If you have a problem with connecting to the DockStar via network, a serial link may help. If that does not help then a JTAG connection is the last resort. I will describe a serial link via RS232 and USB. A good description is already found here, also how to open the housing.

You can get for example via Ebay a serial RS232 cable (Siemens C55 RS232 Datenkabel, about 5 EUR). It converts basically the 3.3 V signal level from the CPU to +/- 6 V on the RS232 side. The pinout for the 12 pin telphone plug is:

The color for the the data lines may be different.
pin color function
2   blk   GND
3   blu   Data out
4   wht   Data in


Serial RS232

The board inside the DockStar does have a 10 pin connector with 2 rows of 2 mm spaced pins. The 2 mm spaced plug comes from an old notebook harddisk or CD-ROM adapter. If you have opened the DockStar Pin 1 is the upper right one of the 10-pin header when the ethernet jack looks away from you and the 10-pin header is on the side near you. You have to use the three pins on the lower right (6, 4 and 2). In the data cable the data wires may have a different color, just test it if doesn't work, the hardware doesn't take any harm if those wires are exchanged. The picture on the right will expand, if you click on it. The pinout of the 10 pin conncetor is (for serial and JTAG):

Dockstar plug J1 10 pin, Serial Link / JTAG (Pin counting pairwise, and original)
function               name pin org   pin name function color Serial
output                 VCC  1   1 10  2   GND           blk
Test Reset, active low TRST 3   2  9  4   TxD  3.3 V    blu
Test Data Input        TDI  5   3  8  6   RxD  3.3 V    wht
Test Mode Select       TMS  7   4  7  8   SRST System Reset, active low
Test Clock             TCK  9   5  6 10   TDO  Test Data Output

A more geometric layout of J1:

       J1 Top View
+-------- JTAG ------+
 9    7    5    3    1 
10    8    6    4    2
+ JTAG +  +- Serial -+
              3.3 V

Start PUTTY (Windows), screen (e.g. Linux Terminal: screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200) or something else to use the serial console (/dev/ttyS0, 115200 Baud, 8N1, no handshake), turn on the power and watch the messages.

Since begin of 2012 there is a new boot loader available, which has different boot messages, see at DockStarUboot.

It starts with:

U-Boot 1.1.4 (Jul 16 2009 - 21:02:16) Cloud Engines (3.4.16)

U-Boot code: 00600000 -> 0067FFF0  BSS: -> 00690D60

Soc: 88F6281 A0 (DDR2)
CPU running @ 1200Mhz L2 running @ 400Mhz
SysClock = 400Mhz , TClock = 200Mhz

DRAM CAS Latency = 5 tRP = 5 tRAS = 18 tRCD=6
DRAM CS[0] base 0x00000000   size 128MB
DRAM Total size 128MB  16bit width
Flash:  0 kB
Addresses 8M - 0M are saved for the U-Boot usage.
Mem malloc Initialization (8M - 7M): Done

CPU : Marvell Feroceon (Rev 1)

Streaming disabled
Write allocate disabled

USB 0: host mode
PEX 0: interface detected no Link.
Net:   egiga0 [PRIME], egiga1
Hit any key to stop autoboot:  0

At the point where it tells Hit any key to stop autoboot you could stop the boot procedure for Linux, and enter the command line for the boot loader U-boot. See an example:

CE>> printenv
bootargs_root=root=/dev/mtdblock2 ro

In case you want to use a command, type at the prompt CE> help:

Unknown command 'quit' - try 'help'
CE>> help
?       - alias for 'help'
base    - print or set address offset
boot    - boot default, i.e., run 'bootcmd'
bootd   - boot default, i.e., run 'bootcmd'
bootext2    dev:boot_part1,boot_part2 addr boot_image linux_dev_name
bootm   - boot application image from memory
bootp   - boot image via network using BootP/TFTP protocol
bubt    - Burn an image on the Boot Nand Flash.
chpart  - change active partition
cmp     - memory compare
cmpm    - Compare Memory
cp      - memory copy
cpumap - Display CPU memory mapping settings.
crc32   - checksum calculation
date    - get/set/reset date & time
dclk    - Display the MV device CLKs.
dhcp    - invoke DHCP client to obtain IP/boot params
diskboot- boot from IDE device
echo    - echo args to console
eeprom  - EEPROM sub-system
erase   - erase FLASH memory
ext2load- load binary file from a Ext2 filesystem
ext2ls  - list files in a directory (default /)
fi      - Find value in the memory.
flinfo  - print FLASH memory information
fsinfo  - print information about filesystems
fsload  - load binary file from a filesystem image
g       - start application at cached address 'addr'(default addr 0x40000)
go      - start application at address 'addr'
help    - print online help
icrc32  - checksum calculation
ide     - IDE sub-system
iloop   - infinite loop on address range
imd     - i2c memory display
imm[.b, .s, .w, .l]     - i2c memory modify (auto-incrementing)
imw     - memory write (fill)
inm     - memory modify (constant address)
iprobe  - probe to discover valid I2C chip addresses
ir      - reading and changing MV internal register values.
loop    - infinite loop on address range
ls      - list files in a directory (default /)
map     - Diasplay address decode windows
md      - memory display
me      - PCI master enable
mm      - memory modify (auto-incrementing)
mp      - map PCI BAR
mtdparts- define flash/nand partitions
mtest   - simple RAM test
mv_diag - perform board diagnostics
mw      - memory write (fill)
nand                   - NAND sub-system
nboot   - boot from NAND device
nbubt   - Burn a boot loader image on the Boot Nand Flash.
nm      - memory modify (constant address)
pci     - list and access PCI Configuration Space
phyRead - Read PCI-E Phy register
pciePhyWrite    - Write PCI-E Phy register
phyRead - Read Phy register
phyWrite        - Write Phy register
ping    - send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to network host
printenv- print environment variables
protect - enable or disable FLASH write protection
rarpboot- boot image via network using RARP/TFTP protocol
reset   - Perform RESET of the CPU
resetenv        - Return all environment variable to default.
run     - run commands in an environment variable
saveenv - save environment variables to persistent storage
se      - PCI Slave enable
setenv  - set environment variables
sflash  - read, write or erase the external SPI Flash.
sg      - scanning the PHYs status
sp      - Scan PCI bus.
tftpboot- boot image via network using TFTP protocol
version - print monitor version

