Hacked USB Doomsday Device

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by toddfx, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. toddfx

    toddfx [H]Lite

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    Hey guys, just joined. I'm looking for a good tech community, and love how expansive this one seems. Anyway, here is a mod I just finished last night.

    Surely you’re at least vaguely framiliar with the USB Doomsday Device Hub at Thinkgeek. It’s a neat looking box with a sequence of toggles building up to a scary red button. What kind of awesomes could the button possibly do!?

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the answer to that is: nothing! It’s a 4 port USB hub that makes a cheesy explosion sound effect when you press the button. How disappointing is that? This little trigger box is so solidly built that it deserves some worthy usage. Should it be used as a computers power button, or programmed to launch an application? Could it initiate an emergency shut down, or even trigger a BSoD!? I decided that something had to be done.

    I did some research and found a couple of useful sites. First thing was this homemade device on Instructables.com which at least served as great schematic reference. Second thing I found, which ended up being the real deal maker, is this other USB button and some custom software that lets you launch Windows commands and applications. Kudos to Ben Shoof who put that utility together. He has some other interesting stuff on his site too.

    [​IMG]

    So I ordered the Panic Button, downloaded Ben’s software, and prepped for surgery. The Panic Button couldn’t be simpler inside - USB cord attached to a rather tiny circuit board with a single wired button.

    The Doomsday Device on the other hand, has a but more to it. A web of wires connect all 4 toggles to the circuit board (which doubles as the USB hub). It’s more than a simple closed loop though, as each switch also routes directly back to the circuit board which seems to take into account the sequence that the switches are toggled in. If you do not activate the switches in numerical order then the red button will not work. The LED is also controlled entirely by the board logic rather than being looped in with the toggles.

    [​IMG]
    (both device’s circuits side by side)

    Anyway, I went ahead and just snipped all the wires (and the speaker) from the circuit board because it was just making things too complicated. I’m only interested in the switch hardware at this point. I should note that the USB hub does still operate perfectly on it’s own even after I've severed its limbs.

    I do not claim to be a master electrician, so I sort of fumbled my way through this re-configuration. I’ll also admit to killing a LED in the process, and probably routing power other places it should not have gone while trying to loop in the LED and power source.

    [​IMG]

    With enough tinkering and some compromising, I got the thing all soldered together. Ok so maybe the authenticity of having to toggle all switches in a specific order was lost, and it’s true the LED & key-switch are on a separate loop than the rest of the switches. However it’s the best I can do with the hardware I currently have, and I think the added software functionality makes it a worthy step beyond the stock Doomsday hub.

    The beauty of it (thanks to benshoof.org) is that you can easily set it to do whatever you want. In my case, I am launching a command script to open the task manager.
    Perhaps doing something like restarting the computer would be more dramatic, but I guess I chose task manager in reference to CTRL+ALT+DEL which we all know and love so much.

    [​IMG]

    The fully functional USB hub remains inside as well (thus the dual USB cords).

    Check it out in action: http://vimeo.com/20822365

    Looking back on it, i'm not sure why I didn't just route the "Panic Button" USB cord straight into one of Doomsday's hub ports to alleviate the dual USB cords braid. However, I do hope to take a second look at this project in the future, as I would also love to add some authenticity back to the way the key-switch and LED work. In order to do that I’ll need to find a different key-switch that accommodates two loops.

    For now though, I have other projects coming down the pipe and need to put this one to bed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  2. Spilly

    Spilly Limp Gawd

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    No need for a new key switch. You just need to wire the switches up in series and run the led in parallel with a micro relay (to complete the circuit on the circuit board).
     
  3. mannyman

    mannyman 2[H]4U

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    awesome kudos to you sir
     
  4. thinkdiesel

    thinkdiesel Limp Gawd

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    interesting, has potential
     
  5. hardal

    hardal [H]Lite

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    Would be cool if it could actually be the alt+ctl+del. [​IMG]
     
  6. NeonOmega

    NeonOmega [H]Lite

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    I would pay $100 for that.

    Where do I sign up??

    A W E S O M E job.
     
  7. caddys83

    caddys83 2[H]4U

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  8. toddfx

    toddfx [H]Lite

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    Cool guys, glad you like it! I just realized though that my video link did not work hah. Not sure why I didn't catch that initially, but it's fixed now.

    You can see a video of the thing working in my vimeo link here.

    It does actually trigger CTRL+ALT+DEL, if that is what you mean to say. Check out the video to see it in action.

    That is great news. Like I said I'm no master electrician, just sort of stumbling my way through this. I'm going to look into micro relays for sure. Does it basically just say "if circuit A is completed, then trigger circuit B" without actually intersecting the electricity between the two circuits? The problem I was having was that as soon as the power source was looped into the circuit, the Panic Button's switch would be triggered prematurely. I take it this micro relay will keep that from happening. Thanks for the tip!
     
  9. Build me one for emergency shutdowns of my pc and I will buy it.
     
  10. GushpinBob

    GushpinBob 2[H]4U

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    Or one that deletes the browser cache and history and switches the current page to google.com for...go figure. ;)
     
  11. impactfactor

    impactfactor Limp Gawd

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    Me too that is sweet
     
  12. n3ckcutta

    n3ckcutta Limp Gawd

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  13. DarkStar02

    DarkStar02 2[H]4U

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    You guys would pay $100 for that? It's cool and all but damn, you guys don't have anything better to spend $100 on?
     
  14. Simonzi

    Simonzi Limp Gawd

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    Some people just want to feel like evil villains :D
     
  15. 100 bux in real money, read UK pounds is about 8 packet of cigarettes :) so its quite cheap actually compared to some of the shit you see in the UK on sale for 100s that probably do less than the thing he made.
     
  16. nurse

    nurse [H]Lite

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    yea... it it'd be cool to be a super villain for a day, it'd be cool if you could program the button to give you a fake blue screen of death.
     
  17. Xerack

    Xerack Gawd

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