Author Topic: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250  (Read 19501 times)

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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« on: October 05, 2017, 02:52:31 pm »
I did a little teardown of the Symmetricom S200 with Rb Osc Option. This unit came to me from the usual online flea mkt, with the description of: all lights lit red.
It was the SMPS. Replace 4 caps on the secondary side.
I then discovered that the real difference between the S200, and the more expensive S250, was the lack of in/out jacks. Everything else appears the same! The FW is the same on these models. Currently version 1.30, and is on the 512 mB CF card. I have cloned image files to create more CF cards.

I know the signals for 1PPS out, and 10mHz out, are there, at the jacks (measured them). All other input signal components seem to be stuffed. Just a check box in the web app to use any of the available reference signals (including input jacks).
So I will soon have the oem AMP jacks installed, and then thoroughly test out. A pretty easy upgrade to S250 model.

The big heatsink and thermal pad over the VIA Eden ESP 400 mHz Processor Samuel 2 http://Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_VIA_Eden_microprocessors
 
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 12:28:30 am »
So it went well. Not the prettiest cutting of the panel, but it was pretty tough plastic.
You can see the status of the inputs for 10mHz In, and 1PPS In. I just did a loopback from the outputs, so thorough test of out to in.
I also tried the IRIG out/in works flawlessly. Not sure how much more they charged for the S250, but I'm thinking at least $1K.
Nice upgrade.
 

Offline jpduffy1

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 11:38:03 pm »
I picked up a S250i and it has Firmware 1.01 on it.   I tried to dd the CF card from a 256mb one to 512mb card, but now I cant seem to get the system to bootup.   When you cloned the card how did you do it?   Looks like a goofy set of partitions.   

When I compare the two cards they look identical with the exception of the total size of the card.

I have the software update files for 1.11, 1.26 and 1.36.   The update instructions for 1.26 said to load 1.11 on the 256mb card first then transfer it to the larger card boot that then do the 1.26 etc.

Any ideas?

Thanks

- Joe
 
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 08:37:51 pm »
Ok, so you need to use the program HDD Raw Copy Tool. Copy a good booting CF card.

http://www.hddguru.com/software/HDD-Raw-Copy-Tool/

Then you can save the image as a file to your local HD. Then you can make as many spare copies as you like. It will only save it in the original CF card size format.

If you try to copy the image to a larger CF card it will work, but you are still left with the original (smaller) size. The remaining space is inaccessible.

BTW, Do NOT  take Windows suggestion to FORMAT the card!!!  :scared: It has a proprietary format on it!

As a favor can you post to DropBox,  the 1.36 version file???   Thanks! :-+

If you need a good, booting CF card, I have the image file on DropBox.

I'd like to see those Symmetricom upgrade instructions too. How did you manage to get the FW? It seems under lock and key at Symmetricom/Microsemi.



 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 01:03:46 am by SoundTech-LG »
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 12:59:47 am »
I have uploaded the 512mB bootable V 1.30 CF card image file to DropBox.
You can place on HD and then use HDD Raw Copy to create your bootable CF card.

When I hear from you we can do a file swap. :D

 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 04:41:07 am »
I have determined U40, a DIP 8 93C46 EEPROM, holds all the Configuration for Model #,  S/N, & Oscillator type. Pretty easily re programmed for multiple possible configurations.
 

Offline timeguy

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 09:37:19 pm »
Wow am I glad to have come across this post! I know it is old so I may post separately if it does not revive.

I am new here but also have a Symmetricom S200. I would LOVE to make this modification. Can you let me know what AMP jacks you used for the project? Am I correct in assuming that you simply cut out the panel holes and soldered the jacks to the PCB?

Cheers!
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 08:52:33 pm »
The photos here show pretty clearly how it is done. The plastic overlay on the back panel needs to be drilled out (hint: start with tiny bits, and progress to the finished size.) You'll want to re-program U40 too, the eeprom that holds configuration of (old/new)Model, S/N, oscillator type, etc. Easy if you have a programmmer. Once you do that you can swap to another oscillator type, change model #'s, and best of all, gain full functionality of the S250 model, inputs/outputs. 1PPS, 10MHz, IRIG. Have fun. I got the BNC's from Digikey. Last time I looked they were out of stock on those. sorry, I don't recall the p/n, but they have good photos there.
 
