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An absorbing allotment of alive on the Building Management and Ascendancy (BMaC) activity – as ahead covered on this armpit – was the reverse-engineering and ultimately the accepting of abounding ascendancy over the coffee machines at the office. Not the arid clarify coffee machines, apperception you, but the absolutely automated espresso apparatus blazon that grinds beans, makes coffee, adds milk, and abundant more. Depending on one’s budget, naturally.
These little marvels of engineering accommodate meters of tubing, dozens of sensors, valves, bowl grinders, and heating elements. The complication of this accouterment fabricated us anticipate that maybe there was added that we could do with these machines above what their absolute programming and predefined articles would allow. Naturally, there was.
The espresso machines at the appointment are all from Jura, a Swiss company. Specifically we had the Impressa XS90 and an beforehand adaptation of it, forth with an X3 and XJ9. Initially we were aloof absorbed in account out the counters in its EEPROM that gave us this overview of our colleagues’ coffee use:
Believe it or not, these counters could be apprehend out over TTL-level consecutive anchorage on the aback of these machines, a consecutive anchorage on which the centralized microcontroller speaks a simple bifold protocol. A agnate project, covered by Hackaday a few years ago, featured agnate functionality in agreement of account out these coffee acceptance counters.
The agreement is about apparent ASCII commands and responses, with anniversary byte angry into four bytes. Alone $.25 2 and 5 of backpack abstracts from the aboriginal byte, and the blow of the carrier bytes are 1s except for bit 0. This encoding and analogous breach accepted were implemented in the BMaC project’s ‘Jura‘ and ‘JuraTerm‘ firmware modules.
Inside these machines, you’ll acquisition a ambassador lath fabricated by TOP-tronics. Best of them affection what we accept arise to alarm the ‘generation 5’ blazon of boards, aback the triple-digit archetypal cardinal starts with a ‘5’ for those boards. They all affection a simple processor and accept their programming central a area of masked ROM, acceptation that they do not abutment firmware updates, but alone acquiesce for baby agreement changes in an EEPROM on the aforementioned PCB. Artefact counters are additionally stored in this EEPROM.
All of these boards acquaint via their consecutive ports, allegedly application the aforementioned bedlam consecutive agreement to accept instructions from the baby LED or LCD-based front-panel interface PCB. The XS9, XS90, and XJ9 all accept agnate generation-5 accouterments inside, but the XJ9 is the alone one which has the blush TFT LCD and abundant above artefact alternative out of these three. The X3 and its ancestors (X3c, W3), on the added hand, affection ‘generation 7’ hardware. And instead of the masked ROM and simple microprocessor, they accept an ARM MCU (STM32F103ZE) and no best use the EEPROM (93LC86) to almanac counters. Attempts to use the simple ‘TOP-tronics’ agreement to apprehend the EEPROM after-effects in the apparatus abiding rows of zeroes. These machines additionally affection a Bluetooth dongle which plugs into the user-accessible third UART (‘extension port’) so that it can be acclimated with the Jura app on smartphone or tablet.
With our X3 apparatus mostly above to the accepted agreement and commands, we absitively to detect the UART curve amid this dongle and the apparatus while operating the app on a tablet, electing to use the aboriginal UART (‘service port’) because it has a beefy DE-9 (RS-232C-style) D-subminiature adapter and creating an adapter was abundant easier. Functionally both UARTs are identical as far as we could determine.
Unfortunately the aboriginal sniffing attempts already showed why we were accepting such a adamantine time communicating with the machine: instead of afraid with the plain-text protocol, the dongle and apparatus performed what appeared to be a handshake application the old agreement afore switching over to an encrypted connection.
Similarly, the Bluetooth affiliation amid the dongle and tablet-based app seems to be absolutely encrypted as well. Initial attempts at reverse-engineering, decrypting, or alike simple epitomize attacks accepted to be abortive and we had to accord up on this apparatus for the time being. We didn’t appetite to breach accoutrements of Euros account of accouterment and a acute allotment of the office’s (coffee) infrastructure, so we were affectionate of ashore aback it came to these newer machines.
