Version 7

    Hardware Hacking

    Enter Your Electronics & Design Project for a chance to win a $200 shopping cart!

    Submit an EntrySubmit an Entry  Back to homepage
    Project14 Home
    Monthly Themes
    Monthly Theme Poll


    In the Comments Below:  Let Us Know Your Hardware Hacking Project Ideas!


    You Can Do Anything That Involves Reverse Engineering, Modding, Adding Digital to Analog, Sniffing Busses, Modifying Firmware, and More!


    Submit a Blog in Hardware Hacking or tag your post HardwareHackingCH for a Chance to Win!


    Submit an EntrySubmit an Entry


    The theme for May 2020 is Hardware Hacking and it comes from neuromodulator .   His idea was to do projects that involve anything from reverse engineering, modding, adding digital to analog, sniffing busses, modifying firmware, and more.  Your "hack" can involve an original creation or method or way of solving a problem especially if its done in an unorthodox fashion.  A good first step to hardware hacking, even if you don't know what you want to do at this point, is to rip something open, typically referred to as a teardown, and to figure out how it works.  During your product teardown you could explore any number of product assembly/disassembly methods and anti-tamper mechanisms.  Once your box is open you'll get a chance to identify components such as discrete components, integrated circuits, PCB, Buses and Interfaces, and memory and firmware.  Hardware Hacking  is a great way to learn or work on reverse engineering a PCB, something that is necessary to fix a problem that may not be obvious such as blown fuse or a defective capacitor, as well as, more advanced tasks such as adding functionality to a device.  Along the way you'll get a chance to work on your soldering/desoldering technique,  use a multimeter or a schematic or a block diagram to determine pin function, use a logic analyzer for signal monitoring or digital decoding, locate the programming/debug interface on a custom PCB, extract firmware using vendor specific tools, debug and disassemble to determine security mechanisms, bypass security by modifying and injecting new firmware, JTAG exploitation, and so much more!


    You can use this as an opportunity to modify any household appliance or consumer electronic product, such as an old game console, to perform functions that they were not intended to do. The hardware hacking challenge is an opportunity to do anything that involves product teardown, component identification, circuit board reverse engineering, soldering and desoldering, signal monitoring and analysis, and memory extraction, using a variety of tools including a logic analyzer, multimeter, and device programmer.  Or, you can upcycle an existing product and turn it into something novel and perform something it was never intended to do such as the  The Pi Rotary by balearicdynamics.  Or, you could reverse engineer an existing product to create something beautiful such as the PiCasso Design Challenge - PiMassive - Blog #10 - PiMassive is Alive! by gam3t3ch.  There are many ways to go about hardware hacking and the element14 community is full of inspiring ideas from any number of projects by members in our monthly Project14 project competitions, our supplier sponsored Design Challenges,  as well as element14 presents  properties such as  The Electronics InsideProject Videos ,  and our archive of  Ben Heck Show Episodes.


    Here are Some Projects to Inspire You:


    Episode 338: Zip Drive Reverse Engineering


    Episode 410: MacPro G5 Cheese Grater with Raspberry Pi 4 by mayermakes



    Forget Me Not :  eLDERmon  Hardware Hacking by mcb1


    Episode 263: Ben Heck's Reverse Engineered Game Boy Printer Episode


    Mini Arcade Build Log #1 - Hack Like Heck - The Trouble with Joysticks by andywest

    Episode 403: Upcycled IoT Coffee Pot Ramen Maker by mayermakes



    Screen success | Hack Like Heck build update by baldengineer


    Your Chance to Win


    Be Original
    Stick to the Theme
    • You could come up with a clever name that make's your project memorable!
      • This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.
    • Your project could introduce something new or that is not commercially available or affordable!
    • If you have an idea for a project that doesn't fit the current theme then submit your idea in the comments section of the monthly poll.
    List the Steps
    Submit Video Proof
    • Provide the steps you took to complete your project (text, video, or images).
      • This could be a step by step how-to-guide, vlog, schematics, coding, napkin drawings, voice narration, or whatever you think will be useful!
    • If it doesn't work that's fine, this is more about the journey than the end product.
    • A short video is all that is required but you can shoot as much video as you like.
    • You are encouraged to be creative and have as much fun as possible!


    Your Project Examples


    Hardware Hacking
    R2-D2 Arcade Live Hack Like Heck - Clemens Mayer - MAYER MAKES - VRpi - Virtual Reality DOOM




    Your Prizes


    One Grand Prize Winner Wins a $200 Shopping Cart!Three First Place Winners Win a $100 Shopping Cart
    • One Grand Prize Winner Wins a $200 Shopping Cart!
    • 3 First Place Winners a $100 Shopping Cart!




    Your Project, Your Ideas!


    About Project14

    Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.


    What are Monthly Themes?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) a new theme will be posted on Project14.
    • Submit your ideas (proposals) for your projects to get feedback from the rest of the community.
    • Submit a project entry in the Theme space once you start working on it.


    What are Monthly Theme Polls?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) there is a project theme poll.
    • Vote on which project competition you want to see for the following upcoming theme.
      • The themes voted on during the previous poll decided the upcoming theme.
      • If you submit an idea for a theme that is not used then it can still be used in a future poll.
    • Themes comments and ideas from the comments section of the project theme poll.

    Step 1: Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.


    Be sure to include video proof of your project!


    Visit:  Hardware Hacking or tag your project blog HardwareHackingCH


    You have until July 14th End of Day to submit your completed project!



    Submit an EntrySubmit an Entry



    A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!



    In the Comments Below:  Let Us Know Your Hardware Hacking Project Ideas!


    You Can Do Anything That Involves Reverse Engineering, Modding, Adding Digital to Analog, Sniffing Busses, Modifying Firmware, and More!


    Submit a Blog in Hardware Hacking or tag your post HardwareHackingCH for a Chance to Win!