Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jesurun U6D

An amlogic AML8726-M6 based mediaplayer

Another of my chinese deal-extreme purchaces, the Jesurun U6D. It's a media player based on the popular AMLogic 8726 soc and has a different formfactor than the other boxes. These amlogic based devices are popular for 2 reasons: good availability of sourcecode and XBMC.  I was hoping that this device could replace my less versatile ATV2...


There are two ways of running this perfected piece of mediacenter software on AML8726 based devices: The first is by using the Android based aplication that runs on the pre-installed Android OS. There are many apk builds that work very good with this device.  The second method should bring a performance increase to XBMC because it's a buildroot implementation, a linux kernel and a minimal filesystem with the sole purpose
of running XBMC.

I've succesfully installed the buildroot-mx version of XBMC linux from here (used the newmtd):

When you want to get back to Android, check post #11 of this forum. It will "convert" your mediaplayer to a "gbox midnight mx2":

SD-Card boot

I would like to test both methods but because I could not find official "U6D" firmware I prefer to boot the device from the SD card instead of overwriting the internal flash. I found some references that this is possible:

ClockworkMod - An alternative recovery system. It contains aml_autoscript and uImage_cwm. The internal bootloader runs the script. The script loads uImage_cwm to memory and boots it.
U-Boot - Program the bootloader to the SD-Card. The internal loader is bypassed and the SD-card loader will be started.

You can trigger SD boot by inserting the power-cable with the "recovery button" pressed. This button is inside the device, behind one of the jack-plugs.

As a quick test, I replaced the uImage_cwm from clockworkmod with a kernel from a generic AML8726-M6 device. The result was that my device boots the generic kernel from SD card and then runs Android from the internal NAND. This gives me hope that the U6D is compatible with other devices.

My goal: Create a bootable SD card with a XBMC buildroot filesystem and kernel. When this is working I would like to create a kernel that uses a NFS based debian rootfs.


Below are some images of the mediaplayer PCB(s). The middle PCB holds te CPU, DRAM and NAND flash. This is a generic module that is used by most AMLogic mediaplayers.  The round PCB contains all IO, infrared, WLAN. Notice the 3rd USB pointing inwards? Whats that about?


The internal antenna is really really crap, I was not able to make a connection with my router that was 5 meters away. I decided to replace the antenna an guess what, perfect reception! If only the manufacturer had done this, just a simple addition to make your product function properly...

My iperf results:
[  3] 50.0-55.0 sec  21.9 MBytes  36.7 Mbits/sec
[  3] 55.0-60.0 sec  22.6 MBytes  38.0 Mbits/sec
[  3]  0.0-60.1 sec   259 MBytes  36.2 Mbits/sec

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