The Droid Charge Development Platform. AKA UnBrickable Mod

AdamOutler

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Feb 18, 2011
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This modification will go like this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1206216

After that, unbricking your Droid Charge will be like this...

See here for full instructions:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1242466

Of course I don't OWN a droid charge, so I will need to work with someone who does.



introduction
I'm not kidding when I say UnBrickable. Modifying the OM pins means you can boot from USB, UART or MMC. This makes the phone quite UNBRICKABLE. There is nothing you can do software wise to prevent the device from booting into this mode. We are communicating with the unrewritable, efused IROM on the processor. It's the thing that makes the system on a chip into a "system on a chip".I am here now to tell you how to turn your Samsung Droid Charge into a KIT-S5PC110 development board. The KIT-S5PC110 development board is the platform used to develop our phones. There are some differences between this mod and the official development platform. The S5PC110 has a removable internal SDCard and no touchscreen.

Why would you want to do this? When you plug in the battery and connect it to the computer in "off" mode, it will become an S5PC110 board awaiting download of a program to run. This occurs long before anything like software or firmware enters the processor. This is the IROM of the device awaiting commands or a power on signal.

Because it is accepting a memory flash, anything may be put onto the device to perform a boot sequence..... Apple iOS (iPhone4 has the same processor) WP7 (mango supports this processor).

This will be a replacement for JTAG once we are able to make some firmware. How could it possibly be better then JTAG? Let's count the ways....
1. The only part required is a wire.
2. No shipping time.
3. No cost for a box to interface the computer.
4. Permanent.
5. Can be done as a preventive measure.
6. Gives the ability to test new Bootloaders temporarily.
7. Allows development of the entire system.
8. Removes worry about flashing and acts as a backup.

After performing this mod:
Remove the battery, replace the battery, your phone will connect to the computer via USB and await commands. Otherwise it will pretty much act like a Droid Charge. See the Special Instructions section.

Modification

You will need:
1. Get someone who knows what they're doing with a soldering iron. If they don't know what flux is, then they don't know what they're doing. You can also speak to myself(my username @gmail.com) or Connexion2005(aka MobileTechVideos.com)
2. soldering iron - make sure it's sharp, if it's not sharp, then sharpen it, flux it and retin it.
3. flux
4. solder
5. tweezers
6. A relay (possibly- for the wire within to use as a bridge)


performing the modification:
1. tear apart your phone... Make sure to take out your SIM and external SDCard before you do this.
1A. Remove the screws.
1B. Separate the top case from the bottom case
1C. disconnect the display connector and free the camera and button assemblies from the case.
1D. Remove the mainboard

Mainboard picture (HUGE):http://i56.tinypic.com/2945i5d.jpg
Processor Picture(HUGE): http://i52.tinypic.com/2m4rvv9.jpg

2. Perform the mod in one of the following ways:

The Proper Way:
2a. Move the xOM5 resistor from the top to the bottom position


--or--

The Easy Way:
2b. Remove the xOM5 resistor and bridge it to one of the resistors next to it.

thanks to Clarkkent434 for the board.


3. reassemble the phone.


Special Instructions

  • This replaces the battery charging sequence. The normal battery charging sequence can be activated by holding power for 4 seconds.
  • To turn on the device, and operate in normal mode, you must hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  • 3 button Download mode works as usual, however you must not have the S5PC110 drivers installed on the computer. You can use your custom rom menu option, adb reboot download, or use a terminal to "reboot download". 301Kohm Factory Mode JIGs work as well, but you must press power to bypass the S5PC110 mode.


