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Initial MK V thoughts,and rambles.


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I've been playing with my pineapple for a little while now. I'm mainly a hardware guy,but after much fiddling I've got kismet running on both radios via a boot mode dip-switch,and all seems to be mostly working okay..mostly.

#1 Recon mode seems to randomly break.(firmware 2.3.0) "AP scan" usually always works fine,but "AP+Client scan" will appear to start scanning,but the pineapple icon never stops spinning,and nothing ever appears in the list. It will sit like that for hours,if you let it. Reflashing the firmware (2.3.0),and starting over from scratch seems to be the only fix I've found,for this. I'm not sure what causes it yet.
(in one case I even had to downgrade back to 2.2.0,and re-upgrade to 2.3.0 to fix it. See- https://forums.hak5.org/index.php?/topic/35131-recon-mode-ap-client/ )

#2 The SMA to RP-SMA adapters I got from the hakshop didn't quite seat on the connectors all the way,as the pineapple case is a bit too thick. So the center-pin never really makes contact. Luckily I discovered this issue before I used the pineapple to transmit anything,since that may have damaged the transmitter(s). The fix for this was to take the pineapple apart,and drill out the antenna port holes in the case with a uni-bit (love those). Now everything seats tightly,and all is well.

Which reminds me of a question I have. Why SMA? Darren has mentioned in a couple of videos that it's because they would 'rather have a cheap antenna break,over the expensive pineapple' But I don't get it. The connectors are pretty much identical,apart from having a little dimple in the center versus a little nipple. Seems like (most) everything else I have is RP-SMA,so the adapters are needed to use the pile of stuff in the junk box. Not a big deal,I'm just not following the reasoning.

#3 Power. I've run my pineapple on the original 9V power supply,a 3S Li-ion pack(~11-12V range),and a 13.25V bench supply. All work fine. I have seen some reports of pineapples frying while being used in a car,so I'm curious to investigate that. Since I had my pineapple apart to drill out the antenna port holes,I decided to pop the shield off of the PSU section,and take a peek. I'm mostly interested in knowing what the main controller chip for the SMPS supply is. Looking at some naked pineapple pictures,I was able to glean the part numbers of the two sub-supplies for the 1.8V and 3.3V rails,but not the main controller for the 5V rail,until now.

(I'm not sure how Darren and crew feel about someone posting the IC part numbers,etc. for their product/IP,so I will refrain from that,for now. Unless I hear differently,from them.)

It _should_ be okay up to 15-16V input voltage. The chip is rated for much higher,depending on application,but I'm not sure what the other components (capacitors,mainly) are rated for. I will _assume_ 16V rated capacitors on the input,so that's probably the limit.

Heck,I've got a variable bench supply right here,BRB. /says a quick piece to the Gods Of The Magic Smoke./

Yep,working great at 15.5V. This is a clean,regulated,bench power supply though. An automobile is an electrically noisy,nightmareish,situation with lots of voltage spikes,and brown-outs,so that might cause issues. At the least,some noise filtering would be good. Better yet might be a 9V adapter for an old cellphone/radar detector/CD player/etc. Voltage regulation is a good thing. Smoked pineapples are a bad thing.

Current draw when the pineapple is idle,no clients connected,and a 12.0V input,is around 150-175ma,or so. . When running kismet on both radios,and logging to the SD card,it's a bit higher,around 270ma,or so. Of course,if you have clients connected,data flowing,and are transmitting at higher power,etc. current draw will be higher. I've seen 400ma drain on several occasions. With my approx 3.0AH Li-Ion battery pack,I have powered the pineapple,running kismet,for 6-8 hours on a full charge. It could probably even go a bit longer. This might be handy info,for someone trying to calculate a rough run-time,when running from battery power.

I was doing really well at fighting my technolust,and not taking my pineapple apart...until the antenna port issue. It was bound to happen,eventually. Curiosity,something,something,cat. At least I learned what I wanted to know about the SMPS controllers used in the pineapple,so I'm happy.

Next up is to get a GPS dongle,and do some good old war-walking,for fun. Hopefully I can get that working,and maybe pulling the time from GPS. Though,I do have a DS3231 RTC module I could try to hook up. Fun stuff!

Ohh,I'll throw this in here too,one of my favorite dip switch settings is something I have dubbed 'silent mode' or 'stealth mode'. Really simple,It takes down all the radio interfaces/AP's,etc.so nothing is transmitting. Handy for staying hidden,while doing config/setup stuffs on the pineapple,until you're ready to be seen! It does require a physical connection to the ethernet jack on the pineapple though,since,obviously,the managment AP is down too.

ifconfig wlan0 down && ifconfig wlan1 down && ifconfig wlan0-1 down

I think that's it,for now. I might post some more thoughts/rambles later. Happy Pineapple-ing!

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Regarding the "AP + Client" in recon mode, I also posted about it here. So hopefully Seb will be able to reproduce and fix it.

If you attempt to connect an SMA antenna to your ALFA, you are likely to break/bend the center conductor on both. If you connect an RP-SMA antenna to your pineapple, you would have no center conductor connection, and presumably/hopefully the radio would not be damaged when you attempt to transmit.

Although I didn't buy my adapters from the Hak Shop, the case is not even close to being in the way. I would contact the Hak Shop to see if they goofed up.

Burning up the pineapple from the car power? I know you can burn it up if you try to power it through the USB port. And as you say, the power from an automobile jack is "regulated" by the car's voltage regulator and the battery's clamping ability. I sure wouldn't trust it in my car; I'd use an inverter to power a regulated supply.

Edited by fringes
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  • 1 month later...

I guess that makes sense,with the connector center pin.
The adapters are working great,since the minor case trimming,I'm happy with it.

So,I got a cheap serial GPS module (Ublox NEO-7M -has anyone here played with these modules?),and a PL2303 USB-serial adapter,and have been tinkering with trying to get the GPS to work with kismet.

Good news is,the module and serial adapter work on my main PC. I might eventually skip the PL2303,and connect it to the serial port on the pineapple GPIO header (might need some level-shifting),but for now the PL2303 should work fine.
Bad news is,it appears I get nothing in the logs (.gpsxml file)

in kismet.conf I have setup the GPS like so:
gps=true

gpstype=serial

gpsdevice=dev/ttyUSB0

In /dev,I see ttyUSB0,and typing in 'lsusb' shows the Prolific usb-serial adapter.

Dumb question time; What baud rate should I set the GPS module for/what baud rate is kismet expecting? I haven't been able to find much of anything about this,in an admittedly brief search.

Other than that,I'm kinda stumped.

I'm also not sure that I have the GPS module configured quite right,so I may need to tinker with that some more. But when viewed on my main PC,the output and everything looks good. I have been using the ublox 'u-center' software for configuring and tinkering on my main PC.

I'll fiddle some more,but any thoughts are welcome. Cheers!

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Oh, about the car frying the pineapple thing. I think it's from people having the pineapple plugged in before they start the car. They could also be trying to run it straight off car power without a power adapter. I've seen car power spike to 20vdc while cranking.

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