[INDEX][GUIDE] Q-Link Scepter 8 Tablet / General Info & Discussion Thread

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Alkuam

Member
Mar 10, 2017
20
1
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Has anyone had an issue with the tablet's touchscreen not responding?

Just tried booting it after letting it sit powered down for a month or so and it will only respond intermittently. Even tried taking off the plastic "screen protecter" it came with.
 

SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
34
10
Has anyone had an issue with the tablet's touchscreen not responding?

Just tried booting it after letting it sit powered down for a month or so and it will only respond intermittently. Even tried taking off the plastic "screen protecter" it came with.
Do you have it rooted and what not or is it still stock?
 

Renate

Recognized Contributor / Inactive Recognized Dev
Feb 3, 2012
3,630
1,606
Boston
www.temblast.com
Nexus 7 (2013)
Moto E5
I went looking for FEL mode test points on my B&N Glow '21, didn't find any, I but didn't look too hard.
I have a hardware console and I can hit "any key" to stop u-boot, then type "efex" to go to FEL mode.
I wrote a proof-of-concept FEL mode client.
Code:
C:\>allwin
Found FEL device
AWUSBFEX 00175500 00000001 0001
Model sun8iw15
FEL is much less sophisticated than EDL Sahara.
You need to write different sections of SRAM to get the FES loader going.
The Wiki posted above is not much help on a different processor.
I somehow did something that caused my Glow to do a factory reset.
No biggie, I got everything back to as it was in 20 minutes.
 

SunSlide

Member
Mar 18, 2022
34
10
It's rooted.

Tried doing a factory reset in case some setting went funny when the battery went dead, but that didn't help.

It seems to be responsive on the bottom of the screen and a little bit at the top. The middle section seems pretty dead.

I'm considering reflashing to see if that helps at all.
Did it get damaged ever so slightly perhaps? Sounds like a cracked digitizer but I'm no expert. If the issue persists through the factory reset then that leads me to think hardware/connection failure. Did you try the reflashing?
 

Alkuam

Member
Mar 10, 2017
20
1
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Did it get damaged ever so slightly perhaps? Sounds like a cracked digitizer but I'm no expert. If the issue persists through the factory reset then that leads me to think hardware/connection failure. Did you try the reflashing?
I don't think it got damaged, it has just been sitting in the same spot for over a month and hasn't been touched AFAIK.

Haven't tried reflashing yet.
 

Vincent Foxx

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2020
108
23
Brawley
Just got this tablet for free, but it's running android 12. S/N: MD2207AP130*****
It's very slow, and wanted to root it or find a way to flash a new rom. But all i been finding are instructions for android 11.
 
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Viva La Android

Senior Member
Just got this tablet for free, but it's running android 12. S/N: MD2207AP130*****
It's very slow, and wanted to root it or find a way to flash a new rom. But all i been finding are instructions for android 11.
Android 12 Go Edition? Nice. I will email my contact over at Hot Pepper Mobile and make a request for the updated factory firmware image.
In theory, the rooting procedure for Android 11 should work on your Android 12 based tablet. The kernel/ramdisk for Android 11 is fully compatible with Android 12. Google now uses a protocol known as the Android Common Kernel (ACG), which separates the vendor implementation from the boot image via dedicated partition. This new protocol will purportedly help alleviate the widespread fragmentation problem with Android-based devices, and make OTA updates simpler on manufacturers to provide. However, I would first need to know your hardware configuration to ascertain that it is the same hardware used in earlier tablet models. There is an app on Play Store called Dev Check Device & System Info by developer flar2. Install that app, open it, grant any permission requests, then tap on the Hardware heading. Post the info pertaining to your CPU/GPU if you would be so inclined. Thanks for your support. Also, if you wouldn't mind, post a photo of the manufacturer's sticker located on the rear of your tablet.
I just emailed the Support Dept over at Hot Pepper Mobile and formally requested the updated firmware image based on Android 12.
 
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Vincent Foxx

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2020
108
23
Brawley
Android 12 Go Edition? Nice. I will email my contact over at Hot Pepper Mobile and make a request for the updated factory firmware image.
In theory, the rooting procedure for Android 11 should work on your Android 12 based tablet. The kernel/ramdisk for Android 11 is fully compatible with Android 12. Google now uses a protocol known as the Android Common Kernel (ACG), which separates the vendor implementation from the boot image via dedicated partition. This new protocol will purportedly help alleviate the widespread fragmentation problem with Android-based devices, and make OTA updates simpler on manufacturers to provide. However, I would first need to know your hardware configuration to ascertain that it is the same hardware used in earlier tablet models. There is an app on Play Store called Dev Check Device & System Info by developer flar2. Install that app, open it, grant any permission requests, then tap on the Hardware heading. Post the info pertaining to your CPU/GPU if you would be so inclined. Thanks for your support. Also, if you wouldn't mind, post a photo of the manufacturer's sticker located on the rear of your tablet.
I just emailed the Support Dept over at Hot Pepper Mobile and formally requested the updated firmware image based on Android 12.
If i'm reading this right, it says it has about 2gb of ram?
 

