Aug 302018

So, I’m happy enough with the driver now that I’ll collapse down the commits and throw it up onto the Github repository.  I might take another look at kernel 4.18, but for now, you’ll find them on the ts7670-4.14.67 branch.

Two things I observe about this voltage monitor:

  1. The voltage output is not what you’d call, accurate.  I think it’s only a 10-bit ADC, which is still plenty good enough for this application, but the reading I think is “high” by about 50mV.
  2. There’s significant noise on the reading, with noticeable quantisation steps.

Owing to these, and to thwart the possibility of using this data in side-channel attacks using power analysis, I’ve put a 40-sample moving-average filter on the “public” data.

Never the less, it’s a handy party trick, and not one I expected these devices to be able to do.  My workplace manages a big fleet of these single-board computers in the residential towers at Barangaroo where they spend all day polling Modbus and M-Bus meters.  In the event we’re at all suspicious about DC power supplies though, it’s a simple matter to load this kernel tree (they already run U-Boot) and configure collectd (which is also installed).

I also tried briefly switching off the mains power to see that I was indeed reading the battery voltage and not just a random number that looked like the voltage.  That yielded an interesting effect:

You can see where I switched the mains supply off, and back on again.  From about 8:19PM the battery voltage predictably fell until about 8:28PM where it was at around 12.6V.

Then it did something strange, it rose about 100mV before settling at 12.7V.  I suspect if I kept it off all night it’d steadily decrease: the sun has long set.  I’ve turned the mains charger back on now, as you can see by the step-rise shortly after 8:44PM.

The bands on the above chart are the alert zones.  I’ll get an email if the battery voltage strays outside of that safe region of 12-14.6V.  Below 12V, and I run the risk of deep-cycling the batteries.  Above 14.6V, and I’ll cook them!

The IPMI BMCs on the nodes already sent me angry emails when the battery got low, so in that sense, Grafana duplicates that, but does so with pretty charts.  The BMCs don’t see when the battery gets too high though, for the simple matter that what they see is regulated by LDOs.

Aug 302018

I’ve succeeded in getting a working battery monitor kernel module. This is basically taking the application note by Technologic Systems and spinning that into a power supply class driver that reports the voltage via sysfs.

As it happens, the battery module in collectd does not see this as a “battery”, something I’ll look at later. For now the exec plug-in works well enough. This feeds through eventually to an InfluxDB database with Grafana sitting on top.

Aug 282018

So, I successfully last night, parted the core bits out of ts_wdt.c and make ts-mcu-core.c.  This is a multi-function device, and serves to provide a shared channel for the two drivers that’ll use it.

Tonight, I took a stab at writing the PSU part of it.  Suffice to say, I’ve got work to do:

