[TriEmbed] Hacking a fake vintage radio (with Arduino + Pi 0)

Huan Truong htruong at tnhh.net
Mon Jun 29 19:46:40 CDT 2020

Thanks, I sent it to the HAD staff via their "submit a hack" link on
their homepage and they are very kind. This is not the first time I've
done that and I really like the HAD staff. I hope it will wake up the
creativity of someone. In real life, this whole system looks actually
pretty attractive (and sounds nice, as I usually connect an external
amp to the faux radio whenever I don't feel nostalgic).


As a side note, getting random numbers out of a (deterministic)
computer is really hard. Getting nice, uniform numbers out of any
system is even harder, that's why cryptography is so hard. There is a
friend of mine, a significant and proud part of his work at Google is
to create a library that makes it easy to call cryptographic
functions. Specifically, part of it is to make it hard for programmers
to mess up/misuse the RNG.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 7:41 AM Kevin McClaning via TriEmbed
<triembed at triembed.org> wrote:
> Excellent write up, Huan.
> Speaking of "silly" and "No one cares about," I once bought a scrolling
> LED sign at
> a ham fest but couldn't find documentation. I reverse-engineered the
> hardware so
> I could directly access the LED matrix with an Arduino, then set it
> about displaying
> humorous/motivational messages (of the kind you see at the bottom of
> slashdot),
> along with some random numbers and graphics.
> No, it doesn't stop there. I used the Arduino random number generator to
> select the individual
> messages to display but, I noticed that it always produced the same
> "random" order of messages.
> This annoyed me, so I added a temperature sensor and used its output to
> increase the entropy
> of the Arduino. Since I was in the "increase the entropy" neighborhood,
> I build two audio oscillators,
> with crappy stability and ran them into the AD converters of the
> Arduino. I sampled the waveforms
> every now and then and fed that into the Arduino's random seed as well.
> Yeah, "silly" but it was a fun diversion. Did all this in the
> before-the-pandemic timeframe.
> Kevin
> On 6/24/20 12:43 PM, Huan Truong via TriEmbed wrote:
> > This has taken me way more time than I thought, but finishing this
> > retrofit is a big achievement for me. It's really silly and serves
> > exactly no purpose other than RE'ing something no one cares about.  So
> > I just want to share for some shits and giggles.
> >
> > http://www.tnhh.net/posts/adventures-hacking-fake-vivitar-vintage-radio.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Huan Truong
www tnhh.net / twitter @huant

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