passwords are garbage - maybe they don't have to be - here's an actual thing that holds on to them for you!

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Okay so passwords are actually pretty neat, but with so many of them it is really hard to keep track of them all. Now there are already solutions to fix this, but they're philosophy is pretty flawed. So here's a thing that stores them. There are many like it, but this one's mine. It's Atmel A328 based, has a nice little LCD and nav switch, and pulls its power from USB so it's pretty simple to use. I just thought it was a cool idea (maybe even could be modified into doing other things too!?).

Okay so passwords are actually pretty cool. The problem is that the're are so many of them. I am 100% not the first person to try and tackle the issue of there being so many passwords to everything. There are already both hardware and software solutions to try and fix that. I do not like the software solutions because that presents a singular link, that once broken, can cause a tremendous number of problems. The whole purpose of a password is that it is a unique bit of information that can only unlock one account. A password manager is like making sure your boat doesn't sink by plugging the entire hull with a cork. 

Now, my solution doesn't completely solve that problem. If you had access to this device you might be able to get the passwords stored inside it, but since it is completely separate from the internet and your computer/phone/etc, you would have to have hands-on access to it, making it way more difficult to break into (especially considering you could lock it up or something.

Okay so there's like a load of these already up here on Hackaday, but I was mostly inspired by a project I saw quite a while ago ( I cannot seem to find it anymore, if I do I'll post it). So many solutions don't really look like something that I would actually find useful, so I'm working on making something that works for me. 

Also now I'm messing with PCB design for this. I am not an electrical engineer (mechanical actually) so I don't really know what I'm doing but hey, we've got bodges.

  • 1 × Custom PCB
  • 1 × Newhaven LCD Display NHD-C0216CZ-NSW-BBW-3V3
  • 1 × SMD pushbutton switch SW423CT-ND
  • 4 × Blue, Green, and Yellow SMD LEDs 475-2560-1-ND and other colors
  • 8 × 0.1uF SMD caps 399-1177-1-ND

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  • I built the thing - but the regulator isn't working and i am sad

    Nate09/17/2020 at 18:49 0 comments

    I have assembled the first board (it is not perfect, but I did it with the iron so, hey!). It is still a bit sticky, however, a more problematic problem is that the regulator is regulating too much and I'm not sure why so it's not working yet. I also really need to start thinking about software which I haven't really done yet. Okay that's it, that's the post, hopefully there will be pictures of it working soon, hopefully. (don't mind the not enough solder on the USB connector, I'll fix it later)

  • PCBs and things

    Nate09/16/2020 at 14:58 0 comments

    Okay, so I've wanted to make this thing for a long time now, however, I've only starting working on it fairly recently, although I've neglected to put the Hackaday page up until now.

    So here's where I am currently. I bought parts for this a month or so ago, and ordered boards from JLCpcb, however thanks to my problems with shipping, I never received those boards. So then a few weeks ago I bought new boards from Oshpark and now I've got those! I feel like I did alright considering this is the first time I've designed a real PCB (I didn't make it impossible to manufacture, so hey!). I currently assembling the first board (after i bought a new micro for it, since I got the wrong package and somehow didn't notice for literally months), and then we'll see where that goes. I'll try and post what's going on once I've finished assembling it (and if I manage to let out the magic smoke when I plug it in).

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Mike Szczys wrote 09/14/2020 at 20:50 point

Nice clean solution on this one. I know @Elliot Williams rolls his own password keeper (also based on Atmel chip?), makes me wonder how many hundreds of one-off designs there are out there for these.

The little plastic protector for the edges of the screen, is that 3D-printed or does it come as part of the screen?

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Nate wrote 09/15/2020 at 23:00 point

I know there's loads. I can't even find the original one that inspired me to make this one. The frame around the display came built into the assembly, which was nice because the footprint includes spots for some structural bits for grounding/mounting securely to the board. I do plan on designing a 3D printed/acrylic case for the whole device soon though

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