Difference between revisions of "Add a Serial port to the ARM9 Linkstation"

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(Why it is easy to gain serial access on the LS Pro)
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== What do i need? ==
 
== What do i need? ==
 
1) We organized some futuredial phone sync cables mentioned at http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort Section "USB-Connection". These phone sync cables are quite cheap at ebay. you can buy any other cable mentioned at that wikipage...the only difference will be the color coding of the cables. <br>
 
1) We organized some futuredial phone sync cables mentioned at http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort Section "USB-Connection". These phone sync cables are quite cheap at ebay. you can buy any other cable mentioned at that wikipage...the only difference will be the color coding of the cables. <br>
 +
OR: buy some from here: http://cgi.ebay.de/PolarLink-USB-Datenkabel-Siemens-C25_W0QQitemZ220086930396QQihZ012QQcategoryZ111305QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
 +
i will soon update the wiki with the pinout of the slightly different profilic chip. i just have no clue how to find this out.
 
2) You will also need an old USB-plug (Female, Type A). I two from USB-extender-cables and the rest from female-USB-connectors that i directly ordered in a shop. <br>
 
2) You will also need an old USB-plug (Female, Type A). I two from USB-extender-cables and the rest from female-USB-connectors that i directly ordered in a shop. <br>
 
3) you will also need something as thick as 1 mm. This can be wood, plastic or the latest flyers you collected by going out at the weekend. We used a [http://www.neonixie.com/prototyping/ECS1/ecs1.jpg Eurocard] which we broke in Pieces (4 rows * 9 holes) <br>
 
3) you will also need something as thick as 1 mm. This can be wood, plastic or the latest flyers you collected by going out at the weekend. We used a [http://www.neonixie.com/prototyping/ECS1/ecs1.jpg Eurocard] which we broke in Pieces (4 rows * 9 holes) <br>

Revision as of 15:50, 8 March 2007

Introduction

What you can do with serial access on a LS Pro

At first: check serial access In fact you can control the UBoot Bootloader.

  • You can change to EM Mode at will without any dirty tricks.
  • You can look at the linux system of your LS pro without having to flash any custom firmware
  • You can load a kernel + ramdisk via tftp
  • Hey! We connect it because we can!

Serial access isn`t that important for users, but it is very important for developers because they
exactly see what is happening while the LS Pro boots.
The kernel log tells us a little more about the hardware and it allows us to debug a newer kernel.
Without serial that is not possible.

Why it is easy to gain serial access on the LS Pro

LS Pro Mainboard Backside serial.JPG
Serial LS Pro prepared box for serial.JPG

Project of creating ready2use serial cables

Anyone who wants a cable please add his name to the lists below.

List of developers who want a prebuilt serial cable:

  • georg
  • jonli447
  • mindbender
  •  ?


List of kurobox.com-contest winners that will get a prebuilt serial cable:

  • russk
  • tampakuro/kuroguy
  • lyakh

Revogear does not respond to any mails anymore, so waite decided to use the donations to buy LS Pros for these guys instead.


List of user who want a prebuilt serial cable:

  • khisanth
  • cakalapati
  • MichaelWeiser
  • mesterS
  •  ?



Here some pictures from the build-process (mindbender had fun with it)
Serial cables LS Pro some cables.JPG
I opened all FutureDial Cables to check if all cables used the same color-coding + Profilic-Chip:
Profilic chip check1.JPG
Profilic chip check2.JPG
Prebuilt cables will use a heat-shrink-tube to make the cables more stable. Four finished cables.JPG


HowTo build your own serial cable

I tried to build a serial cable for the LS Pro with least effort as possible.

What do i need?

1) We organized some futuredial phone sync cables mentioned at http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort Section "USB-Connection". These phone sync cables are quite cheap at ebay. you can buy any other cable mentioned at that wikipage...the only difference will be the color coding of the cables.
OR: buy some from here: http://cgi.ebay.de/PolarLink-USB-Datenkabel-Siemens-C25_W0QQitemZ220086930396QQihZ012QQcategoryZ111305QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem i will soon update the wiki with the pinout of the slightly different profilic chip. i just have no clue how to find this out. 2) You will also need an old USB-plug (Female, Type A). I two from USB-extender-cables and the rest from female-USB-connectors that i directly ordered in a shop.
3) you will also need something as thick as 1 mm. This can be wood, plastic or the latest flyers you collected by going out at the weekend. We used a Eurocard which we broke in Pieces (4 rows * 9 holes)

What to check first

Open the dongle in the middle of the cable to check if the profilic chip is used. You need to check the color coding of the wires. Best would be to just leave the dongle open. In my example here we have the color coding for the FutureDial-Cables. If you have a different one check http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort for the color coding.

Profilic usb-serial chip.JPG

Open the phone connector of the cable

Phone connector.JPG
you can slide out all the cables ends out of the connector. Use flat nose pliers.

Prepare the USB-Plug

Indifferent which way you use, you will have to make the usb-plastik part a little smaller....you also will have to get rid of all parts so that it looks like the next picture. Usb connector parts.JPG

If you are using one from an extender cable

Best would be to use a grinder. Do not hesitate to destroy the cables. It is recommended to remove everything so that you can solder the cables from the phonesync-cable directly to the pins.

If you have bought the part directly

Just open the metal-case and use a grinder to make it look like the picture above. You won`t have to remove any glue or cables.

Prepare the phone sync cable

Serial cable LS Pro wires1.JPG
Serial cable LS Pro wires2.JPG

Solder the phone sync cable to the USB-plug

You will have both read and write access if you solder it that way.

Phone sync cables soldered to the connector.JPG

Checking the cable/plug

Best with a Voltmeter. To go completely safe test from the pins for the yellow + orange cables on top of the profilic chip. The green one + shield can be tested from the pin on the other side.

Using superglue

Serial cable LS Pro gluing eurocard 2 connector.JPG Serial cable LS Pro glueing the eurocard piece.JPG

Software Installation

General Settings

Baud: 115200
Databits: 8
Parity: N
Stopbits: 1

Windows

You need a Windows driver for the Prolific USB-to-Serial adaptor, available at the Prolific Technology Inc Support Site. The cable will show up as COM4.

Linux

Plug the USB connector into your Linux box. Start minicom and set the port to /dev/ttyUSB0 115200 8N1. Power up and you will see a '+' printed.

Have fun!

Cable is confirmed to work...here, hyperterminal is used in WinXp