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PICList Thread
'Pic code protection alert!'
1996\04\04@174417 by Dennis Velthuis

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face
Hello pic users.

I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

But what about the other pic's???

I was very surprised to read the following message some days ago in the
alt.cellular newsgroup ...

>>SERVICE THAT IS NOW  100% WORKING WE CAN GUARANTEE THAT
>>WE CAN READ ANY PIC16/C54 PIC16/C55 PIC16/C56 PIC16/C71 PIC16/84
>>WITH THE LOCK BIT ENABLED WE DONT EMULATE THE CODE WE GO STRAIGHT IN TAKE
>>THE LOCK BIT OF AND READ THE CODE OUT IN HEX
>>FORMAT IF YOU ARE INTRESTED IN THIS SERVICE AND PRICES PLEASE
>>EMAIL THANKS...

*glunk*, ANY pic? Wow, that's quite a claim!
Well, being curious I mailed the poster of the message asking some details
about this service and this is his answer ...

>>Hello i cant tell you how its done but we can read the pics with no problem
>>at all
>>the service costs $2000 for a pic54   and $2300 for abouth ie 56 71 ect
>>and ther is no hard ware avalible for sale to do it...
>>if you want any more info call ..
   <details deleted>

Now this makes me wonder. Is this really possible?
Pic's are used in many commercial products and I would assume that many
people don't want their pic code being read out.

I don't know if this is a serious claim, you might never know.
(well, he did mention the company's name and tel/fax number)

I think you all should be aware of the fact(?) that someone (maybe) can
read the code out of your product.

I hope someone can shed some light on this matter.
Let's solve this 'mystery' once and for all. :-)


Bye!

D. Velthuis

--
****************************************************************************
*             -= Dennis Velthuis =-    -= spam_OUTdenvTakeThisOuTspamhtsa.hva.nl =-              *
*                 -= Raving His Way Into Tha Future ;) =-                  *
*                   -= http://htsa.htsa.hva.nl/~denv =-
*     -= U Have The Right to Exchange Information, So Use This Right! =-   *
****************************************************************************

1996\04\05@044215 by Otto Tronarp

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At 00.43 1996-04-05 METDST, you wrote:
>Hello pic users.
>
>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.

Regards Otto

1996\04\05@044215 by Otto Tronarp

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face
At 00.43 1996-04-05 METDST, you wrote:
>Hello pic users.
>
>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.

Regards Otto

1996\04\05@044215 by Otto Tronarp

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face
At 00.43 1996-04-05 METDST, you wrote:
>Hello pic users.
>
>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.

Regards Otto

1996\04\05@113924 by liver Niekrenz

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face
>
> Hello pic users.
>
> I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
> able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
> Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
> I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

Well, there was indeed an article about busting a protected pic sometime
ago in the above mentioned newsgroup.

You were given a detailed procedure about how to do this, so you don't
really need to use this horribly expensive service.

I saved this article and it looked really easy as far as I can remember.

oli

1996\04\05@113924 by liver Niekrenz

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face
>
> Hello pic users.
>
> I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
> able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
> Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
> I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

Well, there was indeed an article about busting a protected pic sometime
ago in the above mentioned newsgroup.

You were given a detailed procedure about how to do this, so you don't
really need to use this horribly expensive service.

I saved this article and it looked really easy as far as I can remember.

oli

1996\04\05@115615 by Mike Keitz

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face
>>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.
>
>I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
>know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
The '84 is reportedly easy to bust, though I haven't tried it myself.  I can
think of a similar method for the EPROM models, by raising the Vdd voltage
until the unit senses the CP bit as unprogrammed, then programming groups of
4 zeros over the program and X-oring the verify codes at each stage to
determine what was programmed (this would destroy the program in the PIC,
but of course a new one could be programmed with the now cracked program).
Since reprogramming of the first 64 locations is not disabled by the CP bit,
these can be cracked immediately with nothing more than an ordinary
programmer.  At the very least, put sensitive code or data in the top part
of the EPROM which is somewhat more protected.