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 08:59:15 pm »
 

Offline EOC_Jason

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 01:37:35 pm »
Mouser is showing 369 in stock...
 
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Offline testpoint1

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 12:04:24 pm »
please be aware if the X72 firmware version is ealier than 5.x you can not use the 1PPS in signal, the latest seems is 5.08
 
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Offline Theboel

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2019, 02:38:13 pm »
Hi SoundTech-LG

Do you have any measurement ?
its look like it use Motorola GPS receiver can You confirm it ?
 

Offline testpoint1

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2019, 05:54:09 pm »
Hi SoundTech-LG

Do you have any measurement ?
its look like it use Motorola GPS receiver can You confirm it ?

looks like the M12 GPS, I ever use it
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2019, 04:31:58 pm »
Yes, Motorola M12 / M12+ ... I have also one unit that has a Furuno GPS installed (an early unit though).

The X12s that I have all work with the S200s, and S250s. Not sure if that is a default, or I just have later FW.
 

Offline timeguy

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 05:28:50 pm »
Thank you so much! I do not think I could have found the BNC part number on my own.

I have ordered 3 x ARF031-6577 from Mouser. I can hardly wait for them to arrive next week!

The pictures above are very clear indeed. I was primarily curious if any action was required after soldering the BNC's to the board. I am now understating that I will need to re-program the U40 EEPROM. I have never done something like this before, and do not currently have a programmer, but am willing to buy one and learn.

I did some research and it appears that U40 chip in the S200 is a: M93C46 1Kb Serial Microwire EEPROM.

Would something like this suffice to program it? Or would I require a different kind of programmer?:

https://www.amazon.com/Gikfun-Programmer-CH341A-Burner-EEPROM/dp/B01I1EU9LG?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_7

Cheers!
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2019, 04:13:28 am »
Not sure on that programmer. Price is certainly right! Most of the commercial programmers are 100's of dollars.
If you just need a 93C46 programmed for your unit, I can do that. PM me.
 

Offline remois

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2019, 06:55:40 pm »
  Hi:

  Does anyone have an update file for versions 1.26 and 1.36 of Symmetricom S200 that you can share?  I bought the S200 sometime ago, but the device has reached end of life and the company has been sold to Microsemi, I could not find where to get the update files.

  Thank you very much in advance,
 

Offline timeguy

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2019, 07:52:20 pm »
I would really appreciate this too. My firmware version is currently 1.26. I would prefer to upgrade to 1.36. I am happy to share 1.26 if it would be helpful?
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 04:37:53 pm »
First, you specifically need an Industrial grade CF card (such as the one Symmetricom used in the S200/S250) but one rated at 512MB (but it actually holds a bit more).

Then you need to DL the Utility for cloning CF cards in their entirety here:
https://hddguru.com/software/HDD-Raw-Copy-Tool/    Hint: don't use windows FORMAT on it ever!!!

Once you complete those two steps. Make the full CF card from this Version 1.36  image file here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukg2ehyql6e8bhc/S250%20v1.36%20512mB%20at%20Factory%20Default.imgc?dl=0

Place the CF card in your S200/S250 socket. Turn on and go.

Do not use windows FORMAT ever!!!
 
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 05:57:38 pm »
The reason you need an Industrial Grade 512 MB CF card is that the garden variety CF cards are too small. The clone program will fill them, but run out of room. There is just a bit more data that needs to fit. Industrial grade CF cards seem to have the extra space.
 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Offline 8bit

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2019, 02:46:43 am »
The Symmetricom/Microsemi SyncServer S200/S250/S300/S350 are the same base system board just with extra/faster/better parts added to it.

I am working on adding an OCXO to my basic S250. It seems there are four steps:
 1) add the OCXO to the board
 2) add the JP3 jumper
 3) install R121 (what value?) to connect the 10Mhz signal
 4) reprogram U40 to change the oscillator type

I have seen MC597X4-040W as a part number for the factory OCXO. It's made by MCCOY/CORNING/VECTRON/OFC (On ebay today for $20).
I have been told that JP3 is need for the system to use optional oscillator (the additional OCXO or Rubidium X72).
I know that R121 connects the OCXO output to the system. The Rubidium connector is already connected and you can just plug in the X72.
Does anyone have a factory OCXO S200/S250/S300/S350 ? I need to know the value of R121 next to the OCXO. Is it Zero Ohms or some small 102 or 104 value?
Does the oscillator type truly have to be reprogrammed to use it? Has anyone tried the /sbin/seeprom program on the system?

