Upgrading Your C*k, List of possible upgrades
Upgrading Your C*k, List of possible upgrades
Sep 20 2005, 05:03 AM
Joined: 7-April 05
From: Sydney, Australia
Member No.: 6,806
I have been pulling appart my PDA and studying the insides to see what type of upgrades are posible, i thoght it would be a good idea to put them all in the one place as well as give you some more info on how easy they are to do.
Easy to do, it seems that intels manufacturing capabiliteies produce alot of good chips. i have yet to see a pxa270 that cant be clocked to at least 520Mhz, all the ones i have had have been able to do 624Mhz. the trade off is that the power consumtion shoots throgh the roof. bus speeds of 312mhz are easy to get but are of limited usefullness, if you try wierd clock speeds you can also increse the ram bus in small increments however the LCD screen ether tends to flicker or darkens at anything below 100Mhx (LCD clock) and scince the lcd clock is linked to the cpu one, wierd CPU freq's = wierd LCD freq
its easy to test for this one, just get your self an applet that sits in the tray and try out the diffrent speeds, then do a bit of work and try to get the cpu up to 100 usage, if it hangs try a diffrent freq. the good thing about this is when you reboot the chip goes back to its normal speed so it would be hard to stuff somthing up permantly (no garantee here)
The chips are from samsung and are from the "mobile SD-RAM" catagory, meaning they top out at 512Mb. this translates to a maximum of 128MB in your C*k, there are pin compatible parts but are ball grid array (hard to solder) and are slightly wider and may not fit (still have to mesure) on the plus side they consume very little extra current (the larger chips that is) and are slightly faster, but no anything you would notice.
it would also be posible to raise the RAM bus speed as you could buy a faster chip than the zaurus currently has to see a speed boost. the current chips are running at aout 104mhz, the next speed bracket for RAM BUS speed is 208Mhz so you would need a good chip to hit this mark. but there would be a noticble gain in performance
[EDIT] I found a way to solder new chips easily, my original thoght was to use a daghter board only for RAM sizes > 128MB however if you always use a daghter board then you can postion the board over the removed ram's holes and apply solder down the vias, this works for soldering the ram chips to the daghter board as well meaning you can do this with a normal soldering iorn, i need to talk to some people but all sounds good at the moment, "no skills required" and best of all it would work for any PDA based on a PXA chipset, this would also mean you could use surface mount or BGA RAM parts, just buy the correct daghter board, you could even salvage RAM from old SDRAM sticks, 1GB here i come [/EDIT]
[EDIT]Looking good, may move to a seperate thread as it can be usod on basically any PDA HOWEVER anything over 128MB gets large quickly and would chew alot of juice (in other words i cant wait to try it), the daghter board at the moment is the size oy a small clamshell in theroy (in practice et mmay be slightly larger) the problem is that the pxa27x dosent play nice with stupidly large RAM (i had to say it) eg > 512Mbit and supports only a few select configorations [/EDIT]
The big daddy of all upgrades. The good news: the 16Gb chip is pin compatible with the current chips in your pda and you can have 2 (16Gb = 2GB). however the bad news is that there may be software issues present. if the pxa boots from this flash then it should be easy to upgrade, however if it boots from ROM then there may be an issue. i suspect the second as the chip is 8bits and the pxa needs a 16bit or 32 bit chip to boot
the problem is that the setup code might incorectly set up the chip. i will have to look into this but i am sure there is a work around. one side affect of 2 chips is the bus width could be doubled, as well as using chips that are twice as fast so there would be a read performance increses as well as a tiny write speed one
[EDIT] Still possible need stupidly large flash chips (like from a broken nano) as i want to see the max capacity we can use, i might see if i can go into an apple store and buy a broken nano (yeah i am sure they wont let me, unless i say im to poor to buy one but want to look like an idiot^H^H^H^H^H cool apple guy) [/EDIT]
The one we have all been wating for, for those of you who dont know what it is i will give a quick rundown of it.
It is a video card that supports 32MB of SDRAM, video out, OPEN GL ES, accelerated video decoding of divx,Xvid,WMV. It allows playback of 2Mbps Xvid streams of 720 * 480 pixels downscaled to 640 * 480 on the axim x50v, with cpu cycles to spare on an external compuer monitor. with the main CPU clocked at a slow 208Mhz this translates to about 3.5 hours of video (you get about 1hr or less if you dont use the video card and you have to clock the device up to 624Mhz).
