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  #61  
Old 10-01-2012, 08:54 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3a View Post
So I was feeling adventurous and I connected the serial cable as per Eddy's "red to triangle" logic on an old computer running XP.
The puter sees the connection as COM5, but PuTTY doesn't seem to do anything when trying either options (115200 or 9600) on COM5.

At least nothing seems to have visibly fried. Either end.

Any ideas?
Eric
From your photo 12, it looks like you are using an RS232 header plug, designed for the RS232 port on a motherboard. I'd strongly suspect that the serial interface on an HDx00 is *NOT* standard RS232, but TTL. This means that the plug you're using is supplying about a factor of 10 more voltage than the chip on the HDx00 can tolerate. I'd unplug it RIGHT NOW. Read http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/215 for a decent explanation of the difference between RS232 and TTL.


Again, you need a USB-TTL serial cable. You plug the USB end into your PC, and the other end into the HDx00, router, etc. See the Amazon link above for a sample of the sort of thing you need.

Drew
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  #62  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:04 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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BTW, one thing I noticed on my HD300 is that there is no getty listening for a serial connection. There is a getty line in /etc/inittab, but there is no getty running. At least the kernel is being booted with a serial console, so you'd at least see console output. But without a getty running, I do not know how you would log in. Eg:

Code:
tango3[~]# grep getty /etc/inittab 
# Set up a couple of getty's
#tty1::respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
#tty2::respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
# Put a getty on the serial port
tts/0::respawn:/sbin/getty -L tts/0 115200 
tango3[~]# ps | grep -i gett       
 1251 root       0:00 grep -i gett 
tango3[~]# ls -l /dev/tts/0        
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            8 Dec 31  1969 /dev/tts/0 -> ../ttyS0
tango3[~]# ls -l /dev/ttyS0        
crw-rw----    1 root     tty        4,  64 Dec 31  1969 /dev/ttyS0
tango3[~]# cat /proc/cmdline 
console=ttyS0
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  #63  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:31 AM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3a View Post
So I was feeling adventurous and I connected the serial cable as per Eddy's "red to triangle" logic on an old computer running XP.
The puter sees the connection as COM5, but PuTTY doesn't seem to do anything when trying either options (115200 or 9600) on COM5.

At least nothing seems to have visibly fried. Either end.

Any ideas?
Eric
You couldn't wait, could you? How do you know you haven't fried anything? Is not that obvious with modern electronics any more....

Anyway, Drew is absolutely right the header on the HD200/HD300 are TTL, so you need a converter.

My contact at Sage replied, he was sure about the power pin position and the pin RX/TX position, but not which was which, so the header should be:

1 = RX/TX
2 = Gnd
3 = 5+
4 = Gnd
5 = TX/RX

Also he said that on the HD200 the console is open, but I just checked and getty is not running on the HD200 either

I guess the only option left is to use a Wireless adapter to login...

Eddy
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  #64  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:56 AM
eric3a eric3a is offline
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Thanks guys!

Quote:
From your photo 12, it looks like you are using an RS232 header plug, designed for the RS232 port on a motherboard. I'd strongly suspect that the serial interface on an HDx00 is *NOT* standard RS232, but TTL. This means that the plug you're using is supplying about a factor of 10 more voltage than the chip on the HDx00 can tolerate. I'd unplug it RIGHT NOW.
Oh well!
Normally my wife does that: We've moved back and forth from Europe a couple times, and she's fried a few US only devices by plugging them in Europe. All she needs is a plug adapter...


Quote:
You couldn't wait, could you? How do you know you haven't fried anything? Is not that obvious with modern electronics any more....
I don't...
They don't go "poof" in a nice cloud of smoke anymore? What's the fun in that?!


Seems the answer is login in via wireless then. I'll start hunting for a cheap wireless dongle.
Playing more and more with my Pivos Xios DS and I am convinced that's the answer for cheap clients so don't want to put too much money in an obsolete HD200.

Eric
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  #65  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:04 AM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Originally Posted by eric3a View Post
Oh well!
Normally my wife does that: We've moved back and forth from Europe a couple times, and she's fried a few US only devices by plugging them in Europe. All she needs is a plug adapter...

I don't...
They don't go "poof" in a nice cloud of smoke anymore? What's the fun in that?!
bless her...which part of Europe?

Quote:
Seems the answer is login in via wireless then. I'll start hunting for a cheap wireless dongle.
Be very carefull to look for a model that uses the "rt2870" chipset, the make is not relevant.
Quote:
Playing more and more with my Pivos Xios DS and I am convinced that's the answer for cheap clients so don't want to put too much money in an obsolete HD200.
what?!?!?!?! you must be kidding me, mate
Eddy
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  #66  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:29 AM
eric3a eric3a is offline
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Quote:
bless her...which part of Europe?
South of France, Paris and London.

