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roamingstudio
2006-10-05, 07:02
Im going to use this thread to report on the progress of attempts at upgrading the TS101 Memory - it sort of follows on from the discussion of the 'internals' thread (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=27555)

1. I asked QNAP if they could supply a list of known memory chips which work with the TS101. Their reply was (in broken English) that the memory could be found by looking at the Specifications page. So not much help there.

2. The Freescale MPC chip can serve upto 8 banks of memory; 16,64, 128, 256 or 512M. SDRAM can be addressed in rows, columns and banks; and I believe it is therefore referring to this; rather than phyiscal space on board. I therefore ordered (and received) some 64MB Micron Memory chips - in the MT48LC4M16AP-7E. This is PC133 speed (same as the PSC); and all versions had AxBx4 Banks. I would solder these straight away... except...

3. There are missing capacitors on the board by the space for the new SDRAM. In particular, C72; C73; C90; C91 and C92 (for one chip) and C103; C104; + C??? + C??? + C321 for the other chip. There are similar capacitors for at C153; C154; and C155.

Now im not an electronics expert; but my guess is that these capacitors are needed for the timing issues. Can anyone provide ideas?
As an example
C90->Pin 3 and Pin 6
C91->Pin 9 and Pin 12
C92->Pin 14 and ???
C93->Pin 27
C72->Pin 52 and Pin 49
C73->Pin 46 and Pin 43

An alternative would be some nice specifications for the PSC Memory - 2x32 MB SDRAM with A2V56S40BTP; 518ALA00; Taiwan -7

Alternatively - Paul - Ultra - Which chips did you find working? Sending my TS101 to England for a memory upgrade seems a bit awkward.

bonze
2006-10-05, 07:35
Maybe a bit of a silly question, but is it worth asking someone to open up a TS-201? I see it has slightly more memory.

roamingstudio
2006-10-05, 07:39
Good point - especially since the devices seem to share much of the firmware. Anyone got a 201 they would be willing to open? You dont need to do much - undo some screws and take some high-res photos so we can see the chip numbers.

Note: I have since learnt that QNAP state it is NOT possible to upgrade the memory on the TS101; and they do not support any attempts to do so. The 201 will have 128MB. I wont give up trying to find out more though.

peterbell
2006-10-05, 08:40
Sending my TS101 to England for a memory upgrade seems a bit awkward.
Yep, what are the shipping times between Planet Pluto and England? ;)

roamingstudio
2006-10-05, 08:53
Well now that they changed Pluto's status; Fed Ex have increased their prices; and only deliver once a millenium. :(

happyfishman
2006-10-05, 10:30
Well now that they changed Pluto's status; Fed Ex have increased their prices; and only deliver once a millenium. :(

Yep, now Pluto is officially a provincial dwarf planet with not even a sub-post office, I guess you'll have to travel to the main post offices on either Neptune or Uranus (depending on orbit status) to send and pick up parcels.

...so in all the sparky-speak are you saying that a significant memory upgrade might be possible for the average joe in the street (clutching a soldering iron, obviously).

EDIT: Whoops, just read a previous post... Qnap say no, then...

Jerryacg
2006-10-05, 13:32
Good point - especially since the devices seem to share much of the firmware. Anyone got a 201 they would be willing to open? You dont need to do much - undo some screws and take some high-res photos so we can see the chip numbers.

Note: I have since learnt that QNAP state it is NOT possible to upgrade the memory on the TS101; and they do not support any attempts to do so. The 201 will have 128MB. I wont give up trying to find out more though.

Excellent research. Well done! Please pass this information onto Paul at Progressive.

roamingstudio
2006-10-05, 23:03
Happyfisherman...

I am not giving up on the memory issue; and am trying (with a Earth Planet Dealer) to get more information. It may be that the spare unpopulated chip areas can be used; or it may need existing chips to be removed. In any case accessing the components is awkward - but not impossible for the average Joe. You just need steady hand and fine solder tip.

There is also the issue of what the MiniPCI connector can really do. My board is version 1.02 - it is written on the underside - you would need to undo the 4 screws from the hard drive support; and 4 from the PCB. Its dead easy!!

roamingstudio
2006-10-06, 00:59
I decided to open a small mini-wiki project on the scratchpad.wikia.com website. http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Open_Turbostation

The aim is NOT to replicate the information of the wikipedia - but to provide a more central source for all the information from the TS101 internals and this thread. It should also be a place where non- Slimserver people can find additional information about the devices; and customised projects.

