eBox 3350MX Compact PC Teardown & Review

Based on DMP's Vortex processor / SoC this board is a full computer capable of running a standard Windows and Linux installation on the backpack of your robot.
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86 postsPage 4 of 61, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Post by LoneRifle » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:40 pm

Post by LoneRifle
Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:40 pm

roboard wrote:
yogev_ezra wrote:...
Vortex86MX = (Vortex86DX) + (built-in GPU) + (HD Audio) - (ISA support).
...


Let us give more precise information here:

Vortex86MX = (improved Vortex86 CPU core, not same as Vortex86DX, with new architecture features such as branch prediction and cache-access optimization) + (built-in GPU) + (HD Audio) + (Vortex86DX ver.D South Bridge) - (ISA Bus) - (COM2) - (COM9 & fault-tolerant redundancy control)

Vortex86MX+ = (Vortex86MX) + (32-bit memory controller) + (improved built-in UMA GPU)

:)


There is also a new CPU under development, which will appear in 2012:

??? = (Vortex86MX+) + (COM5~COM9 with max 6Mbps) + (PCI-E) + (SATA) + (CNC motion & motor control support) + (ISA Bus) - (PCI)


Hi,

LoneRifle here, I'm the person who did the first Edubook benchmarks; you have referenced one of my photos on this thread. I have been keeping an eye on developments on the Vortex86MX line, and find eerie parallels in their roadmap with that of another company, RDC Semiconductor. Now, I know they both share IP (intellectual property) for the GPU core, but I'm keen to know whether they actually collaborate on a larger scale, and hence whether it's worth my time actually collecting processors from both companies. Can roboard or Pedro offer some insight?

Also, do you have any word on an eBox the size of the 3350MX but powered by the Vortex86MX+? Thanks! My last purchase involved dealing with dubious distributors from China, so I will strongly consider making a purchase from this site if I want to play with DMP items again..
roboard wrote:
yogev_ezra wrote:...
Vortex86MX = (Vortex86DX) + (built-in GPU) + (HD Audio) - (ISA support).
...


Let us give more precise information here:

Vortex86MX = (improved Vortex86 CPU core, not same as Vortex86DX, with new architecture features such as branch prediction and cache-access optimization) + (built-in GPU) + (HD Audio) + (Vortex86DX ver.D South Bridge) - (ISA Bus) - (COM2) - (COM9 & fault-tolerant redundancy control)

Vortex86MX+ = (Vortex86MX) + (32-bit memory controller) + (improved built-in UMA GPU)

:)


There is also a new CPU under development, which will appear in 2012:

??? = (Vortex86MX+) + (COM5~COM9 with max 6Mbps) + (PCI-E) + (SATA) + (CNC motion & motor control support) + (ISA Bus) - (PCI)


Hi,

LoneRifle here, I'm the person who did the first Edubook benchmarks; you have referenced one of my photos on this thread. I have been keeping an eye on developments on the Vortex86MX line, and find eerie parallels in their roadmap with that of another company, RDC Semiconductor. Now, I know they both share IP (intellectual property) for the GPU core, but I'm keen to know whether they actually collaborate on a larger scale, and hence whether it's worth my time actually collecting processors from both companies. Can roboard or Pedro offer some insight?

Also, do you have any word on an eBox the size of the 3350MX but powered by the Vortex86MX+? Thanks! My last purchase involved dealing with dubious distributors from China, so I will strongly consider making a purchase from this site if I want to play with DMP items again..
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Post by PedroR » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Post by PedroR
Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Hi Lonerifle

To answer your questions I can only discuss what we were told is DMP's official policy and what we know are their confirmed plans:

Firstly it is important to understand that DMP has severa, dvisions and brands:

- eBox division for thin clients and small PCs.

- ICOP for embedded solutions (ie baseboards with the core logic and you develop your own application around them)

- Roboard was a more recent addition I believe (~3 years ago) which offers small form factor solutions that break out all the low level features of the processor (ie PWM, SPI, I2C an ADC, etc.)
This is ideal for Robtics and other embedded applications that need to bridge the gap between x86 processing power and low level electronics/hardware.

