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OESF Portables Forum > Everything Else > Archived Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > SIMpad forum

I recently bought a simpad with the intent to abuse it as
a cheap, flexible, big, high-resolution digital picture frame.
(Currently commercially available image picture frames have cga to vga
resolution and cost > 200 Euros...)

I am probably not a total newbie, since I use openzaurus on my
zaurus since some monthes, and I use Linux since ~ 10 years.
Despite this I stumbled across a lot of problems and questions
most of which I have not resolved yet.

Instead of solving this by try and error on my own, I will try
to put all or at least most of my questions and observations
here, in the hope that I will get some answers and the corresponding
threads will end up collecting the most relevant informations
concerning opensimpad on cl4.

To restrict my posts and the collected problems to a moderate size
I will split my Questions into 3 separate Threads
concerning Simpad Hardware, Opensimpad prebuilt versions and finally
building opensimpad using openembedded.

So far now for the hardware topics.

I think my biggest "failure" was, that I decided, that for my digital
picture frame 32 MB ram an 16 MB flash would be enough.
Thus I went for the cheaper CL 4 or to be more precise for the
swisscom ScreenPad Top WP50@ISDN, which an ebay trader currently
sells very cheap on
Ofcourse I completely missed the point, that the small versions
also lack the pcmcia slot, which I planned to use for a flash card reader
in a first step. Besides this opensimpad seems to be poorly supported
/ documentend for this version as I recently figured (see my next thread).

Since I always bought the simpad with the idea of adding an sd slot
in mind, I decided to immediately attack my simpad with a soldering iron.

After opening the simpad I immediately realized, that soldering this
is probably rather difficult for an untrained person like me, so
this was not so obvious for me from the webpage.
Luckily my sister and her husband are both electrical engineers, so
I simply passed the simpad to them and they soldered in an sd slot.

This also let us to investigate another point, that had come to my
mind after seeing the missing pcmcia slot.


Ofcourse my question is wether it is possible to add the missing
pcmcia slot?


By comparing my simpad to images of the sl4 from the internet
I figured that besides the actual slot, it seems that only
three more ICs are missing.
The problem was figuring the number of these ics.
I think we found the correct number (so I have the number
not at hand atm) and the corresponding chips seem to
be bus drivers (im not quite sure if this is the correct
technical term...) which would coust around 3 Euro per piece.

Soldering them is probably not easy, but surely easier
then desoldering and soldering new ram chips.
(Actually my sister and her husband were rather
impressed, that some of you guys were able to desolder
a ram chip from a dimm module and resolder it into
the simpad without breaking it by overheating...)


So this now raises two Questions:

1. Has anybody already done this, i.e. adding a pcmcia a slot to CL4?
2. What is printed on the 3 missing chips?


The last Question is basically for verification purposes, the
3 identicall ICs missing on my CL4 are positioned immediately
below the card slot (i.e. below the flash chips) and the missing
pcmcia slot, they have approx. 50 pins.

Another point that came to my mind, so it is probably not usefull
for me, is, wether it might be possible to use the dect and sd
functionality alternatingly.
Basically the Idea is, that the SD-slot, does not close any
new circuits, as long as no card is inserted, on the other
hand, I concluded from one description on the internet, that
the dect module can be switched on and off on a hardware basis,
which itself can be controlled by apm events.


Thus it might be possible to use sd by switching off dect
and dect while no sd-card is inserted or am I wrong?


Still I don't think my picture frame needs a dect module,
so if someone needs a dect module, I have a spare one.

Finally one question concerning wlan:

Is it possible to add wlan funcionality without
adding the pcmcia slot?

I guess the answer is no, since the trick with the
bluetooth modules seems to be, that they can be
accessed in a serial mode.
But maybe this works also for those sd-wlan modules?

So far for the hardware questions, which are actually
least important for me at the moment, but I think
it gives a good starting point for the next


1. No I've never build a CF interface for the cl4 (or swisscom simpad)
2. The three missing chips are 74LCX16245 (i think in a TSSOP package). But you use a further chip the MIC2562A-1BM PCMCIA PowerController. At least you need a PCMCIA connector which match the given footprint (i think your sister will kill you when she has to solder a non matching 50 pin connector to the Simpad board).

Greeting and a happy new year

Hi Jonathan,

most of my problems have been solved now, since we have killed the
simpad during christmas :-(

QUOTE(joni @ Dec 27 2005, 06:40 PM)
2. The three missing chips are 74LCX16245 (i think in a TSSOP package). But you use a further
chip the MIC2562A-1BM  PCMCIA PowerController. At least you need a PCMCIA connector which
match the given footprint (i think your sister will kill you when she has to solder a non matching 50
pin connector to the Simpad board).

Since we guessed, that only an IC, that controls the reset process might
be killed, I looked up some of the ICs on the mainboard. If I am remembering
correctly I have stumbled upon an chip, which was a controller for pcmcia,
so maybe, this chip is not missing. Since don't have access to the simpad
I cannot check this, but probably I will have to buy a new pad anyway and
in this case I will by a SL4.
But thanks for your help anyway.


P.S. We guessed the IC type right, thus the price is <3 euros per IC.
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