The steps for adding a Rubidium X72 are basically the same (no R121 install) but cost more, required custom cables, and the system is picky about the X72 firmware.
Unlike the old TS2100 LPRO-101, the X72 does not require a new dedicated power supply. The X72 can use the 12V from the existing power supply.

The S300/S350 seems to use the newer SA.22c Rubidium module.

Also, FYI, the CompactFlash card seems to be a "Fixed Disk PIO" type CF card and not a normal "Removable DMA" type CF card that everything else uses.
Some CF cards may allow the system to boot and run but then the system generates errors. It's best to use the correct flash card.
You can use a non-industrial CF card but it may fail early. Industrial cards are long life SLC chips with extended temperature ranges and special controllers.
You can connect a normal serial terminal to the console port on the front (9600 8N1) and watch linux start to see if there are problems.

The system has a small 32-bit Linux install on it with the following partition table:
 1: primary: 18 MB (boot kernel)
 2: primary: 8 MB (data)
 4: Extended:
 5: 182 MB (system A)
 6: 182 MB (system B)
 7: 99 MB (temp space for upgrade files)

NONE of the "standard" 512MB CF cards are the same size. The factory Delkin has 1024128 blocks which is rather large for a 512MB card (500MB).
The factory format does not use the full card (about 1M blocks) so you can use a slightly smaller card or a larger card (1GB) and just not fill it.
There does not seem to be a supported way to initialize a blank CF card in the system so you have to start with an image that will boot correctly.
You may be able to boot a USB drive but there is no available code to do that. Just write a working image to a CF card from a PC and USB adapter.

You can make a disk image of the CF card and boot it in VirtualBox.... It needs 4 serial ports, 3 network interfaces, and 2 parallel ports.
You need to attach a virtual serial port to TCP port so you can access the console (just use putty). There's not much you can do with it because of all special hardware the SyncServers have, but it boots.

If you want a quick free backdoor to look around the linux system, just telnet to the S250, login as normal admin to access the restricted shell and run the command:
   root eng sys cat "/dev/null && bash"
With bash running it will timeout after a few minutes and you'll need to connect again.

I have heard that the S200/S250 used two different ETX boards. A 400Mhz VIA C3 with 128MB or a 500Mhz Intel Atom with 256MB.
I'm using the factory 1.36 release with the VIA board. The system does not even use 64MB of memory so upgrading it does nothing (I did it anyway).
If you want to replace the memory, it's a standard PC133 SODIMM (just rip one out of a Cisco 1841).

The S300/S350 uses an Intel 1.6Ghz board with more memory so it's a lot faster (and supports the 1Gig ethernet port and dual flash and more stuff).
The code is different than the S200/S250. The system and kernel are newer for the S300/S350 but the NTP version is 4.2.4p8 for both.



 

Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2019, 03:05:29 pm »
It sounds as if you have spent considerable time with these. One thing I noticed was your mention of using a larger CF card, such as a 1GB you mentioned. I could never get that to work. It would take the full 512k+ image ok, but would not boot the system at all, like a 512k Industrial would.
 

Offline 8bit

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2019, 06:44:47 pm »
I added the OCXO to my S250 this weekend. It was quick and easy.

JP3 disables the default 10Mhz TCXO. That clock is only used for timing (not CPU or network).
If you disable the TCXO and boot the system it will be unhappy and say it has an unknown timing clock, as expected.

I soldered in the new OCXO. Added a jumper at R121 to connect the output to the system and restarted. It was happy again meaning it now had a 10Mhz clock source.
The web page and other utilities still say it has a TCXO. I connected to the box with telnet, logged in, and used the shell hack to gain non-privileged access to Linux.
Then I was able to run the /sbin/seeprom program and change the oscillator from 0 (default TCXO) to 1 (OCXO) and reprogram the checksum at the same time.
No need to remove and manually reprogram U40. If you add the RB clock the value is 2.

I rebooted again and the S250 is happy with its new oscillator. The web page correctly shows the system is configured with an OCXO.

 
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Offline SoundTech-LG

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Re: Symmetricom S200 Teardown/upgrade to S250
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2019, 04:40:21 pm »
U40 is so easy to program...  can't see why all that additional effort is worth it.
 


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