Intel Desktop Board DN2800MT Build



  • @Unubtanium:

    Tnx again for the pointer to the LCD, you really know your hardware.   ;)

    IF the Firebox LCD give me alot of problems, i then will replace it with a cheap HD44780.
    But will give it a goooood go to get the firebox one to work because i am trying to reuse as much hardware as i can, and i do like a good challenge  when it comes to make things just work..  8)

    It's probably going to be a tough attempt..  If anyone has the pinout for either the LCD or the original board, then it wouldn't be much of a problem.  Otherwise, I reckon a logic analyzer to sniff on the pins would be needed.



  • I'm on a similar route; I want to build a NAS with the DN2800MT. I'm very interested in your experiences. I haven't ordered yet as I need time to build it. I also need 3 x LAN: 1 x LAN, 1 x WAN and 1 for WiFi.

    All dual port NIC's I came across have a x2 or a x4 card size. I believe these card would work in a x1 slot but it just doesn't fit.
    I selected these PCIe risers to convert from the x1 slot on the board to the x2 for the card: http://www.ameri-rack.com/ARC1-PEX16_m.html

    Best regards, Joost



  • @joostmnl:

    I'm on a similar route; I want to build a NAS with the DN2800MT. I'm very interested in your experiences. I haven't ordered yet as I need time to build it. I also need 3 x LAN: 1 x LAN, 1 x WAN and 1 for WiFi.

    All dual port NIC's I came across have a x2 or a x4 card size. I believe these card would work in a x1 slot but it just doesn't fit.
    I selected these PCIe risers to convert from the x1 slot on the board to the x2 for the card: http://www.ameri-rack.com/ARC1-PEX16_m.html

    Best regards, Joost

    Hi Joost

    I am more than happy to share any experience with this MB, just keep an eye on this thread for i will update it with all the info i think is relevant.

    But one thing you should think about is what Dreamslacker said is that with the 1x Pci-e bandwidth we are limited and that the atom cpu is not too great for shoving alot info… Just mentioning it because you said you are using it for a NAS.

    8)



  • Just to confirm, I have used the Intel PT dual port gigabit server adapter with PCIe x1 (x1 in x4 open back slot) before and it works just fine.



  • @dreamslacker:

    It's probably going to be a tough attempt..  If anyone has the pinout for either the LCD or the original board, then it wouldn't be much of a problem.  Otherwise, I reckon a logic analyzer to sniff on the pins would be needed.

    After taking the LCD board of the 2nd board with the 4 buttons on, it shows 16 pins connector.
    See pics attached, so here is the question, is there ANY chance that they are using a HD44780 controller and that i can use this schema to connect it??  http://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net/circuits.htm

    Will look for and old PC with a parallel port and test.. Have nothing to loose  ;D  ;D





  • Netgate Administrator

    @Unubtanium:

    is there ANY chance that they are using a HD44780 controller

    Nope!

    The keypad is just connected across 4 of the input lines on the parallel port.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Nope!

    Steve

    Damn, so in you best opinion should i just give it up and get a cheap HD44780 LCD??
    Would be like a small defeat, but i can take that..



  • @Unubtanium:

    Damn, so in you best opinion should i just give it up and get a cheap HD44780 LCD??
    Would be like a small defeat, but i can take that..

    Probably the most cost effective method.  A HD44780 LCD can be had for less than US$12 inclusive of shipping on ebay.  i'm sure your time spent trying to reverse engineer the Firebox LCD would be worth more than that.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I'd be surprised if it isn't a standard parallel port header. Everything else on the board is standard.
    Give the firebox LCD a go first, you've got nothing to loose.  ;)

    Steve



  • @Unubtanium:

    After taking the LCD board of the 2nd board with the 4 buttons on, it shows 16 pins connector.
    See pics attached, so here is the question, is there ANY chance that they are using a HD44780 controller and that i can use this schema to connect it??   http://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net/circuits.htm

    Will look for and old PC with a parallel port and test.. Have nothing to loose  ;D  ;D

    Do try mate…  It looks like that could be a regular HD44780 LCD module that was previously piggybacked onto another controller (hence the need for a different protocol to communicate with the intermidiary mcu).


  • Netgate Administrator

    Re-reading what I wrote it's not clear.
    What I meant to say is that the 2nd board is almost purely passive. It serves only to add the keypad to the LCD module and provide a common mounting.
    Removing the 2nd board simply leaves you with the same interface but no buttons.