[  158.712960] Unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at virtual address 00000005
[  158.721328] pgd = c3854000
[  158.724089] [00000005] *pgd=4384f831, *pte=00000000, *ppte=00000000
[  158.730629] Internal error: Oops: 1 [#3] ARM
[  158.734947] Modules linked in: 8021q garp mrp stp llc nf_conntrack_ipv4 nf_defrag_ipv4 iptable_filter ip_tables xt_tcpudp nf_conntrack_ipv6 nf_defrag_ipv6 xt_conntrack nf_conntrack ip6table_filter ip6_tables x_tables flexcan can_dev
[  158.755812] CPU: 0 PID: 2059 Comm: cat Tainted: G      D         4.14.67-vrt-ts7670+ #3
[  158.763840] Hardware name: Freescale MXS (Device Tree)
[  158.769008] task: c68f3a20 task.stack: c3846000
[  158.773598] PC is at ts_mcu_transfer+0x1c/0x48
[  158.778073] LR is at 0x3
[  158.780630] pc : []    lr : [<00000003>]    psr: 60000013
[  158.786918] sp : c3847e44  ip : 00000000  fp : 014000c0
[  158.792165] r10: c5035000  r9 : c5305900  r8 : c777b428
[  158.797412] r7 : c0a7fa80  r6 : c777b400  r5 : c5035000  r4 : c3847e6c
[  158.803961] r3 : c3847e58  r2 : 00000001  r1 : c3847e4c  r0 : c07b8c68
[  158.810512] Flags: nZCv  IRQs on  FIQs on  Mode SVC_32  ISA ARM  Segment none
[  158.817671] Control: 0005317f  Table: 43854000  DAC: 00000051
[  158.823440] Process cat (pid: 2059, stack limit = 0xc3846190)
[  158.829212] Stack: (0xc3847e44 to 0xc3848000)
[  158.833611] 7e40:          c05bd150 00000001 00010000 00000004 c3847e48 00000150 c5035000
[  158.841833] 7e60: c777b420 c05bcaa4 c4f70c60 c777e070 c0a7fa80 c05bca20 00000fff c07ad4b0
[  158.850051] 7e80: c777b428 c04e46dc c4f52980 00001000 00000fff c01b1994 c4f52980 c4f70c60
[  158.858268] 7ea0: c3847ec8 ffffe000 00000000 c3847f88 00000001 c0164eac c3847fb0 c4f529b0
[  158.866487] 7ec0: 00020000 b6e3d000 00000000 00000000 c4f73f70 00000800 00000000 c01b0f60
[  158.874703] 7ee0: 00020000 c4f70c60 ffffe000 c3847f88 00000000 00000000 00000000 c013eb84
[  158.882918] 7f00: 000291ac 00000000 00000000 c0009344 00000077 b6e3c000 00000022 00000022
[  158.891135] 7f20: c686bdc0 c0117838 000b6e3c c3847f80 00022000 c686be14 b6e3c000 00000000
[  158.899354] 7f40: 00000000 00022000 b6e3d000 00020000 c4f70c60 ffffe000 c3847f88 c013ed0c
[  158.907571] 7f60: 00000022 00000000 000b6e3c c4f70c60 c4f70c60 b6e3d000 00020000 c000a9e4
[  158.915786] 7f80: c3846000 c013f2d8 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
[  158.924002] 7fa0: 00000003 c000a820 00000000 00000000 00000003 b6e3d000 00020000 00000000
[  158.932217] 7fc0: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000003 00020000 00000000 00000001 00000000
[  158.940434] 7fe0: be8a62c0 be8a62ac b6eb77c4 b6eb6b9c 60000010 00000003 00000000 00000000
[  158.948691] [] (ts_mcu_transfer) from [] (ts_psu_get_prop+0x38/0xb0)
[  158.956847] [] (ts_psu_get_prop) from [] (power_supply_show_property+0x84/0x220)
[  158.966036] [] (power_supply_show_property) from [] (dev_attr_show+0x1c/0x48)
[  158.974974] [] (dev_attr_show) from [] (sysfs_kf_seq_show+0x84/0xf0)
[  158.983129] [] (sysfs_kf_seq_show) from [] (seq_read+0xcc/0x4f4)
[  158.990930] [] (seq_read) from [] (__vfs_read+0x1c/0x11c)
[  158.998117] [] (__vfs_read) from [] (vfs_read+0x88/0x158)
[  159.005304] [] (vfs_read) from [] (SyS_read+0x3c/0x90)
[  159.012232] [] (SyS_read) from [] (ret_fast_syscall+0x0/0x28)
[  159.019766] Code: e52de004 e281300c e590e004 e25cc001 (e1dee0b2) 
[  159.026278] ---[ end trace 2807dc313991fd87 ]---

The good news is the machine didn’t crash.c

Aug 262018

So, I had a brief look after getting kernel 4.18.5 booting… sure enough the problem was I had forgotten the watchdog, although I did see btrfs trigger a deadlock warning, so I may not be out of the woods yet.  I’ve posted the relevant kernel output to the linux-btrfs list.

Anyway, as it happens, that watchdog driver looks like it’ll need some re-factoring as a multi-function device.  At the moment, ts-wdt.c claims it based on this binding.

If I try to add a second driver, they’ll clash, and I expect the same if I try to access it via userspace.  So the sensible thing to do here, is to add a ts-companion.c MFD driver here, then re-factor ts-wdt.c to use it.  From there, I can write a ts-psu.c module which will go right here.

I think I’ll definitely be digging into those older sources to remind myself how that all worked.

Aug 252018

So, after some argument, and a bit of sitting on a concrete floor with the netbook, I managed to get Gentoo loaded onto the TS-7670.  Right now it’s running off the MicroSD card, I’ll get things right, then shift it across to eMMC.

