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Old 01-10-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
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Serial Question

Hello everyone,

So, during my attempt to port android to the kindle, I succeeded in destroying the little resistors/capacitors near the serial port on my paperwhite (don't solder with caffeine shakes )

When I shorted the pads and connected the PW to a terminal emulator, all I got was garbled text. I guess the kindle needed those little components. Anyone have any idea how to fix this/what those components were?

...now to try to fix the nuked system image another way...



-Lewis
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lporter View Post
Hello everyone,

So, during my attempt to port android to the kindle, I succeeded in destroying the little resistors/capacitors near the serial port on my paperwhite (don't solder with caffeine shakes )

When I shorted the pads and connected the PW to a terminal emulator, all I got was garbled text. I guess the kindle needed those little components. Anyone have any idea how to fix this/what those components were?

...now to try to fix the nuked system image another way...



-Lewis
Which Kindle is this again? A K4?

Good photo of the damaged area of the circuit board please.

Somewhere here, I posted a link to a "HowTo" make a DIY hot air soldering tool - the thing you need for SMD parts.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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Which Kindle is this again? A K4?

Good photo of the damaged area of the circuit board please.

Somewhere here, I posted a link to a "HowTo" make a DIY hot air soldering tool - the thing you need for SMD parts.
It's a kindle paperwhite.

I'll take a photo tomorrow. But to describe it simply, the components I've circled in blue have been taken off, leaving only the solder pads. What components are they? Decoupling capacitors?

http://imgur.com/2XrA0


Another question - I have bricked the paperwhite. It hangs at the kindle boot screen and I get nothing out of it USB-wise. The cause of this error is me flashing a non-booting system.img to it via fastboot. Any way to fix it without the serial connector?
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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You need the serial port connection.

I don't have my paperwhite open, so can't tell from that photo what the parts are.
Yes, I authored the thread, but I used "other people's pictures".

Trash characters will be either a poor ground connection, a mis-matched adapter, or wrong terminal configuration.
You do have a 1.8 volt, low voltage to USB adapter?
Check the ground connection.
settings: 115200 8N1

Keep the battery removed between tests - the battery could be discharge in only hours - depending on how the firmware is mis-behaving.

Let us know when you find out how to put the Kpw into "downloader mode" - -
We do not know the "magic key" combination for the Kpw.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #5
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Okay, I'll experiment. One thing I have noticed is that there are test points on the underside of the kindle that correspond to the serial connection, so perhaps those components are not essential. More investigation is warranted.

Is there any idea at all what the "magic key" could be? Anything we've found in the source code etc?
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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The components are 1K series resistors. You can solder to the other side of them (away from the board edge). I soldered fine enamel wire to them (taken from the coil in a dead CFL bulb). I taped that wire down for strain relief, then soldered my larger serial cable wires to the free end of the enamel wires.

What are you using for your 1.8v serial adapter?

Because the PW has no keys, there was speculation that the "magic key" may be internal jumper or test points.

Regarding the garbled text, it may be a grounding issue. Try leaving the USB cable attached between the kindle and the same computer as the USB serial adapter. Also, check out the "serial level shifter" thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=162775

Last edited by geekmaster; 01-10-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by geekmaster View Post
The components are 1K series resistors. You can solder to the other side of them (away from the board edge). I soldered fine enamel wire to them (taken from the coil in a dead CFL bulb). I taped that wire down for strain relief, then soldered my larger serial cable wires to the free end of the enamel wires.

What are you using for your 1.8v serial adapter?

Because the PW has no keys, there was speculation that the "magic key" may be internal jumper or test points.

Regarding the garbled text, it may be a grounding issue. Try leaving the USB cable attached between the kindle and the same computer as the USB serial adapter. Also, check out the "serial level shifter" thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=162775
Ah, okay. That's nothing too awful to replace.I should have a fwe of them spare.

I'm using a USB to Serial adaptor with pin 4 of the FDTI chip soldered to the 1.8V Supply of the kindle to bring it to the correct level.

I'm know for a fact that that the 'magic key' is an internal jumper. I read the datasheet for the processor. There are two pins that have to be brought high to make the SoC enter USB download mode. Sadly, as the processor is BGA, it's very difficult to actually find a connection TO these pins.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #8
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Have you unsoldered the rfi shields?