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Viva La Android

Senior Member
@Vincent Foxx, you do have upgraded hardware in your model. Yours is running the Allwinner-A133 chipset. The Android 11 models run the Allwinner-A100. And, yes, you have double the RAM of the earlier models as well. The good news is, the A100 and A133 can both run the same kernel. Speaking of kernel, can you give me your kernel version? I want to double check something first, but I believe you're in luck as far as rooting goes.
 

Vincent Foxx

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2020
108
23
Brawley
@Vincent Foxx, you do have upgraded hardware in your model. Yours is running the Allwinner-A133 chipset. The Android 11 models run the Allwinner-A100. And, yes, you have double the RAM of the earlier models as well. The good news is, the A100 and A133 can both run the same kernel. Speaking of kernel, can you give me your kernel version? I want to double check something first, but I believe you're in luck as far as rooting goes.
Thats good. If I can root this I can extract the img an post it
 

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SamuEDL

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2011
181
71
By the way, I don't know if you've tried it. On my tablet (Also with Allwinner A100 and 1GB of ram) I use GSI roms and I have better performance than stock roms. Maybe it's the same on the Q-link. At least it can be an alternative until you have a good custom rom.
 

Viva La Android

Senior Member
By the way, I don't know if you've tried it. On my tablet (Also with Allwinner A100 and 1GB of ram) I use GSI roms and I have better performance than stock roms. Maybe it's the same on the Q-link. At least it can be an alternative until you have a good custom rom.
Yes, I've had a much better experience using the LineageOS based GSI ROMs. Definitely more responsive than stock.
 

Viva La Android

Senior Member
@Vincent Foxx, great news. I have been given the Android 12 Go Edition firmware for the latest QLink tablets. I am uploading the package now and will post a download link as soon as it's finished.
In case you aren't familiar with Allwinner firmware, it comes archived in .img format. In order to extract the boot.img and other partition images, you must use a special extraction tool such as CRB Android Kitchen (available for free here on XDA). If you need, I can take the liberty of extracting the firmware. Let me know.
 
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Viva La Android

Senior Member
@Vincent Foxx, I went ahead and extracted the Android 12 Go Edition firmware image. I patched the boot.img with Magisk v25.2 and uploaded it to my cloud storage. Here is a link:
Patched Boot Image (Android 12 Go Ed. Firmware,)
I noticed in the device info you posted that your active partition slot is _b. Whenever you flash the patched Boot Image to achieve root, be sure to flash both the _a & _b slots as such:
Code:
fastboot flash boot_a patched_boot.img
fastboot flash boot_b patched_boot.img
 
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Vincent Foxx

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2020
108
23
Brawley
@Vincent Foxx, I went ahead and extracted the Android 12 Go Edition firmware image. I patched the boot.img with Magisk v25.2 and uploaded it to my cloud storage. Here is a link:
Patched Boot Image (Android 12 Go Ed. Firmware,)
I noticed in the device info you posted that your active partition slot is _b. Whenever you flash the patched Boot Image to achieve root, be sure to flash both the _a & _b slots as such:
Code:
fastboot flash boot_a patched_boot.img
fastboot flash boot_b patched_boot.img
Everthing works great, now i can see if i can make this a bit lag free. If there's any roms i can download let me know, something that's android 10 since android 11 and 12 are buggy imo.
and thanks a lot for your service helped a lot
 

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  • 1
    Can you access bootloader/fastboot this way?

    Powered off
    hold any vol button and keep holding
    plug in usb
    while holding a vol button tap power 10 times
    Same thing happen to me. Fastoot seemed broken but it’s not. Power off the tablet and let it rest for a good while then plug it in to a wall outlet let it charge for a good 15 minutes. When you see the battery icon it’s a good sign. Attempt at this stage to enter fastboot
    1
    Why did you flash your /boot partition? You never flash /boot when installing.a GSI. The GSI boots from your stock boot image.
    gosh Darnet
  • 4

