Watchdog on ALIX.3D3

The AMD CS5536 Geode companion on the ALIX.3D3 board has an internal watchdog, beeing able to reboot the system by itself if it’s hangup. To use this watchdog device, kernel support is needed. In kernel 2.6.29 you have to enable

  Device Drivers  --->
    [*] Watchdog Timer Support  --->
      [*]   Disable watchdog shutdown on close
      <*>   AMD Geode CS5535/CS5536 Watchdog

for beeing able to use the watchdog timer. The Disable watchdog shutdown on close is optional. Usually if the watchdog program terminates it tell’s the kernel to disable the watchdog and the kernel does. With this option you can prevent the kernel from disabling the watchdog. Continue reading

New hardware gadget: ALIX.3D3

A few days ago, I ordered a new hardware gadget to play with: An embedded pc board called ALIX.3D3 manufactered by PC Engines.

ALIX.3D3 upside

ALIX.3D3 upside

It’s a small (100 x 160 mm) board, with

  • AMD Geode LX800 CPU with 800 MHz
  • 256 MB DDR DRAM
  • Via VT6105M 10/100 Mbit Ethernet
  • 2 miniPCI slots
  • AMD CS5536 Geode companion providing 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 serial port (RS232), 1 Compact-Flash slot and integrated VGA and audio

More information, datasheets and manual can be found in the Alix Wiki.

I ordered the board from Varia Store for about 130€ including an aluminium chassis and a suitable power supply.

ALIX.3D3 downside

ALIX.3D3 downside

Challenges are now to install an optimized Gentoo on a Compact-Flash card with support for all hardware included, installing a 802.11b/g/n WLAN card and doing some tests with my Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000.

v4l2grab – Grabbing JPEGs from V4L2 devices

A friend of mine, wanted to use a standard USB WebCam as an IPCam. He used an old Media-Receiver Box (T-Online S100) and installed Gentoo Linux on an CF Card.

Since Kernel 2.6.27 most of the USB webcams are supported through the Linux UVC drivers, which provides an Video4Linux2 Interface to those cams. We found some programs who claimed being able to grab JPEG images from V4L2 Cams, but most of them either didn’t compile, supported only V4L Version 1 or just brought up some other errors.

So I checked up the Video for Linux Two API Specification and found there in Appendix B a small sample of howto communicate with the Cam. I adapted it to our needs and included an converter from YUV colorspace to RGB. Finally I added some code to support the export of JPEG images. Continue reading

IPv6 WebCam

In der “IPv6 Toy Gallery” von SiXXs habe ich eine nette WebCam gefunden, die

  • IPv6 unterstützt
  • Outdoor fähig ist
  • vergleichsweise wenig kostet (175 €)

Leider hat auch sie nur die bei WebCams übliche Auflösung von 640×480 Punkten. Da die Kamera nativ IPv6 spricht, brauchen praktischerweise keine Portforwardings auf dem Router eingerichtet werden um von extern darauf zuzugreifen. Continue reading