Re: OT: Ubuntu phone HTML5 / QML

2015-03-16 Thread Pascal Gosselin

 On Mar 16, 2015, at 4:49 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller 


 I am just curious to understand how people think and decide such things in 
 March 2015.

Here's my take on this:

My particular vertical market need is for a very small computer that:

-Boots up upon receiving an external power (charging) signal.
-Customizable boot code
-Runs Linux and can run whatever full-blown Linux tool/app we need at 
startup/boot without any user intervention
-Can acquire and use a GPS signal at 4Hz or better.
-Has an audio input (headset/mic jack)
-Has Wi-Fi
-Has accelerometers
-Has at least 8GB storage

The GTA02 does a fine job at the above, the external GPS antenna capability is 
a bonus. That's why we bought hundreds of them (everything Openmoko had left in 
2010), for one particular vertical market use.

What (else) would we need in a GTA05 ?

-Better GPS (10Hz, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, offline A-GPS)
-LTE or at least 4G-ish capability
-GSM Certification to operate in major countries 
-Dual SIM card capability
-Dual internal MicroSD cards (RAID)
-Retain external GPS antenna port
-Support Invensense IMU chip for advanced motion processing (9 DOF)
-Barometer/Temp sensor
-Infrared blaster
-RFID/NFC capability
-Fingerprint scanner
-Built-in GPIOs with externally-accessible connector
-USB OTG, USB 3.0 ?
-Built-In Ethernet capability
-Built-in A/D converter with externally accessible connector
-Built-In RS-232/RS-422 ports, externally accessible
-Built-in camera with an external port to add a remote cameras (say up to 3 
meters from device). Basically multiple USB 2.0 ports at a minimum.
-A decent-sized multi-touch or Glove-Friendly screen (two versions ?), the 
GTA02 screen is much too small by modern standards (we only use the screen for 
stuff like Wi-Fi password data entry by the end user)
-HDMI outputs (support two external screens)
-Speakers (like all phones)
-Offer various battery sizes (thicker backs).

For the external connector for serial and GPIO, flat round contact pads with a 
docking station on the back like Garmin uses on many units.

I believe such an open device would be highly successful in a Kickstarter 
campaign. The M2M (Machine-to-Machine) market is huge. Such a device would have 
broad appeal. Size is not very important, the capability/connectivity: Yes!

Ubuntu phone, but for true hardware hackers and companies with vertical needs 
that are not met with current smartphones or by Raspberry Pi or Arduino 

GTA04's limited 1Hz GPS was a killer for us... didn't bother finding USB camera 
options for the USB OTG on the GTA04 as a result, nor the mysterious built-in 
camera option (not ideal for us, remote camera is what we need).

The M2M folks want low-level hardware support (block diagrams, schematics, 
etc...) and open software drivers (abandonware is the problem here from 
commercial vendors).

Offer a version that's a smartphone and a bigger version that's basically a 
small computer with a built-in very smart UPS, with the ability to add 
expansion cards for non-mobile uses.

Personally I am not a purist, I don't mind inevitable closed aspects of some 
hardware/firmware that don't have open equivalents (the Invensense IMU stuff or 
LTE modem for example).  Nothing on the market offers what I'm looking for... 
and I'm sure I'm not alone seeking the Holy Grail of connected small mobile 
computer that's not iOS or Android.

The current proposed Ubuntu smartphones all have serious flaws (no microSD on 
the Meizu and on the EQ 4.5 they can't even bother mentioning which exact 
Mediatek processor they are using !!!) and pretty much none of the 
expandability and interface capability that I'd like to see in the device. 

When you can't even publish a proper detailed hardware spec sheet for your 
Ubuntu phone, you know lower level support is going to be an absolute 
nightmare. That's what Ubuntu Phone is now.

Better yet, the phone could have an internal small expansion slot with routing 
to the external connector pads. Need a bizarre interface ? Build a board and 
you are done, no internal soldering mods required.

I would expect demand for such a device from the Drone market alone to be 

More realistic than the current Phoneblocs-type project.  An open phone with a 
bunch of expansion ports. How hard can that be ?

What would it take ?  $5M ? $10M ?  $30M ? 