ts7670 ~ # emerge --info
Portage 2.3.40 (python 3.5.5-final-0, default/linux/musl/arm/armv7a, gcc-6.4.0, musl-1.1.19, 4.14.15-vrt-ts7670-00031-g1a006273f907-dirty armv5tejl)
System uname: Linux-4.14.15-vrt-ts7670-00031-g1a006273f907-dirty-armv5tejl-ARM926EJ-S_rev_5_-v5l-with-gentoo-2.4.1
KiB Mem:      111532 total,     13136 free
KiB Swap:    4194300 total,   4191228 free
Timestamp of repository gentoo: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 16:45:01 +0000
Head commit of repository gentoo: 563622899f514c21f5b7808cb50f6e88dbd7d7de
sh bash 4.4_p12
ld GNU ld (Gentoo 2.30 p2) 2.30.0
app-shells/bash:          4.4_p12::gentoo
dev-lang/perl:            5.24.3-r1::gentoo
dev-lang/python:          2.7.14-r1::gentoo, 3.5.5::gentoo
dev-util/pkgconfig:       0.29.2::gentoo
sys-apps/baselayout:      2.4.1-r2::gentoo
sys-apps/openrc:          0.34.11::gentoo
sys-apps/sandbox:         2.13::musl
sys-devel/autoconf:       2.69-r4::gentoo
sys-devel/automake:       1.15.1-r2::gentoo
sys-devel/binutils:       2.30-r2::gentoo
sys-devel/gcc:            6.4.0-r1::musl
sys-devel/gcc-config:     1.8-r1::gentoo
sys-devel/libtool:        2.4.6-r3::gentoo
sys-devel/make:           4.2.1::gentoo
sys-kernel/linux-headers: 4.13::musl (virtual/os-headers)
sys-libs/musl:            1.1.19::gentoo

    location: /usr/portage
    sync-type: rsync
    sync-uri: rsync://
    priority: -1000
    sync-rsync-verify-jobs: 1
    sync-rsync-verify-metamanifest: yes
    sync-rsync-verify-max-age: 24

CFLAGS="-Os -pipe -march=armv5te -mtune=arm926ej-s -mfloat-abi=soft"
CONFIG_PROTECT="/etc /usr/share/gnupg/qualified.txt"
CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK="/etc/ca-certificates.conf /etc/env.d /etc/gconf /etc/gentoo-release /etc/sandbox.d /etc/terminfo"
CXXFLAGS="-Os -pipe -march=armv5te -mtune=arm926ej-s -mfloat-abi=soft"
FCFLAGS="-O2 -pipe -march=armv7-a -mfpu=vfpv3-d16 -mfloat-abi=hard"
FEATURES="assume-digests binpkg-logs config-protect-if-modified distlocks ebuild-locks fixlafiles merge-sync multilib-strict news parallel-fetch preserve-libs protect-owned sandbox sfperms strict unknown-features-warn unmerge-logs unmerge-orphans userfetch userpriv usersandbox usersync xattr"
FFLAGS="-O2 -pipe -march=armv7-a -mfpu=vfpv3-d16 -mfloat-abi=hard"
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-O1 -Wl,--as-needed"
PORTAGE_RSYNC_OPTS="--recursive --links --safe-links --perms --times --omit-dir-times --compress --force --whole-file --delete --stats --human-readable --timeout=180 --exclude=/distfiles --exclude=/local --exclude=/packages --exclude=/.git"
USE="arm bindist cli crypt cxx dri fortran iconv ipv6 modules ncurses nls nptl openmp pam pcre readline seccomp ssl tcpd unicode xattr zlib" APACHE2_MODULES="authn_core authz_core socache_shmcb unixd actions alias auth_basic authn_alias authn_anon authn_dbm authn_default authn_file authz_dbm authz_default authz_groupfile authz_host authz_owner authz_user autoindex cache cgi cgid dav dav_fs dav_lock deflate dir disk_cache env expires ext_filter file_cache filter headers include info log_config logio mem_cache mime mime_magic negotiation rewrite setenvif speling status unique_id userdir usertrack vhost_alias" CALLIGRA_FEATURES="karbon plan sheets stage words" COLLECTD_PLUGINS="df interface irq load memory rrdtool swap syslog" ELIBC="musl" GPSD_PROTOCOLS="ashtech aivdm earthmate evermore fv18 garmin garmintxt gpsclock isync itrax mtk3301 nmea ntrip navcom oceanserver oldstyle oncore rtcm104v2 rtcm104v3 sirf skytraq superstar2 timing tsip tripmate tnt ublox ubx" INPUT_DEVICES="libinput keyboard mouse" KERNEL="linux" LCD_DEVICES="bayrad cfontz cfontz633 glk hd44780 lb216 lcdm001 mtxorb ncurses text" LIBREOFFICE_EXTENSIONS="presenter-console presenter-minimizer" OFFICE_IMPLEMENTATION="libreoffice" PHP_TARGETS="php5-6 php7-0" POSTGRES_TARGETS="postgres9_5 postgres10" PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET="python3_6" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_6" RUBY_TARGETS="ruby23" USERLAND="GNU" VIDEO_CARDS="dummy fbdev v4l" XTABLES_ADDONS="quota2 psd pknock lscan length2 ipv4options ipset ipp2p iface geoip fuzzy condition tee tarpit sysrq steal rawnat logmark ipmark dhcpmac delude chaos account"

I still have to update the kernel.  I actually did get kernel 4.18 to boot, but I forgot to add in support for the watchdog, so U-Boot tickled it, then the watchdog got hungry and kicked the reset half way through the boot sequence.