All the companies share the same processors and are all DMP and I believe the development team, is the same for all product lines so they know all their products very well.


1)
We have asked a few times about an eBox 3350MX with a Vortex86MX+
The answer we got from eBox was very clear: there are no plans to release an eBox with the form factor of the 3350MX, using a Vortex86MX+ processor.
This was explained as their marketing strategy (and it makes sense if you have a look at the eBox product catalogue and the offers of all sister companies).

2)
With regards to "eerie parallels" this is the first time I hear about this company.
We have seen components from RDC in DMP products (for example when they introduced SD card emulating an IDE HDD, the driver was from RDC)

I know the VGA and HD Audio silicon are now on chip but I don't have an idea of where these have come from although it looks like they source the design externally.

3)
With regards to Roboard, they fell a bit behind in terms of processor models.
They still offer the unique combination of low level electronics including PWM, SPI, I2C, ADC, etc with x86 processing in a compact form factor which is very unique and has its own place in the market.

We have information that an additional/new version is being discussed and plan to use the new branch of Vortex86 processors (mentioned in your quote, that should in mid 2012).

This is all preliminary information and as far as we know there are no prototypes so it means the information above can change.

The Vortex86MX+ does not seem to be superseded by this new processor; instead it seems there are two Vortex86 lines planned: the existing Vortex86MX+ for consumer/end user and the new processor for industrial a more specific apps.

4)
Finally with regards to ICOP we know little about this company as its beyond the reach of our market; it does however seem to serve as base for some eBox models (refer to the post - on this same forum - about the teardown of the 3310X-H)

This is really the information we can offer from our end (RoboSavvy) as distributors.

With regards to the issues you had dealing with Chinese manufacturers, fortunately we've always had excellent service provided directly by DMP.
DMP is a Taiwanese company and they have always had very good conduct with us.
We source both Roboard and eBox directly from DMP and keep items in stock in our UK warehouse to ship worldwide (in the case of the 3350MX "worldwide" has a renowned meaning as we've had customers not only from EU and US - our usual customers - but also from Australia and other neighbour countries)

We're also happy with the fact that the "roboard" enginneers and the Dev team offers support and posts information on our forum as it contributes to keep it very live and interesting and they always offer very eprtinent insight when someone bumps into any issue.

In terms of price/performance, the new 3310MX line from eBox offers unrivaled price/performance ratio; from the benchmarks we've seen, the MX+ almost equivalent to a FitPC2 Lite at a fraction of the cost.
The main difference is the absence of SSE and the lower FPU performance (Atom pulverises its competition - AMD, Via, DMP - on this area).

I hope the above answers your questions.

As usual, if you wish to purchase any eBox or DMP model that is not in our store, email us to sales@robosavvy.com and we'll send you a quote and get it for you. We're able to get any eBox or DMP model or part that customers need.

Regards
Pedro.

PS: thank you for your benchmarks and posts on your website; I found that chart on your website among a large quantity of very interesting and useful information when we initially released this new platform (MX line). Kepp up the good work :)
Hi Lonerifle

To answer your questions I can only discuss what we were told is DMP's official policy and what we know are their confirmed plans:

Firstly it is important to understand that DMP has severa, dvisions and brands:

- eBox division for thin clients and small PCs.

- ICOP for embedded solutions (ie baseboards with the core logic and you develop your own application around them)

- Roboard was a more recent addition I believe (~3 years ago) which offers small form factor solutions that break out all the low level features of the processor (ie PWM, SPI, I2C an ADC, etc.)
This is ideal for Robtics and other embedded applications that need to bridge the gap between x86 processing power and low level electronics/hardware.

All the companies share the same processors and are all DMP and I believe the development team, is the same for all product lines so they know all their products very well.


