310 Newbie

310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:02 am

Hi Guys,

I work in an IT environment and was offered a 310 that had no OS software or anything with it, just a 64 meg flash card and powersupply/docking station.

I was relieved when i saw it had an X86 prrocessor and thought there must be something I can do with this to get it working, and soon found with the help of your forums that some linux distros would boot from the usb port, and even managed to install DSL on the 64 meg flash.

There are a few things even after spending around three weeks tinkering and reading up that I still can't seem to get around. I have decided to upgrade the Flash card with the help of your guides to a Transcend 4Gb but I thought it best to get all these things working on a live usb and if it works then dd the imaged stick to a bigger card, before i commit to spending anything.

Firstly, as stated by another dt owner else where on here, this unit had been laying around for quite some time, and it's backlight had gone dim, i know it's the software control as i briefly had access to a working imaged flash card and it went bright again, but alas i have had to give the card back after only a few minutes.

I have tried all the usual suspects in ubuntu DSL and puppy such as set pci xrandr and xbacklight to get the backlight working, but so far have been unsucessful, as the device isn't even registered in xrandr -q as a video device.

Secondly theres the touch drivers for linux, which i need to source and install.

thirdly theres the wifi drivers, but i haven't properly hunted for these yet as i have been rather preocupied trying to squint at the screen testing various ways of getting that backlight to brighten up!

Any help you guys can give will be much appreciated, i'm very keen to get this little tablet up and running, if anyones got it working with any linux distro i'm happy to change the flavour of linux from puppy which is what i am aiming at getting onto the bigger flash card
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:06 pm

Easy fix....

Go into the BIOS and set the LCD display setting for "initial brightness" to "100%" instead of "last value" (the default). You get into the BIOS settings by tapping the F1 key as you power on and then select "motherboard device configuration" and then "video and display configuration". The exact words may be different based on your BIOS version. If you don't keep it plugged in or if the external battery is dead then you will need to reset the BIOS settings as they will be lost if the tablet looses power without the BIOS battery to back up the settings. If you can't see the screen well enough to make the changes, plug in an external VGA monitor.

Instead of buying an expensive flash drive, use the 1.8" PATA port - you can get a 30gb drive off EBAY pretty cheap. You will need to modify the tablet port. You should also replace the BIOS battery - at least remove it before it starts to leak.

I have working images of Windows and Puppy for the 310 including all the Winders drivers if you want to use XP on it.

If you are in the US you can send me the tablet and I will do the hard drive modification for you. Send me a private message on that.

I have several of these Dt310s and they work great. I might have a 1GB flash drive laying around for it.

-Dave
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:48 pm

Thanks Dave,

I have tried that BIOS tweak a couple of times without success but I will give it a second go shortly and see how I get on. on mine it's under a section that only comes alive when you enable "software controlled backlighting" or words to that effect so I had just assumed as all of my images I have been putting on it were generic driverless ones with no backlight or display support that there would be no chance of getting the backlight on.

It's just bright enough to see at the moment so i can continue to work on it, I can give you some login details to my ftp server if you would be good enough to upload the puppy linux image and possibly the windows drivers for me to tinker with?

Also I would be happy to purchase the 1Gb flash card from you, better see what the p and p would be to the UK before you quote me though :-)

I have just ordered the internal battery for this and just getting round to sorting the bios battery out as my next task. Can't wait to get it working now, theres something somehow more satisfying about owning a modded old resistive tablet than a shiney ipad...
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:29 pm

You may want to reset the BIOS to the default settings. The setting for "software backlight control" should be DISABLED (the default) and then set the next setting to 100% brightness as I said before.

Resetting the BIOS to the default will get out all the corrupt data from the dead BIOS battery. As the battery discharges, it gets a little weird and corrupt data creeps into the settings. Could be your BIOS battery is not completely dead but under .5v or so. The battery you want is CR1220 available in the US at Radio Shack or Walmart for about $5 or buy a pack of 5 from EBAY for $1. I buy the cheap China pack of 5 for $1 delivered - crazy. I can't use the mail service to send it next door for that price.

With that 64mb flash, you'll have trouble loading anything useful. The DT310 was sold with a 1GB flash as the smallest so someone changed that. The modification to the PATA port is not that hard. I'll see if I can take one apart, get some pics and write it up for all on the forum.

Check this post I wrote about the DT310 for BIOS, batteries, hard drive, etc. It references the "stock" system with XP Embedded but the other info would be useful to you.
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=1479#p4759

If you can do the modification for the hard drive then a 10, 20 or 30GB drive with XP Tablet Edition would be the answer for you. The drives are availble as pulls from older IPODs or as new. Search EBAY - lots available.

-Dave
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:46 am

Hi Dave,

I think you're right on the XP with a Hard Disk route, I've had a little look at the port on the MoBo while i was taking out alll the worn out batteries today, and saw something vaguely resembling an IDE port, I understand there is a mod to pin 44 before a disk can be installed? I've not dealt with these little drives before in my travels, but from bad resolution photos on google images from obscure angles these drives look as if they have a connector a little like a sata port, so forgive my stupidity, but are there any conversion cables i need to get an iPod hard disk in there? The model I'm looking at is the Toshiba MK3008GAL

Rather worryingly today how ever after removing all batteries reloading defaults in bios and selecting 100% full on for back light with software control disabled, the backlight remains dim.

after looking at the prices though for the hard disk i've decided it's not a huge risk to take, so i will try and get the lighting turned up once windows is installed, aslong as someone here has the hotkey software etc... to attempt turning it up in windows that is ;-)
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:29 am

