Maybe bricked.

36 views
Skip to first unread message

wibbleypants

unread,
Nov 22, 2015, 9:42:09 AM11/22/15
to Bifferboard
Hello again all.

I decided against using my BB as a vpn server, but I just installed a solar power system and thought I might use the BB to send me voltage info from the inverter. Perhaps best to start by ditching debian 5 and installing something a tad more recent. So I followed the instructions here https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/factory-firmware/newbie-instructions and now have what appears to be a brick ie; lots of ethernet activity but the router doesn't see it. When I ask the router to update it's list, the ethernet light on the BB flashes furiously for a few seconds and then stops.

Is there a quick test I can do to see if it is indeed bricked?

Cheers.

Paul.

Andrew Scheller

unread,
Nov 22, 2015, 11:46:58 AM11/22/15
to Bifferboard
Easiest way to check will be by using the serial console
https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/howto/connect-to-serial-console

Since that article was written, 3.3v TTL UART cables are now much more
easily available e.g.
http://shop.cyntech.co.uk/collections/fiver/products/usb-rb-ttl-cable

Sadly it looks like even Biff himself has now given up on the
bifferboard http://www.bifferos.co.uk/

Lurch
> --
> --
> To unsubscribe send email to bifferboard...@googlegroups.com
>
> ---
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Bifferboard" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to bifferboard...@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Nov 22, 2015, 2:31:06 PM11/22/15
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
On 22/11/15 17:46, Andrew Scheller wrote:
> Easiest way to check will be by using the serial console
> https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/howto/connect-to-serial-console
>
> Since that article was written, 3.3v TTL UART cables are now much more
> easily available e.g.
> http://shop.cyntech.co.uk/collections/fiver/products/usb-rb-ttl-cable

Can I not just use a serial port on a PC? Both of the towers in front of me have serial ports.


Cheers.

Paul.

Andrew Scheller

unread,
Nov 22, 2015, 4:04:30 PM11/22/15
to Bifferboard
>> Easiest way to check will be by using the serial console
>> https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/howto/connect-to-serial-console
>>
>> Since that article was written, 3.3v TTL UART cables are now much more
>> easily available e.g.
>> http://shop.cyntech.co.uk/collections/fiver/products/usb-rb-ttl-cable
> Can I not just use a serial port on a PC? Both of the towers in front of me
> have serial ports.

Noooo! Serial ports on a PC (the DB-9 style) run at much higher
voltages - connecting them directly to your bifferboard would
definitely brick it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-232#Physical_interface

The other alternative (if you don't want to go the USB route) is a
RS232 -> TTL adapter
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=rs232+ttl+uart&&tbm=shop

Lurch

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 6:24:49 AM11/23/15
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
Cheers. I've got nothing against usb - just trying to save money and time :-)

We all know that anything we do in this respect has more to do with tinkering than
usefulness (it'd be more practical just to go out to the shed and read the voltmeter), but
I'm wondering if what I propose is going to be possible ie; read in a dc voltage. Does the
BB have a adc on board? I suppose I could read the signals from the digital voltmeter.

Cheers.

Paul.

Andrew Scheller

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 7:16:07 AM11/23/15
to Bifferboard
> and read the voltmeter), but I'm wondering if what I propose is going to be
> possible ie; read in a dc voltage. Does the BB have a adc on board? I
> suppose I could read the signals from the digital voltmeter.

Nope. You'd need to connect e.g. an I2C ADC to the bifferboard. Or you
could use the ADC on an Arduino, and (as long as the Arduino is
running at 3.3V and not 5V) you could connect the UART of the Arduino
directly to the UART of the Bifferboard.
Or you could save yourself a lot of hassle and just use something like
http://raspi.tv/2013/controlled-shutdown-duration-test-of-pi-model-a-with-2-cell-lipo
;-)

Lurch

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 7:28:30 AM11/23/15
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
Heh. Thanks.

This is all to save going outside to read the voltage.

The cable to verify the non-brickness of the BB:

Subtotal (inc VAT, exc P+P) £3.95

International Shipping at £6.00 GBP

And the Pi setup would come in at about 70 euros, so it looks like the BB goes in the bin
and I get used to going outside to check the voltage.

Paul.

Andrew Scheller

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 7:36:49 AM11/23/15
to Bifferboard
> This is all to save going outside to read the voltage.
>
> And the Pi setup would come in at about 70 euros, so it looks like the BB
> goes in the bin and I get used to going outside to check the voltage.

If you're looking for an easy option, something like this would be
cheaper than the Pi setup ;-)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/COOLEAD-Wireless-camera-Tilt-2-ways-Black/dp/B00432J56G

And I dunno where you're located, but I'm sure there must be a local
retailer you can get a 3.3V TTL UART cable from without having to pay
international shipping.