    Steve



  • Based on the picture of that LCD unit and the brand…  I reckon that should be a KS0066U lcd.  Do try running it with a parallel port and as a HD44780 LCD.  It should work.  Pins 15 & 16 will be the backlight pins if that's the case.

    Update:  Based on the driver used, that's definitely HD44780 capable.  Just that the mapping was somewhat different when used with the Watchguard backplane and keypads.



  • Thanks alot both of you for helping me with this. i will  give it a go and if it do not work, at least i will have everything ready for a  HD44780 LCD.

    So now i am looking for a good wiring drawing to see if i need one or two potentiometers , some say one and some say two…

    Dreamslacker do you know if the KS0066U is compatible with the HD44780 wiring? some sites say it is.



  • @Unubtanium:

    Thanks alot both of you for helping me with this. i will  give it a go and if it do not work, at least i will have everything ready for a  HD44780 LCD.

    So now i am looking for a good wiring drawing to see if i need one or two potentiometers , some say one and some say two…

    Dreamslacker do you know if the KS0066U is compatible with the HD44780 wiring? some sites say it is.

    Yes, it is.  Seems that the LCD is from SDEC anyway so the connection to the parallel port should be similar to connecting a HD44780 LCD.  The only caveat is that if they do not use a HD44780 controller, then you need to test with Linux/ pfSense and LCD proc with the sdeclcd.so files.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I agree looking at the hardware it seems it should be HD44780 compatible. However it has a custom part number so it could be a special for Watchguard. Anyway it's an easy enough test to run and I can confirm that it doesn't work, at least not in 8-bit parallel mode with lcdproc 0.55. It's locked up my box now so I'm rebooting to test 4 bit mode.

    Steve

    Edit: I'm fairly sure it won't work since the backlight is controlled via the strobe bit, pin 1.



  • @stephenw10:

    I agree looking at the hardware it seems it should be HD44780 compatible. However it has a custom part number so it could be a special for Watchguard. Anyway it's an easy enough test to run and I can confirm that it doesn't work, at least not in 8-bit parallel mode with lcdproc 0.55. It's locked up my box now so I'm rebooting to test 4 bit mode.

    Steve

    Edit: I'm fairly sure it won't work since the backlight is controlled via the strobe bit, pin 1.

    Thanks for this Steve, i am now just going to find a pc with a printer port so i can test it and as mentioned if not working i at least are ready for my HD44780 LCD



  • Next on my list is to decide on is, wifi card, psu, storage device.

    Here is what i am thinking:

    Wifi:
    Found a Intel WM3945ABG(wish it had N) when did go through my old laptop scrapyard, so thinking of using that with external antennas -> (http://www.broadbandstuff.co.uk/product_info.php?sku=Draytek_ANT-1005_-5dBi_Antennae(3_pack)&products_id=427)

    PSU:
    Here i go three choices of what i found in my scrapyard
    1 X 12V 3.36 AMP
    1 X 12V 4 AMP Think i will start with this one and check how much it will draw of power and if i can change to the  12V 3.36AMP
    1 X 16V 3 AMP

    Storager
    Here i am not sure at all, i want to run snort and other things that might use some swap space.
    Tried running snort on my current one with some rules and VERY quickly did not start saying not enough swap space.. SO i want to make sure that i have enough space for this.
    So this leads me to thinking of not doing a embedded install and go down a install maybe on a laptop hdd or a small ssd. again NOT sure at all…



  • @Unubtanium:

    Wifi:
    Found a Intel WM3945ABG(wish it had N)

    Are you wanting a WiFi card that can act as an Access Point? Access Point mode is not supported by FreeBSD on many Intel WiFi cards.



  • @wallabybob:

    @Unubtanium:

    Wifi:
    Found a Intel WM3945ABG(wish it had N)

    Are you wanting a WiFi card that can act as an Access Point? Access Point mode is not supported by FreeBSD on many Intel WiFi cards.

    You hit the nail on its head, that is just what i want it for, guess it is back to the scrapyard and pick out all the Wifi cards and check the all and HOPE i find one that i can use..

