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'[EE]: Removing chip labeling'
2003\05\25@014128 by Picdude

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Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the writing/labeling from DIP IC cases?  I think most are plastic.

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\25@020242 by Herbert Graf

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> Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the
> writing/labeling from DIP
> IC cases?  I think most are plastic.

       If you are thinking it might deter reverse engineering forget about it, a
part without labels will take maybe an extra minute for someone to reverse
engineer it. TTYL

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2003\05\25@025129 by Picdude

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Not really -- I want to paint on my own wording for fun.
I figured it might be common practice.

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Sunday 25 May 2003 01:01, Herbert Graf scribbled:
> > Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the
> > writing/labeling from DIP
> > IC cases?  I think most are plastic.
>
>         If you are thinking it might deter reverse engineering forget about
> it, a part without labels will take maybe an extra minute for someone to
> reverse engineer it. TTYL

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2003\05\25@030413 by Dave King

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At 11:54 PM 24/05/03, you wrote:
>Not really -- I want to paint on my own wording for fun.
>I figured it might be common practice.

If you give it a couple of hits with some 600grit sandpaper
its clean and smooth. We used to do this on a sanding drum
on the drill press which was a thrill once in a while as they went
whiz across the room if you slipped.

It may not stop anyone from figuring it out but it can slow them down.
Sand the ident off and imbed it in epoxy and its a total PIA to start
to figure it out.

Dave

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2003\05\25@043119 by Jinx
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> Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the writing/labeling
> from DIP IC cases?  I think most are plastic.

A complex of Mg3Al2Si3O12 in laminar form - commonly available on a
processed cellulose base and going by the name "garnet paper"

Iron, in a suitably abrasive form, works well too

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2003\05\25@053708 by Bob Axtell

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Safest thing to use is an electric drafting eraser. The most abrasive
"eraser" material does a complete job quicjky.

--Bob Axtell

At 12:34 AM 5/25/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the writing/labeling from DIP
>IC cases?  I think most are plastic.
>
>Cheers,
>-Neil.
>
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2003\05\25@060651 by Steve Smith

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Dremmel with a flap disk of sandpaper Steve..

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list [KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU] On
Behalf Of Bob Axtell
Sent: 25 May 2003 10:26
To: RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [EE]: Removing chip labeling


Safest thing to use is an electric drafting eraser. The most abrasive
"eraser" material does a complete job quicjky.

--Bob Axtell

At 12:34 AM 5/25/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the writing/labeling
>from DIP IC cases?  I think most are plastic.
>
>Cheers,
>-Neil.
>
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2003\05\25@104916 by Marc Nicholas

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On 25/5/03 01:34, "Picdude" <picdudeEraseMEspam.....NARWANI.ORG> wrote:

> Anyone know what (chemical) I can use to remove the writing/labeling from DIP
> IC cases?  I think most are plastic.

BTW...don't try to do it chemically! You wouldn't want anything reacting
with the plastic housing or eating it over time and possibly leading to
malfunctioning silicon because of oxidization etc. :-)


--marc



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UNIX, Database, Security and Networking Consulting

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2003\05\25@114402 by John Pearson

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I would like to know how long it would take any of  you, here, to identify
an unmarked chip?

Thanks

John

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2003\05\25@124807 by Marcelo Puhl

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       TTL and CMOS = 2 seconds

On 25 May 2003 at 8:57, John Pearson wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2003\05\25@125430 by Wouter van Ooijen

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Last week I indentified a chip by looking at the die and comparing it
with pictures in the datasheets of the few relevant candidates. With a
slightly stronger microscope I could probably have read the manfacturer
and type number directly from the die. This was a chip-on-glass, so
there was no plastic to remove, but for a plastic packaged chip a little
sandpaper would be enough. Ceramic might be somewhat more difficult, but
still a one-banana job.

Wouter van Ooijen

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> {Original Message removed}

2003\05\25@125435 by Olin Lathrop

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John Pearson wrote:
> I would like to know how long it would take any of  you, here, to
> identify an unmarked chip?

About that long.  It can sometimes take longer in difficult cases, but
less time with some luck.


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Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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2003\05\25@131739 by gtyler

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In the 70's I used a card that was available for the apple 2+ computer that
not only tested ic's but identified them. always thought that it was a good
idea but have never seen anything like that for a PC. Does anyone know of
one?

George Tyler

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wouter van Ooijen" <RemoveMEwouterKILLspamspamVOTI.NL>
To: <PICLISTSTOPspamspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2003 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Removing chip labeling


{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2003\05\25@132531 by Marcelo Puhl

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       I have one, made by a friend. An ISA card with an external Textool.
       It has a DOS software that does the IC testing and identification.