I leraned about this when i was reviewing a post i made concerning CF read writes impacting the bandwidth of the SD RAM (because they both share the same data bus). when i looked at the 2700g specs i relised that nearly all the pins i needed to interface it to the CPU where avalible at the CF socket, mainly address pins and data pins. the rest were easily accsessable scince i was going to think aobut upgrading the memorey as well
after overclocking this would be the second easyiest mod to achive as it would plug into the cf socket and require soldering a couple of extra wires (less than any other mod) that are esy to get acsess to. and if you own the c1k it would be easy to put the card where the microdrive would sit. you would also still be able to use the socket for CF cards as well however most likly not at the same time unless you do not mind plugging the cf card into an adaptor underneath the zaurus
[EDIT] superceded but still posible, could be handy due to the crappy usb update speed, see below i would like some feedback into which you wold prefer [/EDIT]
[EDIT] Still posible, need both chips and to locate 1 I) line, moved to seperate thread see: http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=18131 for my hacking info [/EDIT]
the father of the mod above, this may be posible because of the way the pxa spits data at the LCD screen, it provides everything you need to interface to an external DAC ( Digital 2 analog converter) that would connect to a standard monitor cable, alowing a mirror image of whatever is on screen and if you are willing to turn of the LCD screen when you plug a monitor in you would be able to get 800 * 600 on it by tweaking some registers
[EDIT] Meanie has got a sis usb video card to work, i would love to see an x server or console running on this however i am prepared to wait, hopfully with a bit of hacking i can get it to compile under a 2.6 ARM kernel (its in the mainline now), so basically it superceddes this and the 2700G hack as it is a full video card, hopfully with opengl but i wouldnt hold youre breath but it is the best video out sulution for the zaruses info at http://www.winischhofer.at/linuxsisusbvga.shtml http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11129&st=15 support at the moment is for slideshows only (under 2.4 zaurus kernels that is), oh and you may be able to hack it for dual head support lets see an axim do that!!! [/EDIT]
the pxa has a serial port dedicated for use with a bluetooth chip. it would be posible to get a usb dongle and use ether the serial port or the usb port to connect it up. once again this is easy to do but could be hard to find space in your pda case to fit it
[EDIT] I now have a tiny bluetooth dongle tahts a bit larger than the usb port it is soldered ta and am about to give it a go with the USB hack below which supercedes this hack due to it working with everything USB bassed [/EDIT]
see http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=13562&st=150 for discussion or http://www.iral.com/~albertr/linux/zaurus/wireless/ for details however it bassically is a USB port that you can solder onto that is not being used, want wifi.... fine, want bluetooth.... fine, want 2 wifi cards and a bluettoth for some unique wifi always on hotspot hopping (or MITM stuff )..... Ok, my plans are to build a docking station ar if i can pull it off redesighn the bottom for more space.
Just when you thoght it could not get any better you hear about this, umagine shaking your PDA to play a new random song, or moving it clockwise to go foward in your playlist and anti clockwise to go back. how about tilting the pda to move the mouse? if you heard about accelerometers in the new laptops then this is taking it to the next step.
a laptop would be hard to tilt around to use as a mouse for an extended period of time however a pda is much liter, and there are times where i am using the keyboard and have to take out the stylis tap the screen and put eit away again, why cant i just tilt the PDA? i am looking into this but it looks like all i have to do is wire an analg devices gyroscope/accelerometer to the SPI port in the pda and write a driver
as a side effect i will now know when i should park the harddrive heads
the accelerometer would be handeled diffrently, it would be a mice interface as well but i was thinking that a user daemon would connect to it and interpret diffrent movments to mean diffrent things (eg wax on/off, shaking the device, shaking the devie left/right - up/down) all while holding a button so you can go for a jog without setting it off
the best thing for me is the accelerometer/mouse with MPD so i can go without X and still have all the benifits (thogh with 1GB of ram that may not be much of a prblem any more)
Cell Phone Hack
I am sure you are aware that you can connect to the net using a cellphone and a laptop, however you can also do the same thing from your PDA, and use it to send/recive text messages. also (thogh unconfirmed) you may be able to set up the zaurus as a answering machine for your phone (if you want to, im sure some people are happy with voice mail) by using the mgetty packages (requires a voice modem, thats why unconfirmed if not voice modem then plug into audio port) basically you take the serial port on the back of your pda and wire it up to a phone (clamshell works best as you can remove the screen) or plug into usb
you might run out of space but thats why im building a new case/docking station
This is just a list of what we might be able to do, if you are intrested in technical details get in touch but keep in mind that none have been achived yet. also feature listed here may be imposible to implement but i have made estimates of what can be done. i am also intrested in what you would like to see as that will influence what i work on, i dont expect to see more than 2 finished by the end of this year unless i am lucky or some one else works on one.
Dec 13 2005, 02:09 PM
Joined: 4-December 05
Member No.: 8,660
For BGA soldering/desoldering you need a device called BGA soldering station. They are like $30K new but can be bought used for much cheaper on eBay.
A buddy of mine bought one for himself recently for around $1000. He plans to build his own supercomputer .
Anyway, desoldering and soldering on this device is as simple as placing the board in the device, programming the time and temperature.
For desoldering the device blows hot air on the chip, then a suction cup lowers and picks up the chip. Soldering is the same, just in reverse. It is all automatic. The tricky thing is for different size chips different size heads and air skirts are required. And since he just bought this device I am not going to trust him with soldering on my Zaurus ;-)
Anyway, according to him BGA soldering/desoldering is easy when you have proper equipment. BGA chip reuse and reballing is supposed to be easy and boring as well (when you have to reball many chips).
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