    Edit: Only found a bcm94312mcg…  Now to look for info about using them as Access point with Freebsd


  • Netgate Administrator

    That particular Intel card is the only one that does support AP mode.  :)

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AojFUXcbH0ROdHgwYkFHbkRUdV9hVWljVWl5SXkxbFE&hl=en#gid=0

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    That particular Intel card is the only one that does support AP mode.  :)

    Interesting! The FreeBSD 8.1 man page for wpi (http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=wpi&apropos=0&sektion=0&manpath=FreeBSD+8.1-RELEASE+and+Ports&arch=default&format=html) says wpi supports 3945 but the modes listed don't include hostap. I don't have one to test  :)


  • Netgate Administrator

    JimP vs man page, fight!  ;)

    Steve



  • Will be completely my last exam tonight.  I shall pop a pfSense usb livecd in my X60 laptop and check on the 3945 hostap mode.

    @OP:
    US$2.95 nets you a HD44780 2 x 16 LCD with free S&H:

    http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/New-Character-LCD-Module-Display-LCM-1602-16X2-HD44780-Blue-Blacklight-/350499581767?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item519b672f47

    Just have to take note that the seller is located in China and the Chinese Lunar New Year is on this coming Sunday so most of them will not be working for about 3 to 4 days (factory workers get up to a month off because it takes some of them up to 12 days to get home from work via public transport).



  • @dreamslacker:

    Will be completely my last exam tonight.  I shall pop a pfSense usb livecd in my X60 laptop and check on the 3945 hostap mode.

    @OP:
    US$2.95 nets you a HD44780 2 x 16 LCD with free S&H:

    http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/New-Character-LCD-Module-Display-LCM-1602-16X2-HD44780-Blue-Blacklight-/350499581767?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item519b672f47

    Just have to take note that the seller is located in China and the Chinese Lunar New Year is on this coming Sunday so most of them will not be working for about 3 to 4 days (factory workers get up to a month off because it takes some of them up to 12 days to get home from work via public transport).

    Damn, 12 days to get home… I am so glad that i am living where i live, takes me only 50 min..

    IN regards to the hostap mode, i will get it tested when i get this build done.

    So just to confirm, when they say on a ebay listing that it is KS0066U (Equivalent Hitachi HD44780 Controller), i can use that as it was a HD44780 and use the same connection schematics??  If so i will order this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LCD-16x2-Blue-White-HD44780-equivalent-Display-Module-/110802743481?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item19cc5bb0b9
    UK Stock and quick delivery  ;D



  • @ stephenw10

    Do you think it would be hard to make a small build with 2 LED's to indicate "armed green/red" and "alarm/ from snort/ipblocker green/read" that i can connect to the com2 header and have a software to control like you armed software for x500??  I can programing for Windows but have NOOOO clue for freebsd.. Maybe its time to learn  8)



  • @Unubtanium:

    Damn, 12 days to get home… I am so glad that i am living where i live, takes me only 50 min..

    IN regards to the hostap mode, i will get it tested when i get this build done.

    So just to confirm, when they say on a ebay listing that it is KS0066U (Equivalent Hitachi HD44780 Controller), i can use that as it was a HD44780 and use the same connection schematics??   If so i will order this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LCD-16x2-Blue-White-HD44780-equivalent-Display-Module-/110802743481?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item19cc5bb0b9
    UK Stock and quick delivery  ;D

    Yes.  KS0066U is identical in function to HD44780 (the difference lies in the speed of the controllers in the past).  You can get that if it ships faster, I just picked the cheapest option.  ;D


  • Netgate Administrator

    It's not hard to make a circuit to do that. There are many, many examples out there on the net.
    Traditionally it far easier to do this sort of thing via the parallel port though.
    Check the board specs, you may already have some led outputs available that can be programmed. The power and standby LEDs are usually driven from the superIO chip for example.
    There are some clever programs for using the three LEDs from a keyboard, still using the keyboard connector.

    If you want to use the com port you will need some sort of interface chip.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    It's not hard to make a circuit to do that. There are many, many examples out there on the net.
    Traditionally it far easier to do this sort of thing via the parallel port though.
    Check the board specs, you may already have some led outputs available that can be programmed. The power and standby LEDs are usually driven from the superIO chip for example.
    There are some clever programs for using the three LEDs from a keyboard, still using the keyboard connector.

    If you want to use the com port you will need some sort of interface chip.

