It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. There’s some component sitting on the bench, say an I2C sensor, a new display, or maybe a flash chip, and you want to poke around with it. So you get out the breadboard, wire it to a microcontroller, write some code, flash it…you get the idea. Frankly, it’s all kind of a hassle. Which is why [Ian Lesnet] created the Bus Pirate: a USB multi-tool designed to get you up and running with a new piece of hardware as quickly as possible.

Now, after years of development, the Bus Pirate 5 is available for purchase. Completely redesigned to take advantage of the impressive I/O capabilities of the RP2040, the new Bus Pirate also features a 240 x 320 IPS LCD that can show real-time voltage data and pin assignments. But despite the new display, and the bevy of RGB LEDs lurking under the injection molded enclosure, the primary interface for the device remains the VT100 terminal interface — now with the addition of a color status bar running along the bottom.

As with the earlier versions of the Bus Pirate, the device includes all sorts of features that should prove useful to the hardware hacker. It can be used as a programmable 1 to 5 volt power supply, complete with current detection and a resettable fuse. With a simple text interface you can send communicate with devices over 1-Wire, I2C, SPI, UART, MIDI, and various RGB LED protocols out of the box, but thanks to its open source firmware, expect it to learn some new tricks before too long. In the announcement post, [Ian] mentions upcoming firmware additions to support JTAG, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, and a very slick oscilloscope that uses the Pirate’s onboard display.

Long time readers may recall that the Bus Pirate started its life right here on Hackaday back in 2008, when [Ian] was writing for us. While we no longer have any official connection to the project, we remain big fans of the open hardware device. There’s a Bus Pirate 5 with our name on it currently working its way through the postal system at the time of this writing, so expect a hands-on look at the new hardware in the near future.


About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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