Lurch

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 8:01:15 AM11/23/15
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
On 23/11/15 13:36, Andrew Scheller wrote:

> If you're looking for an easy option, something like this would be
> cheaper than the Pi setup ;-)
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/COOLEAD-Wireless-camera-Tilt-2-ways-Black/dp/B00432J56G

Heh. Could achieve that with mirrors :-)

> And I dunno where you're located, but I'm sure there must be a local
> retailer you can get a 3.3V TTL UART cable from without having to pay
> international shipping.

I live in the middle of nowhere.

Nearest town is Antequera, Andalusia, Spain.

Paul.

Andrew Scheller

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 9:24:17 AM11/23/15
to Bifferboard
>> And I dunno where you're located, but I'm sure there must be a local
>> retailer you can get a 3.3V TTL UART cable from without having to pay
>> international shipping.
>
> I live in the middle of nowhere.
> Nearest town is Antequera, Andalusia, Spain.

http://www.amazon.es/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/276-7540146-9131631?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ttl+uart+usb

Lurch

Kyle Gordon

unread,
Nov 23, 2015, 1:02:44 PM11/23/15
to biffe...@googlegroups.com

Just because the router can't get a response from it means it's dead, it could be just fine but with a corrupt bootloader.

What happens if you try to flash it again? It's been a while but iirc it emits a magic packet when booted that the flashing script has to trigger from.

Kyle

--

wibbleypants

unread,
Apr 2, 2016, 7:38:32 AM4/2/16
to Bifferboard, ya...@loowis.durge.org
On Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:46:58 UTC+1, Andrew Scheller wrote:
Easiest way to check will be by using the serial console
https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/howto/connect-to-serial-console



I finally got a cable and on powering up the board, I get "Linux version 2.6.32.20 (biff@fonzi) (gcc version 4.1.2) #5 Mon Feb 7 23:21:40 GMT 2011"

10,000,000 times and counting. I have a feeling something's not quite right.

Paul.

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 2, 2016, 8:20:57 AM4/2/16
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
On 23/11/15 19:02, Kyle Gordon wrote:

> What happens if you try to flash it again? It's been a while but iirc it emits a magic
> packet when booted that the flashing script has to trigger from.

I don't know what to flash it with. Is there a "generic" kernel kicking about somewhere?

Cheers.

Paul.

wibble...@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 2, 2016, 8:46:22 AM4/2/16
to biffe...@googlegroups.com
I just tried uploading al old kernel I had lying around, but got this:

Waiting for device to power up
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "./bb_upload8.py", line 267, in <module>
UploadBinary(sys.argv[1], kern)
File "./bb_upload8.py", line 220, in UploadBinary
m.expect("ESC")
File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pexpect.py", line 1311, in expect
return self.expect_list(compiled_pattern_list, timeout, searchwindowsize)
File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pexpect.py", line 1325, in expect_list
return self.expect_loop(searcher_re(pattern_list), timeout, searchwindowsize)
File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pexpect.py", line 1409, in expect_loop
raise TIMEOUT (str(e) + '\n' + str(self))
pexpect.TIMEOUT: Timeout exceeded in read_nonblocking().
<fdpexpect.fdspawn object at 0xb6eda46c>
version: 2.3 ($Revision: 399 $)
command: None
args: None
searcher: searcher_re:
0: re.compile("ESC")
buffer (last 100 chars): onzi) (gcc version 4.1.2) #5 Mon Feb 7 23:21:40 GMT 2011
Linux version 2.6.32.20 (biff@fonzi) (gcc
before (last 100 chars): onzi) (gcc version 4.1.2) #5 Mon Feb 7 23:21:40 GMT 2011
Linux version 2.6.32.20 (biff@fonzi) (gcc
after: <class 'pexpect.TIMEOUT'>
match: None
match_index: None
exitstatus: None
flag_eof: False
pid: None
child_fd: 4
closed: False
timeout: 30
delimiter: <class 'pexpect.EOF'>
logfile: None
logfile_read: None
logfile_send: None
maxread: 2000
ignorecase: False
searchwindowsize: None
delaybeforesend: 0.05
delayafterclose: 0.1
delayafterterminate: 0.1


Andrew Scheller

unread,
Apr 2, 2016, 11:16:11 AM4/2/16
to Bifferboard
>> I don't know what to flash it with. Is there a "generic" kernel kicking
>> about somewhere?

If https://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/factory-firmware/newbie-instructions
doesn't work, then I guess you're SOL.

Lurch
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages