Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

discussion related to Iomega iConnect and Silverstone DC01 as Meteohub Platform

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Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by admin » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:03 am

Meteohub port to Silverstone DC01 (also branded as AKiTiO MyCloud Mini) is close to being finished. This is another ARM platform like SheevaPlug/iConnect but not based on Marvell Kirkwood chipset but on PLX SOCs not so well supported by the ARM community. Fiddling around with these a bit I could manage to compile kernels and modules for Linux 2.6.31 for it and putting a Debian Squeeze on top of this. I also got some control of the LED so that the unit can signal it's IP in the Meteohub blinking style. Press of reset button can also be detected (although Meteohub does not make use of it right now).
dc01.jpg
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The unit is dressed in a charming small Metal case (black or silver at your choice) that can hold a 2.5" SATA drive internally. And that makes the DC01 so attractive from my point of view. Forget about SD cards and USB sticks. Just put in a small, cheap SSD and get rid of the external storage media hassle. I did with a OCZ vertex for 40 Euro and read/write speeds are way ahead of what USB sticks and SD cards can provide and also wear leveling is at a much much better level, as these SSDs are designed to run as root file system.
dc01b.jpg
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Connectivity is OK with the DC01. You have 2 USB 2.0 ports, ethernet, e-SATA (not used by Meteohub). Compared to the still very attractive iConnect which unfortunately just dropped out of production (EOL since beginning of 2012) the DC01 is lacking WLAN and does have 2 instead of 4 USB ports to be used for devices.
dc01c.jpg
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One of the main issues I have to solve with each new platform is "how to make a Meteohub install as easy as possible". My research pointed out that the PLX SOCs do try a SATA boot before trying start from NAND where the DC01 software resides. So all you have to do is to copy a specially designed Meteohub image onto the disk, put the disk into the DC01 and power it on. The Meteohub boot image extracts itself, allocates the complete size of the disk as data partition and starts operation. Preparation of the disk can be done by your PC, Linux system or MAC by the tools "dd", "diskimage" etc, which are able to dump pure data onto the raw disk device. You already know that from setting up SD cards and USB sticks for the Meteohub Marvell platforms.
dc01d.png
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Price for a DC01 based Meteohub will be 100€ for the DC01 itself, 40€ for a 30GB SSD, and 59€ for the Meteohub license. Summing that you end up with 200€. Not the cheapest platform, but look how cute this solution is!

I expect to have the whole thing ready for prime time in a couple of weeks. If someone is interested to early adopt to the DC01, please contact me, as I can provide some beta installation images. Getting help on bug finding is always welcome.

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by HWTest » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:31 pm

I'm interested, it is really cute :-)

But I have a couple of questions:
1) How much powerfull is the CPU compared to the Sheeva?
2) Can I migrate my Sheeva license to the DC01?

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by admin » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:18 pm

ad 1) Although CPU performance might be a bit lower (still have to test this) it does recomputation more than two times faster, because of the sata attched SSD. These are my first impressions, I will test that in detail in the next days and will report.

ad 2) yes.

To make it WLAN enabled, I am working on WLAN drivers that allow to use one of the tiny WLAN b/g/n USB dongles around. As said, it is not 100% ready for prime time, but I wanted to let you know early, that even when iConnects will run out of stock in the future, there is an interesting ARM alternative beside good old SheevaPlug - which looks a bit outdated to me with its brick-style plastic housing and the SD card sticking out like a shark's fin ;-)

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by Billy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:06 pm

What about the power consumption in comparison with the good old Sheeva?

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by admin » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:38 pm

DC01 is at 5 watts average with SSD w/o WLAN.

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by HWTest » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Thank you for your answers.
I'm not interested in WLAN, so this is no problem for me.
My Sheeva is under heavy load - lots of sensors and lots of data. I had to replace the SD card once, it was worn out.
I'm tempted to buy one locally and try it out, even in demo mode.
And when it works the same or better than the Sheeva, the do the switch.

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by AenG » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:45 pm

Very nice device.
To reach many users you have to make a user friendly installation.


"Preparation of the disk can be done by your PC, Linux system or MAC by the tools "dd", "diskimage" etc, which are able to dump pure data onto the raw disk device."

This preparation is not user friendly.
There is no better way?

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by wfpost » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:56 pm

^^^ yes, buy a pre-installed gadget :wink:

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by admin » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:38 pm

I can hardly imagine to make hacking a device not entirely designed for Meteohub more user friendly as just storing data on a hdd and mounting that hdd into the case. It took me quite some effort to get that far.

However, I also managed to get the miniature D-Link WLAN USB dongle DWA-131 working. So you get the unit working in wireless mode by adding just 15 Euro to the bill.

