CI20 Beginners Guide

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The CI20 is 'ready to go out of the box'. The on-board NAND flash comes pre-programmed with a Debian7 installation. Booting the CI20 will take you into Debian. If you then have the correct connections (keyboard, mouse, screen, network or serial port) then you are good to go.

The below questions aim to get you going with the CI20 from the outset. If you encounter problems, please read the Troubleshooting page. If you need more technical details then please consult the system manuals from this web site or the developer zone pages, or leap onto the mailing list.

Shall I just plug it in?

Yes! Out of the box the CI20 is 'ready to go'. By default it will boot the image in the on-board NAND. From the factory this image is Debian7. To really use the board it will need at minimum an HDMI screen, a USB keyboard and preferably a mouse. Remember to plug in the hdmi cable before you power the board. You can then configure the system to suit your individual needs, such as connecting it to your wifi network or ethernet and installing more packages. Please see the CI20 Debian7 page for more details.

When you plug the power cord in the LED should turn red immediately, then blink once, and then return to red. If the LED is not lit then the board is not powered. If the led is blue then the board is powered, but something has most likely gone wrong (for the stock Debian 7 in NAND anyhow).

See the Troubleshooting page if you have problems getting your CI20 set up.

What does it boot by default?

Out of the box it boots the Debian7 image in the onboard NAND flash. You can replace that NAND flash image with other Distributions, or place a Distribution onto an SDcard and boot from there instead.

How do I use the default Debian?

You either need a USB keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor plugged in (see here) or a serial port (see CI20 Headless Setup) in order to either interact directly with the Debian installed, or to configure either/or the wifi or ethernet networking so you can communicate with the CI20 over your network.

What is the default Debian7 login?

The default login is username:ci20 password:ci20 The default root password is also: ci20

How do I install more apps?

The normal Debian install methods work. e.g "sudo apt-get install xyz". If you prefer a GUI based system, you can install the synaptic package manager using "sudo apt-get install synaptic".

Where can I get help? Is there a forum or mailing list?

If you have problems getting your CI20 set up, please take a look at the troubleshooting page first to see if it resolves your problem.

Also feel free to use the CI20 google groups/forums/mailing lists and IRC channel where CI20 developers and users hang out.

What are all the connectors?

There are numerous connectors on the board which are described on the Hardware page (hint: click the hotspots on the labelled photographs here to find out about each one).

What power supply does it take?

The CI20 runs off a 5V center positive power supply. The plug size is 4mm diameter with a pin size of 1.7mm.

This is the same as the Sony PSP. The CI20 ships with a USB cable with that plug.

The board can draw up to 800mAmps under full hdmi/gpu/cpu/ethernet load.

The minimum recommended power supply is 'real' 1 Amps.

As cheaper knock-off USB power supplies are freely available, a 2 Amps power supply would be a safer choice.

If you are connecting several power hungry USB peripherals, a powered USB hub is recommended.

Can I power the board from the USB?

Depends on what you mean. Do you wish to back power from the USB connectors on the board? No, the CI20 does not support being powered via the USB connectors.

If you mean powering the board from a computer/laptop usb port using the provided USB cable. It is definitely possible. But most laptops/desktops are smart and they power off USB ports if the power draw exceeds 500mA.

USB also has a standard that only 150mA can be used until the peripheral identifies/enumerates itself which isn't handled by the CI20 as only the power pins are used.

The CI20 typically draws 200-400mA without wired Ethernet in use, which is more than the 150mA that the USB specification allows before enumeration, but well within the maximum 500mA that a USB socket can supply.

In short, it depends on your setup/usb port. Running only buildroot on the ci20 with all peripherals off? Or running GL demos with hdmi while running dist-upgrade in the background using wifi? Powered by a laptop? Or from a USB hub with a 2A power port?

If you have any problems when using USB power, a good 2A mains PSU will definitely help, either with a PSP plug or a USB A socket to use with a USB power lead.

What if I want to boot my own code?

The easiest way to try out your own code is to develop it either for an SDcard image, or to use network booting from the u-boot prompt.

Can I code on it?

The default Debian install comes with a full GCC installation, and native on-board compilation is fully supported. the 1Gbyte of DDR RAM will cater for all but the largest application builds, and an SDcard, USB stick or network share can be used for extra storage space.

If you wish to cross-compile code on your desktop, you'll need a toolchain

Where can I get Android from?

The Android image, directions for installing it, and details about supported features are here.

I think I 'bricked' my CI20 - do I need to return it?

No, you should not have to return the CI20 if you suspect you have only corrupted the software. The CI20 can always be un-bricked by booting from the SDcard, and in particular by booting the image that re-burns the factory default Debian7 to the NAND flash. That image, along with instructions, is available from the downloads page. You should try this procedure first, and if it fails, provide the logs from the burning and boot process along with your 'RMA request'.

So, how do I connect other things to it, like a robot or my light switch?

The CI20 has a lot of connectivity, including all the common SPI, I2C and GPIO interfaces. Please see the pinout tables on the Hardware Page for more details.