    Steve

    Tnx, sound like i should look for some Freebsd apps that can control my power and HD LED.. If i find this i might use
    them with some clever AND, NAND and  OR gates for the desired green/red LED control


  • Netgate Administrator

    The driver seems to support hostap mode. I await a physical test.  ;)

    Steve



  • You may need to rethink your board selection - Cedar Trail CPUs won't support Linux, at least not immediately: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-008326.htm



  • @Toneloc427:

    You may need to rethink your board selection - Cedar Trail CPUs won't support Linux, at least not immediately: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-008326.htm

    HUmmmm…  Its on its way, and If it do not work i will make it into a HTPC and get a new board, but afaik linux is just a kernel and freebsd a OS... so not sure if it can be compared, but PLEASE correct me if I am wayyy leftfield here with my thinking..


  • Netgate Administrator

    I wouldn't worry about that. Cedar trail uses the same chipset as Pine trail which is known to run well with pfSense.
    In that table a similar level of support is listed for the D525 or D510 boards. In fact BSD is not listed at all but we all know it runs fine.  ;)

    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @wallabybob:

    @stephenw10:

    That particular Intel card is the only one that does support AP mode.  :)

    Interesting! The FreeBSD 8.1 man page for wpi (http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=wpi&apropos=0&sektion=0&manpath=FreeBSD+8.1-RELEASE+and+Ports&arch=default&format=html) says wpi supports 3945 but the modes listed don't include hostap. I don't have one to test  :)

    When I compiled my spreadsheet I looked not just at the man pages, but also the driver source. Often the man pages lag behind the source, so in cases where the man pages said a feature was not supported I checked the driver itself to confirm. But the spreadsheet is just a guide, since I don't have access to all of those cards to test…

    I do have a wpi card that should be hostap capable but I don't have a spare device with a mini-pci-e slot to try it with.

    @stephenw10:

    JimP vs man page, fight!  ;)

    Steve

    Historically we may be about even on how many times we are wrong vs. how many we are right. :-)



  • Well i will be able to test it as soon as my supplier gets their finger out and get me my MB, expected deliver is around 05/02/12  >:(  >:(

    Glad my x500 is still running strong so there is no rush and gives me time to get all my bits and bobs i need for the build..  :P

    And give me time do find out what storage devise is best for running snort!



  • HI All

    Again thanks for all help and input so far..

    I wonder if someone have some input on this:
    I want to make power consumption as low as possible and want to use SSD to help me with this, but i am not sure after reading this thread:
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,34381.45.html if SSD still is my best choose as i am going to run snort. Or should i just us a old laptop HDD i have???
    Is the difference that great?


  • Netgate Administrator

    There's a lot of mis-information in that thread. Modern SSDs have many many write cycles and a lot of clever ware levelling to make their lifespan as long as possible.
    Snort is not a big user of disk space. It requires a lot of RAM and as many CPU cycles as you can throw at it. You can install snort on an embedded install.
    SSDs do have significantly lower power consumption.
    Just don't buy that 8GB kingston drive that seems to have a design flaw causing data corruption.

    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I'm still wary of SSDs. We have had a number of reports from customers that their SSDs have died suddenly, no matter what the brand, they seem to fail more often than HDDs of the same vintage. (Not just in firewalls, we had a customer lose a good chunk of an entire VM infrastructure to flaky SSDs, switched back to HDDs and haven't had a problem since)

    If you do get an SSD, just make sure to keep up with firmware updates on the drive, and always have a backup plan ready



  • Thanks for clearing up my SSD question Steven & Jimp. I think i will go down the SSD route to save power then.
    And to safe guard myself against SSD failures i will use this Brand spaking new backup software just released: 
    http://www.zomers.eu/knowledge/pfSense/Pages/How-to-automate-pfSense-backup.aspx

    ;D  ;D


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    No need to load some other program to backup… wget works just fine.

    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Remote_Config_Backup



  • @jimp:

    No need to load some other program to backup… wget works just fine.

    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Remote_Config_Backup

    Thanks for this, i guess i have to continue my conversion..  ;D
    For i am born and raised a Windows man  :P , that is why the software will be nice for me. Will just add it to my VPS and scheduled it and i am all safe u see.

    But as i am currently in stat of conversion i guess should get my Freebsd 9.0 box to do the same, to help me along over the the Freebsd side.  8)