SOEKRIS net5501, can't install pfsense, both serial ports not working



  • Hi guys,

    I bought a net5501-70, a 2Gb SanDisk CF and a null modem cable from Soekris US.

    Now Im trying to install pfSense-1.2.3-20090422-1636.img on my CF.

    I'm using Windows XP Pro SP3 so I used the physdiskwrite-0.5.2-PhysGUI-bundle flashing tool with a CF reader/writer .

    So I write the image to the CF, everything goes ok. I put it back into the soekris but when I plug in my LAN ethernet cable to the LAN port of the 5501 (eth0), the DHCP doesn't give me an ip. Eth0 green led is emitting some light from time to time (meaning there's some communication going on there). I used Wireshark, and I see only DCHP requests from my computer. No response whatsoever from the 5501.

    Now I did the same procedure using a monowall image (monowall-embedded-1.3b16.img) and everything worked fine (DHCP). I can access the web interface (192.168.1.1).

    So in short, here's what i tried:

    • I waited 5-10min to be sure
    • I tried restarting/disabling/enabling the network adaptator in Win XP
    • I tried pfSense-1.2.2-20090108-2309.img, same problem
    • I tried monowall-embedded-1.3b16.img, works without problems.
    • yes, the network properties are set to "get an IP address dynamically"
    • I formatted the CF multiples times
    • I tried rebooting (unplugging the power cable) of the soekris

    Now I have another problem, it seems my serial ports (both) on the soekris are not working.

    I plugged in the null cable to my MB (ASUS P5Q Deluxe) and into the 5501, powered on the soekris, but nothing is showing up in Putty.

    • I Tried on 2 different MBs same problem.
    • Im using 19200 8N1. Tried 9600 8N1.
    • Did a loopback test on my null modem cable. The cable is working fine. COM port is working fine too.
    • Double checked the cable with a multimeter (2->3, 3->2, 5->5) and it's ok.

    Could that be a bios issue? (about the soekris not working with pfsense)
    I could try to blind flash the bios of the soekris?
    Or ssh my way into the soekris?
    Any ideas?

    Thanks



  • What's the BIOS on the 5501? What are your BIOS settings? What does the console say?



  • Ok, I plugged in the null cable to my MB and into the soekris, powered on the soekris, but nothing is showing up in hyperterminal. damn…

    Tried on 2 different MBs same problem.

    Im using 19200 8N1...

    I will do a loopback test



  • Ok, I did a loopback test on my cable. So my cable and computer COM are working.

    I even double check with a multimeter (2->3, 3->2, 5->5) and it's ok.

    So that's mean my soekris is broken?



  • I believe Soekris starts at 1200 or 9600 (do not recall). Remove FC and try to boot it. You should be able to see diagnostic screen.
    EDIT: make sure you disable flow control in putty.



  • Hi,

    I have the exact same setup at home. Although iam using a 2,5" SATA disk, but before that I was using a CF card.

    I have not tried installing through Windows, but in Debian iam using minicom to communicate with the Soekris. If this isn't giving you any output at all there is something wrong with the cable (I've tried that) or the Soekris board isn't working. The baud rate should of cause be set to the right speed (iam using 9600) and it should be the same on the Soekris and the computer you connected the Soekris to. But even though the baud rate isn't set properly you should see some sort of output.



  • @mathias:

    But even though the baud rate isn't set properly you should see some sort of output.

    Not always.


Log in to reply