Wednesday, 27 June 2007

$150 Bounty: 0402:5602 m560x webcam driver

I bought a fancy refurbished Acer laptop at a nice price. Ubuntu Feisty Fawn likes it all except the webcam, which is identified as 0402:5602, also known as m560x.

Well, I want it to work. I also want to improve the linux kernel, but I won’t be the one writing the driver, so instead I’ll use some of what I saved on this laptop to offer a bounty to the chap who does it.

I’ll pay by paypal $150 when Greg Kroah-Hartman of the usb-devel mailing list, or one of his deputies (e.g. Jiri Kosina) accepts working patches for this webcam and commits them for the upstream kernel; and where with the said patches I can get xawtv, ekiga and the like to enjoy the video source. like any other standard video source. The patches must be licensed under the GPL2, or GPL2 or later. The author retains copyright (naturally) or assigns it to the FSF.

To qualify, the patch, and earlier patch candidates (yes, they will make you tweak it and re-submit) must be submitted on the usb-devel mailing list, and excepting complications, the paypal payment will be to the email address comprising the Signed-off line in the patch submitted on said mailing list. I’ll split the bounty as joint contributors can agree or failing that, at my discretion. I expect one developer will leave a clear trail on the mailing list, terminating with the accepted patch, making recognition of the deserving author and subsequent payment easy.

The bounty offer will end after a valid claim has been made.

In any case it’s my intent to pay up to $150 to encourage development of such a driver and to pay it to those who write it and release it for kernel.

(It’s been suggested that this may involve working on sane-devel as well as usb-devel, in which case patches may need to be accepted for upstream submission by maintainers of both projects to qualify).

Information for starters:

Of course I’ll post the bounty notice in some of these places too.

I’m advised by one of the developers that more likely two drivers, m5602 and m5603 will hit the kernel; unknown timescales.
As long as the 5602 is supported I don’t mind splitting the bounty fairly between contributors of both drivers; in my view it is a common work that is now more conveniently expressed as two modules instead of one.
I expect other contributors will feel the same was as long as their device is supported.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Terminal Servers

I recently bought a Chase IOLAN RACK+ on ebay, only to find the built in switched mode PSU was clicking away like a broken thing.

The vendor generously offered a refund and let me keep it to repair or dipose of.

I then bought what I thought was another Chase IOLAN RACK+, but it fact it was the non-rack DB25 version with external PSU.

I decided they probably had the same voltages, so I could swap the PSU around, and with a bit of metal bending get things working for the RACK model.

While prodding the RACK+ PSU with my voltmeter to work out how to splice in the new PSU it suddenly started working; I guess the problem is most likely dry joints.

Next I find that my RJ45-DB9 cisco console cables don’t work. I find the Cisco pinout at and by conferring with the Chase manual, come up with this  colour mapping.

IOLAN / Cisco Cable mappings
IOLAN CISCO RJ45 Names RJ45 DB9 DB9 Names
2 Black RTS 1 8 CST
8 Brown DTR 2 6 DSR
4 Red TXD 3 2 RXD
6 Orange GND 4 5 GND
  Yellow GND 5 5 GND
5 Green RXD 6 3 TXD
3 Blue DSR 7 4 DTR
7 White/Grey CTS 8 7 RTS

I cut off the RJ45 from the Cisco cables and make my own, which work fine!

So, as I crimp on a new RJ45, my colour mapping is:
with yellow dangling/

Hurrah! I can now control 16 devices at once using debian’s cylcades-serial-client; all much more satisfactory that USB com ports which have given me no end of trouble.