The only defense I've heard of (If Microchip is putting new features in the
PICs to defeat cracking, they aren't saying anything here) is to burn out
the pin buffers on the pins used for programming / verifying (B6 and B7 on
14-bit units, probably B0-B3 on 12-bit units would be sufficient) after
programming.  Of course the pins are then not available for I/O purposes
either, and the PIC may end up destroyed entirely.  This should defeat most
"garage" methods that use the existing program/verify paths, but more
advanced ones like opening the package up and scanning the chip will
probably never be stopped.

-Mike

1996\04\05@115615 by Mike Keitz

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face
>>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.
>
>I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
>know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
The '84 is reportedly easy to bust, though I haven't tried it myself.  I can
think of a similar method for the EPROM models, by raising the Vdd voltage
until the unit senses the CP bit as unprogrammed, then programming groups of
4 zeros over the program and X-oring the verify codes at each stage to
determine what was programmed (this would destroy the program in the PIC,
but of course a new one could be programmed with the now cracked program).
Since reprogramming of the first 64 locations is not disabled by the CP bit,
these can be cracked immediately with nothing more than an ordinary
programmer.  At the very least, put sensitive code or data in the top part
of the EPROM which is somewhat more protected.

The only defense I've heard of (If Microchip is putting new features in the
PICs to defeat cracking, they aren't saying anything here) is to burn out
the pin buffers on the pins used for programming / verifying (B6 and B7 on
14-bit units, probably B0-B3 on 12-bit units would be sufficient) after
programming.  Of course the pins are then not available for I/O purposes
either, and the PIC may end up destroyed entirely.  This should defeat most
"garage" methods that use the existing program/verify paths, but more
advanced ones like opening the package up and scanning the chip will
probably never be stopped.

-Mike

1996\04\05@122608 by paul

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picon face
Yes pic buster does exist and theres also a programmer that need no extra
software  its all done in hardware and works on the latest 84 chips ....
Anyone want to swop one for a programmer that programs all pics ?

--
Paul Bulmer

1996\04\05@122608 by paul

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picon face
Yes pic buster does exist and theres also a programmer that need no extra
software  its all done in hardware and works on the latest 84 chips ....
Anyone want to swop one for a programmer that programs all pics ?

--
Paul Bulmer

1996\04\05@161634 by Robin Abbott

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Having seen all the code busting stuff on this list am I the
only person on the list who would rather that code busting
techniques were :

a) kept quiet, I don't need my code busted thanks.

b) rebutted by Microchip. The 16C84 code busting technique is
  available on at least 2 web sites, and appears to be well
  documented. WHY don't Microchip respond to these threats to
  their customers intellectual property ? Do other manufacturers
  have such duff protection ? My current thoughts are that if
  it is so easy to bust PIC code then anyone who cares about
  their code ought to go elsewhere.

Robin

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                       |
|   .....robin.abbottKILLspamspam@spam@dial.pipex.com                                         |
|                                                                       |
|  PIC programmers and BASIC development systems from                   |
|    FOREST Electronic Developments. Visit our home page at             |
|                                                                       |
|      http://www.ibmpcug.co.uk/~gmwarner/fed.htm                       |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

1996\04\05@161634 by Robin Abbott

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Having seen all the code busting stuff on this list am I the
only person on the list who would rather that code busting
techniques were :

a) kept quiet, I don't need my code busted thanks.

b) rebutted by Microchip. The 16C84 code busting technique is
  available on at least 2 web sites, and appears to be well
  documented. WHY don't Microchip respond to these threats to
  their customers intellectual property ? Do other manufacturers
  have such duff protection ? My current thoughts are that if
  it is so easy to bust PIC code then anyone who cares about
  their code ought to go elsewhere.

Robin

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                       |
|   robin.abbottspamKILLspamdial.pipex.com                                         |
|                                                                       |
|  PIC programmers and BASIC development systems from                   |
|    FOREST Electronic Developments. Visit our home page at             |
|                                                                       |
|      http://www.ibmpcug.co.uk/~gmwarner/fed.htm                       |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

1996\04\05@162929 by Roger Books

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Well, I am probably going to draw flames about this since I am not writing
commercial applications (yet), however...

I wish that the code protection fuse didn't exist.  Why?

If someone wants to bad enough they are always going to find a way around
it.

