1 (edited by moppet 2015-01-18 02:24:47)

Topic: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Got my desktop unit yesterday.  No serious issues, but I'll note the minor ones since Bunnie was asking for feedback from the early recipients.

LCD panel box was a little crushed (http://goo.gl/KVGbxb) and a mount was bent (xttp://goo.gl/Wz2BhP).  Was able to bend the mount back without damaging the LCD perceptibly.

Screws suppled for the panel mount were changed (there's a handwritten adjustment on the label on the bag); there are now two lengths.  The shorter ones are too short (by about 2mm) to reach all the threads on the nuts, but good enough to get it snug.  The getting started guide doesn't say which length to use, so I was guessing.

The threads in the bezel backing plate behind the LCD strip really easily.  Even using light finger torque I stripped two trying to find a snug point.

WiFi antenna mounting instructions are amusingly vague ("a location that provides good reception given your setup, and complies to local regulations".)  I didn't find a location good enough to commit to using the adhesive on.

The LCD cable passes right over the GPBB's header when the panel is closed -- I suspect that might be an issue for people using the pre-notched bezel, and after all the introductory paranoia about bending the LCD I'm a little worried about the header pins flexing the cable and thence the panel.

Nothing explicitly labelled as ROMulator was in the box, but the "Novena <-> SD Fuzz Adapter 1.0" has a set of pads near the novena's end which look like they might mate with a flash rom package.  It would help if there were a manifest in the box or on the wiki explaining what to look for, since the only pictures I've seen of the ROMulator looked substantially different than this.

There's an extra bagged blue aluminum heatsink in the box for some reason.  FPGA?  Adding extra irony to the Cortex ARM core on the Senoko pass-through board?

A couple of first-boot notes that are probably software issues:

- There's a lot of transient display tearing and color-garbling in X associated with CPU load (process startups, keystrokes in input fields, etc.)  This manifested badly on the first boot, and not at all on a second or third.

- There's a constant low buzz from both speaker channels.

- A USB (1.0) mouse was not recognized when plugged via a hub the device had recognized, but worked fine on one of the typeA ports on the side.


In short, not a bad first experience considering what the Novena is for, mostly calls for some clarifications in documentation.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I'll throw my desktop feedback here as well.

My LCD box was also a little crushed, but the tabs on the panel itself were fine. I also was a little confused by the two different length LCD screws, but used common sense to figure it out.

I'm finding that sometimes the screen doesn't open after releasing the latch, especially when the Novena is lying on a flat surface. I'm not sure if it is a problem with the latch, or if there is some friction between the LCD bezel and the edge of the case.

Overall I'm happy with how it is working.

3 (edited by Daniel 2015-01-20 00:55:21)

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Similer experience here, the screws strip too easily.

If you want to use the green bezel, be careful when swapping the latches over as there is a tiny magnet (used for lid closed detection I assume) which will fall out and is easy to loose. I'm not sure if the polarity is important.

Edit: One other lesson learned for those who come after, if you are going to install a SATA hard drive, do it before you install the LCD as the bolts for the drive are very difficult to access once the screen is in place.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

My board-only order has just arrived, and it looks like the standoffs under the GPBB really ought to be  ~1mm longer given the height of the FX10-80P/8 connector - the GPBB (and less so, the Novena board directly underneath it) are significantly flexed by the screws attaching the GPBB to the main board.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

russm: this was also a problem with my Just the Board: the standoffs I got were orange and kind of weird (only a half-circle on one side), and resulted in a twerked/bent GPBB. bunnie implied it was a was a miscommunication or last minute factory oops.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Got my desktop unit yesterday. Impressions are pretty much the same as everyone else in this thread. My LCD had a bent tab as well but it was easily fixed, oddly the box seemed undamanaged so I don't think it was bent in shipping.

Like others mentioned in this thread I'm a little unclear as to which of the additional board does what. I'll have to research that a bit.

My only unique problem is my LCD connector on my cable seemed to be damaged. At first I didn't notice the problem but when I tried to mate the connectors one side would not slide in. When I look a closer look it appears that a bit of the plastic had been broken and was pushed forwards preventing the connector from inserting. It's hard to tell if the pin was damanged. I inserted it after clearing the plastic and it booted and displayed fine so hopefully it won't be a problem.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Bunnie clarified that the "Novena <-> SD Fuzz Adapter 1.0" is indeed the ROMulator - doesn't look like the pre-production photos (which didn't include the SD interface and had a metal plate), but it's electrically the same.