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by idociko » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:54 pm

Good job Boris. Unfortunately my Alix1D is just a few month old, otherwise........ :roll:

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by florob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:43 pm

Hi I am most certainly interested in buy up with and using Silverst.one DC01. Is it possible to buy this unit set up including WI Fi from you and if so can you please send details to robflo11@bigpond.com. Regards Robin

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by admin » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:22 pm

Ambientweather.com does start selling it as weatherhub4.

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by HLucas01 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:12 am

Boris, my compliments,

I have migrated from an Alix3D2 to a Silverstone DC01 with a Vertex 30Gb SSD succesfully.
Most important reason for me was that i was running out of memory with a 4Gb CF-card, and replacing the CF card with an industry standard grade 8Gb CF card was not that much cheaper than completely replacing the system.
The new system is now up and running for more than a week now and is as stable as the Alix3D2 was.

With regards to the preparation: the setup may not be as user-friendly as one would prefer, but the setup manual was more than adequate.
My knowledge of Unix and SSH commands is limited, but i had no problem following the step by step setup.
The only problem i had was that after installation my WMRS200 was not detected on the USB.
As described in this forum i added a USB hub in between and the system was up and running.

Perhaps you should ad this problem with USB as an attention point to the setup manual?

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by HWTest » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:20 pm

I want to share my experience with setting up and running meteohub on a DC01.
The first problem I've encountered was the same as mentioned here: viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8947
It seems, that in the newer firmware of the DC01 (I'm running 20111122), the usb stick is mounted as /media/USB1-P1, not as /media/USBCOPY-P1 as the setup.sh script assumes. Solved very quickly by modifying the setup.sh script. I found the thread later.

I was using an ADATA S396S 30 GB SSD - it died after a couple of days. Before dying it behaved strange, meteohub froze and responded only to ping but no SSH, SMB, web UI. I don't think it was a fault of meteohub or the DC01, I think it was simply bad luck, with that particular piece.
So I have setup meteohub again, this time on a Crucial M4 64GB SSD, I know it is an overkill, but I'm planning to give the ADATA another shot when it comes back from RMA.

After restoring configuration, there was a small glitch, notification mail didn't work and meteohub was complaining about the file /home/meteohub/esmtprc missing, the fix was again easy - changing a letter in the email in "Setup Push Service", then save, changing it back, then Save & Test and it was working.

Now, when I had both - my old Sheeva and the new DC01 running, I was trying to do some speed comparison. Both my weather stations (TFA Nexus and ELV WDE1) are (for now) connected directly to the Sheeva and the DC01 is connected to them over "TCP/IP Meteohub". The DC01 runs meteohub in DEMO mode, because I'm planning to transfer the licence, after I have the ADATA SSD back and I'm sure, it is running stable, so the configuration is not exactly the same on both because of the limitations of the DEMO mode.
First I started a data recomputation - Sheeva cca 3 years of data, DC01 cca 3 moths of the same data (DEMO limitation).

Sheeva
34764749 records processed in 41398 seconds (839 records per second)

DC01
4684895 records processed in 7884 seconds (594 records per second)
4806134 records processed in 8189 seconds (586 records per second)

I did it twice on the DC01, because it doesn't take that long on 3 months of data.
The Sheeva seems to be faster, which wasn't that what I was expecting.
I moved the data from the Sheeeva and left only the same 3 months of data on it. Started recomputation again.

Sheeva
4895295 records processed in 8189 seconds (597 records per second)

DC01
4895286 records processed in 8203 seconds (596 records per second)

Almost exactly the same speed. Strange, I thought that less data -> more speed. The only explanation, I can think of, is that because I added sensors with with time, the older records are smaller.
As already said, the comparison is not exact, because I'm not able to set-up both exactly the same. I would have had to modify the Sheeva settings, that it matches the DC01, but it records live data and I don't want to take the risk of messing it up.

PS: It seems my DC01 is cursed. I have ordered it (the black version) on Amazon, the delivery date was 3 times postponed, after waiting 4 months for delivery, I cancelled my order and ordered it elsewhere. I received it in a couple of days, but it came without the power adapter - unbelievable.
Then the ADATA SSD died ... :-(

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Re: Meteohub on Silverstone DC01 or AKiTiO MyCloud Mini

Post by HWTest » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:11 am

The end of the story - the missing power adapter for the DC01 arrived and the ADATA SSD is back from RMA.
The Silverstone is running the ADATA SSD and the licence is transfered.
I had to transfer, the Sheeva died. The power source failed/became weak , it was not able to boot properly - it was the "new revision" Sheeva.
(Fixed by soldering an external power adapter.)
Back to the Silvestone DC01, the speed of data recomputation is approximately the same as on the Sheeva, but I think it was a good move to switch to the DC01.
- the SSD should be much more durable, than a SD card
- if there are problems with the power source (power adapter), the fix is quick and easy - I have two powered USB hubs, which power adapters are suitable for the DC01
- the DC01 is much more pretty, than the Sheeva :-)
I'm happy now ...

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