    Q-LINK SCEPTER 8


    images (1).jpeg
    images.jpeg

    QLINK SCEPTER 8 VARIANTS:
    To date (September 7, 2022), two primary hardware variants of the QLink Scepter 8 tablet have been released by Hot Pepper Mobile. The original variant is powered by the Allwinner-A100 chipset platform, has 1 GB RAM, and shipped with the Android 11 Go Edition OS. The newer variant, released only a few weeks ago, includes an upgraded Allwinner-A133 chipset, has 2 GB RAM, and ships with the latest build of Android 12 Go Edition preinstalled. The CEO of Hot Pepper Mobile, Mr. Shawn Sun, has most graciously provided me with factory firmware images for both variants. Those firmware packages are available over in my stock firmware restoration guide linked in the downloads section below. Likewise, instructions for unlocking the bootloader and attaining root access on both variants can be found on my below-linked guide as well.​

    OVERVIEW:
    This is a general info and discussion thread for any topics relating to the Q-Link Scepter 8 tablet. This is an 8" budget Android tablet manufactured specifically for eligible recipients of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, a federally funded FCC initiative to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of December 31, 2021, the EBB was renamed the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Ironically, even though the EBB was originally intended specifically for assistance with internet service, and although this tablet is branded by Q-Link, a major mobile service provider of the federal Lifeline program, the Q-Link Scepter 8 is a WiFi-only device and does not support cellular connectivity. Because there is very little info available online for this device, a general info and discussion thread was needed as a collective forum and resource for device owners.

    DEVELOPMENT STATUS:
    This tablet is supported for bootloader unlocking by way of the standard fastboot mode procedure. Root access can be attained by the standard Magisk systemless strategy of ramdisk patching. Unfortunately, I no longer own one of these tablets and I did not save copies of any of the firmware images I was able to pull from the device by way of a flash tool in read-back mode. Likewise, as luck would have it, the modded flash tool is no longer accessible due to a broken download link online and no working mirrors As it stands, we are lacking a stock boot/recovery image with which to patch the ramdisk for root. To date, despite numerous formal requests made to the manufacturer, the kernel source code has not been released to the public. Likewise, the manufacturer has released no factory images or stock firmware for this device, making custom development a futile effort at this point. I am presently attempting to locate a chipset-supported version of an Allwinner flashing utility which can be used to dump partition images.
    This thread is intended for general discussion of any topics relating to the Q-Link Scepter 8. As resources for source code, firmware, etc., become available, additional development threads will be posted and maintained. For now, however, this is the catch-all device thread. Although I no longer own one of these devices, I will try to diligently maintain this thread and make efforts to break ground on custom development projects. A couple of days ago, on January 11th, I emailed support for Hot Pepper, Inc., and made formal written requests for both the kernel source code (which the manufacturer is required to provide pursuant to the GNU General Public License) and factory images or a stock firmware package for this tablet. Because Hot Pepper, Inc., recently changed hands in terms of ownership and operations, I am hopeful that at least one of my requests Is granted.
    UPDATE: On January 27th, I received a reply from a support specialist of Hot Pepper, Inc. His correspondence advised me that my request for kernel source code had been forwarded to Hot Pepper's software developers in China, who should be returning to the office from Chinese Holiday on February 6th. Accordingly, access to the kernel source code should be forthcoming in just a matter of days.
    Update: February 22, 2022:
    I have received correspondence from the CEO of Hot Pepper Mobile regarding my request for stock firmware and kernel source code for the Scepter 8. It appears that the delay was merely an issue of English--Chinese translation with respect to my original request. This is the correspondence in full:
    Screenshot_20220222-024927.png

    Per the CEO's instructions,, I have clarified my requests and provided specific examples. It now looks as though development for this tablet is imminent. I will, of course, keep this thread updated accordingly and post links to stock firmware/source code here just as soon as Hot Pepper Mobile grants access.
    Update: February 23, 2022:
    Finally, after weeks of back-and-forth correspondence, the CEO of Hot Pepper Mobile has provided me with two factory images for the QLink Scepter 8: one package is V6 and the other appears to be the latest build, V9. Both firmware images are available in my Stock Firmware Restoration Guide, which I have linked below. Although I did not receive the actual kernel source code, I'm content that the factory images will advance our efforts for rooting and a TWRP port build, which I will be working on as soon as free time permits.
    UPDATE ON TWRP: As it currently stands, the TWRP port for this device is at a standstill. Because this tablet is Allwinner-based, uses the Dynamic partition scheme, and supports seamless updates (A/B), there are simply too many obstacles to complete the build at this time. I am requesting assistance from a TeamWin developer on this project. I will keep this thread updated with the status on the unofficial TWRP port. However, on a positive note, I am currently porting LineageOS 19.1 (Android 12) to this tablet, which will be installable with PhoenixSuit, LiveSuit, or PhoenixUSBPro. Believe it or not, a custom ROM is child's play in comparison to porting TWRP.