Conclusion

Congratulations. You now have a device which works like a KIT-S5PC110 with an OM Value of 29. Now get to developing some serious custom software. See here for setting up the UART output http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1235219

reading material
Creating your own Samsung Bootloaders: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1233273
KIT-S5PC110 manual: http://www.mediafire.com/?94krzvvxksvmuxh
how to use DNW: http://tinyurl.com/dnw-how-to
Flash using openOCD and DNW: http://www.arm9board.net/wiki/index.php?title=Flash_using_OpenOCD_and_DNW
another DNW example: http://www.boardset.com/products/mv6410.php
ODroid dev center: http://dev.odroid.com/projects/uboot/wiki/#s-7.2


drivers and utilities
This will be an ever expanding list
Windows Drivers http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=678937&d=1312590673
Windows Download Tool DNW: http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=678938&d=1312590673
Windows Command Line Download Tool: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=17202523&postcount=27
Linux DNW Utility: http://dev.odroid.com/projects/uboot/wiki/#s-7.2

firmware
One-Click Resurrector: http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=705515&d=1314762609
Bootloader Hello World by Rebellos http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=698077&d=1314105521
 
Last edited:

AdamOutler

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Feb 18, 2011
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^^ PM sent, sorry I did not make it to the post office early enough this morning. Thank you for providing the board for analysis. The sacrificial board allows resurrection of all dead boards to follow. It will go back to you on Tuesday.

Please contact myself or Rebellos if you have perfomed this mod... It's not experimental. its tried and true. We just need to make sure the firmware is squared away. Once we have the one-click firmware squared away, JTAG on the Droid Charge is depricated.
 
Last edited:

ashish8

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2010
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Adam, I was interested in performing this mod, but I was curious if the one click restore was working, since my charge is in a hard brick state at the moment. Also the steps mentioned above I assume they are an exclusive or, correct? Either do 2a or 2b?

Thanks
 

AdamOutler

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
Feb 18, 2011
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Adam, I was interested in performing this mod, but I was curious if the one click restore was working, since my charge is in a hard brick state at the moment. Also the steps mentioned above I assume they are an exclusive or, correct? Either do 2a or 2b?

Thanks
You only need to complete 1 of those 2 steps. They're the proper and the alternate methods. Once you complete the mod, get with me on pm. I'll get a heimdall 1 click ready. You need to have a working Linux (preferrably Ubuntu) and verify the lsusb command is returning :1234 for a Samsung device.

Everything should be working fine. I'm 98% confident that we can restore your device within a few minutes on GTalk.
 
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neyenlives

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Oct 11, 2010
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Awesome!
From the pictures, everything looks far too tiny for me to do.
I'll just have to not brick my phone. :p
I have the skills and the equipment to do this kind of work. I work on um (micron) scale at work with several thousandths of an inch being large. Unfortunately this is my only phone which I cannot replace right now.....but this intrigues me nonetheless.
 

AdamOutler

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Wasn't this originally for the Infuse?

Sent from my Droid Charge running GummyCharged 2.0
No, there is no mod for the infuse yet. I came up with the mod for the Captivate, this is second and we've also got the S8500 Bada platforms as well. This will be spreading across all platforms. It works, and its much easier than JTAG.
 

Ronbo85

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2010
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Hi, thank you for your valuable information.

Just for clarification, in post #1 it starts out with "the modification will go like this" and a link to another thread with some circuit mods on another samsung mobo.

Then under that in the same post there is a video for the "Ultimate Unbricker"

Then below that again in the same post there is another video for the teardown of a Charge and below that another mobo circuit mod.

Is there more than one circuit mod for the Charge or is only the one within post #1 needed for the unbrick?
 

AdamOutler

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Feb 18, 2011
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Hi, thank you for your valuable information.

Just for clarification, in post #1 it starts out with "the modification will go like this" and a link to another thread with some circuit mods on another samsung mobo.

Then under that in the same post there is a video for the "Ultimate Unbricker"

Then below that again in the same post there is another video for the teardown of a Charge and below that another mobo circuit mod.

Is there more than one circuit mod for the Charge or is only the one within post #1 needed for the unbrick?
Just one circuit mod. Like I said, they're like switches. the xOM5 value must be switched from a low to a high and that's it. It's easy. Much easier then the Captivate. You could do it with a crappy radio shack soldering iron in about 5 minutes.

Just bridge xOM5 to a resistor on either side. Or heck, have me do it. I can't believe this has been around for a week and noone has done it. It's simple, free and convenient.

Anyone got a broken Droid Charge? I'll fix it for free and make it UnBrickable. I also have two RIFF JTAG boxes within arm's reach of this computer as a backup. Christ... I pulled the processor off a very generous person's droid charge to get the details mapped out for this mod and I'll be damned if his contribution goes to waste.

