Category Archives: Installation

Installation and configuration of Lede image on Linkit 7688 Duo

After you have attached to the board the support devices,  as specified in the previous article

Linkit 7688 Duo Connections

and built the image

Lede Image for Linkit 7688 Duo

we upload the image to the device.

Following the documentation availble at the link

Update the firmware with a USB drive

to update the firmware copy the lede-ramips-mt7688-LinkIt7688-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin file to the root directory of a FAT32 USB drive and rename it as lks7688.img.

Attach, now,  the USB drive to the HOST port of the board with an OTG cable and follow the steps

  1. Press and hold the on-board WiFi button.
  2. Press the MPU reset button once, while holding the WiFi button.
  3. Keep holding the WiFi button for about 5 seconds. Do not release until the orange LED for WiFi is off.  DO NOT press the WiFi button longer than 20s or it will upgrade the bootloader.
  4. The device will automatically reboot after firmware update is complete.

aggiornamento7688duo

You can control the operation via the USB TTL serial connected to the PC and activated on the enabled Com port  with the following settings

  • Port:  Enabled COM
  • Speed: 57600
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Parity: None
  • Flow Control: XON/XOFF

putty-configurationUse, for example, putty to connect, press Enter if the screen is not active,  and to check the steps the system is runnig when upgrading

aggiornamento

When the orange LED starts blinking at a lower frequency the card is ready to be used

On the Lede system, the wireless card is disabled by default, while Lan is operational, but only accessible via a Breakout board

Linkit Breakout

To enable the wireless card connect with putty (screen on Linux) to the previously connected USB TTL serial and  go to the /etc/config folder; edit the network file and add at the end the following section

Save and run

Edit the wireless file and add at the end the section

where Access Point and password indicate the Access Point name and password; the wireless security setting is wpa2.

Save and run

Enable the wireless, running

Access the Lede interface with the address assigned by the Access Point

lede-luciSet the password and access to the Lede management.

In this firmware, the leds on the board  are not synchronized with wireless operations, unlike from OpenWrt firmware with the Mediatek proprietary interface and drivers.

In the next article, we will give some examples of interfacing with the arduino IDE,  based on the tutorial on the Mediatek site using this custom Lede  image.

Installation and configuration of the Openwrt Image on Linkit 7688 and 7688 Duo

After you have attached to the board the support devices,  as specified in the previous article

Linkit 7688 Duo Connections

and built the image

OpenWrt building for Linkit 7688 and 7688 Duo

we upload the image to the device.

Following the documentation availble at the link

Update the firmware with a USB drive

to update the firmware copy the openwrt-ramips-mt7688-LinkIt7688-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin file to the root directory of a FAT32 USB drive and rename it as lks7688.img.

Attach, now,  the USB drive to the HOST port of the board with an OTG cable and follow the steps

  1. Press and hold the on-board WiFi button.
  2. Press the MPU reset button once, while holding the WiFi button
  3. Keep holding the WiFi button for about 5 seconds. Do not release until the orange LED for WiFi is off.  DO NOT press the WiFi button longer than 20s or it will upgrade the bootloader.
  4. The device will automatically reboot after firmware update is complete.

aggiornamento7688duo

You can control the operation via the USB TTL serial connected to the PC and activated on the enabled Com port  with the following settings

  • Port:  Enabled COM
  • Speed: 57600
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Parity: None
  • Flow Control: XON/XOFF

putty-configurationUse, for example, putty to connect, press Enter if the screen is not active,  and check the steps the system is runnig when upgrading

aggiornamento

When the orange LED starts blinking at a lower frequency the card is ready to be used.

Search for visible access points from your PC  and you should find an access point named LinkIT_Smart_7688_xxxxxx, where xxxxxx identifies the specific device.

Connect to this Access Point and access via browser at 192.168.100.1 or at mylinkit.local if you have satisfied the prerequisites

Getting started

collegamentolinkitEnter a password and access the next step

collegamentolinkit2Select OpenWrt for Advanced Configuration

collegamentolinkit3Set the password on OpenWrt

collegamentolinkit4entering it twice

collegamentolinkit5At this point, the system is configured as an Access Point. In our case, we wanted to set the Link 7688 Duo as a client of an Access Point with WPA2 security. To get this setting, if you have a visible network, go to the Network section of the main web console interface

accesso_linkit-smart_network1set the values for the Access Point and restart the system

accesso_linkit-smart_network2

If the Access Point is hidden, you should set the parameters directly in the configuration files in /etc /config.