    DOWNLOADS & LINKS:

    Q-Link Scepter 8 User Manual (PDF)
    Q-Link Scepter 8 FCC Report
    Bootloader Unlocking & Rooting Guide
    Stock Firmware Restoration Guide

    PLEASE CONSIDER:
    Please keep this thread on topic and post only about subject matter relating to the Q-Link Scepter 8. While all discussion and questions are welcome, please keep it device specific. Also, please be respectful to others when posting or replying. Keep in mind that English is not the primary language of every member, as the XDA community spans the entire globe. As such, it is often easy to misinterpret text which has been translated into English, or to take statements out of context. Be patient with, and kind to, new members who seek knowledge and answers. Remember when you were a noob and others patiently assisted you here on XDA. In short, it is my wish to keep this thread an open and welcome platform for all members, regardless of language, experience, nationality, etc. Please be respectful.

    $$ DONATIONS $$
    I do not request or expect donations from members for my work. I adhere firmly to the open source spirit of the Android OS. With that said, for any members who want to help and are financially able during these hard economic times, I do have two completely broken and inoperable QLink Scepter 8 tablets at the moment. I am presently unable to continue any development work, custom ROMs, custom recovery projects, , etc., due to having no functional device. Any little bit would help tremendously with buying a working device from eBay or Amazon. I think $30 to $40 is avarage on a new device. With an abundance of bills at the moment, I simply don't have the extra to buy one.
    Below is my PayPal link and my CashApp link, where you can give as little as $1. For those unable to help financially, I understand. A tap on the thanks button, however, doesn't cost a thing. 😁
    Donate via CashApp
    Donate via PayPal

    THANKS & MENTIONS:
    Thanks goes out to Hot Pepper Mobile, Inc., for providing factory firmware images for this device. Specifically, I want to thank Hot Pepper Support Specialist Joshua G. and Hot Pepper CEO Shawn Sun for their professional assistance.

    4
    Update: The manufacturer of this tablet, Hot Pepper, Inc., has replied to my formal requests for kernel source and factory images. I was asked to elaborate more on my requests, which I have done. Hopefully they will accommodate soon.
    4
    I got a successful root with magisk! I'll include a rough how-to
    1. enable USB debugging in developer options. (unlock by tapping 5x on build number in settings>about tablet)
    2. enable OEM Unlocking in developer options. Mine was originally greyed out, but it corrected after I linked a google account in setup.
    install minimal adb/fastboot on your pc, connect tablet via microusb https://androiddatahost.com/uq6us
    run cmd-here.exe, and type: adb reboot bootloader, and then fastboot oem unlock
    3. download firmware v9 to pc
    4. open firmware img with 7zip, and extract boot_a.img
    5. transfer that boot img file back into your tablets storage.
    6. install Magisk on github, go to install, and select that boot image when prompted.
    7. copy the img it spits out onto your computer, into the root directory of your adb/fastboot. Rename it something simple like patchedboot.img
    8. download and install Phoenix Suite https://androidmtk.com/download-phoenixsuit
    9. enable USB debugging on your tablet and keep it connected. you can verify a good connection if 'adb devices' in cmd shows a device.
    10. Phoenix Suite will recognize your adb device. proceed to install the v9 firmware to your tablet
    11. after its finished, in CMD enter: adb reboot fastboot
    12. enter: fastboot flash boot patchedboot.img
    13. reboot your tablet, and check in magisk to see if it you're rooted, it will show: Installed 24.1 instead of N/A
    14. I highly reccomend sideloading librechair for a launcher, and Openboard for keyboard; they use minimal ram and run reliably on such a low spec tablet. My tablet no longer freezes doing light tasks.
    https://t.me/librechair/7269
    https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.dslul.openboard.inputmethod.latin/
    https://www.bromite.org/ for going full degoogled

    here's the patched v9 boot.img to save people some time
    3
    Ok folks now we are making progress on source code. After being forwarded to Hot Pepper's lawyers, my request has now been sent to the actual developers of the tablet's firmware in China. The following is support's response:
    Screenshot_20220129-203511.png

    So the best I can tell, we will have source code in early February. Hopefully, shortly after. Feb 9th. I'm not having luck with the Phoenix tool so far, so the source code may be our savior here.
    3
    Just an update they did bill me (and I paid with a PayPal key in which I changed the CVC right after) $10.01 for the silly tablet.
    Yeah the person I bought my original tablet from jokingly said that the government had a $10.01 lien on the tablet. Except, he wasn't actually joking because QLink had billed him for $10.01 a couple weeks after he received it. My guess is, half the recipients of the Scepter 8 probably will never pay QLink a dime.