ZeroPlus Logic Cube – Review and Teardown

In order to do some advanced hax0ring of the SPMP8k, we bought a logic analyzer. It’s called the LogicCube by a Taiwanese company, ZeroPlus. We’ve already gone and hacked it front to back, top to bottom, side to side and more. But we’ll get to all that in due time.

Photo of the Zeroplus LogicCube

Fig 1 – Photo of the Zeroplus Logic Cube

It’s a good product, and we recommend you buy one if you’re in the market for a USB logic analyzer. Or perhaps if you’re just in the market for a nice new toy to hack!

The device scores high marks on our chart for:

  • Dependability - You plug it in, and it does what it says it’s going to. No screwing around with dodgy drivers and flaky hardware. These guys really do seem to use their own hardware, and it shows. FEBE? For engineers, by engineers?
  • Reliability - It always does what it says it’s going to do. It doesn’t miss edges or do other stupid stuff. Ever, as far as we can tell and that’s a big plus for us.
  • Portability - It’s nice that the whole setup: Cube, USB cable, fancy colored wires, and some minigrabbers all fit nicely in a ziplock bag. Keeps it fresh, as well.
  • Capability - Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, you can get a device with 16 or 32 channels, and memory ranging from 32k to 2MB. That’s a lotta sampling! But since these guys aren’t stupid, they added some pretty awesome triggering and compression that gives you tons of sampling with very little memory. Also, the plug-in protocol analyzers are fantastic. We hate counting I2C clocks and writing hex characters by hand, so having the software do all the work is great.
  • Hackability - Due to economies of scale naturally found in manufacturing, the board we got (smallest mem, lowest channels) was able to be upgraded to a pretty awesome box for just about $10. Oh, that and a shitload of work. But that stuff’s considered fun over here.

Teardown & Functional Description

Teardown is dead freakin easy. Remove the 4 rubber feet on the bottom/back to reveal 4 totally goofy sheet-metal looking screws. The only part of the device that was oddly low-quality was these screws. Not a big deal, but when you open and close the box about a thousand times, you think how ugly they are about a thousand times. Guess it stuck.

Photo of the Back of the LogicCube

Fig 2 – Back of the LAP-C Showing the 4 Case Screws.

LAP-C is what they call it, so that’s what we’ll be calling it too. Guess it’s the lower-end of what ZeroPlus manufactures, but it’s fine for us. Blows SUMP clean out of the water, and trust us – we love SUMP! But you get what you pay for, really.

One thing you’ll notice is that we’re blurring out the device’s serial number. Why? Well when we went googling, we found that all the serial numbers were always blurred out. It occurred to us that the image of a serial number must be considered pornographic in Taiwan, so we decided to blur ours in order to show respect.

Sure, the protocol licensing is tied to the serial number among other things, but unless we showed our serial number AND our license key, AND you changed your device’s serial number to ours – we can see no way that the public viewing of a serial number could in any way affect ZP. But still blurred – and hence, they must either be highly offensive or highly arousing and in either case are not suitable for public viewing.

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