<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>Tools of the Warranty-Voiding Trade <p> <p> Topics in this chapter: <p> * Introduction <p> * The Essential Tools <p> * Basic Hardware Hacking <p> * Advanced Projects and Reverse Engineering <p> * Where to Obtain the Tools <p> <p> Introduction</b> <p> Before you start your hacking projects, you'll need the right arsenal of tools. For some hacks, you might need only a single screwdriver. For others, you could need a workshop complete with power tools and advanced electronic equipment. For the most part, it isn't necessary to have a world-class laboratory or top-of-the-line computer system to conduct most levels of game console hacking. However, it's amazing how much easier things are if you have the right tools for the job. <p> Besides the physical tools you will need for hardware hacking that we list in this chapter, you'll need a computer system for any adventures into homebrew game development. After deciding on the game console you'll be programming for, you can choose your development system based on the tools that you'll need. Depending on the console you are writing games for, the appropriate development tools might run only on a specific platform (such as Windows, Macintosh, or Linux). Typically, a desktop or laptop PC running Windows 2000/XP with minimum specifications of 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM, 20GB hard drive, and decent graphics card will be sufficient. The more complex and processor-intensive the development tool or emulator, the more powerful your machine needs to be. <p> The tools and supplies listed in this chapter are merely a baseline of any good hardware hacking cache. We don't list every possible tool in existence, because there is usually more than one solution to any given problem. Think of this section as telling you about the supplies you'll want in your "kitchen" with each hack containing the actual "recipe" you'll cook with. Each hack presented on the DVD provides a list of the specific tools and components you'll need to pull it off. <p> We include a selection of pictures that show some of the more unique tools of the warranty-voiding trade. These lists will give you an idea of what you'll need to get a good start so you can jump in and get down to hacking. <p> We have separated the listings into three parts: <p> * The Essential Tools <p> * Basic Hardware Hacking <p> * Advanced Projects and Reverse Engineering <p> <p> The work area where your activities take place should be a clean, smooth, and well-lit area where you can easily organize and handle parts and/or documentation without losing them. An inexpensive sheet of white poster board makes an excellent construction surface while providing protection for the underlying table or desk. <p> <p> <b>The Essential Tools</b> <p> The following are some essential tools for the beginner hardware hacker—someone who is curious about dabbling in and experimenting with simple hacks. It always helps to have a good stock of various equipment, wires, tools, components, and other materials in your workshop so you don't have to run out to the store every time you need something. Here are the basics: <p> * <b>Bright overhead lighting or desk lamp</b> Well-diffused overhead lighting is recommended—bright white fluorescent or incandescent bulbs serve this purpose. A smaller, high-intensity desk lamp will prove especially helpful for close-up work. <p> * <b>Protective gear</b> Mask or respirator, goggles, rubber gloves, smock or lab coat, earplugs. A sampling of protective gear is shown in Figure 1.1. Such gear should be worn at all times when performing your hacks. Use the respirator to prevent breathing in noxious fumes and fine dust from painting, cleaning, cutting, or soldering. The goggles protect your eyes from stray plastic or wood chips during drilling. Use the smock to prevent damage (burns and stains) to clothing. <p> * <b>Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection</b> If you live in a dry environment that is prone to static electricity, it is recommended that you purchase an antistatic mat and wrist strap from a local electronics store to prevent static discharge and protect sensitive electronic circuitry from getting damaged. Make sure the antistatic mat is