So, someone from a country that is notorious for stealing software and
hardware designs manages to bypass the code fuse for your product.  They
manufacture your product, but since they didn't have the R&D they can
undercut you and you are hosed.

Because of the code protection fuse you can't read their code.  Is your
company going to invest in bypassing the code fuse, probably not unless they
have a good idea of what is going on.  You are hosed.

Without the fuse?  Well, you do a quick dump of the code, compare it to
yours, and the lawyers get to make money.

I, for one, don't believe that any of the manufacturers have a foolproof
method to keep someone from looking at your code.  Maybe I'm clueless.

Roger

1996\04\05@162929 by Roger Books

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face
Well, I am probably going to draw flames about this since I am not writing
commercial applications (yet), however...

I wish that the code protection fuse didn't exist.  Why?

If someone wants to bad enough they are always going to find a way around
it.

So, someone from a country that is notorious for stealing software and
hardware designs manages to bypass the code fuse for your product.  They
manufacture your product, but since they didn't have the R&D they can
undercut you and you are hosed.

Because of the code protection fuse you can't read their code.  Is your
company going to invest in bypassing the code fuse, probably not unless they
have a good idea of what is going on.  You are hosed.

Without the fuse?  Well, you do a quick dump of the code, compare it to
yours, and the lawyers get to make money.

I, for one, don't believe that any of the manufacturers have a foolproof
method to keep someone from looking at your code.  Maybe I'm clueless.

Roger

1996\04\05@174558 by hoss karoly

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>
> I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
> know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
> Regards Ottoplease do because if it worx i'll have to go and learn 8752bh
i hope it wont because i like this little poliploid spider
bye
charley
.....timothyKILLspamspam.....bekes.hungary.net

1996\04\05@174558 by hoss karoly

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face
>
> I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
> know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
> Regards Ottoplease do because if it worx i'll have to go and learn 8752bh
i hope it wont because i like this little poliploid spider
bye
charley
EraseMEtimothyspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbekes.hungary.net

1996\04\05@204048 by ETS Electronics

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I also have the picbuster program but I have no docs. If you have a
readme or doc file please e-mail it to me. I am using the Microchip
PICSTART 16B1 programmer on COM2. When I run the picbust program I get
an error that states that it can't find the PIC device. I have tried all
of the common switches -? /? /h and so on.

Thanks in advanced.

       JIM

1996\04\05@204048 by ETS Electronics

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face
I also have the picbuster program but I have no docs. If you have a
readme or doc file please e-mail it to me. I am using the Microchip
PICSTART 16B1 programmer on COM2. When I run the picbust program I get
an error that states that it can't find the PIC device. I have tried all
of the common switches -? /? /h and so on.

Thanks in advanced.

       JIM

1996\04\06@072744 by Otto Tronarp

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At 00.45 1996-04-06 +0100, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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--=====================_828825789==_--

1996\04\06@072744 by Otto Tronarp

flavicon
face
--=====================_828825789==_
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At 00.45 1996-04-06 +0100, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--=====================_828825789==_
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Nwy/ksF/QfrlB9Ak47yllz4wzUjVrnatm0PCj+Ugq9yqy2soNIJ4AWN/gKhffpoWU/x6emAhbXJQ
+CoZ/e7RcBIDHNzEfKEhZxFtzMF+vKVnUf9F6psb6Dgj7rzYZXOdOXXmVJbWJHrUJ/bnv5Rn+pvH
f8nk1e38I/H73y7Yg5YQ/Zds/jcLDuITOzlWv52OBhEaR12aY4JKff8fUEsBAhQAFAAAAAgA6HLZ
HhYiFq+2FAAAGCYAAAsAAAAAAAAAAAAgAAAAAAAAAFBJQ0JVU1QuQ09NUEsFBgAAAAABAAEAOQAA
AN8UAAAAAA==
--=====================_828825789==_--

1996\04\06@151040 by hoss karoly

flavicon
face
thnx a lot I'll check it out and if
it works i'll send my ideas on how to use it
bye
charley
KILLspamtimothyKILLspamspambekes.hungary.net

1996\04\06@151040 by hoss karoly

flavicon
face
thnx a lot I'll check it out and if
it works i'll send my ideas on how to use it
bye
charley
RemoveMEtimothyTakeThisOuTspambekes.hungary.net

1996\04\09@022511 by ETS Electronics

flavicon
face
I also have the picbuster program but I have no docs. If you have a
readme or doc file please e-mail it to me. I am using the Microchip
PICSTART 16B1 programmer on COM2. When I run the picbust program I get
an error that states that it can't find the PIC device. I have tried all
of the common switches -? /? /h and so on.

