Tag Archive | Teardown

ZXDSL 931WII hacking

The stock 931WII

Recently, I decided to upgrade my ADSL subscription to VDSL, and the deal included a ZTE ZXDSL 931WII CPE box (VDSL2 modem + NAT + WLAN AP). Attached with the box were instructions stating that configuration settings could be managed from a private web page provided by the ISP. And was one able to do so? Of course not. Much to my annoyance, it also turned out that all ‘outside the box’ local configuration had been disabled in the firmware (no response to LAN http, ssh or telnet). So, a quick call to the ISP helpdesk:

Hi! I upgraded to blablabla and would like to configure it but there’s nothing else on the remote admin panel than a save -button”

“Ok let me check”

“It doesn’t accept any http or telnet connections to the local admin interface either..”

“What would you like to configure?”

“Well you know, the usual stuff people configure on their home router; static IPs, port forwarding, admin password etc..”

“Hmm well I can see that implementing the feature is pending, but I can check details about this with someone. Is it ok if I text you shortly? Kthxbye!” *CLICK*

Some minutes later, there’s a text on my mobile saying “There is no known schedule for adding remote configurability for the current firmware at this time”. W-T-F and thanks a fucking bunch! :D

Seriously: Do they think that I’m going to run this box in my home without having any access to feature configuration?

Sure I can understand that, given the increasingly technical times we live in, the need might arise for the ISP to be able to remotely check the CPE configuration of some less-technically-inclined subscriber using their ACS server. But why-oh-why disable all local configuration options? Surely, the option of configuring the hardware could be kept available to those who wish to do so?

Not happy with the situation at all, I decided it was time to take a look whether local configuration could be performed from inside the box.. I’d rather have a bit of my own fun with the box instead of paying xx€ for queuing +15 minutes on the phone just to be walked through a “Did you check cable connections” check list (or whatever). Should my “playtime” result with a bricked box, no problem. The ISP can then have the box back accompanied with a “the lights just went out” fault description and I’ll go buy something more decent :)

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MAME cabinet, VGA converter unboxing

VGA converter in the mail, yay \:D/. While opening up the box, I got the idea of making a unboxing post about it. If you actually want to read something serious about my MAME project, then you should definitely skip this one :)

In case you’re not familiar with unboxing, it’s a pointless fetish of sorts where some dork opens the retail packaging of a whatever newly bought gadget and drools over it. Want more proof, just try Youtube with this search. Scary as it gets, some of these clips actually get quite a bit of views; there’s f.ex. a Iphone 4 unboxing clip with + 1,5 million views.. WHY?! :D
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Granny Cruiser, mysteries of the hub

A couple of sessions more into this project and we have the frame ready for decals and lacquering..

Frame sanded..

Solid layer of primer on the bare surface once again, but this time allowing it to dry up for about a day. Then, light sanding over the primer (600 grit) followed by dust removal (damp cloth + compressed air) and three layers of paint. One can of primer and paint were just enough for the fork and frame.
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