SV: [Soekris] mobile wireless AP

Chuck Yerkes chuck+soekris at
Tue Jul 22 16:45:09 UTC 2003

Quoting Jens Christian Andersen (jens at
> >> The plan is to have a GPS connect to the DB9 but are they're anyone
> >>  that have done this?
> > "the db9" is intended for, and used as console.
> > You likely want it connected via the second serial port.
> > (two wires + ground that can be snagged from the db9
> > if you don't need HW handshaking).
> The thing is that i have to install all this equipment and that only
> leaves the db9 left.
> Sierra wireless 750 PCMCIA
> mini pci wireless
> CF card PCMCIA adapter with cf card
> Cf card in the standard reader.

I wonder if anyone (or soren) can comment on pulling 2 wires from under
the PCMCIA connector to the second serial port.  Only need TxD/RxD,
ground can be had from elsewhere.

Without the board in front of me, I also wonder if it can be
snagged from the 232 amplifier chip (MAX232?  I forget what's
in there).

Or from the GP IO pins and drive it by hand (code).

> >> Do the Soekris only run flash card to a max of 1 GB or can it work
> >> with the 2 GB or 4 GB cards then that day comes? 
> > Not sure I'd ever want to have that much READ ONLY.  If I want to
> > WRITE data, I'd be looking at something else.  Like a disk (usb disk?).
> The problem is that the box must be as small as possible and without
> moving parts.
> That is why the there can be no CD /DVD drive or Hard drive. The only
> thing that might come into view is a small PCMCIA hard drive. 

Again, the car radio model holds up - it's sealed (dirt is moot),
this contains harddrives that have just worked far long than
he's expected.

I might point to an iPod (5-20GB disk, LCD, battery) which can
be used while running, in my motorcycle jacket pocket, etc.
Seal it from dust and you're set.

Barring that, I might look at 1-2 LARGE flashes (2GB), but put 2GB
of RAM in front of it.  Your driver writes to battery backed RAM
and flushes changes periodically to flash.

> > But it seems like you have a Soekris hammer and everything looks like
> > a nail.
> The reason for this is that the pc 104 modules runs up to a price that
> is too high and the pc 104 modules take up to much space.
Price for 1, certainly.  Price for 500?  well, ask.
The valley (here, where Soren is/was) is FULL of places that will
make custom boards you design.  It's always expensive for setup.

> Moving parts in a dusty and closed environment normally is not a good
> idea but it could be the plan.

And there are many, many embedded systems options that support
LCD, serial, USB and harddrives.  Seal it, shockmount it within
the case and it can be damn rugged.  I saw tons of "prototype"
type systems at last years Linux world.  Basically PDA prototypes.
They were selling services, not the boards :(

None matched the spec I want my Soekrises for, however.

> This one thing that must be made but the system needs to work first, you
> can all most 100% get a battery to work with the soekris.

I can run a Powerbook off my car battery.  Plus an iPod plus
headlights.  Hell, a power sucking Pentium4 can run from a 
car battery with an inverter.

The key is putting dynamic storage onto something permanent
when power is going away.

Hard drives need not be on all the time.  But spinning them up
when you need them and pulling info into RAM (again, 12 days of
music are on my iPod) is a proven model.


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