Quote:
Be very carefull to look for a model that uses the "rt2870" chipset, the make is not relevant.
On it!

At this stage it's become more of a fun project than a need, but I'm hard headed enough to keep at it until something smokes or we've exhausted all other possibilities.

Eric
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  #67  
Old 10-02-2012, 12:03 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3a View Post
Playing more and more with my Pivos Xios DS and I am convinced that's the answer for cheap clients so don't want to put too much money in an obsolete HD200.
How does it handle MPEG2 playback? Does it work well with the sagetv XBMC extension that is discussed in the XBMC addon thread (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58967)

Drew
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  #68  
Old 10-02-2012, 12:37 PM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3a View Post
South of France, Paris and London.


On it!

At this stage it's become more of a fun project than a need, but I'm hard headed enough to keep at it until something smokes or we've exhausted all other possibilities.

Eric
I'm more and more convinced that we should be able to build our own unofficial firmware to keep this things going, is not rocket science and I reckon a lot of people will still benefit from it.

@Drew:
What do you think about asking Sage to give us the firmware build procedure (not the sources of course), so that we can add new kernel modules for instance or support more Wireless dongles and help people to keep using their investments. I have no problem to sign an NDA for life if necessary, for them is a dead product, but for us is still an active part of our media entertainment system.

Eddy
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  #69  
Old 10-02-2012, 01:55 PM
eric3a eric3a is offline
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Quote:
How does it handle MPEG2 playback? Does it work well with the sagetv XBMC extension that is discussed in the XBMC addon thread (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58967)
Might want to take that separate discussion elsewhere at some point to keep this thread clean.

The Pivos Xios DS running XBMC under Linux plays everything I throw at it just fine.
MPEG2 (recorded from off air via SageTV) plays back great.
The SageTV XBMC add-on is great. The only downside is that menus in the ad-on are a little slow, but no biggie.
Also, as yet, no edl support. Since XBMC natively does support edl files, I am confident that'll show up in a next firmware update.

Eric
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  #70  
Old 10-02-2012, 02:07 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by routerunner View Post
I
What do you think about asking Sage to give us the firmware build procedure (not the sources of course), so that we can add new kernel modules for instance or support more Wireless dongles and help people to keep using their investments. I have no problem to sign an NDA for life if necessary, for them is a dead product, but for us is still an active part of our media entertainment system.
I'd be terrified to flash anything into my HD300 & risk bricking it..

From the WDTV world, I think the kernel is signed, and you cannot change it without the key to sign a new one. The stp*.bin file has some strings at the front that define offsets into the file, lengths, and what flash part. they should get written to. So you could conceivably take this apart, modify or replace one of the filesystems, then rebuild the .bin file. However, you'd be back to the problem of not wanting to flash it on an irreplaceable working system (and being unable to access a broken one).

If you want to hack, I'd much rather focus on getting the sagetv f/w to run on a WDTV Live Plus. You can get those for $50, so if you brick it, no big deal.

Drew
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  #71  
Old 10-02-2012, 03:07 PM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
I'd be terrified to flash anything into my HD300 & risk bricking it..

From the WDTV world, I think the kernel is signed, and you cannot change it without the key to sign a new one. The stp*.bin file has some strings at the front that define offsets into the file, lengths, and what flash part. they should get written to. So you could conceivably take this apart, modify or replace one of the filesystems, then rebuild the .bin file. However, you'd be back to the problem of not wanting to flash it on an irreplaceable working system (and being unable to access a broken one).

If you want to hack, I'd much rather focus on getting the sagetv f/w to run on a WDTV Live Plus. You can get those for $50, so if you brick it, no big deal.

Drew
Of course I would be terrified by doing it that way as well...I don't want to hack, I'm too old for that kind if stuff, I was more thinking of an official request to have the binary build procedure...so that we are sure to make "certified" binary to flash.

Eddy
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  #72  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:50 AM
KJake KJake is offline
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Originally Posted by routerunner View Post
You couldn't wait, could you? How do you know you haven't fried anything? Is not that obvious with modern electronics any more....

Anyway, Drew is absolutely right the header on the HD200/HD300 are TTL, so you need a converter.

My contact at Sage replied, he was sure about the power pin position and the pin RX/TX position, but not which was which, so the header should be:

1 = RX/TX
2 = Gnd
3 = 5+
4 = Gnd
5 = TX/RX

Also he said that on the HD200 the console is open, but I just checked and getty is not running on the HD200 either

I guess the only option left is to use a Wireless adapter to login...

