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Old 07-30-2018, 02:16 PM   #1
m4mmon
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Device: PRS-T1, PB 623, PB 626
Lightbulb [TL2/626] Getting custom linux running!

Hello,

Since I have opened my pocketbook TL2 to play with the internal SD card, I have no idea why but I wanted to run linux on it.
It is not a straightforward process, incomplete as of today.
Please take a look at the sunxi page dedicated to the 626 (there are some more details on progress in the "discussion" thumb of the page).

To make it short, I managed to get a modern u-boot on it, and run a custom-built linux kernel (as of today, 4.18.0-rc6). On top of that, I used an Arch Linux userland.
What is working:
not that much... real time clock, led, wifi, ssh, pacman, etc.
What is not working:
display, touch screen , power manager (gets detected but defaults to "regulator-dummy"), external SD card slot, have some usb warnings, etc.

I added a driver for the TPS65185, not properly configured (yet -- hoping), it seems to load ok, but device tree needs some tuning.
Code:
[    1.041830] tps6518x_probe calling
[    1.045279] tps6518x 1-0068: no epdc pmic pwrall pin available


Going further is beyond my knowledge.

If someone is interested and can help getting some more stuff working, please let's discuss it here. If you think it is an easy to do task, remember you have to open the pocketbook, may be solder some wires to get a serial console, and that you will not be able to do much with the system if you get it running.

I have shared more info on the linux-sunxi page, but that is not much, because it involved lots of tries and errors, tinkering, etc. but I will take the time to describe my steps if someone is interested.


I think what I did could be applied to several other models (626 TL3 because it is more or less the same device, 840, may be some more).

Last edited by m4mmon; 08-09-2018 at 04:18 PM. Reason: updated working/not working
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:28 PM   #4
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Unfortunately I am not knowledgeable enough to help you, but I would be interested in the results of your hacking.

On my old PB626 I have installed
- Linux console (with the access to the built-in BusyBox commands)
- ftp server - to get access to the filesystem
- Vim text editor
- a few of other utilities.
So far I have not found a meaningful use of those, besides bragging and showing-off to my geeky friends ;-)

When PocketBook came out with PB301 - the very first e-ink reader and [distant] predecessor of your reader - PocketBook used a generic Netronix hardware. A few other "manufacturers" used the same hardware, so the original programmers took great care to prevent us from switching the booting media. Their system was *far* ahead of competition.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:42 PM   #5
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The PB626 has some pretty generic hardware (Allwinner A13, very close to olinuxino board), this is why I succeeded getting some stuff running.
I thing getting everything working is possible and more or less easy, with a notable exception: the display. If I am not mistaken, it uses a chip (tps65185), and that gives orders to the panel. Those orders depends on the panel (google for "eink waveforms"to get more info), and reversing pb software and/or writing new software seems very very complicated.

Like I said, I have no idea why I started this, but now I would like to get everything working and have complete control on the hardware. From there, may be resurrecting open ink pot will be possible?
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