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help hacking a 'strange kind of' usb device


weege
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Hi All,

This may be a strange question (in fact I know it is).

I just purchased a golf gps device called izzo swami. The device connect via usb to the computer. Izzo proprietary software (called izzo mapmanager) is then used to download golf course data directly to the device. The device can only store 10 courses at a time and there is an annual fee to download courses.

Would there be a way (and could you start me in the right directions??) to 'hack' the device so as to be able to access the golf course data that is stored on it and transfer that data to my hard drive (and vice versa)?

Again, I apologize if this is a stupid or simplistic questions.

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It has to be mounted in order to for the computer to transfer data to it.. What I would do is try to run it in linux with wine and wireshark to monitor what exactly is going between the device and the computer. There are also tools for windows for this same thing, but linux does it by default :P.

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Wasn't there an episode about USB sniffing similar to wireshark? Maybe there is a way to se ewhat it is copying over and copy it to the HDD. Not sure hwat you would do with the data though, as it is probably only readable by the GPS device. Some GPS's have ways to export the maps and tracks in GPS or LOC formats. Most of the time these are just XML text files, so if your device uses the same method, you might be able to intercept, download and display this stuff on something like google maps or just drag it onto google earth(since google earth will parse most xml files for map coordinates) and let it pull up the data for you.

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So after looking again, it seems like its purpose is to tell you how far you are from the hole you're playing. The data you download to it would be basically a GPS map of the course and it would compare your location to the location of the hole. You could probably wireshark the net connection you're downloading the data via to find out how and where the maps are stored. Once you find out the format of the files you may be able to make your own maps for free and maybe even use your hosts file and an HTTP server (assuming it's as simple as that) to host your own maps and fool the app to download your maps instead of the official ones. Depending on how it works you might be able to use it with any location data to tell you how far you are from a predefined location like a landmark or a city you're driving to or something. Not necessarily useful but something fun to try if only for the challenge and the satisfaction of making it work off of a golf course.

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So after looking again, it seems like its purpose is to tell you how far you are from the hole you're playing. The data you download to it would be basically a GPS map of the course and it would compare your location to the location of the hole. You could probably wireshark the net connection you're downloading the data via to find out how and where the maps are stored. Once you find out the format of the files you may be able to make your own maps for free and maybe even use your hosts file and an HTTP server (assuming it's as simple as that) to host your own maps and fool the app to download your maps instead of the official ones. Depending on how it works you might be able to use it with any location data to tell you how far you are from a predefined location like a landmark or a city you're driving or or something. Not necessarily useful but something fun to try if only for the challenge and the satisfaction of making it work off of a golf course.

That sounds like something cool to do with the device. Make your own POI list and display it on the device. All these GPS devices lately, I'm suprised no one has made one that controls a RF Car of some sort. Program it to drive the car from POI to POI using the GPS to control when to turn, etc.

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Well, as this review suggests, it's not exactly complicated. Even as a golf course distance calculator it's fairly... err... crap, actually. I don't play golf, but compared to what this device could or should do I think it sounds pretty poor. In fact for the same money (or even less, I suspect) you could get a non-golf-specific GPS/navigation device and load it with course data yourself. It's very very basic and the only real data you get is a 3 digit distance (in yards I'd imagine) from a given point on the course. So, with less than 1000 yards to play with it probably won't be a whole lot of use. I'm sure there's some use for it though, maybe load it with locations of speed cameras and use it to warn you when there's one coming up in <1000yards maybe?

izzo_swami_1500_600_600.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

I think that the original poster was trying to say the following. When you buy the GPS, no course maps are included. You pay a $10 "activation fee" and then you can download thousands of course maps. However, you can only keep 10 at a time on the gps. Therefore, it would be great to download 50 or so, keep them on the hard drive and then flip them back and forth between the pc and the gps. This would save paying the activation fee (i.e. download fee) every year.

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