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Open Source AHRS project: giving away hardware

2014-05-11 Thread Pascal Gosselin

Indeed. When you taxi an airplane on the ground in a straight live or drive a 
car in a straight line, GPS TRACK (adjusted for magnetic declination) = 
Magnetic Heading.

The other complementary magnetometer calibration techniques involve driving 
around in a full circle in about 60 to 75 seconds or doing a 360 degree turn 
and stopping every 30 degrees.


Sent from my iPhone

 On May 11, 2014, at 4:47 AM, Jake wrote:
 On 05/11/2014 07:08 AM, joerg Reisenweber wrote:
 On Sat 10 May 2014 11:57:30 Pascal Gosselin wrote:
 calibrate the compass via GPS track by an easy calibration or
 self-calibration method
 GPS doesn't offer any data to calibrate magnetometer from. 
 magnetometer aka compass is about orientation of device, GPS is
 about position and movement vector. They are 100% unrelated.
 In a static situation this is correct, but while moving it is possible
 to get the current heading from GPS.
 Openmoko community mailing list

Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Open Source AHRS project: giving away hardware

2014-05-11 Thread Pascal Gosselin

 On May 11, 2014, at 12:03 AM, Ben Wong wrote:
 Sounds like a fun challenge. I'd take it up if I wasn't already so
 busy. After all, who in their life hasn't at one point wanted to write
 an Unscented Kalman Filter? ;-)
 Just out of curiosity, is not a viable solution?

My understanding is that the code written for micro-controller platforms will 
need significant changes to work in a Linux environment.

Of course re-using as much of the code as possible that is used for controlling 
most small drones totally makes sense.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Open Source AHRS project: giving away hardware

2014-05-11 Thread Pascal Gosselin

On 2014-05-11, 11:28 AM, joerg Reisenweber wrote:

This all assumes a locked and defined mounting situation for the magnetometer.
Then yes. For an embedded device however this method tells you nothing about
the magnetometer heading. The embedded device can change relative orientation
to the vehicle that's driving.
PS: you must be very sure about the vehicle moving exactly straight ahead as
well, for anything but a non-sliding car that's not guaranteed, think boat,
even airplane

We're talking calibration here.  Yes the unit should be rigidly mounted 
for calibration of the sensors.  There are also periods of stay still 
for X seconds at various points in such a calibration.   I have done 
and continue to do lots and lots of AHRS calibrations of various types 
on aircraft (airplanes and helicopters).  I would be more than happy to 
share the information that I have on various calibration techniques.

Once the sensors are calibrated (i.e. figuring out the drift of the Rate 
Gyros when sitting still) and the magnetic environment of the device is 
known, what's left is the alignment procedure. Every time you start the 
AHRS code on the device, it would need to be motionless for a while.  
Lying the GTA02/GTA04 flat on a table for example for perhaps 2-3 
minutes might be sufficient.

I feel that this likely the reason why even the latest mainstream phones 
don't have AHRS or IMU capability (an IMU would enable indoor navigation 
over only very short distances in a smartphone, given the rather crude 
quality of the MEMS sensors and horrific gyro drift expected if you are 
bouncing around with the smartphone in your hand and moving rather 
slowly without GPS aiding the Kalman filter).

Application for an AHRS on a smartphone would be for enhanced 
geo-referencing of photos and Google Glass type applications that 
don't make you look like a Glasshole.  The other obvious application is 
as an emergency backup attitude (Pitch and Roll) and Heading indicator 
for airplanes and helicopters or simply recording of the sensor data 
and doing post-processing on a server to process the data later (think 
extreme sports, like playing back a skydive for example).


Openmoko community mailing list

Open Source AHRS project: giving away hardware

2014-05-10 Thread Pascal Gosselin


With the idea of spurring interest in the development of a software 
Attitude Heading Reference System for the GTA02, I am going to be giving 
away twelve (12) Golden Delicious NavBoard V2s to developers that are 
willing to work on this idea.