1)
We have asked a few times about an eBox 3350MX with a Vortex86MX+
The answer we got from eBox was very clear: there are no plans to release an eBox with the form factor of the 3350MX, using a Vortex86MX+ processor.
This was explained as their marketing strategy (and it makes sense if you have a look at the eBox product catalogue and the offers of all sister companies).

2)
With regards to "eerie parallels" this is the first time I hear about this company.
We have seen components from RDC in DMP products (for example when they introduced SD card emulating an IDE HDD, the driver was from RDC)

I know the VGA and HD Audio silicon are now on chip but I don't have an idea of where these have come from although it looks like they source the design externally.

3)
With regards to Roboard, they fell a bit behind in terms of processor models.
They still offer the unique combination of low level electronics including PWM, SPI, I2C, ADC, etc with x86 processing in a compact form factor which is very unique and has its own place in the market.

We have information that an additional/new version is being discussed and plan to use the new branch of Vortex86 processors (mentioned in your quote, that should in mid 2012).

This is all preliminary information and as far as we know there are no prototypes so it means the information above can change.

The Vortex86MX+ does not seem to be superseded by this new processor; instead it seems there are two Vortex86 lines planned: the existing Vortex86MX+ for consumer/end user and the new processor for industrial a more specific apps.

4)
Finally with regards to ICOP we know little about this company as its beyond the reach of our market; it does however seem to serve as base for some eBox models (refer to the post - on this same forum - about the teardown of the 3310X-H)

This is really the information we can offer from our end (RoboSavvy) as distributors.

With regards to the issues you had dealing with Chinese manufacturers, fortunately we've always had excellent service provided directly by DMP.
DMP is a Taiwanese company and they have always had very good conduct with us.
We source both Roboard and eBox directly from DMP and keep items in stock in our UK warehouse to ship worldwide (in the case of the 3350MX "worldwide" has a renowned meaning as we've had customers not only from EU and US - our usual customers - but also from Australia and other neighbour countries)

We're also happy with the fact that the "roboard" enginneers and the Dev team offers support and posts information on our forum as it contributes to keep it very live and interesting and they always offer very eprtinent insight when someone bumps into any issue.

In terms of price/performance, the new 3310MX line from eBox offers unrivaled price/performance ratio; from the benchmarks we've seen, the MX+ almost equivalent to a FitPC2 Lite at a fraction of the cost.
The main difference is the absence of SSE and the lower FPU performance (Atom pulverises its competition - AMD, Via, DMP - on this area).

I hope the above answers your questions.

As usual, if you wish to purchase any eBox or DMP model that is not in our store, email us to sales@robosavvy.com and we'll send you a quote and get it for you. We're able to get any eBox or DMP model or part that customers need.

Regards
Pedro.

PS: thank you for your benchmarks and posts on your website; I found that chart on your website among a large quantity of very interesting and useful information when we initially released this new platform (MX line). Kepp up the good work :)
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Post by LoneRifle » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:19 pm

Post by LoneRifle
Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:19 pm

Thanks for your reply! I need to clarify what I last wrote:

My last purchase involved dealing with dubious distributors from China


What I meant to say is my last purchase of DMP products (ie, that Edubook) involved having to liaise with a distributor in Shenzhen. As you could imagine communications can be a challenge sometimes, and I had to do a bank transfer to secure my sample as they don't take payment through the usual e-commerce channels.

It's good to know that I no longer have to buy from them as I can now buy from you instead! Fewer comms issues, and certainly cheaper as I don't have to pay bank transfer fees =)

With regard to 2), I arrived at the conclusion of RDC providing DMP the video core when I used SiSoft Sandra to poll for hardware info. RDC itself has also alluded to their working relationship with DMP; this was when yogev_ezra requested an NDA datasheet so that the KolibriOS developers could implement a VGA driver for the Vortex86MX.
Thanks for your reply! I need to clarify what I last wrote:

My last purchase involved dealing with dubious distributors from China


What I meant to say is my last purchase of DMP products (ie, that Edubook) involved having to liaise with a distributor in Shenzhen. As you could imagine communications can be a challenge sometimes, and I had to do a bank transfer to secure my sample as they don't take payment through the usual e-commerce channels.

