[Gta04-owner] GTA04 Status

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sun Aug 21 19:32:11 CEST 2011


Am 21.08.2011 um 10:34 schrieb Johannes Schauer:

> Hi all!
> @nikolaus: thanks again for this wonderful update on the progress! Let
> me just reiterate (just as many of the previous posts to this list
> already did) how incredibly awesome it is to be kept up to date with the
> development status in this amount of detail!

openness is part of our concept :)

>> b) works but quality is unclear:
>> * Receiver sensitivity of UMTS, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS
>> * Audio quality
> and "works" means: no apparent very bad quality? (like connection drops
> etc?)

Works means: reponds to software commands, has no obvious hardware flaws.

But all RF systems have one thing in common - the sensitivity of
the received may less than optimal. And, they may receive more
noise than necessary. The result is that the maximum distance to
some base station is lower than it could be.

For UMTS it may mean that you can have indoor 7.2 MBit/s for some
provider (i.e. SIM Card) while our system switched back to GPRS.

Or for WLAN it means that an iwlist wlan0 scan shows the base station only if you
are less than 5 m distant. Although an optimizes receiver can handle 20 m.

> while a potential user application developer can probably even live
> without camera, sensors, fm radio and so on (in case there are still
> some hardware flaws involved), a not working voice path to the modem
> would be quite a bummer. It would be great if the early adopter boards
> had at least confirmed that a working audio path to the modem is only a
> software issue.

That is the part I am currently working on. I have patched the ALSA codecs
but they are not yet recognized. So I could not place an oscilloscope
to see if there is I2S (PCM) traffic on the interface.

>> Therefore, we decided to build all remaining EA Boards next week
>> despite some flaws and untested areas.
> meaning that all early adopters will receive boards with the flaws
> mentioned in c) "not easily fixable without running a new board layout"?

Yes. We already have the boards waiting to get the chips mounted. We just
did not yet do so because we have found two areas (headset jack wiring
and TV-Out wiring) where it is simpler to prepare the boards before
placing the chips and finally adding some wires.

Scrapping the existing boards and running a new layout and board production
is beyond the budgets we have...

> maybe there is the chance to get those commands from some pdf hosted on
> a chinese server?

I think the most open and future proof approach is to discuss it with
OPTION, the manufacturer of the module. I think they are interested in
selling as many modules as they can. And at least opening a partial list
should help to do so. There is only a handful commands that are really
interesting (e.g. configuring the modem for networking or enabling the
Audio PCM path or making the CPU wake up on a incoming call).

> In the worst case: if one knows what the result should be, could one
> bruteforce the commands? They are probably not longer than 6 ascii
> characters.

Well, there is AT+CLAC.

> Btw, what is the status of arm in linux? I recently skimmed some news
> about the apparent mess that arm is in the kernel due to the many
> different boards out there. This probably means that upstreaming gta04

Yes. It is a mess. Many things are duplicated and only slightly
different between the boards.

> changes will not be possible until a solution to this is found?

I think we should follow what the BeagleBoard friends are doing.
Koen Kooi from OpenEmbedded and Steve Sakoman (and others) from
Texas Instruments are doing a very good job there.
> So, yeah: only pressing question right now: will the gta04 early adopter
> board have the ability to make a working phone call or could there exist
> a potential hardware blocker avoiding it?

The only known one could be that the audio PCM interface is not working.

An ATD; already made some landline phones ring.

> Upon receiving my early adopter board I'll put debian armhf on it and
> make ofono work and add connman once this is done. Looking forward to
> it!
> keep up the good work!

Same to you!


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