Connect with putty to the previously connected USB TTL serial and  run the commands for Access Points with wpa2 security

 Save the settings

and activate the new configuration

Check the /etc/config/wireless file; you should see the addition of a new section, config wifi-iface ‘ap’,  to connect the board  to the access point

Now the card acts as a client and you can access it using the address released by the Access Point or by name as indicated by the documentation

Getting started

accesso_linkit-smartIn the next article, we’ll install and configure  the custom Lede firmware

Installation and configuration of Lede image on Linkit 7688 Duo

Debian sd card setup for Beaglebone Black

In the previous article we started up the development board Beaglebone Black / Green.

Startup of the Beaglebone

Let’s look  how to install an updated image of Debian for BeagleBone. As a first step we have to access the site which contains the Beaglebone  images

Beaglebone images

We download, having a BeagleBone Black Rev. C, bone-debian-8.6-lxqt-4gb-armhf-2016-11-06-4gb.img.xz. Unpack the 7zip image and load into a micro sd card with Win32DiskImager, as done for the Orange PI PC

SD card setup for Orange PI PC

If we wanted to load that image on the internal flash, we must edit the /boot/uEnv.txt files on a Linux system and uncomment the line

In that case, when we start the board the system will rewrite the operating system present on the internal flash with the version loaded on the micro sd card. We do not follow this road in order to do all the tests on the sd card leaving the internal partition unmodified. So let’s connect our Beaglebone to a network router. We insert the micro sd card and startup the development board. In some boards we need to press of the USER / BOOT button

 beaglebone black

because the operating system boots from micro sd card; with our board it is not necessary to perform this operation. We have to log on Beagleone now; the avahi-daemon service is already active on the Beaglebone and Linux systems resolve the address by hostname; Windows, instead, needs tha samba service activated to solve the Beaglebone hostname; installing samba we obtain the hostname recognition with the protocol netbios from Windows. If you are using a Windows machine to work with the Beagelbone you must first check the ip assigned by the network router to the  BeagleBone. From a Linux system, for example, connect to the Beaglebone using ssh as debian / temppwd and the beaglebone hostname

ssh BeagleboneIn Windows we need to install the samba service first to have the same functionality. Proceed at this point with the updating and samba installation

After the updates and samba services activation, we are ready to show examples with our BeagleBone and we are able to connect to it using the beaglebone and beaglebone.local hostnames. In the next article we will see tools already available on the board and how to add more features.

We can install the ftp service too, as we could use it in next articles

 To deactivate and activate it use the following commands

Libreelec Image for Amlogic socs

In the market there are several TV boxes equipped with Android. Among the most common there are those based on soc Amlogic. For devices with this module there is the way to run, even in parallel without removing the Android image, a media center system based on Linux and Kodi, which is Libreelec. It is a fork of the mediacenter OpenELEC system

Libreelec

The supported platforms are similar to those already available for OpenELEC, but the community is carrying out the development of other images besides the official ones; this is the case for the Amlogic platform.

In Libreelec forum developers have developed unofficial images for tv boxes with soc Amlogic S802 / S905 / S905X

Amlogic Libreelec Forum

We’ll install a Libreelec image for an Amlogic S905 box, in our case the box is Android Beelink MiniMX III. The box comes with on board an Android firmware on the internal flash. The next steps allow to keep the Android firmware of the internal flash and Libreelec on the micro sd card. These instructions can be repeated at least in part with other boxes with soc Amlogic. Refer to Libreelec forum for more insights.

The first operation is to download the image from the link given on Libreelec forum

Amlogic S905 Libreelec Images

We download the version 7.0.2.007

Libreelec S905 7.0.2.007

At the link above there also the dtb files, device tree file, file containing the specifications of the hardware system, for different boxes already  tested.

We unzip the file and load it on a micro sd card in a similar way to what was done for the creation of OpenELEC image for the Orange IP PC

Openelec installation on Orange PI PC

Again we launch Win32DiskImager and after unpacking the LibreELEC-S905.aarch64-7.0.2.007.img.gz file we proceed to the writing on the micro sd card.

