This page was copied from Duwgati's site with his permission: http://www.duwgati.com
Enjoy, Bill & the funFiles Team.
In this chapter I would like to explain a bit about logging.
What is logging??
Logging is the process during which the data stream from your receiver to your card (and vice versa) is captured and made visible.
Normally you'll never see anything about this data stream. Many people probably aren't even aware that there is such a thing as communication between receiver and card. But there is. And it's a lot. It's much more than just checking if a key exists.
In fact, your card is updated regularly. In some cases even as often as once per hour. So your card may be reprogrammed hourly, through the commands the provider will send in combination with the signal.
Why would you start logging??
Logging can be very helpful for a number of reasons, the most important one probably is the ability to get the latest operational keys. After all, the operational keys are the ones that you need to open a channel. But logging is also often used to decode and visualize the entire data stream. It is used for instance to analyze which codes are sent by the providers to shut down illegal cards, using EMM's and ECM's. You need a powerful interface though to log the entire data stream. That's why the old Nokia's (9200/9500/dbox) are so popular. They have a scsi interface that can be used to log data at really high speed, enabling them to really log the entire data stream.
Is logging useful to me at all??
Based on the questions about logging all over the many boards, I can only conclude that there is much misunderstanding. To start of with the most important issue: unless you know otherwise, there is a simple guideline: you will need valid management keys to get valid operational keys. If you don't have them, it's no use to start logging at all.
This means that many of you, reading this, will be disappointed as you probably started off with high expectations about logging. Now you can only conclude that it is no addition at all. Because if you don't have valid management keys and you can therefor not get valid operational keys, what's the use of logging.
One could also reason just the other way around: Why on earth would I start logging keys if I already have valid management keys. With those valid keys I already get my updated operational keys anyhow. And you would be right. In my opinion, logging will be interesting only to those who want to learn more about a specific coding system.
By painstakingly analyzing the complete data stream, you get to know the commands that are used in the communication between the receiver and the card. That's why I think that every serious hobbyist should have at least looked at the logging process. Even if it's only to get some better understanding of the communication protocol's.Whether you have valid management keys or not.
If you have a look at the Seca page in the chapter Coding Systems, you will see a sample of a piece of Seca communication. Such a sequence of commands is exactly what you will see when you start logging. And I admit, though very interesting stuff, it's probably only for the real fanatic. And that's meant to be a positive qualification
What do I need for logging??
1. with a logger-interface connected to the serial port of your PC
2. with a Nokia receiver with SCSI port you can log directly with no additional interface needed
3. Even with you smart card you can log a little
The most commonly known way of logging, probably is with a logger interface. The Seasons interface undoubtedly being the best known logger interface, but there are others too. Most are Seasons compatible by the way.
Amongst the "old" pro's of the trade, the Nokia (9200/9500/dbox) still is the ultimate logger tool. Thanks to their SCSI interface, these Nokia's are able to transfer large amounts of data to your PC. So much data in fact that it is possible to log the entire data stream. And because you get ALL the data, you can trace all the details in the data stream.
So this is the kind of tool you need if you want to hack a coding system. By carefully analyzing all commands, investing lots of time and trying and failing over and over, you may eventually be able to crack the system. You might call this reverse engineering.
Well, then there is number 3. For some of you this may come as a surprise, but your smart card is a fine logger too. To put it baldly, if you only want to log operational keys using valid management keys, a valid card is all you need. As the card receives the new keys automatically, you only need to read the newly received keys from the card. Of course, it's not a very elegant way, and as you may not even be aware that new keys were sent to the card in the first place, it's not a recommendable way. But it can be done.
There is one more thing you need to be aware of before you start logging. If you are going to use a Seasons interface and start logging through serial communication, be prepared that it may fail. The reason is that logging is very demanding as far as your COM ports are concerned.From my own experience (and many others) I can tell you that some COM ports just will not work.
If you cannot get the communication to work and maybe only get a short message or data when switching on the receiver, or resetting it, you better start thinking about your COM port. Don't start blaming yourself just yet
) I have had a PC here that would work properly with all thinkable serial devices but the Seasons interface. I just took another PC and all my problems were history.