GTA02 is now an expensive brick

Jan Henkins jan at
Mon Jan 5 01:23:20 CET 2009

Hello Lucas,

Lucas Lacroix wrote:
> Thanks for all the responses.
> I believe have a GTA02v5, but there's no identifying mark to say which 
> version.

It's also a mystery to me in how to detect which version I have. Could 
somebody please enlighten us on how to do this?

> As for purchasing an additional battery or a battery charger, that is 
> NOT a solution. That's a stop-gap. It's the same as purchasing a new 
> car, finding the axle broke in your driveway overnight, and then the 
> car salesmen telling you "all you need to fix it is buy a new axle".

While I can fully understand your dissappoinment (last week I was in 
exactly the same situation), I do not fully agree with your assesment. 
Read on...

> I have tried every combination of with/without battery, holding aux, 
> USB or Wall charger, and holding aux+power. None of these combinations 
> have yielded any results.

I'm sorry that the AUX trick did not work for you. So much the better 
that you get an external battery charger with an extra battery. Here is 
what I would say to be valid justification:

(1) The current GTA02 does not have great battery life, even though it 
is improving greatl. In order to extend the time that the device could 
be used effectively, it makes sense to me to have at least one fully 
charged battery. I use my phone to record GPS tracks in order to help 
mapping my town for Openstreetmap, so the longer I have to track, the 
better. Also, having two or more charged batteries lets me walk instead 
of drive, which is healthier, yadda yadda (new year's resolutions etc 
etc). I also use these track logs to geotag my photos.

(2) In your case, you cannot boot up the FR without some charge in the 

So you have possibly two points to justify purchasing an external 
charger (with or without an extra battery). Also, please remember that 
the GTA02 is still really experimental hardware, even though it is a lot 
more consumer-grade than GTA01, so it is to be expected that there will 
be some hiccups (this specific point scared the hell out of me at first, 
but in the end I decided to bite the bullet and buy anyway).  In view of 
this, it wouldn't be quite right to use the car analogy with the GTA02, 
since a car is a "fully developed product", while the GTA02 is still 
being developed (with interaction from you and me). The trick would be 
to find out if there is actually something physically wrong with your 
GTA02, like a broken AUX button etc, and I really hope that somebody 
from Openmoko could chip in here with some useful comments.

Jan Henkins

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