Rolling back to my older 4.14 kernel works.  I’ll try again with 4.18.5 in a moment.  Failing that, I have also brought the 4.14 patches up to 4.14.69 which is the latest LTS release of the kernel.

I’ve started looking at the power supply sysfs device class, with a view to exposing the supply voltage via sysfs.  The thinking here is that collectd supports reading this via the “battery” module (and realistically, it is a battery that is being measured: two 105Ah AGMs).

Worst case is I do something a little proprietary and deal with it in user space.  I’ll have to dig up the Linux kernel tree I did for Jacques Electronics all those years ago, as that had some examples of interfacing sysfs to a Cypress PSOC device that was acting as an I²C slave.  Rather than using an off-the-shelf solution, they programmed up a MCU that did power management, touchscreen sensing, keypad sensing, RGB LED control and others, all in one chip.  (Fun to try and interface that to the Linux kernel.)

Technologic Systems appear to have done something similar.  The device ID 0x78 implies a 10-bit device, but I think they’re just squatting on that 7-bit address.  They hail 0x78 then read out 4 bytes, which the last two bytes are the supply voltage ADC readings.  They do their own byte swapping before scaling the value to get mV.

Aug 222018

It’s taken several months and had a few false starts, but at long last I have some stage tarballs for Gentoo Linux MUSL for ARMv5 processors.  I’m not the only one wanting such a port, even looking for my earlier thread on the matter, I stumbled on this post.  (Google translate is hopeless with Russian, but I can get the gist of what’s being said.)

This was natively built on the TS-7670 using an external hard drive connected over USB 2.0 as both swap and the chroot.  It took two passes to clean everything up and get something that’s in a “release-able” state.

I think my next steps now will be:

  • Build an updated kernel … I might see if I can expose that I²C register via a sysfs file or something that collectd can pick up whilst I’m at it.  I have the kernel sources and bootloader sources.
  • Prepare the 32GB MicroSD card I bought a few weeks back with the needed partitions and load Gentoo onto that.
  • Install the MicroSD card and boot off it.
  • Back up the eMMC
  • Re-format the eMMC and copy the MicroSD card to it.

It’s supposed to be wet this weekend, so it sounds like a good project for indoors.

Aug 192018

So, I was just updating the project details for this project, and I happened to see this blog post about reading the DC voltage input on the TS-7670v2.

I haven’t yet gotten around to finishing the power meters that I was building which would otherwise be reading these values directly, but they were basically going to connect via Modbus to the TS-7670v2 anyway.  One of its roles, aside from routing between the physical management network (IPMI and switch console access), was to monitor the battery.

I will have to explore this.  Collectd doesn’t have a general-purpose I²C module, but it does have one for barometer modules, so with a bit of work, I could make one to measure the voltage input which would tell me what the battery is doing.

Jun 242018

For years up until last month, I ran a public NTP server which was on  This mostly sat at Stratum II and was synchronised from random stratum I servers.

Last month, I had to knock that on the head because of a sudden spike in Internet traffic.  Through tcpdump on the border router, I identified the first culprit: NTP client traffic.  For whatever reason, I was getting a lot of traffic.  Dumping packets to a file over a 15 minute period and analysing showed about 90% of the traffic was NTP.

For about 3 weeks straight, I had an effectively constant 4~5Mbps incoming stream … a pelican flew into my inbox, carrying a AU$300 bill for the nearly 800GB consumed in May.  (My plan was originally 250GB.  Many thanks for Internode there: they capped the overusage charge at AU$300 and provided an instant upgrade of the plan to 500GB/month.)

The other culprit I tracked down to HackChat’s websockets, which was a big contributor to June’s data usage.  (Thank-you OpenBSD pflow and nfdump!)

So right now, I’m looking at whether I re-join the NTP server pool.  I have the monitoring in place to keep track of data usage now.  For sure the experience has cost me over $400, but that’s still cheaper than university studies … and they didn’t teach me this stuff anyway!

One thought is that I could do away with any external NTP server altogether by using local sources to synchronise time.  With a long-wire antenna, I could sync to WWV.  Usually I can pick it up on 10MHz or 15MHz, but it’s weak, and I’d have to rig up the receiver, the antenna and a suitable decoder.