Thanks in advanced.

       JIM

1996\04\09@022518 by hoss karoly

flavicon
face
>
> I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
> know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
> Regards Ottoplease do because if it worx i'll have to go and learn 8752bh
i hope it wont because i like this little poliploid spider
bye
charley
spamBeGonetimothyspamBeGonespambekes.hungary.net

1996\04\09@022716 by Roger Books

flavicon
face
Well, I am probably going to draw flames about this since I am not writing
commercial applications (yet), however...

I wish that the code protection fuse didn't exist.  Why?

If someone wants to bad enough they are always going to find a way around
it.

So, someone from a country that is notorious for stealing software and
hardware designs manages to bypass the code fuse for your product.  They
manufacture your product, but since they didn't have the R&D they can
undercut you and you are hosed.

Because of the code protection fuse you can't read their code.  Is your
company going to invest in bypassing the code fuse, probably not unless they
have a good idea of what is going on.  You are hosed.

Without the fuse?  Well, you do a quick dump of the code, compare it to
yours, and the lawyers get to make money.

I, for one, don't believe that any of the manufacturers have a foolproof
method to keep someone from looking at your code.  Maybe I'm clueless.

Roger

1996\04\09@022720 by Robin Abbott

flavicon
face
Having seen all the code busting stuff on this list am I the
only person on the list who would rather that code busting
techniques were :

a) kept quiet, I don't need my code busted thanks.

b) rebutted by Microchip. The 16C84 code busting technique is
  available on at least 2 web sites, and appears to be well
  documented. WHY don't Microchip respond to these threats to
  their customers intellectual property ? Do other manufacturers
  have such duff protection ? My current thoughts are that if
  it is so easy to bust PIC code then anyone who cares about
  their code ought to go elsewhere.

Robin

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+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

1996\04\09@022742 by paul

flavicon
picon face
Yes pic buster does exist and theres also a programmer that need no extra
software  its all done in hardware and works on the latest 84 chips ....
Anyone want to swop one for a programmer that programs all pics ?

--
Paul Bulmer

1996\04\09@022931 by liver Niekrenz

flavicon
face
>
> Hello pic users.
>
> I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
> able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
> Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
> I haven't heard any details about this device yet.

Well, there was indeed an article about busting a protected pic sometime
ago in the above mentioned newsgroup.

You were given a detailed procedure about how to do this, so you don't
really need to use this horribly expensive service.

I saved this article and it looked really easy as far as I can remember.

oli

1996\04\09@022940 by Mike Keitz

flavicon
face
>>I have posted a message here some time ago about someone claiming to be
>>able to unprotect any '84 with a device called the picbuster II.
>>Now I read in alt.satellite.tv.europe that the picbuster III is coming.
>>I haven't heard any details about this device yet.
>
>I have a program called picbust. I don't have a pic programmer so I don't
>know if it works but if some one want it I could post it to the list.
>
The '84 is reportedly easy to bust, though I haven't tried it myself.  I can
think of a similar method for the EPROM models, by raising the Vdd voltage
until the unit senses the CP bit as unprogrammed, then programming groups of
4 zeros over the program and X-oring the verify codes at each stage to
determine what was programmed (this would destroy the program in the PIC,
but of course a new one could be programmed with the now cracked program).
Since reprogramming of the first 64 locations is not disabled by the CP bit,
these can be cracked immediately with nothing more than an ordinary
programmer.  At the very least, put sensitive code or data in the top part
of the EPROM which is somewhat more protected.

The only defense I've heard of (If Microchip is putting new features in the
PICs to defeat cracking, they aren't saying anything here) is to burn out
the pin buffers on the pins used for programming / verifying (B6 and B7 on
14-bit units, probably B0-B3 on 12-bit units would be sufficient) after
programming.  Of course the pins are then not available for I/O purposes
either, and the PIC may end up destroyed entirely.  This should defeat most
"garage" methods that use the existing program/verify paths, but more
advanced ones like opening the package up and scanning the chip will
probably never be stopped.