Eddy
I've got two or three of these, but only HD300s to test with.

Would that be helpful?
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  #73  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:42 AM
eric3a eric3a is offline
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Yes these look helpful to my untrained eyes... But maybe the more technical people here can confirm?

I have other HD200s I'm not (too) afraid of frying if the one I plugged in before is already dead.

Eric
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  #74  
Old 10-04-2012, 10:15 AM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJake View Post
I've got two or three of these, but only HD300s to test with.

Would that be helpful?
Yep, that is the right kind of cable, however you need to double check the pin-out of the FTDI cable with the pin-out of the HD200 that my contact at Sage told me, also a good check with a multi-meter is necessary...

However as I said before, it will probably show the output of the HD200 booting, but because there is not getty connected to the console you will not be able to login...it worth a try, but I suspect the only way forward is the Wireless dongle...

@Drew: what do you think?

Eddy
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  #75  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:07 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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@Drew: what do you think?
I spent some time at lunch tracing the hd300 startup (sorry, I only have an hd300, not an hd200). It is a typical chicken & egg scenario:

It looks like what happens is that the first thing that is run on boot from inittab is:

Code:
::sysinit:/etc/init.d/rcS
That (rcS) loops over /etc/init.d/S* and starts them all one-by-one. The problem is that /etc/init.d/S55sage is an infinite loop, which re-starts the sageclient and/or the stand-alone interface. This prevents init from continuing on to parse the rest of /etc/inittab (and the getty line).

The "good" news is that it also sources /rw/startupmods. So if you were to put something like like this in /rw/startupmods:
Code:
/sbin/getty -L tts/0 115200 &
then it would give you just one shot to log in.

Of course, if you could log in to put something in /rw, then you would not need a serial console. Chicken, meet egg.

Drew
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  #76  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
I spent some time at lunch tracing the hd300 startup (sorry, I only have an hd300, not an hd200). It is a typical chicken & egg scenario:

It looks like what happens is that the first thing that is run on boot from inittab is:

Code:
::sysinit:/etc/init.d/rcS
That (rcS) loops over /etc/init.d/S* and starts them all one-by-one. The problem is that /etc/init.d/S55sage is an infinite loop, which re-starts the sageclient and/or the stand-alone interface. This prevents init from continuing on to parse the rest of /etc/inittab (and the getty line).

The "good" news is that it also sources /rw/startupmods. So if you were to put something like like this in /rw/startupmods:
Code:
/sbin/getty -L tts/0 115200 &
then it would give you just one shot to log in.

Of course, if you could log in to put something in /rw, then you would not need a serial console. Chicken, meet egg.

Drew
True, but the "startupmods" could be handy to "insmod" the USB Ethernet kernel drivers or to add support for extra Wireless dongles at startup, but this will only make sense with working units in preparation for the Ethernet controller dying. Unfortunately the HD200 is a different beast as it hasn't the mounted re-writable flash file system in "/rw" available to screw up...which despite everything is not, in my opinion, a bad thing...

Also, I think the "startupmods" mechanism was in place to support USB tuners dongle in standalone mode. I found traces on the HD300 of attempts to do so, maybe just about before the acquisition they were exploring the possibility to have a proper full standalone mode with TV tuner support as well via USB dongles. The new Google fiber extender has a F-Type connector which looks like can be used for standalone TV operations?

Eddy
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Last edited by routerunner; 10-04-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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  #77  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:35 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Originally Posted by routerunner View Post
I found traces on the HD300 of attempts to do so, maybe just about before the acquisition they were exploring the possibility to have a proper full standalone mode with TV tuner support as well via USB dongles. The new Google fiber extender has a F-Type connector which looks like can be used for standalone TV operations?
You must be my long lost twin

When I got an HD300, that was one of the first things I noticed. I even plugged in one of my USB tuners (Kworld UB-435Q) and had it tuning broadcast TV (but not displaying it, just throwing it away, this was from the cmd line with the dvb-utils tools)

I think the Google fiber extender's f-type connector is for MOCA -- not a lot of consumers have RJ45 near their TV, but most will have a coax jack.

Drew
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  #78  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:43 PM
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You must be my long lost twin
Hello brother! Is your mom Italian like mine by any chance?

Quote:
I think the Google fiber extender's f-type connector is for MOCA -- not a lot of consumers have RJ45 near their TV, but most will have a coax jack.
Yes, I think you're pretty right on that too..., but on a second thought I would rather prefer PowerLine adapters. Here in the UK all new houses have TV point, but all the coax cables are going to the loft and connected to nothing, so to use MOCA in the UK you must have a multiplexer of some sort even if you do not intend to use an aerial...

Eddy
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Last edited by routerunner; 10-04-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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