At this point,we insert the micro sd card into the box  that we start holding down, in the case of this model, the reset button on the bottom of the box. This is a one-time process; to subsequent reboots the system starts Libreelec, if there is the Micro SD card, or Android system, present on the internal flash, in the absence of micro sd card.

The image automatically uses the remote.conf file for the remote control  from the Android image intalled in the internal flash.

The configuration steps are quite similar to what was done for OpenELEC Orange PI PC, such as to enable the ssh daemon, etc; in this case the remote control, being a box supported by the image, is already working.

libreelec

 WARNING: The image installation on the device is at your own risk. We accept no responsibility if the installation leads to  malfunction or block of the device. Before performing any operation, make sure that you have the original image of the box so you can recover the Android system in case of issues.

In the next article we will see how to configure an infrared remote control with NEC protocol on a system based on soc Amlogic

Remote control configuration for Libreelec on Amlogic socs

Flashing the firmware using Nodemcu Flasher

In the previous article we examined the different ways to flash the firmware

Flashing Nodemcu firmware

Now we describe how to proceed in Windows.

Looking at the Nodemcu firmware github

Nodemcu github

we find the followng application for Windows

 Nodemcu flasher

 We download the version compatible with our Windows operating system (32 or 64 bit)

First operation is to install the USB-Serial chip drivers of our Nodemcu Devkit, as specified in previous article. We have a devkit Nodemcu ver. 0.9, so we have to install the CH340G drivers

CH340G Drivers

After the drivers installation we can download the Nodemcu flasher in a folder and plug the  USB-Micro Usb cable between the pc and the devkit. Our COM port should be visible in the Windows device manager in the COM  devices list

PortaCom

In our case it is available on the COM port 5.

The steps to follow are the following:

  • Run Nodemcu Flasher and choose the COM5 port.

NodemcuProg

  • In Config select  INTERNAL://NODEMCU  with address 0x00000.

NodemcuProgConfig

  •  In Advanced we have the following parameters
    • Baudate: 9600 as specified in our devkit.
    • Flash size: 4MByte. Flash size of our devkit.
    • Flash Speed: 40MHz. The default speed.
    • SPI Mode: DIO is the default for 4Mb flash size.

NodemcuProgAdvanced

  • Proceed with the flash of the firmware pressing the FLASH button

NodemcuProgFlash

  • The application shows a progress bar of the operation

NodemcuProgProgress

At the end you can close the window and make sure everything is working properly using a LUA script uploader program, which we’ll see in the next article

Uploading LUA code

 

How to flash the Nodemcu firmware

In previous article we described the ESP8266 wifi module integrate into the Nodemcu development kit

ESP8266 WiFi Module

Here we look at how to load the firmware on the device.

First step is to assess the nodemcu development kit model we are working with. In our case we’ll perform the various operations with a development board Nodemcu V0.9. The USB-Serial chipset in this case is the CH340G

The drivers for this chipset can be downloaded directly from github of nodemcu

USB-Serial Drivers

To load the firmware, you can use the methods described in the Nodemcu site

Flashing Firmware

Basically there are two main methods:

  • Flash through the Windows Nodemcu Flasher tool

Nodemcu Flasher

  • Flash via a utility in Python to use in Linux, OSX or Windows

esptool

The Nodemcu flasher tool allows you to load a default firmware on the card  intuitively and quickly.

As can be seen from the above documentation of the  devkit you do not need to take any action on the pin GPI0 ESP to put the devive in flash mode; the flash operation and execution start automatically.

In the next article we’ll flash the firmware using the Nodemcu Flasher tool

Flashing the firmware with Nodemcu Flasher

Nodemcu Firmware

As discussed in previous article

ESP8266 WiFi Module

we’ll work on the ESP8266 SOC using the Nodemcu firmware

Firmware Nodemcu

Nodemcu is, to date at rev.  1.5.4.1, based on LUA 5.1.4. It is based upon Expressif SDK NONOS

Expressif SDK NONOS

It uses the spiffs filesystem

spiffs filesystem

We can get the firmware, as specified at the link

Nodemcu building

with different methods

  • Using a cloud service, specifying the additional modules if required

Nodemcu Custom Build

  • Using a Docker system

Docker Nodemcu Build

  •  Using cross compilation under a Linux system

We’ll descrive how to install the cross compilation envinronment under our Debian machine described in previous post.

The easiest way to get a default firmware is to use the Nodemcu Flasher tool.