-Mike

1996\04\09@044109 by Keith Dowsett

flavicon
face
>Having seen all the code busting stuff on this list am I the
>only person on the list who would rather that code busting
>techniques were :
>
>a) kept quiet, I don't need my code busted thanks.

Not a hope. With the current state of the internet if anyone discovers
something which they regard as useful (but not profitable) they are free to
publish it.

>b) rebutted by Microchip. <minor snip..> WHY don't Microchip respond
>   to these threats to
>   their customers intellectual property ? Do other manufacturers
>   have such duff protection ?

I guess they didn't anticipate a really determined attempt to defeat their
protection, or they assumed that if someone throws enough time and money at
the problem it will be cracked one way or another. Hopefully they are
developing improved schemes for future releases.

> My current thoughts are that if
>   it is so easy to bust PIC code then anyone who cares about
>   their code ought to go elsewhere.

I think that the PICs have been subject to a particularly intensive attack
on their code protection schemes because they have been used in smart-cards
for satellite TV systems.  Duplicating these means big money and possible
access to 'banned' adult channels.  I would imagine that if the code
protection systems on other microcontrollers were subjected to the same
level of scrutiny they would soon be disabled by one means or another.
Perhaps in some way they have been a victim of their own success.

Just my thoughts.

Keith.
==========================================================
Keith Dowsett         "Variables won't; constants aren't."

E-mail:      RemoveMEkdowsettspamTakeThisOuTrpms.ac.uk
Phone:       0181-740-3162
Fax:         0181-743-3987

Snail mail:  MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Cyclotron Unit.
                Hammersmith Hospital. London W12 0NN.

1996\04\22@094556 by n/a

flavicon
picon face
Hi,

In a previous mail Mike Keitz made reference to "opening the package up" Is
this possible? I'm interested in super-minaturising my application - is it
possible to buy the chip slices. If not, is it possible to "open the package".
I'm thinking in terms of grinding away the majority of the epoxy resin to
leave a thin slice. Has anyone any info on this.

         Geoff.

1996\04\22@144131 by Richard Klosinski

flavicon
face
At 02:33 PM 4/22/96 LCL, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>In a previous mail Mike Keitz made reference to "opening the package up" Is
>this possible?

yes, I works at a FAC (failure analysis of components) at HP, we did it all
the time.

I'm interested in super-minaturising my application - is it
>possible to buy the chip slices.

you can purchase pics in die form, but you will need to contact Microchip.

If not, is it possible to "open the package".
>I'm thinking in terms of grinding away the majority of the epoxy resin to
>leave a thin slice. Has anyone any info on this.

don't do it!


Rich

1996\04\23@045221 by n/a

flavicon
picon face
>>In a previous mail Mike Keitz made reference to "opening the package up" Is
>>this possible?

>yes, I works at a FAC (failure analysis of components) at HP, we did it all
>the time.

How was this done?


      Geoff.

1996\04\23@120622 by Richard Klosinski

flavicon
face
At 09:46 AM 4/23/96 LCL, you wrote:
>>>In a previous mail Mike Keitz made reference to "opening the package up" Is
>>>this possible?
>
>>yes, I works at a FAC (failure analysis of components) at HP, we did it all
>>the time.
>
>How was this done?
>
>

1) the part to be analyzed was molded with epoxy into a round cylinder, with
  the top ( or bottom in some cases) exposed. This is to add some mass to make
  the part easier to handle.

2) the glob from above is inserted into a disk sander system (note that this
  sander is not a crude as the ones bought at home depot). This runs for a
  specific time (we know from past knowledge the time). After this process, the
  die is exposed.

3) then, the not so easy part... using an electron microscope (something
  everyone has). the part was analyzed for over-something failures (this is
  a visual thing). i knew people that could reverse engineer a ic just by
  looking at the die!