8 (edited by roheve 2015-03-22 00:12:29)

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

My Novena arrived today.

All looks good, no damage or bent things.

A suitable power cable for the adapter was in my junkbox, so I can just connect it here in Europe wink
My first test will be to I power it up with a monitor connected through HDMI, througt I am not sure if that will cause the first run to configure HDMI as a default.
As I intend to add an SSD (I already HAVE an 840evo), I'll wait with mounting the LCD until after I get the board running and the SDD working... I am also considering to swap the gpbb with the Myriad-rf, through for the first steps the gpbb might be easier.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Got mine this week!

I shared my thoughts on my blog but to summarize: Everything arrived with no damages and it was a thrill to finally get my hands on.  The only outstanding issue I had was that there were some video artifacts on the LCD.  They went away after a bit of use (1 hour or so) and they haven't come back yet.

https://abraithwaite.net/2015/03/21/novena-notes/

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I got my Novena this week as well.
Packaging looked good, no damage whatsoever, all the parts were in pristine condition.
As another poster mentioned already the threads in the bezel strip VERY easily ...

Otherwise i'm really happy so far, it boots up quite fast, XFCE feels nice and snappy, updating to the latest available packages took some time, but there were about 300 or thereabouts waiting.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

bnewbold wrote:

russm: this was also a problem with my Just the Board: the standoffs I got were orange and kind of weird (only a half-circle on one side), and resulted in a twerked/bent GPBB.

On my 'desktop' those orange stand-off's where used for the eDP adapter. The GPBB had normal white stand-off's and they seemed to fit nicely.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Daniel wrote:

One other lesson learned for those who come after, if you are going to install a SATA hard drive, do it before you install the LCD as the bolts for the drive are very difficult to access once the screen is in place.

Happy with this advice smile  The SSD now nicely sits in place.
I think this is also the case for the GPBB board mounting. If you want to change that, without LCD mounted, it is easy, otherwise not.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I didn't have any damaged boxes or anything like that when the package arrived, but what I just can't get rid of is the bleeding of the backlight on the display on black screens.
I reassembled the bezel two times and never really found a way to get rid of the backlight bleeding. Even if I have the screws all really loose, I have bleeding. It almost seems like that the display doesn't really fit into the bezel and is flexed as soon as I put the screws in. The bezel itself is not bent. If i put it on a flat surface, it's perfectly level. Anybody else with this problem?

Does this somehow damage the panel on the long run?

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Andy wrote:

I didn't have any damaged boxes or anything like that when the package arrived, but what I just can't get rid of is the bleeding of the backlight on the display on black screens.
I reassembled the bezel two times and never really found a way to get rid of the backlight bleeding. Even if I have the screws all really loose, I have bleeding. It almost seems like that the display doesn't really fit into the bezel and is flexed as soon as I put the screws in. The bezel itself is not bent. If i put it on a flat surface, it's perfectly level. Anybody else with this problem?

Does this somehow damage the panel on the long run?


I have the same problem. I also tried to fit the holder a couple of times and didn't solve the problem. I haven't had time to try anything more, but the panel holder is  flexed for sure, it leaves maybe 2mm  of space in the centre of the screen

I did take a lot of pictures of my conversion from desktop to laptop, I hope to post them in the weekend

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Hi ballanux,

My LCD bracket doesn't fit properly, as the holes are offset by at least 1mm each. I managed to hold it with several of the screws, but the bracket is bent, having 8-10mm distance in the center of the LCD panel.

I'll do some machining in the next day or two, to resolve this mechanical issue. Unfortunately I'm not sure whether/how it will help with the backlight bleeding.

Regards.

16

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I'm also missing SSD mounting brackets from my package. Just had a quick look and everything else appears to be present. I'll know more later when I put it together

17

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Hi all,

Also here to report some of my unboxing findings.
Overall I'm really pleased with it! It is more than I expected and I'm looking forward to many hours of toying.

Installation was smooth and nothing was bend. LCD bracket is a bit tight so had to loosen screws a bit.
Also thread ripped in one place, but there is sufficient left to keep a good fit.
I got a Lenovo keyboard, which is nice and convenient with it.

Curious thing is that I found I'm running on 32M swap from the embedded SD card.

