Thinkpad T400 – low speakers volume

My Thinkpad T400 had very low speakers volume. Turns out there is a way to bump volume up using hardware modification.

T400 uses AN12946A audio amplifier (located right to touchpad, just under bios battery – remove keyboard bezel to get access). See T400 schematic for details.

AN12946A has selectable gain modes using SP GAIN 1 (pin 27) and SP GAIN 2 (pin 28). By default T400 uses +13dB mode (which is lowest possible).

We can easily switch to +19dB mode by lowering SP GAIN 1 (pin 27) logic level (see AN12946A datasheet) and leaving SP GAIN 2 (pin 28) high. SP GAIN 1 (pin 27) uses 10k resitor for pull up. We are lucky – pin 26 is GND, so the solution is – solder AN12946A pins 26 and 27 together.

Result – speakers volume is better (not great though). I had to use 100% volume before, now about 80-85%.

geo2.pl

I was using geo2.pl GPS/GPRS location tracking device for some time. Wasn’t best experience – frequent system failures (on device and on geo2 server side), lack of competent support, lack of information to users (once it died for a month without ANY information from geo2 company). So if you considered buying geo2 product – forget about it. With such quality it’s not worth your money. Especially that they rose monthly price over 300%. But if you have hardware already…

Hardware:

There are two serial ports available on this unit. One provides GPS coordinates in NMEA format and is available through USB connector outside the device. The other serial port is available internally at JP1 connector (see picture). Any USB-serial adapter will do (I used Profilic PL2303 based one in form of old Nokia CA42 cable).

Use internal JP1 serial port to access Telit GE683-GPS AT command interface. By default units starts internal geo2 software (written in python).

AT#LSCRIPT

#LSCRIPT: “config”,53
#LSCRIPT: “updater.log”,247
#LSCRIPT: “gsm.pyo”,5085
#LSCRIPT: “main.pyo”,10393
#LSCRIPT: “config.pyo”,1602
#LSCRIPT: “protocol.pyo”,11566
#LSCRIPT: “acc.pyo”,1565
#LSCRIPT: “kernel.pyo”,8684
#LSCRIPT: “device.pyo”,2207
#LSCRIPT: “gps.pyo”,4347
#LSCRIPT: “io.pyo”,1197
#LSCRIPT: “List.pyo”,6015
#LSCRIPT: “debug.pyo”,2394
#LSCRIPT: “boot.py”,27
#LSCRIPT: free bytes: 1944638

OK

“boot.py” is started after powering on geo2 device. You can change boot mode to “start after 10 seconds” and also change boot file to not existing file to prevent it from running any script. Finally reboot device. You have few seconds after powering on geo2 device to do that – otherwise boot.py will start.

AT#STARTMODESCR=1,10
AT#ESCRIPT=”blah.py”
AT#REBOOT

Now see what geo2 software prints for us. We will start “boot.py” without a reboot:

AT#ESCRIPT=”boot.py”
OK
AT#EXECSCR
OK
kernel start
import main # precompiled from main.pyo
import protocol # precompiled from protocol.pyo
import marshal # builtin
import gps # precompiled from gps.pyo
import gsm # precompiled from gsm.pyo
import config # precompiled from config.pyo
import device # precompiled from device.pyo
import List # precompiled from List.pyo
import acc # precompiled from acc.pyo
import IIC # builtin
import io # precompiled from io.pyo
main
main

(now it will periodically print “main” until some bad thing happens).

Can we see what geo2 software does? Yes, we can. There is “AT#RSCRIPT# command that prints content of the file. Unfortunately geo2 files were uploaded with a option disabling RSCRIPT for most of uploaded files.

Fortunately we can read the files from own python script. Someone wrote scripts for this already. telit-pyo.py script from telit-862-python-tools github repository when run on Telit device will print content of all “*.py” scripts to serial console output (in hex, with additional headers). Then decode-telit-pyo.py script will produce raw files from serial console log.

We need small modifications for our purposes – we have to patch telit-pyo.py script to also print content of “config” and “*.pyc” files (and also skip printing itself).