Rich

1996\04\24@031432 by Prashant Bhandary

flavicon
picon face
At 02:33 PM 22/04/96 LCL, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>In a previous mail Mike Keitz made reference to "opening the package up" Is
>this possible? I'm interested in super-minaturising my application - is it
>possible to buy the chip slices. If not, is it possible to "open the package".
>I'm thinking in terms of grinding away the majority of the epoxy resin to
>leave a thin slice. Has anyone any info on this.
>
>          Geoff.
>
>

Have you looked at the surface mount version of 16c84? Not much can be
gained by grinding that critter down! I've had this idea for a tiiiny
circuit but the challenge of taking on SMT and the lack of a cheap,
small SMD H bridge and crystal have stopped me so far.

Regards

Prashant
+----------------+  -------------------------------------------------
|                |    Prashant Bhandary
|   +---+        |    Spatial Information Systems Section
|   |   |        |    Roads and Traffic Authority
|   |   |        |    Rosebery NSW 2018, AUSTRALIA
|   |   |        |    Tel:  +61-2-662 5299
|   |   +----+   |    Fax:  +61-2-662 5348
|   |        |   |    Email: prashbEraseMEspam.....rta.oz.au
|   +--------+   |
| Still a newbie |    "2b|!2b" - William Shakespeare
+----------------+  -------------------------------------------------

1996\04\24@085942 by myke predko

flavicon
face
I'd have to agree with Prashant.  Where I work, we have labs which do F/A on
packaged components and the technicians who do it have tricks to expose and
prove problems that border on the artistic.

When I asked one of them about decapping a component, he thought I was
asking about the Circuit Cellar project which made a CCD Camera out of a
DRAM Chip, he just smiled and said good luck.

When I explained that it was to release a chip from a package, I got a long
lecture on why this is impractical.  The biggest reason why it is
impractical is that you will probably cut the the wirebonds to the lead
frame as you shave down the package.  As somebody mentioned before, you
should look at the SMT Packages (About 0.100" above the board for the SOIC
as opposed to 0.225" for the PTH DIP) or buying the individual dies and
investing in a wire-bonder.

Sorry I don't have better news,

Myke
{Quote hidden}

Myke

"We're Starfleet officers, weird is part of the job."

Capt. Catherine Janeway

1996\04\25@002434 by Eric Strauts

flavicon
face
All this discussion on "opening the package" brought to mind a
project I worked on about 20 years ago.

It involved reverse engineering where it was necessary to identify
an IC with no markings. In order to see what the chip looked
like we used an epoxy dissolver. This stuff actually broke the polymer
bonds and left only the chip with the bond wires and lead frame intact.

I don't recall if the chip was damaged by the process since this was
not a concern. Sanding the chip was considered but we had no
precision equipment to do the job.

The epoxy dissolver was a commercial product made specifically for
salvaging potted assemblies and might still be available.
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
| Eric Strauts                         |
| TEEM Electronics                     |
| Park Ridge, IL 60068                 |
| Email: EraseMEestrautsspamix.netcom.com        |
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

1996\04\26@012708 by Prashant Bhandary

flavicon
picon face
At 10:31 AM 24/04/96 -0400, you wrote:
>On Wed, 24 Apr 1996, Prashant Bhandary wrote:
>
>> Have you looked at the surface mount version of 16c84? Not much can be
>> gained by grinding that critter down! I've had this idea for a tiiiny
>> circuit but the challenge of taking on SMT and the lack of a cheap,
>> small SMD H bridge and crystal have stopped me so far.
>
>Use a ceramic resonator.  You can use 2 pins from 16c84 as a 20 milliamp H
>bridge.  What would you use for a tiiiny source of power and tiiiny
>motors?
>

OK, remember you asked for this :-)

A new standard, DCC, has been established for model trains. The signal is
sent through the tracks. Normally the train has connections going directly
from the tracks to the motor and you control speed and direction by
controlling the voltage on the rails. But in this case, a decoder sits
in between and decodes the packet and drives the motor appropriately.
Now the decoder should fit inside a train and the scale of the train
defines the magnitude of the problem. I model N scale which is 1:160
and believe me when I say tiiiny I mean every i in that word.