# swapon
NAME           TYPE      SIZE USED PRIO
/dev/mmcblk0p2 partition  32M   4K   -1

Further the sata also has 32M swap

Device     Boot  Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1         2048     67583     65536    32M  b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda2        67584    133119     65536    32M 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3       133120 488397167 488264048 232.8G 83 Linux

From https://github.com/xobs/novena-image/bl … a-image.sh
it seems sata should have 4G swap?

Finally there was an additional 4G SD card in the external slot. Was this intended or a leftover?

I will probably reimage the sata disk with crypted fs and fix the swap at that time.

For now, thanks for a great product!

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

job wrote:

Curious thing is that I found I'm running on 32M swap from the embedded SD card.

I'm not sure why there is any swap, but I have the same amount as you in the config my system came with.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

The swap partition was supposed to be 4G on SATA disks, but I can see in the code that I made a mistake and forgot to recreate swap.  Oops.

All laptop and desktop boards started out life as bare boards.  Part of the factory test to make sure all of the laptop bits are working is to copy the MMC to the SATA, then recreate and resize the third partition.  It's missing a step of resizing the swap partition, which I had intended to do.

20

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I assumed something like that. Reason I found out is that the hibernate was not working, which I gather is due to a lack of swap space to store the memory.

So maybe a tip for any non-working hibernation: check your swap and add some if needed.

Another thing I noticed today after I left my laptop on suspend for too long and it fully drained my battery:

  • the battery charge board gets quite hot when charging from completely empty

  • the display seems to be unstable (flickering on/off), it goes away when the battery gained some charge and a reboot

Not sure about the screen instability. the display board is close to the battery charge board which is hot. I do not see any log messages that seem related.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

Yes, the charge board gets hot. Lots of amps going through it! I'm running a 2S battery that has a 1C charge rate of 8A(!), which I decided was pushing my luck a bit and so I set my fastcharge current to half that. Even then, the AC connector gets appreciably warm. That said, I can touch it without getting burnt so it's definitely not hot enough to cause issues.

xobs has mentioned issues around getting the display board to lock it's clocks properly; so I don't think what you're seeing is battery or heat related. Mine comes up in the bad state every 5 reboots or so.

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

I wonder if there's a good way to fix the swap issue.  That will really become a problem with working hibernate support.

The solution, I think, is to reboot into the recovery console and use gparted to move things around and expand swap.  That should be documented.

23

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

pelrun wrote:

xobs has mentioned issues around getting the display board to lock it's clocks properly; so I don't think what you're seeing is battery or heat related. Mine comes up in the bad state every 5 reboots or so.

I agree it is more likely that it is related to the low power situation. I never had a bad display state before and also not since.
Will keep an eye on it to see if I can spot any correlation with other events.

24 (edited by job 2015-06-04 05:34:32)

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

xobs wrote:

I wonder if there's a good way to fix the swap issue.  That will really become a problem with working hibernate support.

I tried the following:

decrease /dev/sda3 with resize2fs
repartition with fdisk:

Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1            2048     67583     65536    32M  b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda2       475813888 488397167  12583280     6G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3          133120 475813887 475680768 226.8G 83 Linux

Now the partitions are not in order and I do not know if this is an issue. Swap works.
I can post these steps on the wiki if you want, but I'm not sure yet if this is the best option.

Hibernation however does not work. I do not know why at the moment.
I see systemd is interfering with swap as it activates swap before I see the kernel log inspecting /dev/sda2 for resume.
However, if I remove swap from fstab to prevent systemd touching it, it still does not work.
Maybe there should be a new thread on this as it is not really hardware.

Update:
I have been running hibernation fine since this initial post.
I added some more detail here: http://www.kosagi.com/w/index.php?title … ngSwapSize
Not so easy anymore to reproduce the exact details

Re: Desktop out-of-box feedback

That's a brilliant way to do it!  I was trying to figure out how to resize the disk, move it out of the way, and increase swap.  But your approach works just fine.  At least under Linux.

Hibernation was broken on i.MX6 until recently.  After tracking down the problem to the L2 cache, I pinged rmk about it and he submitted this patch: https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kerne … 93d0a6175d

I have a "beta", unofficial build of a 3.19 kernel up at http://bunniefoo.com/xobs/novena-15042015/.  It has problems with audio when resuming from suspend (fix by running /usr/sbin/i2cset -f -y 2 0x11 0x18 0x04), but it should at least let you try out hibernation.