Serial USB

The USB cable will be a Nokia CA-42, which you can buy via Ebay (Noname, about 4 EUR). Now I have learned, that only the cable with the blue USB plug housing (rubber like) does have a pl2303 chip inside. Another version (pl2303) with shell housing is available from Dealextreme for 3.54 EUR inclusive shipping (2011-11-03).

The cable with a black USB plug hard plastic housing does have a seldom used OTI 6858 chip (Ours Technology Inc.), which has drivers for Windows and Linux only. As a benefit, you can connect the DTR and USB +5V line.

You need to have the specific chip driver for your operating system, e.g. pl2303, to map the USB interface to a COM port (Linux: /dev/ttyUSB0, 115200 Baud, 8N1, no handshake). At windows you might take PUTTY as a terminal, at Linux minicom.

pin/Nokia Color   Function DockStar
 4        red     +3.3 V   n.c.
 6        wht     RxD      RxD
 7        grn     TxD      TxD
 8        screen  GND      GND

What happens at command halt?

root@FADS90:~# halt

Broadcast message from root@FADS90 (ttyS0) (hu Jan  1 01:03:1 1970):

The system is going down for system halt NOW!
INIT: SendingUsing makefile-style concurrent boot in runlevel 0.
Stopping atop system monitor: atop.
Stopping Samba daemons: nmbd smbd.
Asking all remaining processes to terminate...done.
All processes ended within 1 seconds....done.
Deconfiguring network interfaces...done.
Cleaning up ifupdown....
Unmounting temporary filesystems...done.
Deactivating swap...done.
Will now halt.
[  211.681061] System halted.

In Mac OS it is also possible to connect to the serial link of the DockStar via Terminal.

The best free terminal program for a serial link is CoolTerm. If that program is not installed, following some alternatives are listed.

Function keys and mouse support

If you need the function keys F9 and F10 inside of the Terminal window, go to System/keyboard/keyboard short commands/Expose and remove the check mark from F9 and F10 by assigning other function keys. Then you can use those two functions keys F9/F10 in the Terminal window.

In order to use the page up and page down keys, you must add the SHIFT key.

To use the mouse, it needs another Terminal programm. I tried iTerm with success.

Program cu (Call Up another system)

You get help for this program with "man cu".
The benefit of "cu" is, that it is included in Mac OS X, and it uses the scroll back history of terminal.app.

Click on Program/Utilities/terminal.app

$ sudo cu -l /dev/cu.serial1 -s 115200
 -l = line to use, /dev/tty.serial1 (COM1) is with handshake
                   /dev/cu.serial1  is without handshake
 -s = speed (baudrate) 

when you are in online mode you have as an escape character the key "~" at the begin of a line.
Help to "cu" (Call Up another system):
    ESCAPE: strg + alt gr + N = ~
    Terminate: ~.
    Variables: ~v
    Commands : ~?
    \ = SHIFT + alt + 7
You get help with "~?" and escape online mode with "~." (without ENTER)

Programm iTerm use

A good replacement for PUTTY is the freeware iTerm. The benefit of iTerm is the use of the mouse pointer. Also the "page up" "page down" keys work. Another goodie is the use of boockmarks, as you have in PuTTY. To connect to the DockStar via SSH do:

$ ssh user@IP-number or computer name

Program screen use

Unfortunately it does not work with the program PUTTY (mode: serial, port: /dev/tty.serial1), even with sudo access.
Solution: http://www.tigoe.net/pcomp/resources/archives/avr/000749.shtml

What did work was the use of screen. The drawback with screen is that you have no scroll back history, and it can be tricky to finish screen. To use screen you open terminal.app and type:

check for the serial port:
$ ls /dev/tty.*

call screen:
$ sudo screen -U -fn /dev/tty.serial1 115200
Options (from $ man screen):
  -U     # use UTF-8 character set
  -fn    # do Not use X-ON/X-OFF
  115200 # baudrate for the DockStar serial port

exit screen (C-a = CTRL A, no spaces in between):
$ C-a : quit

A nice help page can be found at http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Screen

If you can not start screen because the serial port is busy, it may be that an old screen session was left. You can kill that with:

find process number:
$ ps -A
   4243 tty.serial1   0:00.01 SCREEN -U -fn /dev/tty.serial1 115200

kill process:
$ sudo kill 4243

List of pages in this category:

-- RudolfReuter 2010-09-01 17:09:14

Go back to CategoryDockStar or FrontPage ; KontaktEmail (ContactEmail)

DockStarSerialLink (last edited 2015-02-18 04:52:13 by RudolfReuter)