As you can guess the power supply is connected to the tracks and can be as big
as you want it. The motor is already in the train. What remains is this
small space at your disposal to squeeze a PIC and an H bridge driver. The
16C84 is ideal for this job. It even has an EEPROM which is one of the
requirements. The SMT 4Mhz part is avilable in single unit quantities locally.
So is an SMT H bridge. The other SMT parts would be a few caps and resistors
and a bridge rectifier.

The ceramic resonator seems to be a good solution. The frequency would be 4 MHZ
as I need all the speed I can get. I will look around for an SMT version. The
PIC as an H bridge driver is not an option as the motor runs at a few hundred
milliamps(paralleling the outputs isn't enough either). I have found this SMT
H bridge  a little big and is a dual. I forget the part no. and I believe it
is a 24 pin gul wing SMT. I would like to see a single H bridge which is a
little smaller and possibly cheaper.

Regards

Prashant

P.S. I am posting this to the list too to get a few hints on SMT PIC apps.
+----------------+  -------------------------------------------------
|                |    Prashant Bhandary
|   +---+        |    Spatial Information Systems Section
|   |   |        |    Roads and Traffic Authority
|   |   |        |    Rosebery NSW 2018, AUSTRALIA
|   |   |        |    Tel:  +61-2-662 5299
|   |   +----+   |    Fax:  +61-2-662 5348
|   |        |   |    Email: RemoveMEprashbEraseMEspamEraseMErta.oz.au
|   +--------+   |
| Still a newbie |    "2b|!2b" - William Shakespeare
+----------------+  -------------------------------------------------

1996\04\26@034804 by John Payson

flavicon
face
> A new standard, DCC, has been established for model trains. The signal is
> sent through the tracks. Normally the train has connections going directly
> from the tracks to the motor and you control speed and direction by
> controlling the voltage on the rails. But in this case, a decoder sits
> in between and decodes the packet and drives the motor appropriately.
> Now the decoder should fit inside a train and the scale of the train
> defines the magnitude of the problem. I model N scale which is 1:160
> and believe me when I say tiiiny I mean every i in that word.

N scale is 1/2 of HO, right?  So you're looking at putting your control in
a space about 0.4"x0.4"x0.8"?  That's not very big...

Normally my inclination for controlling a model railroad would be to use a
single power-switching transistor and a direction-switching relay.  When
space is not a problem, this will save components and may save cost (esp. if
you'd want to opto-isolate things).  In your case, however, there isn't really
room for a relay. :-(

Given that, I expect your best bet may be to produce a 3-board stack.  The
bottom board will contain two SOTs on each side; the next board would contain
the rectifier for the PIC power supply, and two SOTs (which would switch the
high-side SOT's on the bottom board).  The top board would contain the PIC and
resonator on one side, and the filter caps and regulator for the PIC's supply
on the other.  By my figuring, this should all (barely) fit in the space you
have.

My other recommendation: switch to O gauge :-)

1996\04\26@084330 by Roger Books

flavicon
face
Prashant Bhandary wrote:

>  The ceramic resonator seems to be a good solution. The frequency would
>  be 4 MHZ as I need all the speed I can get. I will look around for an
>  SMT version.

Just out of curiosity, why do you need all the speed you can get?  4 million
(minus a few for jumps) instructions per second is pretty heavy duty for
things interfacing to human times.

I'm still kicking myself for that 4MHZ crystal I bought for my electrical
scoring box for fencing.  The 4059 programmable divider won't run at 4MHZ
and +5 Volts, it looks like the 4013 will just barely run at 4MHZ and +5.
That's what happens when I come from writing data acquisition software
for FSU's accelerator and have to listen to people scream constantly about
speed.  Oh well, next one runs at 2 or even 1MHZ.

Not that that may have anything to do with your train.

Roger

1996\04\26@155348 by Mike Keitz

flavicon
face
>> A new standard, DCC, has been established for model trains. The signal is
>> sent through the tracks. Normally the train has connections going directly
>> from the tracks to the motor and you control speed and direction by
>> controlling the voltage on the rails. But in this case, a decoder sits
>> in between and decodes the packet and drives the motor appropriately.
>> Now the decoder should fit inside a train and the scale of the train
>> defines the magnitude of the problem. I model N scale which is 1:160
>> and believe me when I say tiiiny I mean every i in that word.

