ESP32 as UART serial

Hey, i know that a raspberry pi pico can be used for UART serial communication for flash/ic firmware dumps.

I’m insanely new to this whole hardware hacking thing, but, am i correct for thinking an ESP32 could do the same?

It’d just be pin 25, 27, 38, 39, 40 & 41 with TX to RX & RX to TX right?

1 Like

Yes, but depends on what you want to do exactly.
You probably can’t do firmware dumps with serial alone.
But the Raspberry and the ESP both have SPI and I²C Ports allowing you to interface with the most common flash chips.
You can probably find complete code samples on github

1 Like

I personally never managed to make it work through an Arduino or esp … (I suck at programming :sweat_smile:)
To program the chip I would recommend the proper programmer, it with have the proper ide and binary generator.
For communication, a serial to USB adapter is $5-10 on Amazon, can’t make it any easier.
To dump firmware you’ll probably need a dedicated firmware extractor. I’m looking at getting one, I can share a few findings if you’re interested.


Ah okay cool so basically i can do just enough to get started with learning

I have a logic analyzer in my amazon account, is that one of the devices you mean? If not im definitely interested in anything you find.

I was looking at Bus Pirates but those things are expensive and i cant justify buying one this early in my learning.

I’m wanting to disable the Contour Next One (glucose monitor) from not allowing non Contour test strips to be used.

They charge like $60 for strips and only sell in a minimum of 50 so using others would be great for saving money.

I dont have diabetes but i like to keep a glucose monitor in my med kit.


You can get the cheaper ones, but I like the slight fancier version below because you can change the voltage.

Please note I have affiliation with any of those, they are the first ones to pop up on Amazon when I typed “UART adapter” I have the “fancy” one and like it, never used the other one …

1 Like

Couldn’t find much details on the internals of it with a quick search.
Might be worth popping one open and look what chips are inside.
Then find datasheets for them and look which programmers/adapters you need for them.
But you probably have to hope that the firmware is not stored on the µC with read protection.

Alternatively, try to find out how they validate the strips and attack that on a hardware-level

1 Like

Thanks! I’ll add them to my wishlist.

I didn’t know DSD Tech has those, i have like 8 of their bluetooth modules i picked up from some liquidation store.

Yea I haven’t opened it up yet because im still new to it but my plan was to try the hardware way first.

I do have a few cameras and other electronics i want to do hardware hacking with. That should give me a little experience before the glucose monitor.

I suggest looking into flashrom if you want to extract the firmware from spi flash chips but you’ll need special hardware for it. And get a cheap serial board like XEMON said.

1 Like

sweet, thanks! I added the boards to my wishlist.

Just looked up flashrom and it cant download, all the links give me connection errors and the git says “Not found”