Jerryacg
2006-10-06, 01:26
I decided to open a small mini-wiki project on the scratchpad.wikia.com website. http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Qnap_Turbostation

The aim is NOT to replicate the information of the wikipedia - but to provide a more central source for all the information from the TS101 internals and this thread. It should also be a place where non- Slimserver people can find additional information about the devices; and customised projects.

Being utterly non techie, I'm afraid you guys have completly lost me. I understand the term 'soldering iron', but thats about it. Please dont stop posting the results of your excellent investigations in this forum.

roamingstudio
2006-10-06, 01:56
Dont worry - I wont stop posting. Rather a wiki makes better sense as anyone can add information - and you dont have to wade through pages and pages of threads (which can be *long*). It also means people who are not using the SS functionality can also benefit.

roamingstudio
2006-10-06, 06:53
Ok checked the pin references with Micron memory; assuming SDRAM all has the same footprint (which it does); then the capacitors are connected between VDD and VSS (power supply) and VDDQ and VSSQ (isolated power supply). I.e. they are debouncing capacitors - and probably a few nanofarad; and help maintain chip stability. Therefore they could be ignored; but it is not the best idea.

Found another site where they show a typical isolated power supply needed for VDDQ; VSSQ - typically 10uF capacitors are linked in parallel with some big brutes. The 10uF then stay next to the chips. However am still looking for the correct way to design this.

So a Shout - and to make it obvious for people reading the post... -
DOES ANYONE KNOW A MICROPROCESSOR / SYSTEM ENGINEER? who could help.

roamingstudio
2006-10-06, 09:13
Just found a nice site for listing how memory works; explaining difference between modules (physical chips) and banks (addressing inside chips)

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/ram/timing.htm

roamingstudio
2006-10-07, 07:47
The Synology DS106x is a memory upgraded DS106 (64MB->128MB). With thanks to Flipflip, it is possible to look at the high resolution images. http://www.nslu2-linux.org/gallery/DS10x-PCBs This show's all memory chips are matched; but two sets do not have the coupling capacitors. The system still works; so im hoping that the upgrade path can follow the same route.

I have found a source for the PSC chips in America; and will order and try them as well as the Micron Memory.

roamingstudio
2006-10-16, 08:29
Have installed two Micron Memory Chips - type 48LC4M16A2 -7E

The system lights boot - I get a blue light on status; LAN is constantly on; and SATA blinking green (with a boot). The hard disk whirs away to itself... but

The webpages do not serve; It cannot be pinged; and the 'off switch' and 'reset switches' do nothing. In other words... it failed. After about 5 minutes the SATA light started blinking red... then rebooted. Will need to unsolder to check to make sure it works...

Ok I also need to solder on some debouncing capacitors but it should not be that much of a problem... it is more likely that the memory is conflicting in some way. :(

flipflip
2006-10-16, 09:48
Can you attach a serial console as it possible with some (all?) diskstations/nslus?

http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/DS101/SerialConsole
http://www.rwhitby.net/nslu2/serial.html
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddASerialPort


Maybe it's something similar to what happens on a PC if you add ram and boot: "CMOS CRC changed. Press F1 to continue.".


flip

roamingstudio
2006-10-16, 13:44
Thanks flip - this is a good point.

At the moment I know the PIC controller uses the In-Circuit-Serial-Programming (ICSP) interface - and not the standard UART pins. These pins are just below the SATA connector - but unfortunately are designed more for direct programming of the pic rather than console access. The Rx / Tx lines share the data lines to the CPU : although I can find and possibly solder break out cables; there is no obvious way to check to see whether they get standard serial output.

There is a unexplained header 2x3 which I want to check out tomorrow. However since posting I did discover that farnell had listed the wrong data sheet for the memory chips - and they are designed for 144MHz and not 133MHz; and have a different clock spec - so it could also be a problem.

roamingstudio
2006-10-27, 08:25
Ok got my connector cable - plugged in and worked first time. Can really recommend the FTDI 232 TTL 3v3 stuff...

Unfortunately as can be seen from the following boot messages; the simple upgrade path did not quite work as expected :(

The extra ram is not seen; but I get page errors - so something is linking in parallel. No time to play this weekend :(

Update 30/10/06
===============
It seems that the memory configuration is hard coded into the U-Boot firmware. Although we have access to most of it, there appear to be no specific files for TS101/ TS201. Is anyone out there a U-Boot guru?

Well did some more digging - the board is really just a slightly modified version of the Sandpoint 8245 development system. However there are issues in using the Freescale chip with different SDRAM manufacturers; and memory needs to be circuit and manufacturer matched. It therfore might not be possible to use mixed memory types. However getting the specs for the PSC chips would help provide much more help.

roamingstudio
2006-10-30, 07:21
Am removing the added memory as I want to use my Qnap again... not have a malfunctioning brick.

