My Experience with the eBox 3310MX

and other offical x86 platforms like e-boxes and fitPC

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jmcafee
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My Experience with the eBox 3310MX

Post by jmcafee » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:36 am

The eBox embedded PC comes in a confusing array of flavors and configurations with a wide range of performance. If you choose an eBox, you must carefully select the correct configuration because it may not be compatible with MH. Most notably, you must choose a compatible CPU. The current 2300 model superficially resembles the original version described in the Wiki, but is now based on the Vortex86SX CPU which does not have an FPU, and will not work with MH.

I took a small gamble on the 3310MX-C85. It features a powerful Vortex86MX, the successor to the compatible DX. This version also has RS-232. MH performs well with this box. Understand that the site author does not directly list this exact model as hardware compatible, so you take a chance.

The specs on this box are impressive, performing at about 1900 BogoMIPS. CPU clocks at 1 GHz, L1/L2 cache of 16/256k, and comes standard with 1 GB DDR2 RAM. All 3300/3310 come with SD rather than CF, and 3 external USB. Some options to consider include Auto Power On, SATA and RS-232.

The serial ports in my C85 has COM1 as RS-485, and as single DB9 co-sharing COM2/3 RS-232. Note that the RS-232 on all of the 3300/3310 series does not have flow control.

What went wrong with the eBox choice and installation:
1) The BIOS IDE must be set to Compatible mode; otherwise the drivers don't recognize the SD.
2) The MH install never told me to reboot. After a period of obvious install activity, the installer kept repeating a dialog that said, "Setup Meteohub...done...(a few more lines of output)". I pulled the plug and removed the USB stick, rebooted, and everything finished just fine.
3) I cannot send email, something about a kernel segfault
4) There is no auto power on after a loss of power. I didn't realized this was an option when I bought the box.
5) The COM2 port DB9 is the RS-232. After quite a bit of time and frustration trying COM1 (thinking this was the RS232), I tried COM2 with instant success.

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