Thursday, July 2, 2009

Look ma, net, no wires

batman52 made an interesting comment in the previous post: WiFi.

Indeed, much to my surprise there are miniSDIO WiFi cards on the market. The JZ4740 docs says that the SD/MMC controller supports SDIO, so in theory it should be possible to add WiFi to the A320.

Of course this is a long shot and there are much more important things yet to get working, but just imagine the possibilities... I just have to give it a try. I think it is worth investing some of the donated money in purchasing one of these cards. What do you think?.


  1. Maybe a usb wifi work too. The USB host port is the same USB gadet port. I don't know if the kernel suports "on to go" USB, or if th hardware need to suport it. But is possible to configure the usb port as a USB host, and connect a usb wifi with adapter.

    By the way, a adapter and a usb wifi are cheaper tha a SDIO wifi.

  2. Well I said "in a far, far future"!!! I think at the moment there are A LOT of other things to do first... anyway if you really want to explore this way, time ago i read on the ingenics site that they provide linux drivers for some wifi chips (2 or 3 models). You'd probabilly better look for sdio cards based on that chips, don't you?

    Good luck!

  3. YES please do look into this - USB and SDIO.

  4. i dont think its going to work and even if it did i imagine the device does not have a large cache size therefore making browsing the internet harder than it is on the psp, browsing on psp is rubbish enough with such a small cache(psp fat).
    But hey i guess it worth a try i could be wrong.

  5. I wouldn't use my dingoo to internet browsing even if it did it perfectly! There are a lot of small applications that one could do with wifi though... gaming, radio streaming, why not voip if enough power (don't we have a mic?)... probabily many others someone still has to invent!

  6. btw, about internet browsing: too much little screen and i think would be definitively too difficult porting a real usable browser (even with poor features) other than elinks.

  7. Opera Mini for mobile phones is very good on small screens (requires Java ME).

  8. USB is a good idea for me. About web browsers: is there mobile browsers that could be used as the Mozila Fennec Firefox for Linux.

  9. Who says you would want the net just for web browsing? internet radio? ftp access? i know i like having fpt access on as much of my gear as possible as i dont need cables everywhere...

  10. SDIO support would also allow BT for example, but IMHO, while this indeed very cool, I'm a bit sceptic about the whole thing. aldo SDIO was added in 2.6.24 and you have the linux SDIO project. also the gpx wiki has some info about this...

  11. If you have a mini sdio wifi card how are you going to boot and run dingux. Set it to run from internal memory?

  12. if you can do it that would be awesome

  13. @Marcelo
    USB won't exactly be portable as the a320's usb port is unpowered (afaik) which would mean you would need external power for devices

  14. Very nice. When choosing one, please consider how long it might be available (i.e. don't buy one that's hardly available now). If you are successful I will buy one, too :)

  15. @Marcelo

    I think you're wrong. The Jz4740 datasheet shows there are different pins for each function (host/device). That alone discards connecting USB devices to the A320.

    And as someone already said, you'd need external power, which I guess defeats the whole portability thing.

    I think that for the price of the miniSD WiFi card, it is worth purchasing it just for trying. But these are your donations so I had to ask.

  16. hum, a spectec minisd costs here about 50 euro, I have no objections you would order one but I pass on this, this card costs almost more then the dingo itself :)

  17. You can buy miniSD WiFi for $40.For any reasons... DO IT !

  18. I remember when I worked with GP32linux, I was able to use USB devices, and the GP32 was functioning as a host. Yes, extra power was needed, but apart that, it was possible to get the USB port as a host without any hardware modification.
    I think is would be a killer feature to have the net on the Dingoo.
    I'd be ready to buy a SDIO card if they work.

    But there are other uses for a USB host:
    We could connect a 2''5 hard disk and watch a divx on the TV, for instance.

    Or connect a bluetooth dongle, a mouse, a keyboard...
    I know it seems stupid, but if we get USB host working, we will be able to do all that!

    And the really killer feature would be, in my opinion, to plug a second controller on the USB port, and to play on TV with a friend.

    My two cents...

  19. "1 USB Host Controller
    1.1 Overview
    This chapter describes the Universal Serial Bus host controller (UHC) implemented in the JZ4740
    Processor .

    1.2 Pin Description
    Table 1-1 UHC Pins Description
    Name Type Description
    DPLS0 Inout Data Positive to Port 0
    DPLS1 Inout Data Positive to Port 1
    DMNS0 Inout Data Minus to Port 0
    DMNS1 Inout Data Minus to Port 1

    There are 2 OHCI ports, Port 0 H14, H15, the same used by device port, and J14 and J15 (NC in a Onda VX676).

    The power is a problem, but with a powered external hub, 2 usb joysticks and a wifi, the dingoo works like a game console :)

    With some hardware skill is possible to wire-up a vcc connection to the plug, too.

  20. @Marcelo

    JZ4740 datasheet, page 17 (pin descriptions):

    DP0 USB 2.0 device data plus
    DM0 USB 2.0 device data minus
    DP1 USB 1.1 host data plus
    DM1 USB 1.1 host data minus

    One can only conclude that:

    - USB port 0 is 2.0 and only device mode
    - USB port 1 is 1.1 and only host mode.

    Since they are different pins, I don't see a way to connect external USB devices to the A320 host port unless we are so lucky that the host port pins are available vía test pads, and even that one would have to open his A320 and add an USB connector. Definitely not for the average joe.

  21. @booboo

    JZ4740 Specs says there are 2 usb HOST port, and port 0 uses the same pins used by device port. It's easy to compile a kernel with USB host suport and test. You will need a powered usb hub and a usb plug converter.

  22. I think that people are missing the most obvious use of Wifi: Multiplayer gaming! With Neo Geo and CPS emulators, the Dingoo has a massive library of fighting games and co-op beat-em-ups that can only be played single player. If it were possible to impliment multiplayer on one, I would have a whole new reason to convince my friends to buy one.

    @jmd28, where can I get a MiniSD wifi card for $40? I'd love one for my mobile phone.

  23. @booboo: this discussion started with the question "is it worth to enable network?"... I just read on a320freeforums that MasterTutu is compiling Qtembedded, and it needs network enabled (can't understand why...). It seems to me a VERY GOOD reason to enable it anyway (share application sources with mobile phones!).

  24. @batman52

    Qt needs 'Unix domain sockets'. This is a way to communicate between different applications on the same device.

    This document explains the Qt Embedded architecture:

  25. @yongary
    go there and then click link on the right to redirect to your country

  26. I think that the usb choice makes the most sense at this point in time. the point derk brought up that I immediately thought of too is valid: Mini Sd cards+your linux mini SD card. we only have one slot....
    But is there an internal usb header or ability to add one? bluetooth adapters are rather small, and adding one would be simple...

  27. Hi BooBoo,
    Do you know 'True Connect' on the smartphone/PDA?
    With this software (USB cable), you can control the Smartphone/PDA with the PC keyboard (even the mouse). Furthermore, we can see the screen of the device on the PC screen.
    Is this possible on Dingoo?
    Is this difficult to code ?

    There is a video (version 3.0)

    With the Version 1.0, i can only use keyboard and screen but It's very useful.

  28. @ironic

    You can use synergy2 or VNC to control your Dingoo.