I have been frustrated by lack of an available AHRS for Linux-based 
systems for many years now.  The closest thing available is the FoxAHRS:

I believe it runs on the ARM-based G20 board:

I might be wrong but anyway the idea is to get a working 100% open 
source AHRS than can run on the GTA02 and GTA04.  Ideally it should be 
entirely self-calibrating (i.e. figure out what's level and calibrate 
the compass via GPS track by an easy calibration or self-calibration 

This is what the boards look like:

It has a 3D ITG-3200 Rate Gyro, the HMC 5843 magnetometer and BMP 085 
barometric sensor.  It's a board you must solder internally to the GTA02.

Anyone that actually ends up contributing to this project will also be 
given a Navboard V3, which has a better magnetometer, to make sure it 
works that one as well (I paid good money for the V3 boards so I don't 
want to give them away to people who may not ever end up installing them).

If anyone that is a serious contributor needs some help, I would be more 
than willing to help out with stuff like free brand new GTA 02s (850Mhz 
or 900Mhz, I have both brand new in stock) , new batteries.   Serious 
hackers don't need to worry about damaging their GTA02, I will provide 
replacement units to anyone who does and is serious about this project.

I also have a early GTA04 fully assembled with new case/screen/battery 
to give away to a serious contributor who would be willing to ensure 
that the AHRS code would run properly on this platform as well.

You may reply to me privately or via this list.

Pascal Gosselin

Openmoko community mailing list

Cheapest ATT or T-Mobile MVNO in USA for GTA02 GPRS ?

2014-02-26 Thread Pascal Gosselin

I am using this list as my reference to find GPRS MVNOs.  I know 
T-Mobile still does GPRS, I am less certain about ATT (I assume yes as 
well).  is tempting at $15 for 1GB monthly

BUT the Uppwireless says Mobile Internet service provided by Red Pocket 
Mobile, which is listed as an MVNO working with both ATT and Sprint.  
Sprint = CDMA.

$15 a month for 1GB on ATT would be great for our application 
(, for uploading only data (the voice portion 
of our product would upload over Wi-Fi or perhaps over Voice GSM).


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Fundraising for GTA04A5 has started!

2013-11-22 Thread Pascal Gosselin

What about GPS specifications ?  My company would have interest in 
multiple units if the GPS chip was capable of 5Hz or greater updates.  
Recent GPS chipsets all seem to have GPS/GLONASS capability, which is 
very nice to have.


Openmoko community mailing list

Motorola backs Phonebloks

2013-10-29 Thread Pascal Gosselin

Turns out Motorola's been working on a modular smartphone concept and 
decided to join the Phonebloks bandwagon.  With some of Google's $33 
billion cash hoard, this might just go somewhere.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: The open hardware phone project that's had the most interest

2013-10-05 Thread Pascal Gosselin

On 2013-10-05 11:06 AM, Sebastian Krzyszkowiak wrote:

On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 5:04 PM, Pascal Gosselin wrote:

If technically feasible

That's the problem.

What immediately jumps to my mind is the small number of pins for the 
modules, forcing everything to be based on serial interfaces.

It's probably not realistic to be able to change a CPU module that way 
for example.  Dicy for a camera module too.   But for tons of other I/O 
applications, I think it's quite feasible.

The guy behind this seems hesitant to bring it to Kickstarter. Maybe 
he's got VC plans instead.  Maybe he has no plans... !


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: GTA02: NavBoard V3 causing GPS interference

2013-02-08 Thread Pascal Gosselin

I have found a good reference on how to best handle I2C cabling. It's a 
PowerPoint Presentation from Texas Instruments, I made a screenshot of 
the relevant image:

As I suspected, only one end of the shield gets grounded, individual 
coaxes for SCL and SDA.

Google  I2C cable issues.ppt   to find the original document as the 
first hit.

Now I have to source some extremely tiny minature coax, ideally with a 
solid core (for easier soldering to the pads on the NavBoard and the 
GTA02). Looking for recommendations, ideally something I can order from 
Digi-Key, Newark or Mouser in smaller quantities (it's not like a need a 
1,000 foot roll!).

It's not clear IF the power supply wires should be shielded.  I think I 
will try to see if it makes a difference for the GPS.


Openmoko community mailing list

GTA02: NavBoard V3 causing GPS interference

2013-02-07 Thread Pascal Gosselin

Yesterday I was able to confirm that the installation of the Golden 
Delicious NavBoard V3 very seriously degrades the performance of GPS 
when using the built-in GPS antenna.  Getting a 3D fix is taking over 20 
minutes on average using the built-in GPS antenna.  When using an 
external GPS antenna, the issue goes away and an unaided GPS cold start 
can be achieved in about 41 to 44 seconds.

