Workshops/Bus Pirate for dummies

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Bus Pirate drop-in workshop


This workshop will cover some basic protocol sniffing with the popular Bus Pirate, a flexible tool which speeds up prototyping, by providing means (monitor and keyboard) of implementing serial communication with a device at the bit level.


2h max.


  • Accessing the device
  • Help menu
  • Wiring
  • Communicating

Learning the ropes

To access the Bus Pirate, via USB, we'll be using "screen" on Linux, though in theory it should work on OS X and telnet should work on Windows.

The Bus Pirate help menu

Learning the Bus Pirate language, which reminds me of l33t.

This is a statement:


You will learn what it means, and some more.


We'll go over the connectors, plus do some basic checks with a multimeter to make sure we are good to go.

Low level communication

One of these two:

  • Hitachi HM55B Compass Module
  • Microchip TC3402 16-Bit Sigma-Delta AD Converter

will be used.

These integrated circuits are straighforward to wire up, have a simple serial protocol easy enough to implement, so provide a good starting point.

If you have any other you would like to sniff, bring it along, making sure there is a datasheet available.

Maybe the Wii nunchuk (I2C, I think) ?

Sure. Bring it along.