N scale is very small.  The cars are maybe 3 or 4 inches long.

>Normally my inclination for controlling a model railroad would be to use a
>single power-switching transistor and a direction-switching relay.  When
>space is not a problem, this will save components and may save cost (esp. if
>you'd want to opto-isolate things).  In your case, however, there isn't really
>room for a relay. :-(
>

Assuming you get to build the power supply too, feed the track with AC
(constant voltage) and (inside the train) slice either positive or negative
half-cycles depending on the direction of travel commanded.  This will
simplify things since now you only need one switch, but it has to be
bidirectional.  For low frequencies a single triac (can you get triacs small
enough?) could work, higher frequencies could use inverse-series connected
MOSFETs or something similar.   A custom drive waveform which is a square
wave with maybe 10% return to zero time inbetween half-pulses would give the
triac time to turn off and also an interval to synchronously send data in
that will be fairly free of motor noise.

If space permits, you can sense the motor voltage while the drive is off,
this will be directly proportional to the speed.  Thus a closed-loop speed
control could be implemented.

The mind boggles at the possiblities of such a setup.  Every locomotive,
switch, and lamp-post in the whole model train landscape could be connected
in parallel with two wires back to the control panel.  (Ever heard of a
"smart lamp-post"?  You will.)

-Mike

1996\04\26@192601 by John Payson

flavicon
face
> Assuming you get to build the power supply too, feed the track with AC
> (constant voltage) and (inside the train) slice either positive or negative
> half-cycles depending on the direction of travel commanded.  This will
> simplify things since now you only need one switch, but it has to be
> bidirectional.  For low frequencies a single triac (can you get triacs small
> enough?) could work, higher frequencies could use inverse-series connected
> MOSFETs or something similar.   A custom drive waveform which is a square
> wave with maybe 10% return to zero time inbetween half-pulses would give the
> triac time to turn off and also an interval to synchronously send data in
> that will be fairly free of motor noise.

Hmm... I like this idea... [pondering how much a model RR setup would cost]...
Though thinking about it, what about running the rails with Manchester-coded
data [derived using a high-current bridge and a DC supply]?  This could be
really easy (hardware) to decode (you've got a +/- 20 volt data signal)...
all you'd need to decode it would be a resistor going to a PIC port pin [RA4
would have a Shmidt trigger, but if you use that one you'd need a diode or
else tie the signal to another pin as well].

> If space permits, you can sense the motor voltage while the drive is off,
> this will be directly proportional to the speed.  Thus a closed-loop speed
> control could be implemented.

Yup, this is possible but voltage->time is a little tricky to implement nicely
on a PIC; for fast speeds it could be done (use a resistor to convert voltage
into current, and use an RC timer).  Alternatively, you might be able to AC
couple to a port pin and measure the frequency of the back-EMF waveform.

> The mind boggles at the possiblities of such a setup.  Every locomotive,
> switch, and lamp-post in the whole model train landscape could be connected
> in parallel with two wires back to the control panel.  (Ever heard of a
> "smart lamp-post"?  You will.)

The one difficulty with this approach in general would be providing a back-
signal path from the locomotive to the main CPU; perhaps there could be a
current-sinking transistor in the locomotive to send data by modulating
current.


'Pic code protection alert!'
1996\05\02@035401 by Mike Sunners
flavicon
face
On Fri, 26 Apr 1996, Prashant Bhandary wrote:

> A new standard, DCC, has been established for model trains. The signal is
> sent through the tracks. Normally the train has connections going directly
> from the tracks to the motor and you control speed and direction by
> controlling the voltage on the rails. But in this case, a decoder sits
> in between and decodes the packet and drives the motor appropriately.
> Now the decoder should fit inside a train and the scale of the train
> defines the magnitude of the problem. I model N scale which is 1:160
> and believe me when I say tiiiny I mean every i in that word.

 Unlimited possibilities! Multiple trains on a track. Collision detection.
Trains talking to trains. Trains talking to signals. Signals talking to
trains. Signals talking to signals. Trains switching points. Signals
switching points. Power down features. ... :-)
________________________________________________
Mike Sunners <RemoveMEmikesspam_OUTspamKILLspamcaa.org.au> W +61 8 223 2519

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