I suspect that the use of unshielded cabling between the GTA02 is a 
likely cause.  Being in the Avionics business, I am familiar with the 
use of shielded twisted pair wiring, but generally in large 22AWG (will 
have to figure out where to source very thin STP cabling).  The wires we 
use to perform this mod is solid core, probably 30 AWG.  In avionics, 
when it is desired to keep a signal from radiating outside a cable (such 
as Headphone/Microphone wiring), then the shield of only a single side 
of the cable is terminated to a good grounding point.  When instead it 
is desired that the signal inside a cable be protected from EMI/RFI from 
the outside, then the shields on both sides of the cable will be 
terminated to ground.

I theorize that only the SCL/SDA would need to be shielded (together in 
a shielded twisted pair cable ?), Power and Ground may not need to be 

This issue seems very similar to the SD Card access/GPS issue of the 
earlier GTA02s, so I also wonder if a capacitor fix should be looked at 
in this case as well.


Openmoko community mailing list

5Hz GPS operation using the GTA04 ?

2012-12-09 Thread Pascal Gosselin

The GTA02 has a pretty good GPS receiver, and the fact that it can do 
4Hz is critical to our application (Flight Data Monitoring).

Has anyone succeeded in being able to get 5Hz position updates from the 
GTA04 with either the  W2SG0004i (SiRFstarIII GPS chip) or the more 
recent GTA04 with W2SG0084i (SiRFstar IV chip ) ?

The W2SG0004i apparently uses a SIRF GSC3LTf.  According to the 
datasheet that I downloaded, the Max update rate is 1Hz which is 
terrible. I'd like to know if there are any hacks to get at least 5Hz 
(not holding my breath...).

The W2SG0084i uses the CSR/SiRF GSD4E.

I did find this regarding the W2SG0008i from

3.5 1 Hz updates with future 5Hz updates

The current W2SG008i uses a Sirf Star 4 Signature Series ROM 1.3 which 
supports 1 Hz updates of the messages from the satellites vehicle 
solution. In a future release of the internal ROM code version 2.0 and 
later 5 Hz updates will be supported. Contact a Wi2Wi sales office for 
future release dates.

Almost a year has gone by is this new firmware available for the 
W2SG0084i ?

Flight Data Monitoring using the GTA 02 (soon GTA 04)

Openmoko community mailing list

Re: 5Hz GPS operation using the GTA04 ?

2012-12-09 Thread Pascal Gosselin

On 2012-12-09 3:25 PM, Timo Juhani Lindfors wrote:

Pascal Gosselin writes:

The GTA02 has a pretty good GPS receiver, and the fact that it can do
4Hz is critical to our application (Flight Data Monitoring).

It can do 20 Hz too btw.

That's pretty amazing. Tell me more !  I still have a couple of hundred 
GTA 02s that will eventually be installed in airplanes and helicopters.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: 5Hz GPS operation using the GTA04 ?

2012-12-09 Thread Pascal Gosselin

On 2012-12-09, at 5:56 PM, wrote:

 The GTA02 has a pretty good GPS receiver, and the fact that it can do 4Hz is 
 critical to our application (Flight Data Monitoring).
 I still have a couple of hundred GTA 02s that will eventually be installed 
 in airplanes and helicopters.
 If I may ask, what kind of activity is yours? Are you using GTA02s as a sort 
 of airborne devices.. for what? I had a couple of ideas about airborne 
 applications, so I'm just curious about it. Thank you.

In a typical Wi-Flight application, the GTA 02 is mounted on top of the 
instrument panel, on the glareshield of the aircraft. Power is a TomTom 12/24V 
USB and we use a simple Line-Level to Mic Level conversion circuit to capture 
the pilot's audio jack via the GTA 02 Mic Jack. Ambient audio is captured on a 
second channel, using the GTA 02's built-in microphone.

