I have an internet radio which is not supporting the latest codecs.

Details of the original radio:



It looks really nice and I'd like to replace the innards with a raspberry pi to do the same job.

Can I use a logic analyser to debug the display and buttons so that I can work out how to program my raspberry pi GPIO pins to drive the display and buttons?

I am considering using products from https://www.saleae.com - I have contacted them but also asked the question as I wanted to gauge general feasibility of the approach to reverse engineering.

Thank you.

| improve this question | | | | |
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ No you cannot use my logic analyzer. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Karas Jan 13 '17 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 Michael, that's understandable. I've corrected my question. \$\endgroup\$ – therobyouknow Jan 13 '17 at 11:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ BTW. I use the Saleae Logic Pro 16. Great product. Is it perfect? No but it offers a lot if utility for small sized instrument. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Karas Jan 13 '17 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 thank you for the tip on the Saleae Logic Pro 16. I will consider it. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – therobyouknow Jan 13 '17 at 11:49

I think that you should consider a detailed functional study of the product at the operator level first. Then you can understand the operational behaviors of the components of the system.

As far as buttons and selectors: These are so easy to understand in terms of function that there is little to "reverse engineer" with them. Simple momentary push switches can easily be understood to connect to your MCU via GPIOs and pull-up resistors. You may be faced with debouncing these inputs in software. You will just have to reproduce the input detection on these inputs as actions into the replicated software functionality that you will be coding. Similar ideas apply to rotary selector wheel type devices.

From a display standpoint you should be able to quickly determine what type device that it is.....a character mode device or a graphics device. A logic analyzer could prove quite useful to determining the initialization and operational protocols for the display unit. If it is a display module you may get lucky and find a part number on it or in its controller chip. From this you can likely find a data sheet that describes the display controller protocols rather than having to reverse engineer them.

| improve this answer | | | | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great - thanks - that was just what I was looking for: an approach to the problem. +1 upvote accepted answer. I appreciate there would be no 100% guarantee of success but it's good to have an actual approach to start with - thank you for giving that. \$\endgroup\$ – therobyouknow Jan 13 '17 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did contact the maker (Revo) they would not release any datasheets. It's made by Silicon Frontier inside I think. So your approach would regarding the debugging would be what I consider next. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – therobyouknow Jan 13 '17 at 11:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.