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Building ARM PC from old qualcom boards?

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Sometimes good ideas come from bad situations! Yesterday my girlfriend accidently kicked my lg optimus v into a glass of ginger ale. This is really putting a damper on my kernel development projects.

Anyways to see if I could save the phone at all to use till the replacement gets here I had an idea. Why not reuse the working board and build a mini arm pc with embedded linux on it.

So I'm wondering if anyone out there knows if qualcom will give you chipset schematics and data sheets there site seems fairly sparse. I need schematics for the msm7627. See I figured you could replace the charger with a five port hub then bypass the battery and connect a power supply to the board. You can easily build keyboard mouse support into even the android kernel. But I'm wondering how to connect a monitor maybe if you knew the lcd pin layout you could connect a vga screen to the old socket for the lcd. This is where I think I need schematics unless the pin layout is standard?

I have so many qualcom arm phones with screen damage why not make them into low powered desktop arm dev systems or server, routers, embedded toasters?

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8th February 2012, 08:31 PM |#2  
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Qualcomm? Schematics for Qualcomm CPUs? Hah! Sorry, forget it. It's probably harder to get than sourcecode of current version of Windows.
There are leaked parts of schemas/manuals for older SoCs. Also if you can find ARMLinux (Android) kernel for such qualcomm CPU - You can build whole new system basing on SFRs description and deep analyse of mainboard. But without schemas it's hundreds hours of blind shots.
8th February 2012, 08:43 PM |#3  
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I think the biggest issue your going to face is the fact that Qualcomm has never been keen on giving out architectural sheets on their chipsets. Since most newer chipsets incorporate improvements from older models, it would be akin to them giving their competitors access to some very guarded information.

The odds of them giving the design to you without you representing a company that is licensing their chipset for use in a phone, greatly decreases your chances even further.

On a positive note, bypassing the battery should be relatively simple, however, as with all lithium batteries there is a voltage control mechanism built into the phone that you will need to adapt to function properly with a different type of power supply.

As for the monitor, the odds of you being able to adapt a VGA/HDMI cable to a system that is designed to read input from the touchscreen/digitizer is another chore, and would require you to pioneer something from scratch.

I would say your work is cut out for you.

If you really want to do something like this, buy a Raspberry Pi when they hit. It'll be much more adaptable to what your looking to do.

8th February 2012, 09:12 PM |#4  
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Yap, why going for stuffs like dat? It will blow the entire time u have got to work with roms.
About supply, yap u can manage it.
About chip spec. , its hard
About external/internal display, its nearly impossible unless u have VGA/HDMI o/p.

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8th February 2012, 11:41 PM |#5  
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Well my primary device is is trashed from it beimg totally drenched in soda so all my kernel development is at a schreeching halt basically. Hopefully it will be replaced in the next few days so I can get back on track.

As far as building a little workstation goes that dream is dead lol. I bypassed the battery and hooked the board up to a power supply that was 3volts at 1300ma and it smoked the board. I have plenty of other qualcom phones with bad screens but I didn't realize that they were so closed. I was just tryin to make crap into something usefull lol.

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9th February 2012, 04:21 AM |#6  
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this rasberry pi thing is exactly what I was looking for and its just the right price! Seriously this is goning to be an awesome little system to vnc into and build arm based assembly. The only thing qualcom has over this is that there are obviously kernel supported drivers for it to use the multiple arm chips and dsp chips so I'm assuming the low end msm 7x qualcom boards are a bit faster although idk they said this thing will push q3 at 1080p. I'm also looking at the beagleboard but this has such a nice price price 25 bucks is right up everyones ally. I smell an android port!

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16th February 2012, 08:02 PM |#7  
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If you're looking for something with good open source support AND open documentation - check out the BeagleBoard and PandaBoard.

PandaBoard ES has the same CPU as the GNex.
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21st September 2012, 10:21 AM |#8  
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Originally Posted by rwgast

....So I'm wondering if anyone out there knows if qualcom will give you chipset schematics and data sheets there site seems fairly sparse....

Unlikely. Qualcomm considers the information proprietary and requires you to contact support. See Where are the datasheets?
21st September 2012, 12:28 PM |#9  
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Here are some! Hack away!
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