Internet USB Radio

Internet USB Radio
Credit: artverau

As can probably be inferred by some of my previous posts, I'm a supporter of using throw-away hardware to learn new things.

A few years ago, I came across a cheap USB dongle that I believed could be used for some SDR playfulness. Unfortunately, as things would turn out, during my impulse purchase I had misread the product label and instead had only bought an "Internet USB Radio". A quick plug-in and autorun later, I figured that this is just a read-only USB flash drive with an application on it. [link]

Fast forward a few more years, I came across the device again while rummaging through my spare-chips-for-reuse container and figure "surely this can't just be a USB drive cos that almost feels like a scam then".

There was also an Amazon(?) comment somewhere stating that the application wouldn't work without the dongle. So, maybe the dongle was more than just a USB drive?

After plugging this simple-looking dongle, lsusb informs us:
Bus 001 Device 008: ID 090c:6610 Silicon Motion, Inc. - Taiwan (formerly Feiya Technology Corp.)

So, we have a VID of 090c and PID of 6610.

With a bit of scouring on the Intertubes, it appears that the PID itself isn't used for much... or at least isn't noted anywhere that I looked.

More verbose output from lsusb gave us:
bDeviceClass            0
bDeviceSubClass         0
bDeviceProtocol         0

Furthermore, bNumConfigurations  1 and bNumInterfaces  1, suggest that the 16MB "Mass Storage" interface is the only one exposed by this little device.

I jumped at getting the plastic shell off the dongle only to be presented with two chips: "SK Hynix hy27us08281A" and "SM324QF".

Looking through the Hynix chip's datasheet confirms that it is a memory model, while the SM324QF's datasheet indicates that it is the controller chip.

Unfortunately, not much else interesting on the PCB.

My curiousity leaves me wondering whether I'll find anything interesting from reviewing the software application on the dongle. However, a brief peek at it suggests that I should rather invest the time in other more useful hackery.

I have a gut feeling that I should have titled this article quite simply as "The time that I bought an extremely expensive read-only USB flash drive". Yes, cool story bro!