If so, we need board photographs clear enough to read part numbers.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:37 PM   #9
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Update: Got serial to work. Tried the level converter, that didn't work for me. Used an arduino to read the serial - that works perfectly. Maybe my converter is dodgy. Stuck a socket on the chassis of my kindle so I can use the serial port all the time.

I have a question - If I have access to the serial port, is my kindle basically unbrickable? I ask this because I am doing all sorts of flashing to try to get android to boot and I don't want to toast my device.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Update: Got serial to work. Tried the level converter, that didn't work for me. Used an arduino to read the serial - that works perfectly. Maybe my converter is dodgy. Stuck a socket on the chassis of my kindle so I can use the serial port all the time.

I have a question - If I have access to the serial port, is my kindle basically unbrickable? I ask this because I am doing all sorts of flashing to try to get android to boot and I don't want to toast my device.
Network boot the experimental kernel and use a network mounted file system.

No other method is safe on an embedded device.

With the serial port connection - you should be able to do the above using u-boot - - either the installed one or a modified one.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 AM   #11
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I have a question - If I have access to the serial port, is my kindle basically unbrickable? I ask this because I am doing all sorts of flashing to try to get android to boot and I don't want to toast my device.
Bootloader (U-Boot) is written on separate boot partition. It's not a partition defined in the MBR, it's a bit "low-level", hardware-defined eMMC partition. It's not accessible from stock Kindle Linux, but it's recognized in recent kernels. It could be overwritten from fastboot mode, though. My investigations on this subject are here.

It means that with access to serial port you can completely erase /dev/mmcblk0 and still have no worries: just get to U-Boot prompt through serial connection, enable fastboot mode, flash MBR, diags kernel and diags partition with SSH, load diags, SSH to it and dd main partition image to it's partition. (OK, maybe you'll should worry a little, because I didn't try this scenario, but I honestly don't see any problems there.)

However, if you'll somehow erase that boot partition (and, therefore, delete U-Boot), you'll be out of luck, because there will be nothing to answer to serial connection.

Last edited by eureka; 01-12-2013 at 03:45 AM. Reason: fix spelling
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:24 AM   #12
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Just wondering because I've never seen this before - Has anyone noticed what appears to be a secondary recovery menu in the kindle?

On the serial output, it says this:
Quote:
Press [ENTER] for recovery menu... 0 /
INFO:!!! Checking MBR /dev/mmcblk0 !!!!
INFOartition 2, start sector is 782336
INFOartition 3, start sector is 913408
INFOartition 4, start sector is 1044480
INFO:maximizing partition 2863104 sectors
INFO:*** Partition table verified for /dev/mmcblk0 ***
INFO:Loaded module /lib/modules/arcotg_udc_yoshime.ko (22912 bytes)
INFO:Loaded module /lib/modules/g_file_storage.ko recovery_mode=1 (36308 bytes)
Charge: 10% [######:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::]


Menu
====
3. Load MMC0 over USB storage
4. Erase MMC0
I. Initialize Partition Table (fdisk) and format FAT
O. Format and overwrite FAT partition
E. Export FAT partition
U. Update using update*.bin file on FAT partition
M. Update using update*.bin file on FAT partition of second MMC port
D. dmesg / kernel printk ring buffer.
Q. quit
And on the kindle, it simply says "RECOVERY MODE" in nice smooth text and shows a line drawing of a kindle. This is probably very old news, but I've never seen it mentioned.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #13
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Update: Got MFGtool to recognise kindle! Excellent. Time to see if I can flash the freescale android sample to it.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:54 AM   #14
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Update: Got serial to work. Tried the level converter, that didn't work for me. Used an arduino to read the serial - that works perfectly.
Can you explain what leads/pins and sketches you used on the Arduino? I can't get past the garbage display.

Thx
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:29 PM   #15
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I'm using a USB to Serial adaptor with pin 4 of the FDTI chip soldered to the 1.8V Supply of the kindle to bring it to the correct level.
Could somebody tell me (or better yet, post a photo), where on the kindle you found that 1.8V supply? That would be great!
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