It's good to know that I no longer have to buy from them as I can now buy from you instead! Fewer comms issues, and certainly cheaper as I don't have to pay bank transfer fees =)

With regard to 2), I arrived at the conclusion of RDC providing DMP the video core when I used SiSoft Sandra to poll for hardware info. RDC itself has also alluded to their working relationship with DMP; this was when yogev_ezra requested an NDA datasheet so that the KolibriOS developers could implement a VGA driver for the Vortex86MX.
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Post by ozfiddler » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:53 am

Post by ozfiddler
Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:53 am

siempre.aprendiendo wrote:Searching an easy way to power it I have find these external batteries:

"DealExtreme"

- Capacity: 4000mAh
- Input: 5V/1A
- Output: 5V/2A
- Comes with USB cable & USB male to female adapter cable
- Item: 4000mAh Rechargeable External Battery with USB Cable - White
- Dimensions: 4.29 in x 2.32 in x 0.67 in (10.9 cm x 5.9 cm x 1.7 cm)
- Weight: 3.99 oz (113 g)


I've now received this battery and it seems to work fine with the eBox. It has 4 leds on top that show the battery level and on on/off button on the side. There's enough power for the internet dongle and a webcam, so with remote access I now have a portable system. I think I might buy a second one!

Image
siempre.aprendiendo wrote:Searching an easy way to power it I have find these external batteries:

"DealExtreme"

- Capacity: 4000mAh
- Input: 5V/1A
- Output: 5V/2A
- Comes with USB cable & USB male to female adapter cable
- Item: 4000mAh Rechargeable External Battery with USB Cable - White
- Dimensions: 4.29 in x 2.32 in x 0.67 in (10.9 cm x 5.9 cm x 1.7 cm)
- Weight: 3.99 oz (113 g)


I've now received this battery and it seems to work fine with the eBox. It has 4 leds on top that show the battery level and on on/off button on the side. There's enough power for the internet dongle and a webcam, so with remote access I now have a portable system. I think I might buy a second one!

Image
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Post by siempre.aprendiendo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:17 am

Post by siempre.aprendiendo
Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:17 am

:D Great, thanks, ozfiddler!
:D Great, thanks, ozfiddler!
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Post by PedroR » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:20 pm

Post by PedroR
Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:20 pm

Thanks for the update ozzfiddler!

We'd be really interesting to know how it holds up if you connect multiple devices to the USB ports (ie increase power usage).

We'd also like to know how it holds up in terms of battery time.

- If my calculations are correct, at maximum rating (2A), a 4000mAh battery should hold for 2 hours.

- In real world scenarios the eBox is not using a full 2A - we run it off a 1A USB adapter - so I'd trust the battery pack would last for longer, up to 4 hours or more if the peripherals connected are few and draw little power (FYI a usb peripheral can draw a maximum of 500mAh and the eBox itself consumes slightly under 500mAh as well)...

Have you had a chance to work with it for a while and get an idea on real world usage?

Thanks
Pedro.
Thanks for the update ozzfiddler!

We'd be really interesting to know how it holds up if you connect multiple devices to the USB ports (ie increase power usage).

We'd also like to know how it holds up in terms of battery time.

- If my calculations are correct, at maximum rating (2A), a 4000mAh battery should hold for 2 hours.

- In real world scenarios the eBox is not using a full 2A - we run it off a 1A USB adapter - so I'd trust the battery pack would last for longer, up to 4 hours or more if the peripherals connected are few and draw little power (FYI a usb peripheral can draw a maximum of 500mAh and the eBox itself consumes slightly under 500mAh as well)...

Have you had a chance to work with it for a while and get an idea on real world usage?

Thanks
Pedro.
Last edited by PedroR on Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by tankslappa » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:28 pm

Post by tankslappa
Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:28 pm

I would have thought you'd get far more than 2 hours. I can run a 3350 straight from my USB port on my PC, so <500mA! I don't have anything connected to the USB ports of the 3350 though, so that keeps the consumption down. If I'm going to use the USB keyboard and a USB stick I use the 1A USB adapter which I use to charge my phone.