It's not the SATA model you need but the PATA model - MK3006GAL - like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200796031817

Used they are $20-$30 and new they are $30-$40. Here's the data sheet:
http://storage.toshiba.com/techdocs/MK3 ... -Rev02.pdf

The port on the right side of your tablet looks like it may be a PCMCIA slot but it is a 1.8" 50 pin PATA port. The port on the left (looking at the front) is the PCMCIA port. The PCMCIA is not bootable but the 1.8" port is if selected in the BIOS as HARDDRIVE2. There is a modification needed for the tablet to make it work with a hard drive like this instead of the solid state hard drive the port is designed for. The MK3006GAL works great as does the 10 and 20 GB model but the larger models are too thick. The 60gb drive is 7-8mm thick. You need the 5mm thick (or height) so it fits in the slot. Once the modifiaction is done you just slide in the hard drive. All DT310s can have this hard drive added and the late model DT360s as well.

Another thing you can do is get a 1.8" 50 pin to compact flash adapter and use a CF card but the performance is not that good.

As for the display, it's not the backlight setting, it's the brightness setting you want at 100% - that is the setting next to the backlight setting and it's labeled as "INITIAL BRIGHTNESS". Set it to 100%. Once you install the software then you can change it back to the default.

You should run XP Tablet Edition for best results. I have all the software you need when you are ready.

-Dave
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:34 am

Sorry Dave,

I didn't explain it very well as i have a memory like a gold fish and didn't have the tablet to hand at the time, i meant i changed the initial brightness to 100% and followed your instructions properly this time, but it just wasn't working for me, maybe because i have the old bios or something like that as i don't have the "hard drive 2" option to boot from which i think the newer versions of the bios have looking at one of your previous posts helping out another DT owner.

If anyone has a revised bios config i could try that or do you think i may just be better off ordering up some parts on pay day and coming back to you then when i've got XP loaded up and can try the software root to upping that backlight which seemed to work for this particular tablet before.
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:48 am

If you do not have the harddrive2 option in the boot menu then it is an old BIOS but don't worry about that for now. You need more storage space before you can do anything useful. There are several ways to go but I think the MK3006GAL (or smaller size) is the best option for cheap storage space. When the hard drive arrives I can talk you through the modifications - it's not hard to do.

For a simple installation, use XPte and then you can do other things like dual boot for Linux later on, if you like.

If you want to test the display to make sure it is not burned out then try this: Use a USB CD drive and try to load XP - any version. Of course you only have 64mb so it is not possible but as XP boots up off the CD in the text-mode it will load the drivers. During this initial load of the XP installation CD, you will see your display cycle through the 32 different levels of brightness and back down to where it was. That's all you will be able to do as XP will tell you there is not enough space but you will see your screen cycle through the brightness levels. It only takes a second or so - watch for it.

Like I said, I have Windows drivers for the DT310.
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:58 am

Thanks for the advice on that XP trick, I will give it a try when the Mrs lets me back on the pc :-) I have just ordered the 20 gig version of that hard disk, just got to wait for it to arrive all the way from hong kong and i'll get back in touch.

Thanks again for all the help
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:10 am

Just a quick update; The battery recommended in your other 310 post arrived today and works great :-) hopefully the hard disk should be here any day now, so i can get windows onto it and start using it, how extensive is the mod to get the drive working Dave? will i have to dust off the soldering station lol
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:34 pm

Glad the battery worked out. The Crestron TPMC-8X is a repackaged DT360 and since the 360 and 310 share the same battery, it's a great match. Buying an "official" battery from DTR would cost over $100. I have used dozens of these cheap Chinese clones and they work perfectly.

Charge it up fully, start up the tablet with a USB keyboard and go into the BIOS. Then unplug the AC power and let it sit so that it will discharge completely. Then charge it up again. You should get 90 minutes continous use from a good battery. Running the charge/discharge cycle will recalibrate the sensors in the battery pack. At 25% of the battery left the LED will change from BLUE to ORANGE - at 10% the LED will flash until it reaches 3%. The tablet will shut down when the battery is at 3% reserve.

Download this utility (I like the portable version):
portableapps.com/bouncer?t=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gtopala.com%2Fdownload%2FSIWPortable_2011.10.29.paf.exe
It's called SIW and will tell you a lot of system data about your Windows system (once you get it installed). The key section is under HARDWARE and then look at SENSORS. You'll see the battery sensor and the "wear level". Wear level is a calulation between designed capacity and how much charge the battery will take. This only works on the DT310 and DT360 for the forum lurkers - also works on almost all laptops.

The hard drive mod is really not too complicated. Can your soldering station handle surface mount devices? I better take my 310 apart and take pics for you to see the process.

-Dave
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:51 am

Hi Dave,

Yup I've got a weller soldering station tucked away in the attic somewhere with a few interchangable tips and temperature control that i've done surface mount bridge rectifiers with before, it was a few years ago but i'll give anything a go, if in doubt my father has 50 years extra experience with a soldering iron than I do, even if he has got the shakes worse than two porcupine's on their wedding night so i'll get the soldering done with a little help if it's beyond my abilities :-)

90 minutes isn't bad at all from a battery that size, once we have this hard disk in i might even look into getting an external battery as well to make the most of this 310.

The photos would indeed be a valuable tool in fitting this disk dave and i thankyou in advance.
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby saracen86 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:59 am

The hard disk has finally arrived all the way from Hong Kong :) Ready when ever you are Dave
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Re: 310 Newbie

Postby Dave7341 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:13 pm

Give me your direct email address so I can send you info directly. -Dave
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