That larboard three machines that we could acquaint with. Aback my employer organized a hackathon event, that was the absolute time to see what we could do with them. We started off abutting them to the bounded WiFi network. These little atramentous boxes accommodate an ESP8266 and a akin shifter, active the BMaC firmware absolute the two Jura modules which I referred to beforehand in this article.
While attractive through the account of accessible commands, it became bright that with it one can abode every distinct allotment of the accouterment that is complex in authoritative the final product, from the grinders to the valves to the absolute brewing groups. Instead of application the ‘make artefact X’ commands that apprehend the artefact presets from the ROM, we could instead accelerate our own cord of commands to the apparatus to accomplish our own, custom product.
The apparatus is about a alternation of pre-heaters (d), heaters (e), pumps (c), breeze sensors (b), valves (f, i), all confined the brewing assemblage (g), which is the bulk of the machine. This is area the grinder (not pictured) afterwards cutting a assertive bulk of coffee beans drops the crumb into, which is again abounding with the hot baptize from the valves and heating elements. Depending on the blazon of artefact one can additionally use beef during the brewing, and add milk from an alien assemblage if so adapted to the final product. The fun catechism was in which adjustment one was declared to use them, and for how long. Figuring this out was the ambition of this one day continued hackathon.
With no absolute advice above a ambiguous abstraction of how all of these genitalia of an automated coffee apparatus were declared to assignment together, we started off with the acceptance that we’d charge to bullwork some beans for a few abnormal or so, again add hot baptize and delay for the beginning coffee to arise in the mug we had put beneath the achievement ancillary in anticipation. Unfortunately that aloof got us some hot baptize in the mug and dry coffee area in the decay baptize container. Clearly article had gone awfully wrong. Going aback to the cartoon board, we began to anxiously attack assorted approaches and alternation of commands.
By the end of that day, we had formed our way through two kilogram accoutrements of beginning beans, managing to aftermath article that appeared to be at atomic at aboriginal aroma to be coffee, so we aboriginal had those in the aggregation who drank coffee try it until they started rebelling and we had to get bodies from the added teams to try our creations aback they popped by to see what in the apple was accident in this one allowance that smelled actual acerb of coffee for some odd reason.
In the end we ample out that the appropriate arrangement of contest for the XS90 was:
This arrangement accustomed us to aftermath article that analytic approximated what addition ability alarm ‘decent coffee’, according to my colleagues who do alcohol coffee. There were still abounding capacity we had to bulk out to absolute things, but we acquainted that we had arise tantalizingly abutting to accomplishing so. Not surprisingly, our aggregation won that hackathon.
Frustratingly, the account of TOP-tronic commands we had started with angry out to be incomplete. At some point, one of my colleagues ample that they should try unlisted commands that were in sequence, aloof to see what the apparatus would do. We had the accomplished apparatus busted open, so we could get a acceptable appearance of its internals.
Here one can see the consecutive cable acquainted into the argumentation lath of the apparatus with best of the tubing, pump, and some of the valves visible. This usually formed fine, acceptance us to deduce what formed and what didn’t, barring one adventure involving a command that allegedly set the multi-valve into a amiss state, so that the coffee would arise out on the appropriate achievement instead of the larboard one.
Since the hackathon, we haven’t had time to catechumen this affidavit of abstraction into a absolute artefact that would acquiesce us to command the coffee machines to aftermath the exact coffee or espresso we desire, abundant beneath calibrate the bulk of aqueous added to the abutting millilitre. This is absolutely article that should be done, though.
A somewhat abhorrent agenda actuality is that allegedly Jura and TOP-tronic accept absitively to move abroad from an calmly acclimated agreement as that begin on the bearing 5 boards. At some point I alike toyed with the anticipation of replacing the TOP-tronic lath in the X3 and added machines with bearing 7 hardware, application a custom ARM-based lath that would artlessly drive the apparatus according to the ascribe acquired via a WiFi or Ethernet link.
Unfortunately, that would beggarly actually abolishment the warranty, which is the aftermost affair which one would ambition to do with a coffee apparatus that costs added than a acclimated car. Still, the hacking abeyant with these automated coffee machines seems to be about infinite. If you can get your easily on a (used) XS90 or XS9, it could accomplish for a accomplished lot of fun, and possibly alike the best coffee in your life.
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