1 (edited by keebler64 2012-03-23 12:21:05)

Topic: Another Hardware Hacker and his Chumby.

Hello, My name is Christopher.

I have had my C1 since Mar 2011, but have only NOW plugged it in, and worked up the interest to hack it. Right now I've got it running as a 3G HotSpot and Webserver hosting Data files from a Bio-Luminescence device to be displayed and modified via a custom iPad App. This all started with a need for a simple Ad-Hoc network, until I found the 3G EasterEgg.

Now I'm looking at reducing the package and increasing the performance. I'm working on a new design in Eagle CAD that puts everything on a single 101mmx64mm board with a very small eInk display, all housed in a 110mmX66mmx64mm enclosure. Complete with 5000mAh 3.7v LiPo. This will be a field deployed unit and must run in an extremely durable-lowpower mode. I know devices like Gumstix exist, and they most certainly can do most of what I want, but the Chumby platform is a tried and true reliable Linux Device with a fabulous support community, and I would like to keep the device along the same lines of the Chumby in terms of openness and hackability.

I would be open to suggestions.

Also, has anyone attempted at upgrading the MCU to something closer to the 1Ghz range? (Via rolling their own board, or otherwise, since I doubt any of the Freescales in that class are 100% pin/power compatible with the i.MX233, correct me if I'm wrong.)

I've spent a few days lurking and soaking up the community. Very impressed with the level of involvement of the developers here.

A little about me. I got started with the *nix's by way of Litestep back in Sept. '98. To those that do not not what Litestep is. It was/IS a Microsoft Window's Shell Replacement program of Explorer.exe, a port (of sorts) of the AfterSTEP Windowing System. After learning everything I could about Litestep and it's roots, the community there influenced me to try Linux. Seeing as how I was still only on a 28.8Kbps at the time, I found a free Demo CD of Corel Linux in the trash and installed it onto a Packard Bell p266. From there I tried Debian, and then, FreeBSD (of which I fell in love with <3 ). Fast forward 12 years. I'm now a SCO/RedHat Server Integrator and still have that p266 running FreeBSD 4.7. Plus countless other half-started projects in my lab.

My kitchen is currently setup as a BGA Reflow lab for repairing 7300GT iMac GPUs.

I've done work with Arduino, PLC's, various other ATMEL 8bits, and some CANBUS work in Volkswagens. I'm eager to learn from this forum and get to know you all.


Re: Another Hardware Hacker and his Chumby.

lol. seriously ?
get a gumstix with an eink kit and be done with it.
chumby is nothing more than a crappy linux box with a proprietary hunk of flash code which takes like 99% of the cpu to show a bunch of flash movies (all of which could be rendered by a simple browser with a tenth of the cpu time as animated GIFs).
if youre counting on official help from chumby inc be aware its not in a great financial situation and no longer manufactures anything for the past year. just look at the chumby.com store.

3 (edited by keebler64 2012-03-26 07:02:48)

Re: Another Hardware Hacker and his Chumby.

Price per unit for one gumstix is cost prohibitive. Also, I'm not using the Chumby interface, I should have been more specific. I'm more interested in the hardware capabilities, so in essence I'm just interested in creating my own development board based on the chumby for reference. Saves me the work of having to design an entire board from scratch that has the same capabilities that I require. So basically, think CHB or Freescale EVK kit. 

Furthermore, the most simplest solution, and one I've done a few times already, is an Atmel ATMEGA32U4 with a Serial to WiFi interface running a basic TCPIP stack (uIP-AVR). But it can't run lighttpd, and has problems hosting more than 10 pages. Not to mention it's much slower.