The result is a full-featured dual channel Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight 
Data Recorder that records 4Hz GPS, accelerometer data, ambient audio pitch 
(via aubio) for propeller RPM determination and optional Baro altitude, rate 
gyro and magnetometer via NavBoard V3. RS-232 and ARINC 429 could can also be 
collected via external USB devices.

Eventually we will have a Kalman filter to do attitude determination (such 
functionality is surprisingly lacking at the OS level on all smartphone 
platforms ).

The data is stored on the SD card in various data package types. Upload is to 
our Cloud-based servers using Wi-Fi but we are working on some GPRS functions 
and of course full 5.76Mbps on the GTA 04.  Upload priority let's us analyze 
data as quickly as 1 minute after the aircraft shuts down.  It's all 100% 

See demo here (use Mozilla + Google Earth Plug-In):

Flight browser interface:

Expand the two demo flights here by clicking on the green triangle on the left.

We will soon surpass the 30,000 recorded, uploaded and analyzed flights.  This 
project would have been difficult to execute without such an open platform. The 
product was launched in July 2010 and continues to be improved (the feature 
request list is never-ending).

We also have an API for extracting and pushing various data to our system.  See for more details.  Feel free to call to discuss 

tel +1 (450) 676-6299
mobile +1 (514) 298-3343

Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Help needed with GSM Geolocation without GPS

2012-11-06 Thread Pascal Gosselin
Question:  Is is possible to do cell-based location with an de-activated 
SIM ?I recall that many phones will allow for an Emergency Call (911 
in North America) without an active subscription.  Can the Cell ID (CID) 
be obtained on the GTA02 in such a situation ?


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Problems using recent Rogers Wireless (Canada) SIMs in GTA02

2012-09-29 Thread Pascal Gosselin
I have an update.  I picked up yesterday a pre-paid FIDO SIM Card 
(Microcell/FIDO was the first GSM provider in Canada and was 
subsequently acquired by Rogers Wireless).  The FIDO SIM card was able 
to see FIDO was a carrier under Android 2.2 and do Voice + SMS, but 
getting GPRS working turned out to be elusive (i.e. many wasted hours).

We installed SHR instead and... presto the GPRS  worked effortlessly 
with GPRS settings:  server:  username: fido password: 
fido .  Android was apparently too dumb to deal with this this simple 

It remains quite a mystery as to why Roger's current 3G SIM isn't 
working in the GTA02. We're going to stockpile some current FIDO 3G/4G 
SIMs at $10 each, cheap insurance versus being stuck in the future with 
devices that can't do GPRS.  We have *not* tested any FIDO LTE SIMs yet 
for compatibility.


Openmoko community mailing list

Problems using recent Rogers Wireless (Canada) SIMs in GTA02

2012-09-26 Thread Pascal Gosselin
In 2010, we were able to take circa mid-2008 Roger Wireless SIMs 
(Canada) borrowed from an iPhone 3G and get it to work in Android Froyo 
on the GTA02 850Mhz.

Two years later, we decided to add some GPRS reporting capability to our 
Wi-Flight product which is currently using Wi-Fi only, we are unable to 
get a carrier registration at the AT command level using two Rogers SIMs 
(both from 2012, one used in an iPhone 4 and the other in a Samsung 
Galaxy S II Skyrocket (LTE)).  The GSM baseband code was at Moko8 so we 
had the  fix for bug 666.  We tried Moko11 but it didn't make a difference.

We repeated the same Android Froyo setup and indeed it doesn't work when 
we try the circa 2012 SIMs.

Our product doesn't run on Android, the Froyo stuff was just tried to 
attempt to replicate something that worked before.

I found a working older Rogers full-sized SIM from my GSM-enabled alarm 
system, which I think it at least 3-4 years old.  It worked just fine in 
a Nexus S and I was able to send an SMS and Edge data from the phone 
(it's a T-mobile AWS phone so no 3G on Rogers).

The conclusion so far is that something has changed in the Rogers SIMs 
that makes it incompatible with the GTA02.  I am wondering if anyone 
else has encountered this problem.  I'd be happy to be able to get a 
Fido-branded card to work (haven't tried that yet).

We've repeated the same issue with a half-dozen GTA02s so we're pretty 
sure it's not a one-off phone problem.

Pascal Gosselin
cell (514) 298-3343
office (450) 676-6299

Openmoko community mailing list