I keep meaning to put a meter on it, but I don't have a spare mini-USB cable I want to chop up.

Re the deal-extreme battery, that's a good find. I'd be interested to see if it really is 4000mAh. Last battery device I bought from the Chinese was very "optimistic" with it's battery capacity claims. Even more optimistic when I took it apart and found the battery inside was labelled to <75% of the capacity they were quoting!
I would have thought you'd get far more than 2 hours. I can run a 3350 straight from my USB port on my PC, so <500mA! I don't have anything connected to the USB ports of the 3350 though, so that keeps the consumption down. If I'm going to use the USB keyboard and a USB stick I use the 1A USB adapter which I use to charge my phone.

I keep meaning to put a meter on it, but I don't have a spare mini-USB cable I want to chop up.

Re the deal-extreme battery, that's a good find. I'd be interested to see if it really is 4000mAh. Last battery device I bought from the Chinese was very "optimistic" with it's battery capacity claims. Even more optimistic when I took it apart and found the battery inside was labelled to <75% of the capacity they were quoting!
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Post by siempre.aprendiendo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:53 pm

Post by siempre.aprendiendo
Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:53 pm

Well, there is still a great difference ...

Primo Power Core 99.95$ + ~40$ s&h
Primo Power Core Specifcations

Model Number: PRIMO-CORE-SP
Battery Capacity: 8200 mAh
Power Output: DC 5V@2.1A, 12V@2A
Power Input: DC 9V@1A
AC Adapter: 100v to 240v AC Adapter. USA, UK and EU outlet types available.
Dimensions: L 130mm x W 75mm x 18mm
Weight: 233 g / 8.2 oz



"DealExtreme" 28$ + 0$ s&h

- Capacity: 4000mAh
- Input: 5V/1A
- Output: 5V/2A
- Comes with USB cable & USB male to female adapter cable
- Item: 4000mAh Rechargeable External Battery with USB Cable - White
- Dimensions: 4.29 in x 2.32 in x 0.67 in (10.9 cm x 5.9 cm x 1.7 cm)
- Weight: 3.99 oz (113 g)
Well, there is still a great difference ...

Primo Power Core 99.95$ + ~40$ s&h
Primo Power Core Specifcations

Model Number: PRIMO-CORE-SP
Battery Capacity: 8200 mAh
Power Output: DC 5V@2.1A, 12V@2A
Power Input: DC 9V@1A
AC Adapter: 100v to 240v AC Adapter. USA, UK and EU outlet types available.
Dimensions: L 130mm x W 75mm x 18mm
Weight: 233 g / 8.2 oz



"DealExtreme" 28$ + 0$ s&h

- Capacity: 4000mAh
- Input: 5V/1A
- Output: 5V/2A
- Comes with USB cable & USB male to female adapter cable
- Item: 4000mAh Rechargeable External Battery with USB Cable - White
- Dimensions: 4.29 in x 2.32 in x 0.67 in (10.9 cm x 5.9 cm x 1.7 cm)
- Weight: 3.99 oz (113 g)
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Post by Franxoois » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:23 am

Post by Franxoois
Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:23 am

Hi,

I would like to order a EBOX-3350MX-AP but it isn't in stock before 3 weeks. This is the version without power button, to be sure it's always on.

The EBOX-3350MX with power button is in stock. It may be a stupid question but is there options in the EBOX-3350MX' BIOS to act like the -AP versions ? Some option like "power on an RT return" or things like that ?
Hi,

I would like to order a EBOX-3350MX-AP but it isn't in stock before 3 weeks. This is the version without power button, to be sure it's always on.

The EBOX-3350MX with power button is in stock. It may be a stupid question but is there options in the EBOX-3350MX' BIOS to act like the -AP versions ? Some option like "power on an RT return" or things like that ?
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Post by PedroR » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:30 am

Post by PedroR
Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:30 am

Hi Franxoois

I was just about to write a post about the availability of the 3350MX-AP from our store.

