[Gta04-owner] Progress GTA04 and Letux OS

Lukas Maerdian luk at slyon.de
Tue Dec 19 12:00:56 CET 2017


Hi,

Am 19.12.2017 um 10:57 schrieb H. Nikolaus Schaller:
> Hi all,
> even if it looks as if nothing is happening, it
> is sometimes behind the scenes and we are still alive
> and committed to improve the GTA04.
> 
> 
> First of all there is a new release of the Letux Kernel:
> 
> letux-4.15-rc4: http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-kernel/
> 
> 
> Next, Andreas has provided some patches for U-Boot.
> 
> The most important one is to fix the "charge auto"
> command so that I was able to add it to the boot.scr.
> 
> What problem does that solve for you?
> 
> The GTA04 had a problem that existed right from the
> beginning, but wasn't ever solved well.
> 
> If you let the battery drain below 0% the device would
> no longer start on battery insertion. Only if you connect
> it to a charger, the battery will start charging with
> ~50-100mA. After a while the battery voltage reaches
> 3.2V and this will wake up the GTA04.
> 
> But then it starts to boot through U-Boot into the full
> Linux kernel. This is a situation where the power hungry
> OMAP and Display and backlight are all turned on
> and draw ~400 mA. This immediately starts to discharge
> the still almost empty battery and unless you are lucky,
> the system will shut off, before it can start the Linux
> charger driver and switch to 500 mA mode.
> 
> So in the wort case the device would cycle and try to
> start Linux every ca. 10 minutes but never succeeds.
> In the best case the battery gets more and more energy
> and after several cycles Linux fully boots and you can
> charge up to 100%. In the worst case it cycles forever.
> 
> The solution is simple: we just have to enable 500mA
> charging earlier. E.g. in U-Boot, which means ca. 3
> seconds after the system turned on.
> 
> What you should do: update your U-Boot in NAND.
> 
> To do this, use makesd gta04 / makesd gta04a5 to format
> a "production image" SD card (dual partition). Insert
> into your GTA04, press the AUX button and insert the
> battery. This will flash the new U-Boot into NAND
> (red screen) and from that moment on you have this new
> feature in your U-Boot and can use the SD card for other
> things.
> 
> So thanks to Andreas!

This is really great news!
Kudos to Andreas and Nikolaus for working it out, it should make the
GTA04 a much more reliable device.

> Andreas has also prepared drivers for dfu access,
> but I have not yet tested and integrated that. Comes
> soon.
> 
> This will allow to reflash NAND through USB so we
> might eventually be able to do such updates without
> a need for special SD cards.
> 
> 
> On the OS (user space) side we still have to find a way
> to rebuild and maintain QtMoko2 and Replicant. If someone
> is doing experiments, please share! Or if someone wants
> to take care of it, please tell. We are a community
> which lives from exchange and activity of many individuals.
> 
> 
> Regarding the GTA04 accessories like Qi & battery
> charger or the FST-1 clone, it still needs some time for
> preparing the first prototypes. It is not forgotten, but
> takes time since hardware production need 100% perfection.
> We can't apt-get upgrade a PCB :)
> 
> 
> Finally, there is a new idea for a tool to help repair
> the broken GTA04A5 boards, which collect dust. You remember
> that the OMAP processor chips had shorts under the BGA
> balls and that I have already removed these bad chips a
> while ago:
> 
> https://twitter.com/goldelico/status/918127907284901888
> 
> What has to be done next is to mount new ones and this
> is where the new idea for a special tool comes in.
> Its task is to protect the chips from swimming
> away or rotating while melting the BGA solder balls.
> 
> I plan to build and test the tool in January - with new
> energy :)
Sounds great! I hope it can revive some of the GTA04a5 boards.

> So please don't loose spirit and enthusiasm. Tinkerphones
> and GTA04 are not dead but alive... And you can help to
> make them even more alive by tinkering with your GTA04
> or other device :) Please use this mailing list to share
> ideas and ask questions and give answers.
> 
> Let me close with wishing happy holidays and a good start
> into 2018 which will hopefully bring a lot of new (and good)
> things to tinker with - and good discussions.
> 
> Nikolaus

Happy holidays to you, and the whole community, too!

Lukas

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