Ya'll need to get on this and start real development instead of this fooling around in the "Droid Charge Android Development" forum. Make your devices into real development phones with no boundries.. Flash some Nexus S bootloaders without worry and port Ubuntu to the device, then flash back to stock when you're done.
 
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ashish8

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2010
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tampa
Just one circuit mod. Like I said, they're like switches. the xOM5 value must be switched from a low to a high and that's it. It's easy. Much easier then the Captivate. You could do it with a crappy radio shack soldering iron in about 5 minutes.

Just bridge xOM5 to a resistor on either side. Or heck, have me do it. I can't believe this has been around for a week and noone has done it. It's simple, free and convenient.

Anyone got a broken Droid Charge? I'll fix it for free and make it UnBrickable. I also have two RIFF JTAG boxes within arm's reach of this computer as a backup. Christ... I pulled the processor off a very generous person's droid charge to get the details mapped out for this mod and I'll be damned if his contribution goes to waste.

Ya'll need to get on this and start real development instead of this fooling around in the "Droid Charge Android Development" forum. Make your devices into real development phones with no boundries.. Flash some Nexus S bootloaders without worry and port Ubuntu to the device, then flash back to stock when you're done.
Adam, if you're willing I would love to take you up on this. My charge is a paper weight and I don't have the soldering skills. PM with your address and also your paypal email

Thanks a lot.
 

Ronbo85

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2010
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Ft Lauderdale
Just one circuit mod. Like I said, they're like switches. the xOM5 value must be switched from a low to a high and that's it. It's easy. Much easier then the Captivate. You could do it with a crappy radio shack soldering iron in about 5 minutes.

Just bridge xOM5 to a resistor on either side. Or heck, have me do it. I can't believe this has been around for a week and noone has done it. It's simple, free and convenient.
Okay thanks Adam so do the 2nd method "easy". I'll try to give you a report in the next day or so. I got so much going on lately an tonight I'm working on some guys iPhone I been putting off. Thank you again. BTW anyone got a Samsung fascinate camera?
 

AdamOutler

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Feb 18, 2011
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OK.. it would appear that we have UnBrickable mod working. The device is bricked, but we have the expected UART output for booting. It would appear that it is bypassing the boot sequence alltogether for some reason. It sees that the computer is connected, but it is not allowing boot from USB right now. it's as though the power button were being pressed and the device is just simply booting up.

via UART, I can see this as soon as USB is plugged in:
Code:
������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
Uart negotiation Error

Enumeration TimeOut Error
Then here comes the boot sequence right after ending in an invalid SBL boot. It looks like the last thing it did was try to pull data from the partition table and failed.
Code:
1
-----------------------------------------------------------
   Samsung Primitive Bootloader (PBL) v3.0
   Copyright (C) Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. 2006-2010
-----------------------------------------------------------

+n1stVPN       3456 
+nPgsPerBlk    64 
+n1stVPN       3776 
+nPgsPerBlk    64 
PBL found bootable SBL: Partition(4).

-----------------------------------------------------------
   Samsung Secondary Bootloader (SBL) v3.0
   Copyright (C) Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. 2006-2010

   Board Name: ARIES REV 02
   Build On: Apr 11 2011 23:27:47
-----------------------------------------------------------

Re_partition: magic code(0xffffffff)
Can anyone tell me if it is normal for the Droid Charge to just boot right up as soon as battery is put in the device? Maybe there is some key combo I should look at? I'm a droid charge noob.

It's doing what it should and it's not asking for an OTG cable which means it sees USB plugged in. For some reason it's just booting. What are all the known key combinations I should try?
 

AdamOutler

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Feb 18, 2011
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Ok, the final piece of this puzzle lies in the USB OTG controller. If anyone has any information about the USB On-The-Go controller on the Droid Charge, it would help!


this bit here says the mod was done properly and it's expecting a upload of the HIBL
Code:
������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
Uart negotiation Error

Enumeration TimeOut Error
The question is where to upload. We need information on the USB OTG controller on the Droid Charge. I have suspicion about the HDMI port or the pads on the back of the device playing a role in this.

again: the above code block says the mod is working. We just need to figure out WHERE it's working.