The new model can now be ordered through this page http://robosavvy.com/store/product_info ... ts_id/1839


In terms of converting a 3350MX into a 3350MX-AP we don't have any technical information about this at the moment.
Maybe user "roboard" will be able to shed some light on this.

We know for sure this is not an option in the BIOS as there are phisycal hardware difference between the two models: the eBox 3350MX-AP has NO power button for example.

We're finalizing an order with eBox today and we exect to have the AP units in stock in 2-3 weeks time (depending on how long customs will take to release the batch).

We'll also be bringing in a new model of the 3310MX line (the 3310MX with 3x RS232, SATA and no soft power on button, ie something like an AP version of the 3310MX-H plus 3x RS232 ports).

Regards
Pedro.
Hi Franxoois

I was just about to write a post about the availability of the 3350MX-AP from our store.

The new model can now be ordered through this page http://robosavvy.com/store/product_info ... ts_id/1839


In terms of converting a 3350MX into a 3350MX-AP we don't have any technical information about this at the moment.
Maybe user "roboard" will be able to shed some light on this.

We know for sure this is not an option in the BIOS as there are phisycal hardware difference between the two models: the eBox 3350MX-AP has NO power button for example.

We're finalizing an order with eBox today and we exect to have the AP units in stock in 2-3 weeks time (depending on how long customs will take to release the batch).

We'll also be bringing in a new model of the 3310MX line (the 3310MX with 3x RS232, SATA and no soft power on button, ie something like an AP version of the 3310MX-H plus 3x RS232 ports).

Regards
Pedro.
Last edited by PedroR on Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Franxoois » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:01 pm

Post by Franxoois
Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:01 pm

Actually I ordered an 3350MX-AP friday and I saw only today the 3 weeks delay in the order information's page. I missunderstood the "Limited stock" status.

I really need the always on and cheap version. I will wait 3 weeks if I have to.
Actually I ordered an 3350MX-AP friday and I saw only today the 3 weeks delay in the order information's page. I missunderstood the "Limited stock" status.

I really need the always on and cheap version. I will wait 3 weeks if I have to.
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Post by bmc » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:28 am

Post by bmc
Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:28 am

Hi,

I got my ebox working and thought I'd share some of my findings and would also like to ask some further questions I have.

I experienced another power related gotcha during installation. I was installing Ubuntu 10.04 from a usb pendrive and was getting an error when booting from it: "(initramfs) unable to find a medium containing a live file system." I thought I was using a 2.5A power supply but I wasn't, it was only 1A and so my keyboard and mouse in addition to the pendrive were drawing too much current. Removing one of the peripherals or using a powered hub then fixed this prob.

I followed your guidelines for partitioning the SD card, I was also able to use ext4 and my system works well, but is this advisable? I read on your 3310 teardown something hinting at ext2 or ext3 with certain flags disabled being recommended but wasn't sure what that was referring to.

I installed the DMP kernel that was recommended. Doing so gave me Ethernet but now on boot I get the message: cpu vendor_id "vortex86 soc" unknown using generic init. The ebox boots fine, I was just interested to know whether that was normal. I also have the bios revision A63, is that newer than the A61 you recommend? I can power off the ebox using the power button but I have to hold it down for around 5 seconds.

I bought a Sandisk Extreme 30MB/s SD card for use as the ebox HDD, the performance seems pretty good except for video. I have read that the vortex chip in the 3350 doesn't deal with video well, but I was wondering if there was any level of video it can support at all? I just tried viewing youtube videos, and playing .avi files with no luck, but is it possible to display some reduced quality video format maybe? If not, is there any other way to improve video playback on the ebox (usb video card?). If not, can the 3310 handle video playback of any quality?

Finally, sound. I didn't check this before installing the DMP kernel but it doesn't appear to be working with it installed. I can't playback anything and when I go to System->Preferences->Sound I get a dialog box saying "Waiting for sound system to respond". Did I miss a step here?
Hi,

I got my ebox working and thought I'd share some of my findings and would also like to ask some further questions I have.

