Setup ALIX and ebox

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Contents

HW Setup

Depending on the x86 platform of your choice some preparation work hast to be done before installation of Meteohub software can take place.

HW Setup of ALIX.1D

You need the following items to setup Meteohub hardware based on ALIX.1D board:

  • PC Engines ALIX.1D system board
  • PC Engines indoor metal case (black) for ALIX.1D / ALIX.1C (incl. screws and rubber feet)
  • suitable external power supply (rated 12V 1.2 A)
  • 4GB CF card
  • optional: Compex WLM54G WLAN miniPCI card (802.11 b/g support)
  • optional: WLAN antenna with 15 cm connector cable to miniPCI WLAN card

Alix1d-board.jpg

Having these items, installation of hardware components can be done in a few minutes. All you need is a screw driver.

  1. Unscrew the 4 screws that are at the back of system board's VGA and RS2321. Unscrew the 4 screws that are at the back of system board's VGA and RS232 connectors. These have to be removed temporarily to get the upper part of the case mounted in step 6.
  2. Mount system board on the lower part of the case and fix it with 4 small silver screws.
  3. Put CF card into corresponding on-board slot (see picture).
  4. optional: Put minPCI WLAN adapter into corresponding miniPCI slot. MiniPCI cards are mounted in three steps:
    • lift non-connecting side a bit
    • push connector side into the slot while also pressing down the non-connecting side
    • when you hear "click" it is fixed (see picture for final state).
  5. optional: Mount WLAN connector into the corresponding hole of the case. Connect the end of the cable with "MAIN" labeled connector on WLAN adapter (see picture). The connector is tiny, make sure it is positioned correctly, then press to make it snap in.
  6. Screw the 4 screws from step 1 into VGA and RS232 connector again. The screws will support stability and allow to fix VGA and RS232 cables with dump screws that fit into the heads of the screws used here.#. Mount upper part of the case, screw this by 4 black screws, put 4 rubber feet below the case.

When booting ALIX.1D without having a monitor connected (or with having an old monitor connected that does not report monitor type on pin 12 correctly) boot procedure will halt at messages "savedefault" (see picture). To avoid this, pins 12 and 5 on VGA connector of ALIX.1D have to be connected. This can easily done by cutting and folding a 18 mm long piece from a paper clip and folding it into u-shape with 5 mm long legs on the ends and a 8 mm long part in-between. Don't forget to remove the bridge before trying to connect a monitor to ALIX.1D. After having done successful boot, the paper clip bridge can be plugged of or an old monitor that does not work for booting can be reconnected, if needed.

caption
Vga-pins.png

Vga-bridge.jpg











HW Setup of ALIX.3D2

You need the following items to setup Meteohub hardware based on ALIX.3D2 board:

  • PC Engines ALIX.3D2 system board
  • PC Engines indoor metal case (silver) for ALIX.3 (incl. cover plate for the back, 4 screws, 4 transparent
  • rubber feet, rubber parts to close unused WLAN mounting holes)
  • front cover plate with cut-offs for 2 USB ports
  • suitable external power supply (rated 18V 0.8 A)
  • 4GB CF card
  • optional: Compex WLM54G WLAN miniPCI card (802.11 b/g support)
  • optional: WLAN antenna with 15 cm connector cable to miniPCI WLAN card

Having these items, installation of hardware components can be done in a few minutes. All you need is a screw driver and a tool to unscrew RS232 connector.

  1. Unscrew the 2 screws that are at the back of system board's RS232 connector. put the metal back plate onto the backend of the board and firmly connect backplate and system board with the screws just unscrewed from RS232 connector.
  2. Put CF card into corresponding on-board slot. CF cars must already hold Meteohub software.
  3. optional: Put minPCI WLAN adapter into corresponding miniPCI slot on the board's upper side. MiniPCI cards are mounted in three steps: a) lift non-connecting side a bit b) push connector side into the slot while also pressing down the non-connecting side c) when you hear "click" it is fixed.
  4. optional: Mount WLAN connector into the corresponding hole of the metal back plate. Connect the end of the cable with "MAIN" labeled connector on WLAN adapter (see picture). The connector is tiny, make sure it is positioned correctly, then press to make it snap in.
  5. Push system board into the metal case. Make use of the rails inside the case to get the board positioned correctly.
  6. mount the back plate to the case by 4 screws. Mount front cover plate with 4 screws. Pay attention that cut-off of font cover plate does match with USP ports on system board.
  7. Put transparent rubber feet under the case. Close unused holes on the back plate with appropriate rubber parts.

Alix3d2-board.jpg


HW Setup of ebox

For ebox the micro-switch inside the CF card slot has to be set to "Master", if present.


Setup of USB Stick

Meteohub installation makes use of a bootable USB stick (minimum capacity 512 MB) that transfers necessary data to CF card of your ebox or ALIX box. Download zipped USB stick image "meteohub-vxyz.zip" (or newer) from here and unzip the image with a tool of your choice. Result is "meteohub-vxyz.img". Next step is to bring the data to the USB stick.

Windows

On Windows you need to download and run a special tool to do the required low-level writing to the USB stick. The tool of choice is "ImageWriter" from SuSE (you find additional information about this tool here). Please download ImageWriter.exe to your Windows PC. It does not need to be installed it is just a small executable to run. Please insert the USB stick into your PC wait a few seconds and then start downloaded "ImageWriter.exe". Wait until a dialog like this pops up:

Imagewriter1.png

Please select the inserted USB stick from the target drop-down list. Then open the file browser by clicking "Select" button. "*.img" files are not displayed by default so first thing to do is to enter "*.*" as file name. Having done that you will see the file "meteohub-vxyz.img" on the list. Select and open this file. Dialog should now look like this:

Imagewriter3.png

Press "copy" and the image data will be written to USB stick. When operation has finished without error, you are done with this step. Please pull the USB stick from your Windows PC.

