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Posted (edited)

The STM32F103 CPU used in the Segway MiniPRO uses RDP1 read-protection, which is easy to crack with a 'DFU voltage injection' attack. MRN76 can tell us if this is an 'official' reseller but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody has cracked the Swallowbot code and marketed it as a product. Or maybe they have some inferior code and are calling that 'Swallowbot'. Who knows? Anyway, summer is coming, and I want to get Swallowbot in my miniPROs. I have not been getting replies to my emails to Ninebot.run, and in any case don't like the risk of having a motherboard lost in transit to Moscow. This outlet is cheaper and Ebay is far less hassle to deal with. I have ordered one of these Ebay boards with shipping via FedEx, and I will report what I see when it arrives next week. At worst, I will have a spare control board I can put Ninebot code into! I will share whatever I find with MRN76 and WEagle.

I notice there are other sellers too: https://www.ebay.com/itm/273788875366 and https://www.ebay.com/itm/303114821577?

Edited by trevmar

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I am becoming convinced that my MiniPROs will never fly with Swallowbot  :efef895ddd:  The Ebay seller said that when my control board arrived from the manufacturer they found it was 'faulty' and are waiting for a replacement to arrive. I will post whenever there is any progress...

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I just got the notification from the Ebay supplier shown below. All listings on Ebay have now disappeared except MRN76's original CPU offer.

 

Quote

Hi friend,
This is eBay harhap store.Sorry for the bothering again.
We are sorry to tell you that we get the new stock from our supplier,but the item can't pass the quality check before shippment,we found that there was something wrong with the circuit of the main board, which led to the main board not being able to work normally.
So we are sorry that we can't ship the package to you at this time.
In this case,would you like to get the refund or wait for it?We will get the new stock in the end of this month,but we also need to check the item when we get the new stock.We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience we caused.
Looking forward to your reply.

 

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Time for an update:

EBAY is again advertising the 'Swallowbot' motherboards. For several weeks all the sellers had removed their auctions from Ebay.

I received an email from my seller saying that a new stock of boards had arrived at the end of April and they are testing this batch of boards to make sure they work properly (more time-wasting...). I have ordered a second system from a different seller, and also paid for express shipping. hopefully I will have more info soon...

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Update: The second board I bought yesterday via Amazon has shipped via DHL 3-5 day. Within a week will be able to assess if it is a lemon or a Swallow :)

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Posted (edited)

The first control board, the one I ordered last week from the Amazon marketplace seller EKSmart, has arrived by DHL from Hong Kong. It doesn't look exactly like MRN96's Swallowbot, it reports firmware v1.1.1 and serial number 11960/100112*** (last 3 digits blanked for security).

It made me go through the "learning exercises" when I switched the machine on. I suppose the good news is that the board works at all! I have ridden it around a little, and it didn't disable the "limited" mode automatically, I had to do that via the "Limited" button on the app. Good news is that I have to push it hard to hit any limits, bad news is that it did push me back in the "limited" mode. But not so much. There was noticeable tilting of the feet in limited mode, too - trying to give me feedback, I think. That has not yet been obvious in unlimited mode. The alarm beep is a very quick sequence of about 6 normal-pitch beeps. Maybe the Swallowbot owners can give me some idea of how to test it without trying to go past 18Km/h :efef895ddd: After I have ridden it a bit I will work up to this, but since this is my first ride after the winter break, I didn't want to push things too hard until I get confidence in the firmware.

I still am still waiting for the board from the Ebay seller which I ordered and paid express shipping on a month ago, that should get here Monday, I think. The month delay was clearly to get new stock - it seems the first set of boards sold out from all the Ebay sellers.

I want to emphasize that the sellers are all calling the firmware "Swallowbot" even if it turns out to be something quite different from what @WEagle95 and @MRN76 developed.

 

ps: I checked the SKU number on the packaging SKU01399 and found hits on Alibaba saying it "Brand: Cool Step", customized with pre-installed firmware swallowbot, for mini-pro,mini-lite

Edited by trevmar

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12 hours ago, trevmar said:

The first control board, the one I ordered last week from the Amazon marketplace seller EKSmart, has arrived by DHL from Hong Kong. It doesn't look exactly like MRN96's Swallowbot, it reports firmware v1.1.1 and serial number 11960/100112*** (last 3 digits blanked for security).

It made me go through the "learning exercises" when I switched the machine on. I suppose the good news is that the board works at all! I have ridden it around a little, and it didn't disable the "limited" mode automatically, I had to do that via the "Limited" button on the app. Good news is that I have to push it hard to hit any limits, bad news is that it did push me back in the "limited" mode. But not so much. There was noticeable tilting of the feet in limited mode, too - trying to give me feedback, I think. That has not yet been obvious in unlimited mode. The alarm beep is a very quick sequence of about 6 normal-pitch beeps. Maybe the Swallowbot owners can give me some idea of how to test it without trying to go past 18Km/h :efef895ddd: After I have ridden it a bit I will work up to this, but since this is my first ride after the winter break, I didn't want to push things too hard until I get confidence in the firmware.