I experienced another power related gotcha during installation. I was installing Ubuntu 10.04 from a usb pendrive and was getting an error when booting from it: "(initramfs) unable to find a medium containing a live file system." I thought I was using a 2.5A power supply but I wasn't, it was only 1A and so my keyboard and mouse in addition to the pendrive were drawing too much current. Removing one of the peripherals or using a powered hub then fixed this prob.

I followed your guidelines for partitioning the SD card, I was also able to use ext4 and my system works well, but is this advisable? I read on your 3310 teardown something hinting at ext2 or ext3 with certain flags disabled being recommended but wasn't sure what that was referring to.

I installed the DMP kernel that was recommended. Doing so gave me Ethernet but now on boot I get the message: cpu vendor_id "vortex86 soc" unknown using generic init. The ebox boots fine, I was just interested to know whether that was normal. I also have the bios revision A63, is that newer than the A61 you recommend? I can power off the ebox using the power button but I have to hold it down for around 5 seconds.

I bought a Sandisk Extreme 30MB/s SD card for use as the ebox HDD, the performance seems pretty good except for video. I have read that the vortex chip in the 3350 doesn't deal with video well, but I was wondering if there was any level of video it can support at all? I just tried viewing youtube videos, and playing .avi files with no luck, but is it possible to display some reduced quality video format maybe? If not, is there any other way to improve video playback on the ebox (usb video card?). If not, can the 3310 handle video playback of any quality?

Finally, sound. I didn't check this before installing the DMP kernel but it doesn't appear to be working with it installed. I can't playback anything and when I go to System->Preferences->Sound I get a dialog box saying "Waiting for sound system to respond". Did I miss a step here?
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Post by ozfiddler » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:20 pm

Post by ozfiddler
Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:20 pm

PedroR wrote:We'd be really interesting to know how it holds up if you connect multiple devices to the USB ports (ie increase power usage).

We'd also like to know how it holds up in terms of battery time.

Thanks
Pedro.


Hi Pedro,

I haven't had time to be able to give you any definite idea yet. I've been battling with trying to work out OpenCV - managed to get an early version (OpenCV1) working on the eBox and will do another post about that.

Re the battery: I used it once till it died and I think I got around 2 hours use out of it. I was just running a webcam and a wireless USB stick. The lights on the top are quite useful to give an idea of how the power is going. It stays on 4 lights for 20 minutes or so, then a longish time on 3 lights, then things go downhill faster once it gets to 2. I have ordered a second battery and so it will just be a matter of shutting down and swapping batteries once it gets to the 2 lights.

It does provide more amps than the power adapter I was using originally. The external DVD I was having trouble with initially runs fine off the battery. I think for the price it's a very reasonable option.
PedroR wrote:We'd be really interesting to know how it holds up if you connect multiple devices to the USB ports (ie increase power usage).

We'd also like to know how it holds up in terms of battery time.

Thanks
Pedro.


Hi Pedro,

I haven't had time to be able to give you any definite idea yet. I've been battling with trying to work out OpenCV - managed to get an early version (OpenCV1) working on the eBox and will do another post about that.

Re the battery: I used it once till it died and I think I got around 2 hours use out of it. I was just running a webcam and a wireless USB stick. The lights on the top are quite useful to give an idea of how the power is going. It stays on 4 lights for 20 minutes or so, then a longish time on 3 lights, then things go downhill faster once it gets to 2. I have ordered a second battery and so it will just be a matter of shutting down and swapping batteries once it gets to the 2 lights.

It does provide more amps than the power adapter I was using originally. The external DVD I was having trouble with initially runs fine off the battery. I think for the price it's a very reasonable option.
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Post by PedroR » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:50 am

Post by PedroR
Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:50 am

Hi ozzfiddler

1)
From your reports I would expect some more run time from the battery.

If only 2 USb devices are connected and Max Current for each device is 500mA then:

- 2x maximum 500 mA (2 USb devices)
- 1x maximum 500 mA for eBox self power.

