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So it’s Friday night and Friday nights at Adafruit Industries means it time to hacking reverse engineer. A random piece of consumer electronics that we’ve find and tonight I’m going to be taking a part and investigating the inners of this— now broken Motorola talked about just it’s a little pager modem running at 929.6625 megahertz so basically this aren’t really use anymore but I want to say if there is still stuffs being transmitting on that pager network and I don’t have a scanner so I thought and you know maybe I can open up the pager modem and get data straight from the radio. So let’s start by opening of the back I’m going to use my trustee extra light screw driver so I took up the other two screws earlier and just remove those battery cases. You can use nice screw driver gently wide open. The big secret to taking upon electronics to be really gentle and this step will come apart you just have to go slow. Okay so we can see here there is the battery terminals that ones on the single triple A battery and let’s going to remove the battery for now and to see the pager modem this is a little piece and then I’ll take this out and you can see there is a LCD. And this one is a little battery and its white still on. There is a little battery back up battery, this here a loop antenna so that’s RFN and then there is two boards here and I’ll take this apart carefully as well. Something being really careful here and not to showing any pins, just go slowly and here we go. This is the most boring part of this the taking it apart without breaking it. Okay, there you go, okay so let’s look at what we have here so now you can see the pager modem at that pager motor the loop antenna and there is a whole bunch of analogue parts here in passives and you can see a little trim so this is the modem part, this is the RF receiver and also has the modem here and you can see a little IF crystal that drive the RFD decoder tip. And then on this part you can see there is small chip crystals another crystal probably at timer. If you look really closely you can see that’s a 24 COA that’s in I think 8 megabit and I think 8 megabit CE prom so that’s probably strewing you know the unique identifier for this pager and that’s are probably in LCD driver, pager driver and one of these are drives to LCD and usually there is a specialty chip just for that and the other is you are the brains behind it and there is pieces and there is a little voltage regulation going on here and maybe this is a little booze converter. So the interesting step is the button and I will show you the other side you can see there is a connection, a ribbon connection for the LCD the three buttons. And it’s probably only worst entire phases and you see basically you’ve got the hold one and button down for the two minutes and then you hold another button you can only clear how you are going to use this device for looking it the manual. So let’s go back, the interesting thing here is the RF modem so you can see that the RF comes in here probably, here you go you can see comes in there that’s probably some amplifier and filtering the port and get to this chip. So right here, so front wise so you can see it says, TA 041 and then the other line it says 31149AFN to TA is probably the manufacture or the logo of the manufacture, 041 is the date code and then we have 31149 that’s probably the part number and AFN is usually any digits at the end of the package or temperature or you know maybe another date code or indication where was pub. So, of course I took this for earlier and I Googled TA31149 to get this. There is sheet, so here is the UTC TA31142 data sheet and looks about right there you go you can see the part so right number of pins and this is an IF for IC so that it make sense and you don’t want to make sure because sometimes you may confuse part of the date code or other you know pub notations with the part number so try a couple of different things breaking up the part number in different ways until you get a good hit. So let’s looks through here and basically the interesting stuffs with this sort of one off chips, this chips are basically design for one thing that’s probably design to just to drive a literal pagers is on the last page we can see how this works. So you can see this has a couple of things going on here and there is mix and there is a little regulator and it seems to one on one volts so you can put in on the higher voltage in it and has a little attempt that I’ll do voltage regulation for you if you put a transistor on. There is a amplifier charge, discharge but you know there is the thing that actually know or off that wall so that completely understand this but what is really important here is I can see that data’s coming in from the antenna and it’s coming out to FSK now FSK stands for Frequency Shift King and that’s basically that tell the data comes in over the antenna so this is actually going to be the data out and this is the competitor so it’s one bit that means this will be one bit data out. And if you do a little bit of research about pager protocols basically they took over one bit or two bit serial. So in theory we should be able to just read the serial data from the chip. So I am going to put this back together and then we can power on and at the chip and see if in fact there is data for this. So I’ve got the pager back together and I’ve turn on my trustee Techtronic scope and according to the data sheet I want to be proving pin 15 that is key ALT so looking at the screen while I do that I connect my probe to that pen and you can see a bunch of serial data coming out. Now it’s going pretty fast because I just having a normal trigger but what I can do is now turn it to RUN stuff and then try again, see this is actually real tuff to single sequence. There you go, activation complete, so you can grab a little bit of data and you can check it out and looks like serial to me. So, I have to forget exactly what encoding this is but definitely it looks like and I got data out. So basically what’s interesting about this pagers is even though it’s not activated it’s cheaper and easier for them to have the RF module always on and looking for messages and then seeing if that message is for the pager sort of like Ethernet works. Rather than having it filter at the RF level and some where having it not turn on the radio if it’s not activated so it’s interesting that you know they wanted to make sure that they could have a central control for what pagers were activated and how to send messages and how they did it. So probably my next would be I brought the batteries and I think is 3200 and then I basically base to computer and just look at what the data is and compare to maybe a white paper on the flex protocol and see if I can extract messages from this data stream and then put it to a flex pocket decoder and there is couple free ones online. So that’s sort of the beginning of how to reverse engineer a pager modem.