Then there’s the problem of lightning strikes, I already have a Yaesu FT-897D in the junk box thanks to Thor’s past efforts.

The more practical approach would appear to be using GPS time sync.  You can do it with any NMEA-compatible module, but you get far better results using one that supports PPS.  Some even have a 10PPS option, but I’m not sure if kpps supports that.

As it happens, I could have got a GPS module in the TS-7670.  Here’s where it is on the schematic:

and here are the connections to its UART (bottom two):

and the PPS pin (LCD_D16):

The footprints are there on the board, and I can buy the module.  No problems.  Buying the TS-7670 with the GPS option would have meant buying the top-of-the-line “development” model which would have included WiFi (not needed), an extra 128MB RAM (nice to have, but not essential) and an extra CAN port (not needed).

The other option is to go something else, such as this module.  Either way, I need to watch logic levels, Freescale like their 1.8V, although it looks like the I/O pins can be switched between 1.8V and 3.3V from the GPIO registers (chapter 9 of the datasheet).

Doing this, would allow me to run Stratum 1 within the network, and perhaps to IPv6 NTP clients.  IPv4 clients might get Stratum 2, we’ll see how I feel about it later.

May 052018

So, at long last, I finally saw this in my chroot‘s /var/log/emerge.log:

1524887925: Started emerge on: Apr 28, 2018 03:58:45
1524887926:  *** emerge --oneshot sys-devel/gcc::musl
1524888211:  >>> emerge (1 of 1) sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0 to /
1524888212:  === (1 of 1) Cleaning (sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0::/root/musl/sys-devel/gcc/gcc-7.3.0.ebuild)
1524888307:  === (1 of 1) Compiling/Packaging (sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0::/root/musl/sys-devel/gcc/gcc-7.3.0.ebuild)
1525472690:  === (1 of 1) Merging (sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0::/root/musl/sys-devel/gcc/gcc-7.3.0.ebuild)
1525472838:  >>> AUTOCLEAN: sys-devel/gcc:7.3.0
1525473358:  === (1 of 1) Post-Build Cleaning (sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0::/root/musl/sys-devel/gcc/gcc-7.3.0.ebuild)
1525473358:  ::: completed emerge (1 of 1) sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0 to /
1525473360:  *** Finished. Cleaning up...
1525473373:  *** exiting successfully.

That’s 6 days, 18 hours and 32 minutes, of solid compiling. BUT WE GOT THERE!

What’s left? This:

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild     U  ] sys-libs/musl-1.1.19 [1.1.18]
[binary   R    ] sys-libs/zlib-1.2.11-r1
[binary   R    ] app-arch/xz-utils-5.2.3
[ebuild     U  ] sys-libs/ncurses-6.1-r2 [6.0-r1]
[binary   R    ] sys-libs/readline-7.0_p3
[binary   R    ] virtual/libintl-0-r2
[binary   R    ] dev-lang/python-exec-2.4.5
[binary   R    ] virtual/libiconv-0-r2
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/gentoo-functions-0.12
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/libpcre-8.41-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/sed-4.2.2
[binary   R    ] app-arch/bzip2-1.0.6-r8
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/gmp-6.1.2
[binary   R    ] app-shells/bash-4.4_p12
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/file-5.32
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/gnuconfig-20170101
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/mpfr-3.1.6
[binary   R    ] app-misc/c_rehash-1.7-r1
[binary   R    ] app-misc/mime-types-9
[binary   R    ] app-arch/tar-1.29-r3
[binary   R    ] app-arch/gzip-1.8
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/mpc-1.0.3
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/gcc-config-1.8-r1
[binary   R    ] app-misc/editor-wrapper-4
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/less-529
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/debianutils-4.8.3
[binary   R    ] net-libs/libmnl-1.0.4
[binary   R    ] sys-libs/libseccomp-2.3.2
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/popt-1.16-r2
[binary   R    ] sys-libs/e2fsprogs-libs-1.43.6
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/binutils-config-5-r4
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/libffi-3.2.1
[binary   R    ] virtual/libffi-3.0.13-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/sysvinit-2.88-r9
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/opentmpfiles-0.1.3
[binary   R    ] virtual/tmpfiles-0
[binary   R    ] app-text/manpager-1
[binary   R    ] sys-libs/cracklib-2.9.6-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/install-xattr-0.5
[binary   R    ] app-editors/nano-2.8.7
[binary   R    ] app-portage/elt-patches-20170815
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/m4-1.4.17
[binary   R    ] app-arch/unzip-6.0_p21-r2
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/autoconf-wrapper-13
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/bison-3.0.4-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/flex-2.6.4-r1
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/libltdl-2.4.6
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/automake-wrapper-10
[binary   R    ] app-text/sgml-common-0.6.3-r6
[binary   R    ] dev-libs/libgpg-error-1.27-r1
[ebuild  N     ] dev-lang/perl-5.24.3-r1  USE="-berkdb -debug -doc -gdbm -ithreads"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-kernel/linux-headers-4.13  USE="-headers-only"
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-Data-Dumper-2.160.0-r1
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-Test-Harness-3.360.100_rc-r3
[ebuild  N     ] perl-core/File-Temp-0.230.400-r1
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-File-Temp-0.230.400-r5
[ebuild  N     ] perl-core/File-Path-2.130.0
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-File-Path-2.130.0
[binary   R    ] virtual/os-headers-0
[ebuild  N     ] sys-devel/autoconf-2.69-r4  USE="-emacs"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/attr-2.4.47-r2  USE="-nls -static-libs"
[ebuild   R    ] sys-apps/coreutils-8.28-r1
[ebuild     U  ] app-admin/eselect-1.4.12 [1.4.8]
[ebuild     U  ] app-eselect/eselect-python-20171204 [20160516]
[ebuild     U  ] sys-devel/patch-2.7.6-r1 [2.7.5]
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/shadow-4.5  USE="cracklib xattr -acl -audit -nls -pam (-selinux) -skey"
[binary   R    ] virtual/shadow-0
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-ExtUtils-MakeMaker-7.100.200_rc-r4
[ebuild  N     ] sys-libs/libcap-2.24-r2  USE="-pam -static-libs"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-perl/Text-Unidecode-1.270.0
[ebuild  N     ] dev-perl/libintl-perl-1.240.0-r2
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/help2man-1.47.4  USE="-nls"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-devel/automake-1.15.1-r2  USE="{-test}"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-devel/libtool-2.4.6-r3  USE="-vanilla"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/expat-2.2.5  USE="unicode -examples -static-libs"
[ebuild   R    ] sys-process/psmisc-22.21-r3
[ebuild  N     ] sys-libs/gdbm-1.13-r2  USE="readline -berkdb -exporter -nls -static-libs"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/groff-1.22.2  USE="-X -examples" L10N="-ja"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/libelf-0.8.13-r2  USE="-debug -nls"
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/libelf-2
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/libgcrypt-1.8.1  USE="-doc -static-libs"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-perl/XML-Parser-2.440.0
[ebuild  N     ] virtual/perl-File-Spec-3.630.100_rc-r4
[ebuild  N     ] dev-perl/Unicode-EastAsianWidth-1.330.0-r1
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/texinfo-6.3  USE="-nls -static"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/iniparser-3.1-r1  USE="-doc -examples -static-libs"
[ebuild  N     ] app-portage/portage-utils-0.64  USE="-nls -static"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/openssl-1.0.2o  USE="asm sslv3 tls-heartbeat zlib -bindist -gmp -kerberos -rfc3779 -sctp -sslv2 -static-libs {-test} -vanilla"