I still am still waiting for the board from the Ebay seller which I ordered and paid express shipping on a month ago, that should get here Monday, I think. The month delay was clearly to get new stock - it seems the first set of boards sold out from all the Ebay sellers.

I want to emphasize that the sellers are all calling the firmware "Swallowbot" even if it turns out to be something quite different from what @WEagle95 and @MRN76 developed.

 

ps: I checked the SKU number on the packaging SKU01399 and found hits on Alibaba saying it "Brand: Cool Step", customized with pre-installed firmware swallowbot, for mini-pro,mini-lite

Could you please let us know if it really works as advertised?

Max speed of 23Km/h on standard tires (or 25Km/h if you have high profile tires)

The max speed is reduced as follows:

5 bars - up to 23 km / h

4 bars - 22.5 km / h

3 bars - 22,5 km / h

2 bars - 20 km / h

1 bar- to 16 km / h

Fines (leanback) and beeping are also reduced?

Thank you for your updates.

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1 hour ago, longinus88 said:

Could you please let us know if it really works as advertised? Max speed of 23Km/h on standard tires (or 25Km/h if you have high profile tires)

Are those the values from Alexander for the Russian Swallowbot or for these Chinese control boards?

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, trevmar said:

Are those the values from Alexander for the Russian Swallowbot or for these Chinese control boards?

These are the values for the Russian Swallowbot, I was wondering if the Swallowbot on the Chinese control boards was the same.

Thanks a lot

Edited by longinus88

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3 hours ago, longinus88 said:

These are the values for the Russian Swallowbot, I was wondering if the Swallowbot on the Chinese control boards was the same.

Well, that's exactly what I was trying to find out... It is clear there are huge differences, but I am looking for somebody familiar with the Russian firmware to suggest some things I can easily test for (without risking my neck). I suspect at this point, however, that this is home-grown Chinese firmware. It may not even be enhanced from the old Ninebot v1.1.1,  I haven't been able to determine that yet.

My wild guess is that the original firmware team has taken out limits imposed on them by marketing and released this firmware from their archives. This guess is based on the version number being 1.1.1, and my suspicion, based on years of heading firmware projects, that the original team was thrown out once they got the product solid enough for the market. It is all too common for marketeers to come in and 'restructure' the engineering team with "yes men" rather than the innovators who gave the product life..

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Posted (edited)

I forgot to mention that the older/hacked v1.1.1 Chinese firmware is working with the Segway/Ninebot app v4.4.6, which is a newer app version. Jojo reminded me that the original control boards with the original v1.1.1 do not work with these newer versions of the app, so I am gaining more confidence that the firmware is indeed a hacked version as it was advertised to be...

Edited by trevmar

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Thank you for the update trevmar.

I guess the easier way to find out if this is the Russian Swallowbot is to test the max speed you can get at different level of battery charge, the increase in speed should be noticeable compared to the stock version of the firmware..

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The second board has arrived, this is the one I ordered a month ago from Ebay seller Harhap but which they didn't ship until last week. It is exactly the same as the first. brand new, no sign of thermal grease or bent wires to indicate it has ever been connected in a MiniPro chassis. Like the first, the CPU soldering is by hand, unlike the rest of the board. I haven't checked if these CPU are read-protected, but I will be surprised if they are not.

Tomorrow I will get the chance to go up the hill to the 1:12 grade that the MiniPro has such trouble with. Let's see how the Chinese firmware handles that...

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Sounds promising, i'd be putting on the gear and goin' for it.  

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So in unlimited mode, what is the App reporting as max speed?

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, FreeRide said:

Sounds promising, i'd be putting on the gear and goin' for it.  

I want to get some confidence in the platform first. So I will be testing it out against the standard 1.1.7 where I know it fails, on the steep slope and at obstacles. You guys can all test its maximum speed. I have already ruined my ankle once, thank you... LOL :crying:

Edited by trevmar

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Posted (edited)

I have connected the second Chinese 'Swallowbot' control board to a JTAG / SWD programmer and verified (with OpenOCD) that the CPU Firmware has been protected against reading to RDP1 level, as was the Russian chip I got from @MRN76.

Actually that is somewhat good news, as Ninebot ships their normal CPU's unprotected. It looks like these CPUs have been soldered in by the seller, and that the contents of the CPU are protected against copying, as was the Russian Swallowbot CPU chip. So maybe the chip has something valuable in it. We shall see... Protection is inconvenient, but (I guess) expected, We will just have to determine the performance of the Chinese firmware by testing it on the road...