In the next article we’ll treat how to load the firmware using various tools, among which the Nodemcu Flasher tool

How to flash the Nodemcu firmware

Debian envinronment for embedded systems development

In this article we describe Debian 8.5 installation we’ll use to compile Openelec for Orange Pi PC, Enigma2 images and other operations for embedded devices.

Download  AMD64  Debian 8.5 iso

Debian 8.5 X86_64

Proceed with the operating system installation on your system. It is recommended  to use a virtual machine like VirtualBox. Use at least  4 GB of ram and 50 GB of hard disk.

VirtualBox

Using VirtualBox it is possible the virtual disk creation with dynamic space allocation. After the operating system installation log on into the system with the user created during the installation; we used the “sviluppo” user id. It is possible to log on to the linux system using the graphical interface or through ssh to the IP address of the Debian system.

Add to sudo group the user created in the Debian installation; open a shell command window and execute

In our case we have the following output

sviluppo user doesn’t belong to sudo group. Execute the command

Enter the root password when required and execute

In our example

Reboot the system

At the reboot log on into Debian and proceed to add the packages repositories, if not already present.  Go to the /etc/apt folder

Backup the original file

Edit the file using for example the vi editor

It is possible to comment out the lines positioning at the beginning of the line, press i to go in editing mode and add the # character. Pressing the ESC key we go into reading mode and it is possible to move in the file using the  arrow keys. In case of errors in editing mode it is possible to avoid the last change using the key ESC+u.

Comment out the  lines

Add the following lines

To add the lines press o keys to go into writing mode with an empty new line; with copy and paste we can add all the lines or proceed manually for each of them.

To save the file and quit press ESC+:wq.

It is possible to use one of the text editors available in Desktop Envinroment on which we logged into to edit and save the file.  For example to use pluma editor open a shell command windows and execute

From pluma open the file /etc/apt/sources.list, make the changes described above and save the file.

Update the repository lists  and the packages

Install the development packages

Install an ftp server to use for files transfer

After the installation open the file  /etc/vsftpd.conf and uncomment the following parameter

Open the file with vi or pluma as superuser

With vi editor search the string with the command

Delete the # character positioning the cursor on it and pressing the x key.

Save and quit with ESC+:wq.

Restart the ftp server using the command

We have now the envinronment to compile, modify, develop  our embedded systems.

SD card setup for Orange PI PC Armbian in Linux

As already described in the previous article

Openelec SD card setup

also for the Armbian distribution we have to prepare an sd micro card.It is advisable to use a micro SD class 10 to gain better performances. As first step  we proceed to the Armbian  image download from Armbian web site

Download Armbian Orange PI PC

We choose for example the Debian Jessie Desktop Image.

We install 7zip package. In Debian we can use the following command

After the file  download  wint 7z extension in a directory, we open a shell command window in this directory and  unzip the content

We have among other files the one with .raw extension. Then we plug the micro sd card and check this device

In our case we have the following output

We check if this device is umounted

In the case we have the device in the output response, as in our case

we proceed to the unmount

WARNING: Be sure that the device is the micro sd card and not the internal disk. The next operation imply the complete rewriting of the device with the loss of all data on it.

We can now write the image into the micro sd card, using the correct device, that in our case is /dev/sdb

WARNING: This operation wipes all data on the micro sd card.

After a while we have the micro sd card ready to be used in the Orange PI PC board.

SD card setup for Orange PI PC Armbian in OSX

As already described in the previous article

Openelec SD card setup

also for the Armbian distribution we have to prepare an sd micro card. It is advisable to use a micro SD class 10 to gain better performances. As first step  we proceed to the Armbian  image download from Armbian web site

Download Armbian Orange PI PC

We choose for example the Debian Jessie Desktop Image. We expand the content using a compression software, as Keka

Keka

obtaining one file having .raw extension

armbianOSX

Then we plug the micro sd card and find this device

In our case we have the following output

We proceed to the device unmout; in our case the command is

WARNING: Be sure that the device is the micro sd card and not the internal disk. The next operation imply the complete rewriting of the device with the loss of all data on it.

We can now write the image into the micro sd card, using the correct device, that in our case is /dev/disk2

WARNING: This operation wipes all data on the micro sd card.

After a while we have the micro sd card ready to be used in the Orange PI PC board.