Inside the 802.11b/g/n Amazon Dash Button

My 99-cent Amazon Dash Button arrived today and I was excited to get a look at it. The little device feels very sturdy. Unfortunately, my wife told me she had no interest in ordering laundry detergent by pressing a button, so I had to figure out what to do with it.

I decided to open it up and do a teardown. For science, of course.

The FCC ID is 2ACBE-0610. Documents in the FCC filing appears to confirm that this is indeed an 802.11b/g/n device (not Bluetooth, as initially thought).

2015-05-11 14.12.50

It has a large white button with a red/green LED.

amazon-dash-back

FCC ID: 2ACBE-610 / Model JK76PL

2ACBE-0610

2015-05-11 14.23.35

Removing the back of the case reveals a Li-ion AAA battery

D7K_2210

Can anyone identify the wireless radio chip?
Other interesting components?

amazon-dash-left

amazon-dash-right

Whether or not you find it useful to order your laundry detergent at the touch of a button, this has to be one of the least expensive 802.11 devices ever produced.

I wonder what the actual component costs are? I think it’s safe to say more than the 99 cents that I paid for it.

Update 5/12/15:

It looks like Matthew Witheiler @ Bit of Cents has figured it out:

At the heart of the Dash is a USI (Avnet) 850101. The 850101 is a combination wireless module (Broadcom BCM43362) and micro controller (ST Microelectronics STM32F205). This makes the Dash capable of connecting to 802.11 b/g/n networks with its 120MHz ARM Cortex-M3 processor. It also happens to be exactly the same chip used inside the $19 Spark Photon.

 

Matt Thomas, W1MST, is the managing editor of AmateurRadio.com. Contact him at [email protected].

21 Responses to “Inside the 802.11b/g/n Amazon Dash Button”

  • Mike KG9DW:

    Matt, do you have security on your local wifi? How does the button get configured with your security key?

  • Hi Mike — You download the Amazon Shopping App and configure it that way. You do have to enter your wi-fi password to configure it onto your network.

  • Ernest AA1IK:

    Okay, now that you have one, what are you going to do with it? This looks like a fun thing to hack!

  • peter kg5wy:

    Very interesting, but is this associated with amateur radio?

  • Matt W1MST:

    Peter, it has a radio transceiver and can operate within the 2390-2450 MHz ham band. So, yes. It’s potentially related. 🙂

  • mark KF5YDR:

    If it’s b/g/n, it also has a transceiver that operates in the 5GHz ham band.

  • Brad KE8ATX:

    The four pins near the upper left look suspiciously similar to a serial connection. Hopefully that tempting white box with the letters TX1 next to it isn’t a red herring. Maybe have a go at sticking a bus pirate or usb to serial on those? Maybe you’ll get a console. See if you can trace which pins are ground and power from those four to figure out if it’s 3v3 or 5v. If it is a 3v3 serial uart then hooking up a 5v ftdi might let the smoke out.

  • Dante Blando (call sign pending):

    I came from the Hackaday post as I wanted to see your full details. I notice in the screen shot that what is probably the WiFi chip has a sticker with a QR code and ‘9004’ on it.

    I scanned the QR code. It’s just a serial number: 1515OZ039004.

    1) If you remove that sticker (you’ll probably need head cleaner), what does it say underneath?

    2) Would you be able to get better shots of U5 and U6, the two chips without stickers on them? Perhaps if you change the lighting, we could see the serial numbers.

    Knowing those two pieces would go a long way towards some research.

  • Chip KB1QYW:

    Mark, b/g/n doesn’t imply 5Ghz. b/g is all 2.4Ghz, and n can operate across both, or be confined to just one or the other. Typically if you see a device touting b/g/n, it’s going to be 2.4Ghz only, and a device touting a/b/g/n will be dual-band.

  • Robert KE8BEQ:

    You need to pry up that meet shetal under the QR code. Then we need images containing readable numbers on the IC chips. Otherwise, so far the only thing that looks promising to me is the row of 5 pads above the QR code could be I²C bus or a programming “header”. Then again, it looks like the traces are going to an unpopulated SOIC or SOP area.

  • David W6DTW:

    2.4 GHz ISM band and a button? Sounds like a CW op’s dream machine. 😉

    Thanks for the teardown.

    …dtw

  • grandfrunk:

    Seems like a cheap way to get those nice Lithium batteries – I couldn’t find them anywhere near 99 cents …

  • 128keaton:

    im excited about the possibility of reprogramming it to use as a button for my own projects.

  • piloterror:

    I’m willing to bet that these ‘buttons’ are probably subsidized by the respective brands they’re linked to. I find it unlikely that these can be produced for under $1.

  • Flipper:

    I have a seperate guest network configured. So I just gave it the credentials for that. Not on my real WiFi network 🙂

  • peter kg5wy:

    Reprogramming for CW?

  • Lister:

    Just spitballing, but since it is wifi, seems like it would be easy to intercept the url at the router and redirect it as needed. A bit of code would automate that easily.

  • Mount KF5NIE:

    The Amazon Dash that I received today is configured via your smartphone and the Amazon Shopping app. It utilizes the phone’s speaker to send the data to the Dash via a microphone inside the small hole on the front. Once this is done it is able to work on the local wifi network. I hope to find another use for it.

  • Fenox:

    More detailed pics of the U5 and U6 chips: http://imgur.com/a/2wKaS

  • ducksauz N1DUK:

    These must be getting subsidized some how.

    U6 (25P16) is a 16MBit flash chip that goes for US$0.63 in 1000 quantities.
    U5 (STM32F205RG) is the 32bit ARM microcontroller that appears to go for between US$5-8 in 1000 quantities
    The markings on the wifi chip cover don’t yield any results when searched for.

    I’m guessing there’s at least $10-12 worth of components on this little guy.

    Of course, now they’re out of stock. I’m sure all the hardware hackers bought them up when this came out. 😀

  • ahu:

    I’m wondering how could the AAA battery hold the WIFI power consumption? My friend say that it maybe just wake up the WIFI until you push the button.Is it really?

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