FR: Problems, problems: please help

Toni Mueller support at
Tue Mar 24 01:33:10 CET 2009


On Tue, 24.03.2009 at 00:04:26 +0000, Al Johnson <openmoko at> wrote:
> On Monday 23 March 2009, Toni Mueller wrote:
> > about one or two weeks ago, I've purchased a new FR, but haven't gotten
> > it to work as much as to be usable as a phone yet. The only application
> > that seems to be reliable so far is "sudoku", which I don't need.
> Few people can agree on what a 'usable phone' is, but some of us have found 
> combinations that make the Freerunner usable for us.

can we perhaps agree on "all hardware usable on a daily basis"?

> There are a _lot_ of options though,

Yes, but documentation is _poor_.

> combination. I hope you find something that works for you.

I hope, too, but currently, and although I consider myself a Free
Software zealot, I am about to lose hope.

> There were a few issues with uboot early on, but if yours shipped with 2008.8 
> it probably has a fixed version. There may be an argument for updating to Qi, 
> but you are probably better off sticking with uboot for the moment.

I read about Qi, but since it can't do the networking and flashing
stuff, according to the wiki, I didn't try. Currently, maintenance
facilities are of utmost importance to me.

> GTA02 is the Freerunner. v6 is the board revision, and the 0360 shows that it 
> is v6 that you have. It includes a couple of relatively minor improvements 

Thanks for the clarification.

> over v5, and is AFAIK still the latest version shipping.

It was advertised as having a "GPS fix" over v5, and I'd like to verify
that GPS works (ie, as opposed to having a (partially) DOA device).

> This may be because of a networking problem,

Not on my end, though. I specified a local Squid proxy to go through.

> or the repositories may have moved. The URLs for the repositories can
> be found in files under /etc/opkg. I can't comment on the specifics
> for 2008.12 as I haven't used it.

Under /etc/opkg I find only the addresses of the repositories that were
configured by the system, but not the repositories that I should try to
access. IOW, I don't know what to write there.

> >  * I can make and receive calls. I sound like I'm in an old oil can,
> >    however.
> More recent distros (should) have fixed the echo problem. 

That was claimed of the Om2008.12, too.

> Low audio volume can be fixed by adjusting the mixer settings. I find manually 
> adjusting the config files easiest, but there is also a GUI available. See:

Ok... a shell in the box, w/o the need to SSH into it, would be nice,

> >    Using the phone near a server (no problem for my old standard phone,
> >    a 6230i) can safely be ruled out that way. It also only works when
> >    I'm standing near a GSM station. At home, where my standard phone

"near" = in sight of

> This seems odd. My FR has similar sensitivity to my old k700. It might be 
> worth checking the label under the battery to see you have the 
> 900/1800/1900MHz European version not the 850/1800/1900MHz US version.

I was once able to make a call, and I just checked the label to confirm
that I have the European version. But then I read about a GSM update
that is both recommended and highly dangerous - I didn't try that one
yet, however, as it's also a bit hazy in the docs...

> I assume that's a 2008.12 bug. 

Umm... It never worked, neither before nor after the flashing, and also
even not with the external antenna.

> > FWIW, I expect to be able to use the device as a phone, a navigation
> > system, a music player and voice recorder.
> That should be possible. tangogps and navit provide mapping with raster and 
> vector maps respectively.

Yes, but it needs GSM and GPS before I can use two of these functions.

> Try some of the other distros. You may find it easier to boot off SD rather 
> than reflash every time, and you could even dual- or multi-boot. See:

This is also only mentioned, but I could find no mentioning of how to
_install_ something on the SD card in the first place, or at least, I
didn't find it yet. Likewise for selecting the right one out of
umpteen distros that I might have installed (I have an 8GB card in the

> See for an overview of what's 

Done that already... the list gave the impression that the Om2008.12
(maybe a more recent edition?) would still be the best bet, though.

Thank you!

Kind regards,

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