[binary  N     ] dev-lang/python-2.7.14-r1  USE="ipv6 ncurses readline ssl (threads) (wide-unicode) xml (-berkdb) -build -doc -examples -gdbm -hardened -libressl -sqlite -tk -wininst"
[binary  N     ] sys-apps/openrc-0.34.11  USE="ncurses netifrc unicode -audit -debug -newnet -pam (-prefix) (-selinux) -static-libs" 
[ebuild  N     ] net-misc/netifrc-0.5.1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/grep-3.0
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/findutils-4.6.0-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/kbd-2.0.4
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/busybox-1.28.0  USE="ipv6 static -debug -livecd -make-symlinks -math -mdev -pam -savedconfig (-selinux) -sep-usr -syslog (-systemd)"
[binary   R    ] virtual/service-manager-0
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/binutils-2.29.1-r1
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/net-tools-1.60_p20161110235919  USE="arp hostname ipv6 -nis -nls -plipconfig (-selinux) -slattach -static" 
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/gawk-4.1.4
[binary   R    ] virtual/editor-0
[binary   R    ] sys-devel/make-4.2.1
[binary   R    ] sys-process/procps-3.3.12-r1
[binary   R    ] virtual/dev-manager-0-r1
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/which-2.21
[ebuild  N     ] net-misc/iputils-20171016_pre  USE="arping filecaps ipv6 openssl ssl -SECURITY_HAZARD -caps -clockdiff -doc -gcrypt
 (-idn) -libressl -nettle -rarpd -rdisc -static -tftpd -tracepath -traceroute"
[binary   R    ] virtual/pager-0
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/diffutils-3.5
[binary   R    ] sys-apps/baselayout-2.4.1-r2
[binary   R    ] virtual/libc-1
[binary   R   ~] sys-devel/gcc-7.3.0
[binary   R    ] virtual/pkgconfig-0-r1
[ebuild  N     ] dev-lang/python-3.5.5  USE="ipv6 ncurses readline ssl (threads) xml -build -examples -gdbm -hardened -libressl -sqlite {-test} -tk -wininst"
[ebuild  N     ] app-misc/ca-certificates-20170717.3.36.1  USE="-cacert -insecure_certs"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/util-linux-2.30.2-r1  USE="cramfs ncurses readline suid unicode -build -caps -fdformat -kill -nls -pam -python (-selinux) -slang -static-libs (-systemd) {-test} -tty-helpers -udev" PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET="python3_5 -python2_7 -python3_4 -python3_6" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild     U  ] app-misc/pax-utils-1.2.3 [1.1.7]
[ebuild     U  ] sys-apps/sandbox-2.13 [2.10-r4]
[ebuild     U  ] net-misc/rsync-3.1.3 [3.1.2-r2]
[ebuild  N     ] net-firewall/iptables-1.6.1-r3  USE="ipv6 -conntrack -netlink -nftables -pcap -static-libs"
[ebuild     U  ] dev-libs/libpipeline-1.4.2 [1.4.0]
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/man-db-  USE="gdbm manpager zlib -berkdb -nls (-selinux) -static-libs"
[ebuild     U  ] sys-apps/kmod-24 [23] PYTHON_TARGETS="-python3_6%"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-python/pyblake2-1.1.0  PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 (-pypy) -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild  N     ] net-misc/openssh-7.5_p1-r4  USE="hpn pie ssl -X -X509 -audit -bindist -debug -kerberos -ldap -ldns -libedit -libressl -livecd -pam -sctp (-selinux) -skey -ssh1 -static {-test}"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-util/gtk-doc-am-1.25-r1
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/libxml2-2.9.7  USE="ipv6 readline -debug -examples -icu -lzma -python -static-libs {-test}" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-devel/gettext-  USE="cxx ncurses openmp -acl -cvs -doc -emacs -git -java (-nls) -static-libs"
[ebuild  N     ] app-text/build-docbook-catalog-1.19.1
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/libxslt-1.1.30-r2  USE="crypt -debug -examples -python -static-libs" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7"
[ebuild  N     ] app-text/docbook-xsl-stylesheets-1.79.1-r2  USE="-ruby"
[ebuild  N     ] app-text/docbook-xml-dtd-4.1.2-r6
[ebuild  N     ] dev-util/intltool-0.51.0-r2
[ebuild  N     ] dev-libs/glib-2.52.3  USE="mime xattr -dbus -debug (-fam) (-selinux) -static-libs -systemtap {-test} -utils" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7"
[ebuild  N     ] x11-misc/shared-mime-info-1.9  USE="{-test}"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-python/setuptools-36.7.2  USE="{-test}" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 (-pypy) (-pypy3) -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-python/certifi-2017.4.17  PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 (-pypy) (-pypy3) -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild  N     ] dev-python/pyxattr-0.5.5  USE="-doc {-test}" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 (-pypy) -python3_4"
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/portage-2.3.24-r1  USE="(ipc) native-extensions xattr -build -doc -epydoc -gentoo-dev (-rsync-verify) (-selinux)" PYTHON_TARGETS="python2_7 python3_5 (-pypy) -python3_4 -python3_6"
[ebuild  N     ] app-admin/perl-cleaner-2.25
[binary   R    ] virtual/man-0-r1
[binary   R    ] virtual/modutils-0
[ebuild  N     ] sys-fs/e2fsprogs-1.43.6  USE="-fuse (-nls) -static-libs"
[ebuild     U  ] virtual/package-manager-1 [0]
[ebuild  N     ] sys-apps/iproute2-4.14.1-r2  USE="iptables ipv6 -atm -berkdb -minimal (-selinux)"
[binary   R    ] virtual/ssh-0
[ebuild  N     ] net-misc/wget-1.19.1-r2  USE="ipv6 pcre ssl zlib -debug -gnutls -idn -libressl -nls -ntlm -static {-test} -uuid"
[ebuild   R    ] dev-util/pkgconfig-0.29.2  USE="-internal-glib*"

