Discussion:
Hardware needed for flashing a T530
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Yannik Catalinac
2018-11-25 19:05:26 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

which hardware do you guys recommend for flashing a Lenovo Thinpad T530?

As far as I know you need three things:
1. SPI programmer with USB connection and USB cable
2. SOIC8 clip
3. cables to connect the SPI programmer and the SOIC8 clip

I'm sure with number 2, so I already bought a Pomona 5250 clip.

For the SPI programmer I decided to use a CH341A, but when I search for it there are different CH341A. Which one should I buy?

Which cables do you recommend? I read that I should use short ones, but which cables exactly dou you recommend? A link to a german shop would be very, very helpful!

Thanks for helping
Greetings
Nico Huber
2018-11-25 21:55:56 UTC
Permalink
Hi Yannik,
Post by Yannik Catalinac
For the SPI programmer I decided to use a CH341A, but when I search for
it there are different CH341A. Which one should I buy?
It shouldn't matter as long as it says to be compatible to SPI 25
series. There were reports about bad batches of every kind (e.g.
wrong voltage regulator), FWIW. So there's always a risk. I would
pick one with a location in Europe (i.e. not China) so you don't
wait weeks and then realize you got a bad one. I have one with a
black board btw. that works fine.

As you asked for a German shop below, here[1] is a more expensive
alternative to the CH341A. 5x the cost, up to 15x the speed (and
can also work as a USB debugging device with coreboot; needs another
TTL level UART for the other end, though).
Post by Yannik Catalinac
Which cables do you recommend? I read that I should use short ones, but
which cables exactly dou you recommend? A link to a german shop would be
very, very helpful!
Reichelt has some rather expensive ones[2]. Work for me but I can't say
if they are any better than random ones from eBay. For the latter search
for `10cm dupont female-female` (Buchse-Buchse).

Hope that helps,
Nico

[1]
https://www.elv.de/elv-highspeed-mini-usb-modul-um-ft2232h-komplettbausatz.html
Also needs a Mini-B (not the popular Micro-B) USB cable in case you
don't have a spare one.
[2] https://www.reichelt.de/
Search for: steckboard lbb
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kinky_nekoboi
2018-11-25 22:35:34 UTC
Permalink
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Post by Nico Huber
Hi Yannik,
Post by Yannik Catalinac
For the SPI programmer I decided to use a CH341A, but when I search
for
Post by Yannik Catalinac
it there are different CH341A. Which one should I buy?
It shouldn't matter as long as it says to be compatible to SPI 25
series. There were reports about bad batches of every kind (e.g.
wrong voltage regulator), FWIW. So there's always a risk. I would
pick one with a location in Europe (i.e. not China) so you don't
wait weeks and then realize you got a bad one. I have one with a
black board btw. that works fine.
As you asked for a German shop below, here[1] is a more expensive
alternative to the CH341A. 5x the cost, up to 15x the speed (and
can also work as a USB debugging device with coreboot; needs another
TTL level UART for the other end, though).
Post by Yannik Catalinac
Which cables do you recommend? I read that I should use short ones,
but
Post by Yannik Catalinac
which cables exactly dou you recommend? A link to a german shop would
be
Post by Yannik Catalinac
very, very helpful!
Reichelt has some rather expensive ones[2]. Work for me but I can't say
if they are any better than random ones from eBay. For the latter search
for `10cm dupont female-female` (Buchse-Buchse).
Hope that helps,
Nico
[1]
https://www.elv.de/elv-highspeed-mini-usb-modul-um-ft2232h-komplettbausatz.html
Also needs a Mini-B (not the popular Micro-B) USB cable in case you
don't have a spare one.
[2] https://www.reichelt.de/
Search for: steckboard lbb
--
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
Mike Banon
2018-11-25 22:40:45 UTC
Permalink
Hi Nico, please could you confirm that FT2232H (link to which you have
provided) could work as a debug dongle? At "menuconfig" I only see
USBDEBUG_DONGLE_FTDI_FT232H but not FT2232H , don't know how similar
they are to each other
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Although there's a problem with
Raspi/Beaglebone/any-other-SBC(single.board.computer)-except-EOMA68 I
have to mention - they're running the non-free binary blobs, and
CH341A or Bus Pirate are better in this relation: CH341A - no firmware
at all, just a few config registers ; Bus Pirate - completely open
source firmware
On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 1:36 AM kinky_nekoboi
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Post by Nico Huber
Hi Yannik,
Post by Yannik Catalinac
For the SPI programmer I decided to use a CH341A, but when I search for
it there are different CH341A. Which one should I buy?
It shouldn't matter as long as it says to be compatible to SPI 25
series. There were reports about bad batches of every kind (e.g.
wrong voltage regulator), FWIW. So there's always a risk. I would
pick one with a location in Europe (i.e. not China) so you don't
wait weeks and then realize you got a bad one. I have one with a
black board btw. that works fine.
As you asked for a German shop below, here[1] is a more expensive
alternative to the CH341A. 5x the cost, up to 15x the speed (and
can also work as a USB debugging device with coreboot; needs another
TTL level UART for the other end, though).
Post by Yannik Catalinac
Which cables do you recommend? I read that I should use short ones, but
which cables exactly dou you recommend? A link to a german shop would be
very, very helpful!
Reichelt has some rather expensive ones[2]. Work for me but I can't say
if they are any better than random ones from eBay. For the latter search
for `10cm dupont female-female` (Buchse-Buchse).
Hope that helps,
Nico
[1]
https://www.elv.de/elv-highspeed-mini-usb-modul-um-ft2232h-komplettbausatz.html
Also needs a Mini-B (not the popular Micro-B) USB cable in case you
don't have a spare one.
[2] https://www.reichelt.de/
Search for: steckboard lbb
--
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
--
coreboot mailing list: ***@coreboot.org
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
Nico Huber
2018-11-25 22:56:08 UTC
Permalink
Hi Mike,
Post by Mike Banon
Hi Nico, please could you confirm that FT2232H (link to which you have
provided) could work as a debug dongle? At "menuconfig" I only see
USBDEBUG_DONGLE_FTDI_FT232H but not FT2232H , don't know how similar
they are to each other
yes, it works. FT4232H should work too btw. The FT232H just implements
a single port, the FT4232H four ports. But they should be compatible
otherwise (at least I didn't see any distinction for them when looking
at libftdi to write the debug support).

