What to do on Sunday…

What could be a better start of a new blog than building some hardware? Well, nothing indeed! So, today I’ve decided to build a couple of debugger boards, namely Facedancer21 and GoodFET42.

Since the gerber files are publicly available from the author’s web site, it was quite convenient to just drop a couple of ZIP files to one of the PCB manufacturers and get the nicely manufactured boards in a couple of days at a price of a cup of coffee, instead of messing with creating them at home …

The quality of the PCBs are not exactly superb. The company that I use does not support gold plating, so the pads are not really flat, which makes it quite hard to solder sometimes. But, as can be proven by above picture, it can still be done without too much effort. Even by such a lousy solderer as I am. 😛

Perhpas it would be good to say a few words about the purpose of these lovely boards…

The blue one is a custom debugger, that supports a bunch of protocols and platforms, e.g. SPI, I2C, AVR, PIC and many more … And, if that is not enough, or if something is not working … Guess what? You can write your own client in Python!

The red one is a famous Facedancer21. Perhaps it is more interesting, as it can emulate USB devices at your command, and thus can be used for USB-host testing, debugging, troubleshooting and even Fuzzing!

Both boards are based on the MSP430, the glorious 16-bit MCU, 8K RAM and 116kB flash. Not really sure why it was chosen. Based on some presentations from BlackHat, the reason could be that it was available as a free sample from TI (still is, if you care). 🙂

Later on I will come up with some use cases and demonstrate both boards in action, but for now both boards are blinking leds and passing self-test …

… and I just wanted to share my ways of spending Sunday evening in the lab, instead of enjoying a couple of beers. Stay tuned!


In case you are willing to build these or any other boards by Travis …. (Also taking care of any potential copyright, copyleft and any other copysideways issues at the same time …) Here is a link to the Author’s web site, which I surely recommend visiting, provided that you are into hardware hacking:



And, almost forgotten, if you are planning to build your own, but don’t want to pay the PCB manufacturing, however you are ready to pay the shipping or willing to pick it up in Finlnad, I have a bunch of GoodFET PCBs left…

Just drop me a line and I would be more than happy to give those away for free!

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