HOWTO Get a ConsoleLCD-VX System Working

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Contents

Things You Should Have

Hardware You'll need!
  1. A Gumstix Verdex Board of some sort (I have the Gumstix Verdex XML4-BT)
  2. A ConsoleLCD-VX
  3. A Samsung 4.3" LCD (I bought mine from GumStix)
  4. A 9-Pin DIN to Mini-DIN 8 null modem serial cable. Again, you can get them at the gumstix online store, it's easier than driving to Fry's and finding they don't carry them.
  5. A USB-A to Mini-USB cable.
  6. A female to female USB A adapter. Again, Fry's doesn't carry them, so you can buy them from the gumstix online store.
  7. A Power Supply for the board. (I use the 4V supply that came with my Basix Waysmall.)
  8. A USB Keyboard
    closeup of the electronics
  9. (optional) a USB to Serial Converter if you don't have a "real" serial port.
  10. A Linux box. I like xubuntu.
  11. A terminal program that knows how to send files over a serial port via ymodem or kermit protocols. (I use Dave Alverson's Z-Term on MacOS-X and Miniterm on Linux.)

Assembling the Hardware

  1. Connect the LCD to the ConsoleLCD-VX. The connector was a bit odd, and it threw me for a few minutes. If you look carefully at the connector, there's a "drawer" on the bottom of the connector made of black plastic. This drawer pulls out about a millimeter to allow you to insert the ribbon connector from the LCD. On either side of the connector, opposite the long side that has the soldered leads connecting it to the board, you'll see a tiny black plastic "hook." if you pull on both of these hooks out towards the long edge of the board, you'll find they slide out. Once you've slid this thing out, the ribbon cable slides in pretty easy. Once the ribbon connector is in place, slide the "drawer" back in by pressing on both of the "hooks." I found that a sharp pencil helped with this step.
  2. Connect the Verdex to the ConsoleLCD-VX. Note that it connects so the Verdex is over the consoleLCD-vx board. It does not connect like a tweener (the tweener, if connected, would hang out over the board.) There is a slight mechanical interference here, or at least there was on my revision.
  3. Connect the serial cable to the middle serial port on the ConsoleLCD-VX board.
  4. Connect the other part of the serial cable to your system. (I use a Macintosh to connect to the Verdex, but a Ubuntu Linux box to compile things. There's no reason why you can't use a Linux machine to connect to the system. I'm just using a Mac 'cause my Linux laptop is very, very slow.)
  5. Use the USB gender changer to connect your USB keyboard to your USB A to Mini USB cable. (If you're one of the rare breed with a USB keyboard that terminates in a Mini USB connector, you don't have to do this.)
  6. Connect the keyboard to the Mini USB connector on the ConsoleLCD-VX.
  7. Apply power to the board.
LCD Connector Open
LCD Connector Closed
LCD Connector Connected
Verdex on the ConsoleLCD-VX
Proper positioning of the serial cable
USB Gender Changer

Troubleshooting

  1. Careful... these connectors don't like a lot of stress. I'm using the stand from my Nokia 770 tablet to position everything "just right."
  2. If you don't get a nice yellow light come on when you plug the power cable into the ConsoleLCD-VX, then you may have a defective board. I think I saw something about this on the GumStix mailing list.

Connecting to the Board

You should now have two connections to the board: a serial connection (through which you can update the flash image) and the USB keyboard (that is mildly nicer interface, IMHO, than the serial link.) The default connection settings are: 115200 bps, 8-bit, No Parity, 1-stop bit.

You should see a login prompt at least on the serial connection. If you don't see anything on the LCD, you probably have to reflash the boot loader, root file system and kernel. In case you forgot, the root password on all GumStix boards is: 'gumstix' (without the quotes.)

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