Mirabox Kernel update

So the background is that I have a lovely little unit called a Mirabox but I need to update the kernel on it.   I spent a good bit of time looking at various forums and eventually managed to piece together enough information to get a 3.9 kernel to boot for me.

First, I installed a cross compiler, then I built a kernel, with default options, like so.

PATH="/home/build/smile/armv7-marvell-linux-gnueabi/bin:$PATH" make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-marvell-linux-gnueabi- mvebu_defconfig

PATH="/home/build/smile/armv7-marvell-linux-gnueabi/bin:$PATH" make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-marvell-linux-gnueabi- zImage

PATH="/home/build/smile/armv7-marvell-linux-gnueabi/bin:$PATH" make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-marvell-linux-gnueabi- armada-370-mirabox.dtb

cp arch/arm/boot/zImage zImage-with-dtb

cat arch/arm/boot/dts/armada-370-mirabox.dtb >> zImage-with-dtb

./scripts/mkuboot.sh -A arm -O linux -T kernel -C none -a 0x00008000 -e 0x00008000 -n 'Linux-marvell' -d zImage-with-dtb uImage

This kernel booted, but could not find a root filesystem. After a spending a bit of time looking, I could not find a NAND driver, so I opted for a filesystem on MicroSD instead.

Next, I replaced the kernel configuration with the one in this post, and rebuilt it. While that was building, I followed the instructions in this post, to create the filesystem on a MicroSD card.

Finally, I dropped the uImage created above onto a tftp server, loaded it with

tftpboot 0x6400000
set bootargs 'console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/sdb2 rootwait'

and the result is a working system.

root@dreamplug-debian:~# cat /proc/version
Linux version 3.9.0 (root@ubuntu-smile-build) (gcc version 4.2.0 20070413 (prerelease) (CodeSourcery 2007q1-10. Marvell 2009q3-11 20090730)) #2 Fri May 3 15:27:05 IST 2013

A very satisfying way to finish up before a long weekend!

My received phonesat packets.

I was travelling with work most of last week, but set up my machine to see if it could receive AX.25 packets from and of the phonesat satellites (which have since de-orbited).

I was surprised to find these in my log when I got home
April 23rd:

1200mk: fm KJ6KRW-1 to CQ via TCPIP ctl UI pid=F0(Text) len 110 12:32:18
ÿ63$uc!<<*"%0-A//H>bY5l^lc=VB@*=$UTF1II3[bsRN#Y.Z2gks%/P#/@QBB0i \
1200mk: fm KJ6KRW-2 to CQ via TELEM ctl UI pid=F0(Text) len 161 12:35:40
1200mk: fm KJ6KRW-2 to CQ via TELEM ctl UI pid=F0(Text) len 186 14:04:41
ÿ5qjuL1K$e67YUmC!*;TU:f^CP+F4"f!0REaSH12S!"T&nfik7HU`uM""9LgtKV/\_ \
_!NgZ0$$$p<58LU+2f&Q+]BUjfK"_<7)l?Oj6ucc='X_AIM[\gZV7P5:QXgtFnd^K( \ @hIncI$`3+b+i^`_j+=O*\2JF9D7m#Q&$_[lH,]=6OKd'.2ZD?iU0ÿ

April 24th:

1200mk: fm KJ6KRW-2 to CQ via TELEM ctl UI pid=F0(Text) len 186 13:53:42
ÿ5qjuO2H!+97YUmC!*;TU:f^CP+F4"f!3u\,SH12S!"T&nOZ8[tU7mMI!>GZg:^,JP \

I was quite surprised to receive them as my set-up is not all that good on UHF.

Kenwood TH-D72, Duracell vs Lithium.

In keeping in the battery longevity theme here and here, recently, Don, AB1PH posted to the Yahoo TH-D72 group about some testing he did with primary cell batteries in the BT-15 AAA Holder.  Don compared Everready Ultimate Lithium (L92) batteries, to Duracell Alkaline batteries.

His TH-D72A was set-up to broadcast its location every 3 minutes. The Duracell’s lasted approx. 1h 40 minutes, with the Lithium batteries lasting approximately 7h. By any standard, approximately 4-5 hours is an appreciable difference, in fact that is almost equivalent to the run time of the original battery pack. Sure, they are more expensive, but, I know which I’ll keep spare.