On 24 May 2003 at 19:20, gtyler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> > > {Original Message removed}

2003\05\25@145849 by Herbert Graf

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> In the 70's I used a card that was available for the apple 2+
> computer that
> not only tested ic's but identified them. always thought that it
> was a good
> idea but have never seen anything like that for a PC. Does anyone know of
> one?

       Unfortunately that sort of thing will really only work on a particular
family of chips. For example, all TTL chips (74 series) have Vcc and Gnd in
the same spot, so identifying which chip is which is relatively easy. If
however you plonked in a 16F628 things would break down rather quickly.

       Generally IDing a chip isn't that hard, provided it is a relatively popular
chip, a quick look at the board will tell you where power is, the presence
of a crystal or some other device will give away some other important pins,
and it's use in the circuit will usually narrow it down to only a few
candidates. TTYL

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2003\05\25@155646 by Dave King

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Electronics Now had a complete board setup for identifying logic
in one of their issue a few ice ages back. I never built it but a friend
did and he claimed it was about 90% accurate.

Dave


At 10:23 AM 25/05/03, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > > > {Original Message removed}

2003\05\25@160723 by Dwayne Reid

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At 08:57 AM 5/25/03 -0700, John Pearson wrote:
>I would like to know how long it would take any of  you, here, to identify
>an unmarked chip?

I once reverse-engineered a parallel port dongle (software key) containing
2 chips with all markings sanded off.  Took less than an hour.  The
original dongle still worked when I was though with it, as did it's new
(backup) brother.

I'm not particularly fast - I'm sure that others would have taken less time.

dwayne

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2003\05\25@161138 by David VanHorn

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At 12:55 PM 5/25/2003 -0700, Dave King wrote:

>Electronics Now had a complete board setup for identifying logic
>in one of their issue a few ice ages back. I never built it but a friend
>did and he claimed it was about 90% accurate.

Find the power pins, crystal pins, and reset, and you can come pretty close on most micros.

That's another reason I like the AVR2343 and it's cousins. No crystal, no need for external reset.  Just power, and six pins that do stuff.

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2003\05\25@162842 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> That's another reason I like the AVR2343 and it's cousins. No
> crystal, no need for external reset.  Just power, and six
> pins that do stuff.

The 12F628/675 PICs can be used just the same (16F630/676 too, even
16F628 and 16F818/819). And to make re-engineering from looking at the
PCB more interesting leave the power pins unconnected and feed power via
I/O ports and the protection diodes.

But I would simply grind away the housing and look at the die, which
probably states "Microchip 12F628 revision XX", and maybe even the URL
of the datasheet?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\25@171703 by Philip Pemberton

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In message <000001c322fc$2e0469d0$0b00a8c0@PAARD>
         Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterspamspamBeGoneVOTI.NL> wrote:

> But I would simply grind away the housing and look at the die, which
> probably states "Microchip 12F628 revision XX", and maybe even the URL
> of the datasheet?
1) If you ground off the top of the housing, you're not going to be able to
get the die out intact, i.e. without damaging it.
2) Most reverse-engineering teams use fuming nitric acid.

Does anyone want to pull a 12C508/JW out and put it under a microscope? I'm
not going to sacrifice any of mine...
Alternatively if someone here has access to a chemistry lab, perhaps they
could get a dead 12C508 and use some nitric acid to remove the cover plastic,
then put the chip under a microscope? I'd love to see if any of the
Microchip IC design team had hidden anything on the chips (see
http://www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu/creatures/ ).

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2003\05\25@174725 by William Chops Westfield

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   I would like to know how long it would take any of you, here, to
   identify an unmarked chip?

What KIND of unmarked chip?  Random MSI might be difficult, but processors
and microcontrollers can be very easy.  N pins on the chip, Power connected
to these pins, crystal connected to those pins, reset circuit over here,
must be one of these (M) PICs....

BillW

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2003\05\26@044012 by Picdude

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I'll save everyone from a flood of emails by collectively responding here...
Marc Nicholas scribbled:
> BTW...don't try to do it chemically! You wouldn't want anything reacting
> with the plastic housing or eating it over time and possibly leading to
> malfunctioning silicon because of oxidization etc. :-)

Various people scribbled:
>  < various things relating to sandpaper >

Gee!  What a let-down.  I was expecting (hoping?) to hear of some kitchen-sourced chemical that would remove the labeling, but instead, I got the caveman solution. :-)  Sandpaper (220grit, IIRC) that I tried in the past left me with a dull grey finish, but perhaps I'll try something finer this time.  I'll be back...