Nico
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Peter Stuge
2018-11-25 23:29:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Banon
there's a problem with
Raspi/Beaglebone/any-other-SBC(single.board.computer)-except-EOMA68 I
have to mention - they're running the non-free binary blobs
You can't possibly be equating Broadcom to TI in terms of openness?

What's your experience with the actual products of those companies?

Have you looked at spruh73?

Put another way: What are your blob concerns (this is such a
ridiculously simplified discussion) with AM335x?


//Peter
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Nico Huber
2018-11-25 23:34:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Banon
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Although there's a problem with
Raspi/Beaglebone/any-other-SBC(single.board.computer)-except-EOMA68 I
have to mention - they're running the non-free binary blobs, and
CH341A or Bus Pirate are better in this relation: CH341A - no firmware
at all
Did you check that with an STM or how can you tell?

Nico
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Mike Banon
2018-11-26 00:16:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nico Huber
Did you check that with an STM or how can you tell?
CH341A is made by Jiangsu QinHeng Ltd., and there's a datasheet -
http://www.anok.ceti.pl/download/ch341ds1.pdf - according to which
this CH341A has just a few config registers, no internal memory for
any firmware - and these CH341A based programmers don't have any extra
memory chips on board, that means "the evil firmware" has nowhere to
hide
Post by Nico Huber
You can't possibly be equating Broadcom to TI in terms of openness?
Indeed TI is more open than Broadcom, but still not completely open. I
don't know any single board computer that has been endorsed by Free
Software Foundation, that means any of the existing SBCs require the
non-free blobs to function. Maybe EOMA68 could become the first.
Post by Nico Huber
Post by Mike Banon
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Although there's a problem with
Raspi/Beaglebone/any-other-SBC(single.board.computer)-except-EOMA68 I
have to mention - they're running the non-free binary blobs, and
CH341A or Bus Pirate are better in this relation: CH341A - no firmware
at all
Did you check that with an STM or how can you tell?
Nico
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Peter Stuge
2018-11-26 00:51:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Banon
CH341A is made by Jiangsu QinHeng Ltd., and there's a datasheet -
http://www.anok.ceti.pl/download/ch341ds1.pdf - according to which
this CH341A has just a few config registers, no internal memory for
any firmware
It's a USB device; if you look at the USB protocol you'll quickly
realise that it's quite likely that every single USB device runs
firmware - you just never see it with some devices.
Post by Mike Banon
Post by Peter Stuge
You can't possibly be equating Broadcom to TI in terms of openness?
Indeed TI is more open than Broadcom, but still not completely open.
Please be (much!!) more specific about how AM335x is "not completely open".

