Monthly Archives: March 2009

PCB and update

Here is the other side of the PCB. Not much there, mainly resistors and the connectors to the mainboard. 



I will soon have some news on JTAG, alternative firmware, alternative server, support for other USB Wifi Dongles etc. Work in progress…

Alternative server test: Working!

Yesterday I setup an alternative server that replaces the Worldstation server. For now this server was hosted on a pc within my local network. The radio found the server without any problems and loaded the “Worldstation” lists as usual. It did not have a clue about the fact that the lists were hosted at an alternative location. Of course I changed some of the lists to include my personal favorite stations that are not on the Penbex server (including vtuner links). The radio had no problem with playing any of the channels including the additional ones from the lists that I hosted. I discovered that the additional stations that I added to the radio’s internal “favorites” list also stayed available after switching back to the official Worldstation server. From this test we learn that it is possible to have stations in favorites that are not on the Penbex server and that we can use alternative servers. Good news I think.

For the local server I used a simple Windows XP notebook with additionally SimpleDNS and WampServer software. I used Wireshark to check the network traffic and verify the requests from the radio. The only change I had to make on the radio was the DNS server address in the network settings menu. I simply changed this to point to my local server.

It appears that the “favorites” list is saved inside the Radio’s memory. Possibly in the small 24c64 EEPROM which for sure limits the number of possible entries. The other “Worldstation” lists are loaded from the server each time you navigate through these lists. The structure of these lists is fairly simple and it is possible to extend them. You could for example add a “My Favorites” section to the regions selection screen. You can even sort this list..

What’s next? That depends a bit on who is willing to invest time in this. I think we are just at the beginning of exploring the hardware and I don’t have time to setup a public server right now. However, with some combined forces we could do that. It might even be possible to detect the origin (mac address?) of the device and based on that add a personal favorites section for all users.



I have uploaded the generic “KW-1004” firmware version and You can get them here. The upgrade procedure is simple. Just download the archive, extract its contents and put the .upg file on a USB stick. Go to “upgrade firmware” in the radio’ s menu, select USB and follow the on screen messages. As far as I know adds WPA2 support, auto firmware updating (which I rather disable) and improved browsing of uPNP devices (The Maxtor Shared Storage, Zyxel NSA220 and IOMega Storecenter seem to be recognized and working correctly). The older firmware is there just to have it, it is not required and you should not load it unless you want to test/play. I do not know yet if there is any safety net or what happens if you cut power during an upgrade. However, I have done the upgrade a few times and it seems to be fine. I have found the firmwares for most of the devices. I do not know yet why there are different firmwares for the “generic” 1004 models, the IPMicro and the Akira. Maybe just differences in language support. If there is an interest in the firmwares for other models I will make them available too. The “information” option in the setup menu should tell you what firmware is on your device. Note that on your radio you can also choose to upgrade the firmware directly “from the Internet”. I also have put the RomFS file (you should be able to mount that directly under linux) and the extracted contents here. The bin directory inside this RomFS has a number of bFLT files that I decompressed. You can grab the decompressed files here.

The WiFi dongle part2

After checking various products and chipsets for compatibility I found the Edimax EW-7318USg “Wireless 802.11b/g Turbo Mode USB2.0 High-Gain Adapter”. It is using the same RT2571 chipset and comes with a detachable 4 dBi High Gain Antenna. FCC ID: NDD 957318S607. I have already ordered one. Full details can be found here: 




The WiFi dongle

It gets fairly warm! Also, reception does not seem to be as good as my other wireless devices. So lets take a closer look. On the front of the WiFi stick There is a big G and on the back a label with the FCC ID NDD 9573180610. Using that number and the FCC website you can obtain the FCC Test documents which provide detailed information.

  • Manufacturer’s company: EDIMAX TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
  • Product Name: 802.11g Turbo Wireless LAN USB Adapter
  • Model (Brand) Name EW-7318UG V3.0 (EDIMAX) / GWU-E18G (GLP)
Penbex USB Dongle

Penbex USB Dongle

We are dealing with an Edimax EW-7318UG. From the picture (taken from the FCC report) it is clear that it is using the RT2571 chipset. Also, The RomFS directory /etc/Wireless/Rt73sta seems to contain the driver. So, if the stick ever dies or you just want to try a different stick then one with the same chipset should work without problems.

The mainboard

I found a picture of the mainboard (tnx Hece) and identified some of the components.



Penbex PBC 401, ?
Atmel AT24C64, Serial EEPROM, 8Kb or 64Kbit
Davicom DM9000BER, Network controller
Philips ISP1362, USB Controller
Winbond W9812G6DH-75, 16MB Ram memory
Spansion S29GL064M090, 8MB Flash memory
SCF5249VM140, CPU
74LCX245, Low Voltage Bidirectional Transceiver
74HC4052D, Dual 4-channel analog multiplexer, demultiplexer
WM6731S, Wolfson Electronics, Portable Internet Audio CODEC with Headphone Driver and Programmable Sample Rates
74HC4052D, Dual 4-channel analog multiplexer, demultiplexer