Edited by trevmar

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Ok, thanks for telling your experiences with these 2 mainboards :)

So, as I understand you:

- The 2 boards doesn't use the original swallowbot firmware

- The limits are erased at all, but it is also necessary to do the "learning" process again with the first miles limited with the very slow speed

- It seems that the first board, that arrived within a few days, has also modifications in the steering back, too and doesn't "beep" after arriving the official ninebot limit.

- This board can also use the official and newest Ninebot App for controlling it (that has to be a "must" cause of deleting the limitation after the "learning" phase)

 

Is this correct?

 

Looking forward to a uphill test with this board. I am excited for your report of the second Board and your final results :):):)

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Posted (edited)

Tommy, I am pretty sure the boards don't use the Russian Swallowbot firmware, although I find it strange that neither @MRN76 or @WEagle95 have  confirmed or denied any collaboration. I am not sure that I needed to go through the break-in mile of riding, as I didn't try to click the "Limted" button until after I had done that. I did have to go through the rubbish tutorial about how to get on the machine, etc... I cannot yet confirm the presence of the 50Km threshold.. The board can use my 4.4.6 Ninebot app, but does not respond to the "Riding Sensitivity" or initial slope commands, as it does appear to be really based on v1.1.1 firmware.

I have been slow in testing the maximum speeds as the battery in that machine has been misbehaving, and I have not seen speed extensions yet. The only confirmation that the firmware is different is that when I strained it too much going up the hill the push-back was far more restrained than any of the firmware versions I have previously ridden. Indeed, it seemed to be a good compromise between safety and convenience.  But I have never ridden unmodified v1.1.1 before, as @MRN76 does not include that version in his "Ninebot.rar" firmware utility, and it is possible that this was its normal behavior.

The Chinese CPU is protected from reading (copying) just as the Russian Swallowbot CPU was.

Now that I have good control boards which are easy to solder, I will at some point test the Russian Swallowbot CPU from the board which previously blew up (due to the plastic coating on that board making my soldering fail). These Chinese boards are clean. and tempting me to solder the Russian chip again and see if it was damaged when the output FETs blew up. But first I will finish playing with the Chinese mods.

Edited by trevmar

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Sounds good to me.

I will waiting for your final results and your personally likes and dislikes between the 3 CPUs.

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On 5/22/2019 at 3:57 AM, trevmar said:

I want to get some confidence in the platform first. So I will be testing it out against the standard 1.1.7 where I know it fails, on the steep slope and at obstacles. You guys can all test its maximum speed. I have already ruined my ankle once, thank you... LOL :crying:

Can you tell us what the app says is the speed limit? You don't have to test the speed limit if you want to take it slow. 

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Posted (edited)

@FreeRide My app (v4.4.6) doesn't tell me speed limits. But it has a speedometer with a 12-o'clock position that presumably is half maximum speed. I will check that out. Please let me know if there is any way to find in the app the maximum speed, I don't see it. Just the speedo. But I can run it to 50% and see what it says. I will check that out.

What I did today was try to understand why my miniPRO uses 90 watts of energy to climb the 1-mile-long steep incline here. With my weight (95KG), running right at the point the 'swallowbot' starts beeping me all the way up the slope it takes about 90watts out of the battery, and with the smaller 240 battery I have fitted to the test-unit-miniPRO that drops me to 3 bars. A little more riding and I have dropped to 2 bars. Even at that level the miniPRO is nice to ride, comfortable, firm, a pleasure to ride. So that is good. However the incline cannot be taken faster in Swallowbot than with 1.1.7 firmware. So I must be right at the climbing limit, and that seems the same in the Chinese 'Swallowbot' as 1.1.7 firmware.

Interestingly, I was watching this video of Russian Swallowbot and I noticed that it was giving the quick beeps that the Chinese firmware gives. I had thought that the Russian Swallowbot had a lower pitched warning tone, but I guess I was wrong. So the warning beeps are the same, and the pushback is very mild indeed. It is a pleasure to ride, even at low battery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8ivTNxFWUA

 

Edited by trevmar

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If you are on the large speedometer graphic screen shown below, there is only the red part of the ring to indicate any type of limiting.  If you slide the page to the left to reveal page-2 then you can see more stats, with the current limit printed under the speed indicator.  Firmware/App ver could make a difference.  I presume the app is not asking you to update everytime you connect to the minipro?  

ACE3FF95-9B69-4219-A6F7-F370C236E7F3.jpeg

B47C36E7-CF64-4DB2-B5F3-1C3DEE09C4B2.jpeg

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