davy
03/15/12

ChAssNAS: buggy ethernet

Since I installed my ChAssNAS device (aka snake) in my basement, I've been having problems with the ethernet connection. The thing becomes unreachable at seemingly random times and nothing but waiting helps. Restarting the entire thing, disabling and enabling the eth0 device, reconnecting the cable: no dice. I found a thread on the issue tracker of snake-os in which some guys suggest that EMI/RFI are causing troubles. I tried their suggestion with a few ferrite beads I had lying around, but that didn't seem to improve anything.

Instead of trying to improve my probably poor attempt at eliminating noise, I ordered a usb2ethernet thingy from DealExtreme. The idea was that this would suffice until I could replace the NS-K330 with a Raspberry Pi. But alas, delivery from Hong Kong seems to take more time than usual. Luckily, my ADSL-router also has a USB network connection: snake is now has an eth1 device, provided by usbnet and cdc_ether. The connection is only USB1.1,  so the speed is not really that high, but it'll do for now.

Extra content! I found an old picture on my cellphone from when I first screwed around with the NS-K330. ''Twas the time that I bricked the board by flashing the wrong SnakeOS image (the one without bootloader, damn!). The only option was desoldering the flash chip and reflashing it with the proper firmware. Luckily, I had a Seeeduino lying around to reflash the 3.3v SPI chip. Instead of resoldering the flash chip in its original place, I did what you can see in the picture. I didn't want to risk a second tricky desolder operation, since the first already destroyed a trace...

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