[crayon-57e05c3939541639994040/]

With this we end up having all files from geo2 device. There is another problem – most of these is “pyc” which is not raw source code. It’s python byte code, not really human readable.

decompyle – Python Decompiler comes to help. It’s not developed anymore (there is paid commercial service based on it though) and hard to compile. I’ve built it with python 1.6 and 2.7 after some patching.

With decompyle we can get more readable form of byte code files.

First look and – quality of geo2 code seems to be quite low.

GPRS part registers with “apn.o2.pl” APN (previously geo2 company was owned by o2.pl and, no, it wasn’t much better experience then) to a PlusGSM network.

Device talks with IP 193.17.41.249 on port 6288 (TCP connection). There seems to be no real authorization (yikes!) when talking to the server. Pseudo authorization is based on device IMEI and value stored in config file (as “CODE”).

GPS when no fix is found is… restarted after some time (300s), then restarted again, and again, and again (with longer periods each time).

Accelerometer is accessed over I2C and used to detect if device is moving (and then transmit new coordinates). It is initialized with such values:

_ADDRESS = 28
_INIT = ‘g’
_FILTER = ‘x07’
_SENSITIVITY = ‘x04’

# i2c device at _ADDRESS
_i2c.readwrite((‘ %s’ % (_INIT)), 0)
_i2c.readwrite((‘!%s’ % (_FILTER)), 0)
_i2c.readwrite((‘2%s’ % (_SENSITIVITY)), 0)

Configuration is stored in “config” file. This file can be read directly with “AT#RSCRIPT”.

[
3, # CONF_VER
‘8xff)’, # CODE (used in authorization header)
”, # PIN
1, # ROAM_OFF
0, # ROAM_ZONE_ID
[], # ROAM_ZONE
0, # ROAM_STATE
-1, # JAMMER_DATE
0 # DELAY
]

The device has a code that allows to run (via eval()) ANY code that’s sent from remote geo2 server (idea was to allow remote debugging I think). Good that there is no microphone available on the geo2 device since Telit chip is capable of establishing audio channel and thus allowing remote audio spying.

It is also possible to upload few version of software files remotely. “updater.log” stores some information about the process:

starting update
version /fizyka/thingy/trunk/geo2b105:1091
L5;L8;L10 gsm.pyo;L14 main.pyon;L10 config.pyo;L14 protocol.pyon;L10 acc.pyo;L14 kernel.pyon;L14 device.pyon;L14 gps.pyon;L10 io.pyo;L10 List.pyo;L10 debug.pyo;L17;L21;L25;L27;L29;L30;

All that information and great Telit documentation will allow you to write own software. You could also change geo2 IP to your own and simulate geo2 server software on own machine.

Eating power – Intel GM45 vs Radeon HD 3400

ThinkPad T400 switched into integrated gpu mode – running Intel GM45 eats ~12W of power.
ThinkPad T400 switched into discrete gpu mode – running Radeon HD 3400 eats … ~28W of power!

Which means that radeon itself eats more than 16W of power (meausred with powertop). That’s more than whole notebook in integrated gpu mode. Nightmare!

Note that HD 3400 was driven by open source radeon driver which doesn’t have any power management support at this moment.

200904 update: ati driver in git contains updated power management and it’s eating ~16W here instead of ~28W now with DynamicPM turned on.

CB radio: Uniden PRO 520 XL

Ostatnio bardzo popularne radio w kraju… a teraz opinia RS39 (jeśli nie wiecie kto to -> google) w temacie: ,,w u520 brak jest selektywnosci, brak porządnego zestrojenia odbiornika na minimum zniekształceń w odbiorze, bardzo szumiący tor odbiorczy m.cz., brak porządnej modulacji AM …”. Unidenowi podziękujemy zwłaszcza w kontekście oficjalnych działań UKE . Na rynku nadal nie ma (nowego; do kupienia w sklepie) radia, które zyskało by przychylność użytkowników za rozsądną cenę. Większość ludzi poleca (dobrze się spisujące ale jednak) starocie…