Maximum Total of 1 500mAh

4 000 mAh (battery capacity) / 1 500 mA = 2.66 hrs

So the battery should have offered a theoretical run time of 2 hours 40 mins.

Do you have the possibility of opening the case and checking what is the marking in the parts inside (ie the marking in terms of mAh on the batteries)?

Maybe they're not really 4 000 mAh...

Still it's good value for money. I'm just curious about the real capacity of the battery.


2)
With regards to OpenCV we've been able to sucessfully run OpenCV 2.1 on Ubuntu 10.04. (we have it installed).
I believe this was the tutorial we followed: http://www.samontab.com/web/2010/04/ins ... in-ubuntu/

You will need to compile ALL of the OpenCV from scratch so if you have a slow SD card it may take a while.

Once it's done, you can compile the samples. There are some that are quite cool and work out of the box.

Bear in mind that you need Kernel 2.6.34.10 (the one we recommend for eBox) in to get OpenCV working.
As far as we know, this is the only kernel from DMP that includes the UVC drivers (needed to use webcams).

Regards
Pedro
Hi ozzfiddler

1)
From your reports I would expect some more run time from the battery.

If only 2 USb devices are connected and Max Current for each device is 500mA then:

- 2x maximum 500 mA (2 USb devices)
- 1x maximum 500 mA for eBox self power.

Maximum Total of 1 500mAh

4 000 mAh (battery capacity) / 1 500 mA = 2.66 hrs

So the battery should have offered a theoretical run time of 2 hours 40 mins.

Do you have the possibility of opening the case and checking what is the marking in the parts inside (ie the marking in terms of mAh on the batteries)?

Maybe they're not really 4 000 mAh...

Still it's good value for money. I'm just curious about the real capacity of the battery.


2)
With regards to OpenCV we've been able to sucessfully run OpenCV 2.1 on Ubuntu 10.04. (we have it installed).
I believe this was the tutorial we followed: http://www.samontab.com/web/2010/04/ins ... in-ubuntu/

You will need to compile ALL of the OpenCV from scratch so if you have a slow SD card it may take a while.

Once it's done, you can compile the samples. There are some that are quite cool and work out of the box.

Bear in mind that you need Kernel 2.6.34.10 (the one we recommend for eBox) in to get OpenCV working.
As far as we know, this is the only kernel from DMP that includes the UVC drivers (needed to use webcams).

Regards
Pedro
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Post by ozfiddler » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:20 pm

Post by ozfiddler
Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:20 pm

I just took the cover off the case (it unclips) but there are no markings on the battery indicating mAh.

Re. Open CV - I have installed this on my main computer and it does have some neat sample programs that are fun like face recognition and tracking a colour. I was thinking of trying to write a program in C++ (well modify an existing program really) that can track a ball and move the camera to follow it. I was hoping that I could do all the work on my computer then transfer the exe file to the ebox and just run the program. I have done this successfully with OpenCV1 - you just need to have the "bin" files in a folder on the eBox and the path set to them. But when I try anything with OpenCV2.x the program crashes on the eBox (I get the generic Microsoft error message). Anyway, I'm getting closer I think and the OpenCV1 samples might be good enough for my project.

Cheers,

Alan
I just took the cover off the case (it unclips) but there are no markings on the battery indicating mAh.

Re. Open CV - I have installed this on my main computer and it does have some neat sample programs that are fun like face recognition and tracking a colour. I was thinking of trying to write a program in C++ (well modify an existing program really) that can track a ball and move the camera to follow it. I was hoping that I could do all the work on my computer then transfer the exe file to the ebox and just run the program. I have done this successfully with OpenCV1 - you just need to have the "bin" files in a folder on the eBox and the path set to them. But when I try anything with OpenCV2.x the program crashes on the eBox (I get the generic Microsoft error message). Anyway, I'm getting closer I think and the OpenCV1 samples might be good enough for my project.

Cheers,

Alan
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