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A project log for Reverse-Engineering a low-cost USB CO₂ monitor

I'm trying to get data out of a relatively low-cost (80€) CO₂ monitor that appears to have a USB connection for data as well as for power

Henryk PlötzHenryk Plötz 04/17/2015 at 01:270 Comments

Indeed, immediately after running the Windows software in a VM with the device connected I was getting a live data log of the CO₂ concentration! This screenshot shows me breathing into the vicinity of the sensor:

Ok, time to disconnect the device from the virtual machine and look at the data on my Linux box. Since it's enumerated as a HID, there's /dev/hidrawX device node that would receive the raw data sent by the device.
# hd < /dev/hidraw0
00000000  be 9b 28 69 d0 a5 34 ba  cb 9b 90 68 4c a5 34 aa  |..(i..4....hL.4.|
00000010  5f 9b 8e 68 de a5 34 c2  f3 9b b0 68 5c a5 34 82  |_..h..4....h\.4.|
00000020  f2 9b b8 69 5c a5 34 8a  e2 9b c1 69 55 a5 34 3a  |...i\.4....iU.4:|
00000030  52 9b c9 69 75 a5 34 d2  aa 9b 30 69 27 a5 34 42  |R..iu.4...0i'.4B|
00000040  38 9b 20 69 89 a5 34 6a  8e 9b 28 69 d0 a5 34 ca  |8. i..4j..(i..4.|
00000050  cb 9b 90 68 4c a5 34 aa  57 9b 8e 68 de a5 34 ba  |...hL.4.W..h..4.|
00000060  fb 9b b0 68 5c a5 34 8a  fa 9b b8 69 5c a5 34 92  |...h\.4....i\.4.|
00000070  35 9b 81 69 5d a5 34 52  d5 9b a9 69 72 a5 34 72  |5..i].4R...ir.4r|
00000080  aa 9b 30 69 27 a5 34 42  00 9b 20 69 89 a5 34 72  |..0i'.4B.. i..4r|
00000090  8e 9b 28 69 d0 a5 34 ca  c3 9b 90 68 4c a5 34 a2  |..(i..4....hL.4.|
000000a0  57 9b 8e 68 de a5 34 ba  fb 9b b0 68 5c a5 34 8a  |W..h..4....h\.4.|
000000b0  fa 9b b8 69 5c a5 34 92  12 9b c1 69 54 a5 34 2a  |...i\.4....iT.4*|

Yeah \o/, there's data! Bummer, it's doesn't look at all like the protocol I was promised. But there does seem to be a structure to it, so there's hope, I guess.

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