You didn't answer whether you have looked at spruh73.
Post by Mike Banon
I don't know any single board computer that has been endorsed by Free
Software Foundation,
Is that your primary metric, or do you rather try to find facts yourself?


//Peter
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Mike Banon
2018-11-26 12:47:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stuge
It's a USB device
I thought that USB could be hardwired, at least USB 2.0, because e.g.
for my laptop I only need XHCI blob if I want USB 3.0 to work,
otherwise all the ports are USB 2.0 but no blobs are needed for them
to work.
Post by Peter Stuge
Please be (much!!) more specific about how AM335x is "not completely open".
Beaglebone's AM335x includes PowerVR GPU which is not functional
without nonfree blobs. But maybe it's not a problem if you'd be
running it in a headless mode.
Post by Peter Stuge
You didn't answer whether you have looked at spruh73.
If I understood it correctly that spruh73 is a codename for AM335x
then it's the same situation described above (nonfree blob required
for PowerVR GPU)

Best regards,
Mike Banon
Post by Peter Stuge
Post by Mike Banon
CH341A is made by Jiangsu QinHeng Ltd., and there's a datasheet -
http://www.anok.ceti.pl/download/ch341ds1.pdf - according to which
this CH341A has just a few config registers, no internal memory for
any firmware
It's a USB device; if you look at the USB protocol you'll quickly
realise that it's quite likely that every single USB device runs
firmware - you just never see it with some devices.
Post by Mike Banon
Post by Peter Stuge
You can't possibly be equating Broadcom to TI in terms of openness?
Indeed TI is more open than Broadcom, but still not completely open.
Please be (much!!) more specific about how AM335x is "not completely open".
You didn't answer whether you have looked at spruh73.
Post by Mike Banon
I don't know any single board computer that has been endorsed by Free
Software Foundation,
Is that your primary metric, or do you rather try to find facts yourself?
//Peter
--
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
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Yannik Catalinac
2018-11-25 22:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for your answers!

Because I had an 10€ ebay coupon, I decided to buy a CH341A and a 10cm dupont female-female cable for just 0,74€ ;)

Do you know how to check if the CH341A works correctly (like the correct voltage etc.)?


Am So. 25. November 2018 23:40 CET, Mike Banon <***@gmail.com> schrieb:
 Hi Nico, please could you confirm that FT2232H (link to which you have
provided) could work as a debug dongle? At "menuconfig" I only see
USBDEBUG_DONGLE_FTDI_FT232H but not FT2232H , don't know how similar
they are to each other
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Although there's a problem with
Raspi/Beaglebone/any-other-SBC(single.board.computer)-except-EOMA68 I
have to mention - they're running the non-free binary blobs, and
CH341A or Bus Pirate are better in this relation: CH341A - no firmware
at all, just a few config registers ; Bus Pirate - completely open
source firmware
On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 1:36 AM kinky_nekoboi
If u have an Raspi or Beaglebone laying around , they are also suitable for flashing
Post by Nico Huber
Hi Yannik,
Post by Yannik Catalinac
For the SPI programmer I decided to use a CH341A, but when I search for
it there are different CH341A. Which one should I buy?
It shouldn't matter as long as it says to be compatible to SPI 25
series. There were reports about bad batches of every kind (e.g.
wrong voltage regulator), FWIW. So there's always a risk. I would
pick one with a location in Europe (i.e. not China) so you don't
wait weeks and then realize you got a bad one. I have one with a
black board btw. that works fine.
As you asked for a German shop below, here[1] is a more expensive
alternative to the CH341A. 5x the cost, up to 15x the speed (and
can also work as a USB debugging device with coreboot; needs another
TTL level UART for the other end, though).
Post by Yannik Catalinac
Which cables do you recommend? I read that I should use short ones, but
which cables exactly dou you recommend? A link to a german shop would be
very, very helpful!
Reichelt has some rather expensive ones[2]. Work for me but I can't say
if they are any better than random ones from eBay. For the latter search
for `10cm dupont female-female` (Buchse-Buchse).
Hope that helps,
Nico
[1]
https://www.elv.de/elv-highspeed-mini-usb-modul-um-ft2232h-komplettbausatz.html
Also needs a Mini-B (not the popular Micro-B) USB cable in case you
don't have a spare one.
[2] https://www.reichelt.de/
Search for: steckboard lbb
--
https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot
 
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