properly grounded so that it can serve its intended purpose. Think of walking on a shag rug in your bare feet and then touching the radiator or a sibling. You'll feel ESD at work. However, ESD can damage components, even if you don't feel anything. You don't want that happening to the device you're hacking. <p> * <b>Screwdrivers</b> Regular-sized Phillips and flathead screwdrivers and a smaller set of jeweler's screwdrivers. The more sizes and types, the better, because you never know what sorts of hardware you'll want to open. <p> * <b>X-ACTO hobby knife</b> The modeling tool of choice for crafters, artists, and hobbyists. An essential general-purpose tool, especially useful for case mods and circuit board hacks. Over 50 different blade types are available. <p> * <b>Dremel tool</b> Extremely useful carving tool. Helpful for case mods and opening housings. Some models support rotation speeds from single-digit revolutions per second up to tens of thousands. Many various bit types (drilling, sanding, carving, engraving), accessories, and attachments are available. Example: Dremel 395 Variable-Speed MultiPro, $74.99 (see Figure 1.2). <p> * <b>Needle file set</b> Designed for precise filing (see Figure 1.3). Ideal for deburring drilled holes and preparing modified surfaces. Most five-piece sets include square, flat, triangle, round, and elliptical files. Example: Radio Shack Kronus 5-Piece Needle File Set #64-2977, $7.99. <p> * <b>Tweezers</b> Handy for dealing with small components, holding wires, and pulling out splinters. There are dozens of tweezer styles, including long, extra long, flat tipped, curved, blunt, bent angle, medical, and surgical. The more variety you have in your toolkit, the better. <p> * <b>Wire brushes</b> Great for cleaning tough surfaces, especially metal. Useful for removing rust, dirt, and debris or preparing surfaces to be painted. It is recommended that you have a hand-sized brush for large areas and a smaller toothbrush-shaped brush for more detailed work. <p> * <b>Sandpaper</b> All-purpose sanding sheets are useful for removing dirt and debris, deburring edges, or preparing surfaces to be painted or glued together. An assortment of various grits (for example, 100, 220, 400, and 600) is recommended. <p> * <b>Glues</b> Wood glue, Gorilla Glue, Super Glue, epoxy, hot glue, acrylic cement. The more types of adhesive that you have on hand, the better off you'll be, because some glues work better on certain surfaces than others. A sampling of glues is shown in Figure 1.4. <p> * <b>Tape</b> Duct tape, masking tape, electrical tape, Scotch/transparent tape, double-sided foam tape. <p> * <b>Cleaning supplies</b> A good workspace is a clean workspace. Typical cleaning supplies include cotton swabs, alcohol pads, paper towels, and some type of spray cleaning solution (for example, Fantastik). <p> * <b>Miscellaneous mechanical pieces</b> These are the standard hardware pieces that you'd find in any household workshop: nails, screws, stand-offs/spacers, washers, nuts, and bolts. <p> <p> <b>Basic Hardware Hacking</b> <p> The following mid-range tools are what you'll need for more serious hardware hacking. <p> * <b>Variable-speed cordless drill</b> This is the essential multipurpose tool. It's especially useful for case mods. Example: Skil 18V Cordless Drill/Driver #2867 with 3/8-inch keyless chuck and six torque settings, $69.99 (see Figure 1.5). <p> * <b>Drill bit set</b> What good is your variable-speed cordless drill without a complete set of drill bits of various sizes? Standard sizes include 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 11/64, 3/16, 1/4, 7/32, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. Example: Black & Decker General Purpose 17 Piece Drill Bit Set, $18.95. <p> * <b>Security driver bit set</b> Security and tamper-resistant screws are sometimes used on product housings to prevent them from being easily opened. There are many types of these specially shaped bits (see Figure 1.6). To identify a particular bit type you might need to use for a hack, visit www.lara.com/reviews/screwtypes.htm. <p> * <b>Heat gun and heat-shrink tubing</b> Heat guns look a lot like hair dryers, but, as many instructions thoughtfully point out, they should never be used for drying hair. Heat guns provide