Sunday, April 22, 2012

Radio Logos etc

So what's the point of getting more into the electronics side of things? Well, recently after digging through some folders on my old laptop I ran into a project I worked on last year.  Actually, over a year ago a certain someone (In Reservoir Dogs fashion as to not identify him, let's call him Mr. White, and since I drive a Black G8, I'll be Mr. Black ;) )  handed me a few binary files which were somehow dumps of the radio. After some digging I was able to figure out the file format for one of the files for about 99% and extract a bunch of graphics which I then turned into GIFs (obviously they are NOT in GIF format natively) for your viewing pleasure. In some of the other files I found the font graphics, and some other generic graphics like the 'MUTED' overlay, but this one file has the most fun stuff:

Look familiar? (You will probably have to click on them to see the animation)

Yes indeed - These are the available startup logo's (which are 362x145 natively) for the radio in the Pontiac G8 (& Holden commodores). While a lot of people know what byte to change to select which image on the EEPROM (which IIRC is 2kb) the actual image data obviously is located elsewhere. Mr. White , who dabbles in in-car electronics for a living, obviously/unfortunately was not willing to share how/where he got the memory dump, but having figured out the file-format of the dump file, I went ahead and wrote a tool to create a new file to insert custom logos into the binary file and provided this custom file to Mr.White to put back on a radio to try. However, since then no development has taken place, at least on my end, nor I believe on his end. A Sample of some custom logo's I made and dropped in (You may want to click on them to reload/replay them):

Irony of course is that figuring out the data was fairly easy for me (having done similar things years ago with e.g. the LithTech Game engine and writing a popular tool at the time called WinRez)  - but now figuring out how to get AT the data is the hard part. So at this point I'm on a little mini quest to see if I can figure out how to get at this data myself.

Hopefully this entry will someday have a nice part II/III etc with successful results - if not , then at least it will hopefully at least serve to show that if you have access to it the data can be deciphered (and possibly new images inserted)- I already wrote the specs to prove that ;).

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