Linux

On Linux you use the "cat" command. Please insert the USB stick into your Linux box and check via "dmesg" what device the stick has been mapped to. In the following example it has been mapped to "/dev/sdj"

host:~# dmesg
...
[708634.148013] usb 2-8: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 9
[708634.566078] usb 2-8: New USB device found, idVendor=058f, idProduct=6387
[708634.566082] usb 2-8: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[708634.566084] usb 2-8: Product: Mass Storage Device
[708634.566086] usb 2-8: Manufacturer: JetFlash
[708634.566088] usb 2-8: SerialNumber: Q05E7OLZ
[708634.566409] scsi24 : usb-storage 2-8:1.0
[708635.613921] scsi 24:0:0:0: Direct-Access     JetFlash TS4GJF130        8.07 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[708635.614072] sd 24:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg9 type 0
[708635.617302] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] 7987200 512-byte logical blocks: (4.08 GB/3.80 GiB)
[708635.617910] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Write Protect is off
[708635.617913] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[708635.617915] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Assuming drive cache: write through
[708635.621534] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Assuming drive cache: write through
[708635.621538]  sdj: sdj1 
[708635.624279] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Assuming drive cache: write through
[708635.624281] sd 24:0:0:0: [sdj] Attached SCSI removable disk

We are just looking for "sdj" and are not interested in the partitions recognized on the stick (sdj1). The print out above tells that "/dev/sdj" is the target device. To make sure that the device ist not mounted by some background processes you should manually unmount all partitions by "umount". In the given example this will be

umount /dev/sdj1

When this throws errors about not mounted file systems that is fine. Don't worry. Now it is time to bring the Meteohub image onto the stick. In the example above this will be done by

cat meteohub-vxyz.img >/dev/sdj

Please be careful with that command. When you choose the wrong target (i.e. your system drive) this will be overwritten without further notice and you will have to restore your Linux box! When "cat" has completed without error, this step is finished and you can pull the USB stick from your Linux box.


3. Just for ALIX.3D2: If you have ALIX.3D2 you need to prepare the CF card with your PC and cannot use the USB stick based install explained in step 4. Mount USB stick to your PC. You will find a file called "meteohub-x86-4GB.gz" on the USB stick. Extract the file "image.bin" from this archive. Put the CF card into your PC's CF card reader. Use the tool DiskImage to copy the file "image.bin" onto the CF card (you have to copy it onto the "Physical Drive" of your CF card. Be careful not the write to your PC's hard drives. Having done that your CF card is ready to be mounted onto the ALIX.3D2 board. See appendix O, how to setup the hardware. 4. Start ebox, ALIX.1D or Fit-PC Slim with attached monitor and keyboard, with installed SSD (Fit-PC Slim) or CF card (ebox, ALIX.1D) and with USB stick (generated in step 2) plugged in. Hold the "Del-key pressed during start, to enter BIOS setup mode. ebox: Select "boot" tab and select sub menu "Boot Device Priority". Choose USB stick (displayed as "USB:") as "1st Boot Device". Press "F10" to save configuration and restart system. Appendix K, L, L2 provide some screen dumps. ALIX.1D: Select "Advanced BIOS Features" tab and choose "Removable" as "First Boot Device". Select "Hard Disk" as "Second Boot Device". Press "F10" to store this configuration and to restart. Appendix M gives some more details on BIOS settings. Fit-PC Slim: Select menu "Basic CMOS Configuration" and choose in the area "Drive Assignment Order" setting "Nand Flash" for "Drive C" and "Ide 0/Pri Master" for "Drive D". Goto "Boot Order" and select "Drive C" as "Boot 1st" device. Leave menu via "Esc" and reboot system by choosing "Write to CMOS and Exit". Appendix J provides some screen dumps. 5. System boots a Debian Linux from USB stick and starts Meteohub setup procedure for CF card or SSD. Data already stored on the media will be erased without further warming! 6. Installation process ends with asking you to remove USB stick and to restart the system once again. Please press "Del" key during boot to enter BIOS setup mode. ebox: Select "boot" tab and select sub menu "Boot Device Priority". Choose CF card (displayed as "HDD:"). Press "F10" to save configuration and restart system. ALIX.1D: Select "Advanced BIOS Features" tab and choose "Hard Disk" as "First Boot Device". Press "F10" to store this configuration and to restart. Don't forget to insert the paper clip bridge at the VGA connector when booting ALIX.1D without connected monitor later on (see appendix N for details) Fit-PC Slim: Select menu "Basic CMOS Configuration" and choose in the area "Drive Assignment Order" setting "Ide 0/Pri Master" for "Drive C" and "(none)" for "Drive D". Goto "Boot Order" and select "Drive C" as "Boot 1st" device. Leave menu via "Esc" and reboot system by choosing "Write to CMOS and Exit". 7. Meteohub is installed on x86 platform. After having finished boot the IP of the system is displayed. Further configuration can now be done by Meteohub's web interface at the given IP. Monitor and keyboard can be disconnected now.

Remark: Meteohub tries to receive an IP from the router via DHCP. If that fails, Meteohub switches to backup IP address 192.168.1.77. If you have monitor and keyboard connected to Meteohub system, you can login (user "root", password "meteohub") and give command "setip" to manually give Meteohub an IP that fits to your LAN. This IP gets immediately valid without need of a reboot.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2011, at 10:30. This page has been accessed 7,823 times.