Observations:
1) The installed U-Boot firmware would seem to have a maximum memory size of 256MB (0x10000000).
2) The installed U-Boot firmware uses only bank 0; the other banks (1-7) are disabled. Other sandpoint config files appear to have at least the second bank (1) enabled.

This would imply that even if the correct memory was identified; a new u-boot firmware image would be required. There are tools to generate this; or you could try installing the TS201 firmware.

The other alternative would be to replace the installed PSC chips with larger versions; with a larger address space. Once again without knowing existing PSC specs it is a guessing game.

So, for the moment a simple memory upgrade does not appear to be possible; although since the TS201 is nearly same as TS101, it should be feasible to do one day. The second alternative is to install a lite version of future Slimservers; possibly not using MySQL.

roamingstudio
2006-10-31, 01:32
After searching again I found a link for the memory http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-476134.html. It would appear to be 16M16 format; and we can use this to match it with micron, or similar SDRAM components.

PSC
A2V56S40BTP
520ALA08
Taiwan - G75
: SDRAM 16MX16 3.3V 7.5ns TSOP54 LT/LF PSC

roamingstudio
2006-10-31, 04:36
If we want to use the two extra banks we would probably need to match the x16 width; and need to recompile the U-Boot code. The PPC chip supports 1-8 banks of 16MBit, 64MBit, 128MBit, 256MBit and 512MBit memory. The PSC 16Mx16 comes out with a total size of 256MBit. We could therefore use additional 16Mx16 (=256MBit = 32MByte) or 32Mx16 (=512MBit=64MByte) chips. If you want to add extra chips; make sure you choose -75 option (this matches the PC133 speed, cl=3). You could also add some 100nF 0604 format capacitors...

Assuming we can recompile the U-Boot code to enable the extra two banks; and everything works as expected, we could potentially have a total of 128MByte or 192MByte. If we remove the existing PSC chips we could get to a potential of 128MByte (without a U-boot recompile) or 256Mbyte (with a recompile). This is agrees with what Funkstar said.

The reasons my existing changes did not work were because I did not match the x16; and did not change the U-Boot firmware. So the path is not dead... it would be interesting to see what route Paul / Progressive chose.

Jerryacg
2006-11-03, 04:28
If we want to use the two extra banks we would probably need to match the x16 width; and need to recompile the U-Boot code. The PPC chip supports 1-8 banks of 16MBit, 64MBit, 128MBit, 256MBit and 512MBit memory. The PSC 16Mx16 comes out with a total size of 256MBit. We could therefore use additional 16Mx16 (=256MBit = 32MByte) or 32Mx16 (=512MBit=64MByte) chips. If you want to add extra chips; make sure you choose -75 option (this matches the PC133 speed, cl=3). You could also add some 100nF 0604 format capacitors...

Assuming we can recompile the U-Boot code to enable the extra two banks; and everything works as expected, we could potentially have a total of 128MByte or 192MByte. If we remove the existing PSC chips we could get to a potential of 128MByte (without a U-boot recompile) or 256Mbyte (with a recompile). This is agrees with what Funkstar said.

The reasons my existing changes did not work were because I did not match the x16; and did not change the U-Boot firmware. So the path is not dead... it would be interesting to see what route Paul / Progressive chose.

Ive been following your posts with interest. Following progressives statement re USB memory sticks, are we to assume that they have given up on trying to increase the onboard RAM? Personally I'm interested on the TS201 with 128 mb. Providing of course that this would be sufficient to run SS6.5 and all future releases in the foreseeable future with all features enabled i.e HD spin down

roamingstudio
2006-11-03, 05:00
I too noticed everything had gone quiet on the Progessive Ram upgrade path; and asked but not received a reply - Paul is obviously busy with the upcoming trade shows and working with TS201 / TS401.

If you have a bit of ingenuity; it appears possible to take the TS201 circuit board and place it inside the TS101 casing (not tried; but nearly similar components). You would need some small sata connecting leads - but you should be able to house the HD as you did in the 101. The e-sata link obviously is not connected; but in fact the PCB footprints for the two look very similar - the only difference appears to be the physical e-sata / internal sata connector. You could unsolder and swap them if you wanted to ;-)

I have not given up on the memory upgrade path; and this weekend will look at recompiling the U-Boot kernel so that the TS101 can recognise more memory (upto 256MB potential) in upto four banks.