an extremely hot, directed flow of air through a nozzle (see Figure 1.7). They are commonly used for removing paint, melting glue, quickly drying surfaces, and shrinking heat-shrink tubing and plastic film. Basic heat guns have single temperature and airflow settings. More advanced models have multiple settings, giving you more control based on your intended application. Example: Milwaukee Dual Temperature Heat Gun (570 and 1000 degrees F), $69.95. <p> * <b>Center punch</b> Used to mark the target drill spot on a drilling surface, which will prevent the drill bit from slipping. Manual or automatic types exist. You could also use a permanent marker, but that won't stop your drill from slipping. <p> * <b>Nibbling tool</b> This tool "nibbles" away at light-gauge sheet metal, copper, aluminum, or plastic with each squeeze of the handle. Good for housing modifications and creating custom shapes. Example: Radio Shack Kronus Nibbling Tool #64-2960, $12.99 (see Figure 1.8). <p> * <b>Jigsaw</b> Essential power tool for cutting and shaping. Useful for large pieces of material for which a smaller saw or drill isn't suitable. Example: Bosch 1587AVSK Top-Handle Jigsaw, $134.99. <p> * <b>Wire strippers</b> For cutting or stripping 10- to 22-AWG wire. Example: Radio Shack Kronus Gauged Wire Stripper #64-2980, $7.99 (see Figure 1.9). <p> * <b>Wire dippers</b> Example: Radio Shack Kronus 4.5-inch Mini Diagonal Cutters #64-2951, $4.99, or Radio Shack Kronus 5-inch Nippy Cutter #64-2959, $4.99 (see Figure 1.9). <p> * <b>Needle-nose pliers</b> Example: Radio Shack Kronus 6-inch Long-Nose Pliers #64-2954, $5.99 (see Figure 1.9). <p> * <b>Soldering station</b> Soldering tools, ranging from a simple stick iron to a full-fledged rework station, come in many shapes and sizes (see Figure 1.10). More advanced models include adjustable temperature control, automatic shut-off, and interchangeable tips for various component package types and soldering needs. Recommended is a fine-tip, 700 degree F, 50W soldering stick iron. Approximate price range $10.00 to $1,000.00. Example: Weller W60P Controlled-Output Soldering Iron, $67.95. <p> * <b>Soldering accessories</b> Essential soldering gear includes solder, no-clean flux, desoldering braid, vacuum desoldering tool (a.k.a. "solder sucker"), IC extraction tool, and ChipQuik SMD removal kit. Solder should be thin gauge (0.032-inch or 0.025-inch diameter) 60/40 rosin core. The no-clean flux is used to provide good heat transfer between the iron and surfaces to be soldered. Flux often helps prevent cold solder joints, a common soldering problem. The desoldering tool is a manual vacuum device that pulls up hot solder, useful for removing components from circuit boards (Radio Shack #64-2098, $7.29). The IC extraction tool helps lift integrated circuits from the board during removal/desoldering (Radio Shack #276-1581, $8.39). The ChipQuik kit allows you to remove surface-mount components quickly and easily. Some soldering accessories are shown in Figure 1.11. <p> * <b>Basic electronic components</b> These include resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, lightemitting diodes (LEDs), and switches. It is useful to have a "junk bin" for all sorts of electronics bits and pieces. Old computer equipment and circuit boards are also useful because you can scavenge parts from them as needed. At a minimum, you should have a basic assortment of the most common values of components. Example: Digi-Key 1/4 Watt Resistor Assortment #RS125-ND, $14.95, and Digi-Key Miniature Electrolytic Capacitor Assortment #P835-KIT-ND, $29.95. <p> * <b>Miscellaneous wires and cables</b> This category includes cabling and wiring such as test leads, alligator clips, computer cables (USB, serial, parallel), and spools of wire (various colors and lengths, solid or stranded, 20-24AWG). <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <p> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>Joe Grand's "BEST OF" HARDWARE, WIRELESS & GAME CONSOLE HACKING</b> by <b>Joe Grand Frank Thorton Albert Yarusso Lee Barken Marcus R. Brown Job de Haas Deborah Kaplan Bobby Kinstle Tom Owad Ryan Russell</b> Copyright © 2006 by Syngress Publishing, Inc. . Excerpted by permission of Syngress. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.