Jinx scribbled:
> A complex of Mg3Al2Si3O12 in laminar form - commonly available on a
> processed cellulose base and going by the name "garnet paper"

Imagine the reaction I'd get if I asked a local hardware-store rep for this.  They may spontaneously combust!  To spare them, I think I'll have to just go with sandpaper instead. :-)

Cheers,
-Neil.

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2003\05\26@052033 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Gee!  What a let-down.  I was expecting (hoping?) to hear of some
> kitchen-sourced chemical that would remove the labeling

I think some labeling is actually engraved, so removing the paint
cheamically would not achive anything.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\05\26@053107 by Jinx

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> A complex of Mg3Al2Si3O12 in laminar form - commonly available
> on a processed cellulose base and going by the name "garnet paper"

> Imagine the reaction I'd get if I asked a local hardware-store rep for
> this.  They may spontaneously combust !

Yeah, they're not always so bright. I asked at the local Placemakers
Information Desk "Will I ever find true happiness ?" and they didn't
know

Seriously, plastics like graphite-loaded epoxy are quite inert to just
about any common solvent. They have to be stable as well to meet
requirements like moisture-resistance and non-corrosion of metal
parts like legs and dies

IC decapsulator machine using nitric acid

http://www.bgintl.com/dcap.html

Development is ongoing towards the production of ICs made completely
of plastic and organic molecules. Anyone's guess how you'd pull those
apart

And some ICs are moving back under glass

http://www.mpdigest.com/Articles/Sept2001/stratedge/Default.htm

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2003\05\26@144416 by William Chops Westfield

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Most chip labeling is probably sort of 'curable' (as opposed to "drying")
ink, and thus isn't easilly removed by any common solvents (still, you
might want to try one of those "spot and stain remover" collections.)
If I wanted to get rid of the labels for esthetic (as opposed to security)
purposes, I'd be looking for inks or paints to cover the existing markings,
rather than trying to remove them.

BillW

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2003\05\26@154057 by Peter L. Peres

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>In the 70's I used a card that was available for the apple 2+ computer
>that not only tested ic's but identified them. always thought that it was
>a good idea but have never seen anything like that for a PC. Does anyone
>know of one?

They are handheld now, and id and test the chip. Test equipment shops sell
them. I think I saw one in a Mouser catalog.

Peter

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2003\05\26@205758 by Tal

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There are professional services for chip relabeling. They use techniques
such as sand blasting and laser labeling and typically they are
reasonably priced.

Try http://www.primesol.com/pages/semi_elect.html or similar srvices
(note the Select a Prime Solution pul down list at the bottom left side
of the page).

Tal

> {Original Message removed}

2003\05\26@230310 by SM Ling

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Have anyone tried the nail-painting machine mentioned by James Newton ages
ago?
I remembered rushing to a TV-media shop after his suggestion, but could not
find a set here.

Cheers, Ling SM
> > Most chip labeling is probably sort of 'curable' (as opposed
> > to "drying") ink, and thus isn't easilly removed by any
> > common solvents (still, you might want to try one of those
> > "spot and stain remover" collections.) If I wanted to get rid
> > of the labels for esthetic (as opposed to security) purposes,
> > I'd be looking for inks or paints to cover the existing
> > markings, rather than trying to remove them.

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2003\05\27@070254 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I would like to know how long it would take any of
>you, here, to identify an unmarked chip?

Well it took me about half a minute to identify a 6802 that had an HP
special part number on the top. The clue was it had 6802 on the bottom :))

I think some chips from that era had the generic part number stamped on the
bottom as they were encapsulated, and then after full test had the complete
marketing part number printed on the top. Often works for general logic
chips as well.

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2003\05\29@134125 by Peter L. Peres

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>Most chip labeling is probably sort of 'curable' (as opposed to "drying")
>ink, and thus isn't easilly removed by any common solvents (still, you

Most chip labeling is laser etched (at least on pics and many other modern
chips). I think that they simply blow pits in the epoxy using a CO2 laser.
If you look with a microscope you can see the individual pits. I believe
it is laser at least. The other way to do this would be sandblasting
through a stencil. Not so likely.

Peter

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2003\05\29@134723 by Mike Harrison

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Most companies laser-mark these days - I was takling to a guy from Texas Instruments recently and he
commented that they (and preumably most others) couldn't afford to do it any other way.
On Wed, 28 May 2003 00:03:19 +0300, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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