the Blackcat anymore. So you're saying if something went wrong while flashing a BIOS or firmware onto a motherboard or DVD burner, then I could use this to reflash it?
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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:32 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:Apparently it was used to hack a PS3, and now that there's PS3 CFW, the guy had no need for the Blackcat anymore. So you're saying if something went wrong while flashing a BIOS or firmware onto a motherboard or DVD burner, then I could use this to reflash it?


Probably not on your average consumer motherboard. I know that some server boards do have JTAG headers, or at least the pads, on them so yes, theoretically you could on one of those. DVD burner would likely require taking the drive apart and then again, it would depend on whether the JTAG signals were brought out. Then, on top of that, you need to know the flash memory map since flashing your BIOS doesn't just re-write the whole chip.

You've got to be a pretty hardcore hardware nerd for these, or something like it, to be useful two you on a frequent basis.

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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:59 pm

Think more like unbricking routers whilst flashing them with 3rd party firmware.
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Re: What to do with a Blackcat USB?

Postposted on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:36 pm

That thing is highly technical. Don't touch it.
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