Copy the code from an Atmega8a to another one.

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Hello everyone,

I know this is kind of an unusual question but I hope someone can help me with this.

My parents have an IPL laser machine which they use to treat friends and family. 

My dad has the task of fixing the lightbulbs and my mom does the treatments.

This IPL machines use (USB)dongles which have the amount of shots on them. 

Like, you could buy a dongle which has 100.000 shots (flashes from the light bulb on them) and when this dongle is empty, 
my dad replaces the lightbulb.

 

These machines come from 2012 and the manufacturer does not sell these dongles anymore. 

 

A friend of them has cracked the code and made these dongles for my parents for a small cost. 
They were happy to pay him for that, however last year, the friend died in a car crash.

 

Long back story, but what I want to give my parents as a gift is the possibility to make these dongles themselves.

I still have one of the friend's home-made dongles with 100.000 flashes on them. 

It is EXACTLY this device:

USB ISP

 

https://nl.banggood.com/3_3V-5V-USBASP-USBISP-AVR-Programmer-Downloader-ATMEGA8-ATMEGA128-With-Download-Cable-p-1179967.html?cur_warehouse=CN

 

There is nothing attached to it or whatever, you just plug this device in the IPL laser machine and it gives you x amount of shots.

 

This made me think that I could copy the code of that dongle. It is really just a atmega8a, nothing more.

 

I have tried connecting the device to my computer and using AVRdude to download the files. However it keeps saying I need to update the bootloader,
which I can not do because I will loose the program.

 

I tried connecting an Arduino as ISP device to the flatcable, used AVRDUDESS (Windows GUI) and all I could do is download the Arduino code, 
not the code from the USBISP(Atmega8a) device.

 

What I want to know, is it possible to copy the program from the USBISP(Atmega8a) and place it on another one?
If it is possible, how on earth would you do that?

Thank you,
Terrick

This topic has a solution.
Last Edited: Thu. Oct 3, 2019 - 08:07 AM
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The core ethical issue here is that you want to violate someone's intellectual property. This is not something that is tolerated here.

 

Surely there are sites on the interwebs that tell you precisely how to read/write the code to the USBISP, let alone tell you to build one.

 

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Well, I can ask the wife of the friend, she has the IP rights now, doesn't she?

I am sure she is willing to help me with this!

This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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Of course you can.

 

If she gives you permission to use code that was "cracked" by her deceased husband it puts you in the same position.

 

If a Bank Robber dies his widow can give you the proceeds and it makes them "freshly laundered"  ???

 

David.

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Ah, I am sorry, I thought we were talking about the IP of the deceased husband.

I understand... Have a good day!

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I suppose that a Safe-Cracker has Intellectual Property i.e. she knows how to explosives,  combination codes, ...

When she dies her partner might have learned a few tips and tricks.

 

I would be very surprised if the surviving partner actually has the same skills or IP.

But it is possible.

 

I am sure that many Pirate widows and widowers dug up lots of buried Treasure.

 

David.

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In my humble opinion, whenever there is a 'real' victim, there is a 'real' crime (I added the word 'real' because it is supposed, in general, that an enslaved person commits a crime every time he disobeys a powerful ruler; Worldly or Heavenly angel).

So I just wonder... who could be the victim in case this exact dongle could be duplicated now? indecision

 

Kerim

 

 

 

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KerimF wrote:
who could be the victim in case this exact dongle could be duplicated now?

The original equipment manufacturer's business model seems to be that your use of the machine is paid by the "credits" on the dongle.

 

Presumably, the machine was originally supplied free or cheap.

 

The only mitigating circumstance here seems to be that the OEM will not sell the dongles any more - so the OP has a machine, but can't use it ...?

Top Tips:

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  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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Last Edited: Wed. Oct 2, 2019 - 10:36 AM
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The "correct" procedure would be to ask the OEM for permission.    If the OEM has stopped manufacturing,  they might be happy to help you.

 

If your "friend" had put the OEM out of business,  they might not be so happy.    They might even sue his widow.

 

David.

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USBasp is open source hardware. Since it's cheap, I suppose your deceased friend decided to used it as base for his knockoff product, replacing the firmware by his own.

This is the homepage where you can find the schematics: https://www.fischl.de/usbasp/

 

If you study that, maybe you will figure out why you can't access the firmware.

 

In case you can't contact the OEM, or it went bust, your equipment has become unusable. This may allow you to reverse engineer it for operability and falls into "fair use" IMHO.

Last Edited: Wed. Oct 2, 2019 - 12:11 PM
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It's not obvious that anything here that the user wants to copy is protected IP. If the friend made their own dongles, rather than copying the vendor's, they're not copied property. Speculating that the company "gave the machines away for free" and charged for the dongles doesn't mean anything; we don't know, or need to know, or care about, the business model of a company that isn't selling a particular product at all anyway. My guess is that the company stopped selling the product for other reasons and the friend figured out how to make the machines keep running because otherwise the people who bought the machines are sorta screwed.

 

 

It looks like the intent is to track uses of lightbulbs, and probably the lightbulbs are the thing that's being sold.

 

Basically, I don't think there's enough here to justify a firm conclusion of "this is definitely illegitimate copying of intellectual property".

 

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My parents have an IPL laser machine which they use to treat friends and family. 

What does that mean, cut them up with a laser? Maybe they shouldn't have one! 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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It appears to me the OP thinks copying the flash from the USBasp to this dongle thingie is what is needed, if so, I think he/she may be mistaken.

Or is the OP using the USBasp to copy from one dongle to another in order to refresh it?  Is it the flash that changes, or the eeprom contents?

 

Jim

 

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avrcandies wrote:
What does that mean

I had to look it up!

 

It's laser hair removal, I think.

 

 

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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"Intense Pulsed Light".

 

But I think this thread has run its course now so I'll lock it anyway.

Topic locked