[Tinkerphones] Librem 5

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Oct 24 21:15:08 CEST 2017


> Am 24.10.2017 um 20:08 schrieb Gilles Filippini <gilles.filippini at free.fr>:
> H. Nikolaus Schaller a écrit le 24/10/2017 à 19:09 :
>> Hi,
>> Librem 5 was now successfully funded.
>> Anyone here on this list who pledged for one?
> I did.
>> I'd be interested in what you expect it can do
>> what the Letux activities can't or don't.
> I had an Openmoko from 2008 until 2011. It looked like already outdated
> by then, and I missed many calls but struggled to keep it barely
> working. I had to send it in germany, then, for a few weeks to fix a
> hardware bug, and bought a cheap Adndroid 2 Huawei phone for the
> interim. When I received my patched Openmoko I was used to Android and
> having a working phone. I never could switch back to my Openmoko which
> has been collecting dust in a drawer since then.

Well, Replicant did need too much (graphics) power to run smoothly a
GTA02 board.

> I've been following the tinkerphone mailing list all this time and was
> quite disappointed about the complex soldering problems you've experienced.

Yes... Well, it is more a financial problem. We would have just needed 0.5%
of what Librem 5 has collected to do one or two more trial runs.

And I am sure we know what went wrong because I was finally able to identiy
one difference in the production tools between successful GTA04A4 and failed
GTA04A5. But we couldn't finance more tests from the money on the table.

I still have ca. GTA04A5 25 boards where the OMAP3 has already been removed.
They only wait for a good time frame to try to rework them manually (it is
a man-power limitation but not machinery/tools nor knowledge).

> When I heard about the Librem 5 project I just felt more confident in
> their capacity to overcome these difficulties, because of their
> experience with notebooks.

Yes, they have a lot. But I have some doubts that these experiences can
be transferred to a micro-miniaturized smartphone. Chips are much smaller,
they may also need PoP (and run into soldering issues) or they don't get
power demand down. For a notebook you just add a bigger battery...
And building in LTE with separate modem needs a good module and RF experience.
Finally they want to use a completely new SoC (i.MX8) where AFAIK there
is no single line of code in the mainline Linux kernel.

IMHO all this is not trivial. Nevertheless, I hope they manage it in time.

If not, they can still ask us for help :)

> Anyway, thank Nikolaus for your tireless work toward a free phone. What
> you've done so far is awesome.

Thanks, we will try to continue. For example there is now Letux-4.14-rc6
kernel available (for GTA04 and other devices).


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