!!! The following binary packages have been ignored due to non matching USE:

    =dev-util/pkgconfig-0.29.2 internal-glib
    =sys-apps/attr-2.4.47-r2 nls
    =sys-apps/man-db- nls
    =dev-libs/libelf-0.8.13-r2 nls
    =sys-apps/shadow-4.5 -linguas_cs -linguas_da -linguas_de -linguas_es -linguas_fi -linguas_fr -linguas_hu -linguas_id -linguas_it -linguas_ja -linguas_ko -linguas_pl -linguas_pt_BR -linguas_ru -linguas_sv -linguas_tr -linguas_zh_CN -linguas_zh_TW nls

NOTE: The --binpkg-respect-use=n option will prevent emerge
      from ignoring these binary packages if possible.
      Using --binpkg-respect-use=y will silence this warning.

I think that’s broken the back of the job.  Of course when I come to running Catalyst, I’ll have to do it all over again, but at least now the environment is clean.

Apr 282018

So, a few weeks ago I installed a new battery charger, and tweaked it so that the solar did most of the leg work during the day, and the charger kept the batteries topped up at night.

I also discussed the addition of a new industrial PC to perform routing and system monitoring functions… which was to run Gentoo Linux/musl. For now, that little PC is still running Debian Stretch, but for 45 days, it was rock solid. The addition of this box, and taking on the role of router to the management network meant I could finally achieve one of my long-term goals for the project: decommissioning the old server.

The old server is still set up with all my data and software… but now the back-up cron job calls /sbin/poweroff when it’s done, and the BIOS is set to wake the machine up in the evening ready to receive a back-up late at night.

In its place, a virtual machine clone of the box, handles my email and all the old functions of that server. This was all done just prior to my father and I leaving for a 3 week holiday in the Snowy Mountains.

I did have a couple of hiccups with Ceph OSDs crashing … but basically re-starting the daemons (done remotely whilst travelling through Cowra) got everything back up. A bit of placement group cleaning, and everything was back online again. I had another similar hiccup coming out of Maitland, but once again, re-starting the daemons fixed it. No idea why it crashed, that’s something I’ll have to investigate.

Other than that, the cluster itself has run well.

One thing that did momentarily kill the industrial PC though: I wandered down to the rack with a small bus-powered 2.5″ HDD with the intent of re-starting my Gentoo builds. This HDD had the same content as the 3.5″ HDD I had plugged in before. I figured being bus powered, I would not be dependent on mains, and it could just chug away to its heart’s content.

No such luck, the moment I plugged that drive in, the little machine took great umbrage to the spinning rust now vacuuming the electrons away from its core functions, and shut down abruptly. I’ve now brought my 3.5″ drive and dock down, plugged that into the wall, and have my builds resuming. If power goes off, hopefully the machine either handles the loss of swap gracefully. If it does crash, the watchdog will take care of it.

Thus, I have the little TS-7670 first attempting a build of gcc, to see how we go. Finger’s crossed our power should remain up. There was at least one outage in the time we were away, but hopefully we should get though this next build!

The next step I think should be to add some control of the mains charger to allow the batteries to be boosted to full charge overnight. The thinking is a simple diode-OR arrangement. Many comparators such as the LM393 have an open-collector output, which gives us this for free.

The theory is this.

The battery bank powers a simple circuit which runs of a 5V regulator. That regulator powers a dual comparator IC and provides a reference voltage. The comparator draws bugger all power, so I’m happy to use a linear PSU here. It’s mainly there as a voltage reference.

Precision isn’t really the aim here, so adjustable pots will make life easier.

The voltages from the battery bank and the solar panel are fed through voltage dividers to bring the voltages down to below 5V, then those voltages are individually fed into separate pots that control the hysteresis. I can adjust all points of the system.

The idea is that should the batteries get too low, or the sun go down, one or the other (or both) comparators will go low and pull down on R2. If the batteries are high and the sun is up, nothing pulls on R2 so the REMOTE+ pin on the HEP-600C-12 is allowed to float to +5V, turning off the mains charger.

The advantage of this is there’s no programming of a microcontroller, it’s just analogue electronics. The LM393s are pretty hardy things, the datasheet says they’ll run at 36V and can accept a maximum voltage of VCC-1.5V; so if I run at 5V, 3.5V is my recommended maximum. The adjustment pots should let me set a threshold voltage that avoids going above this.

I mainly need 5V for the HEP-600C-12, and for providing that stable known voltage reference. The LM78C05 should be fine for this.

Once I’ve done that, I should be able to wind that charger back up to its factory setting of 14.4V, which will mean that overnight the batteries will be charged back to full charge.