SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

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pierocks
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SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby pierocks » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:05 pm

I'm currently working on a project that may or may not ultimately have community value, but until I get a little further down the path, I'm going to actively avoid making any promises of features. However, as a byproduct of my pursuit, I'm mapping the connections between all the connectors on the O2 frontplane. So far I have fully mapped the PSU, the AV board connector, and the unpopulated 14 pin header. I have also mapped out where the four switches and two LEDs connect to the motherboard. I'm probably 66% of the way through mapping the motherboard connector, though I suspect virtually all the rest of the pins connect to the SCSI bus. Here are things of note that I have found:

- On the motherboard connector, there are three "sets" of pins: A, P, and B. A and B seem to be all data/ground lines, and the P set is all power/ground lines. I have all the P pins mapped.
- Each of the three sets (A, B, P) have 73 pins, for a total of 219.
- Of the 146 non-power (A, B rows) pins, 67 pins connect to the AV board connector. This is a whopping 46%!

Keep in mind, this is just a mapping of the connections so far. I don't know that I'll ever be able to correlate the lines to/from the AV header with their actual function, but I will be able to map the SCSI stuff this way.

I'm putting this all together in a spreadsheet in my google docs. I'll try to be a good dude when I'm done and get the info in an accessible place for anybody who wants it in the future.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby pierocks » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:13 pm

Also, pics:
Image
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby armanox » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:25 pm

Sounds like something that belongs in the Wiki when you're done, so that it is easy to find.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby Krokodil » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:27 pm

Is this to potentially recreate the component in the future? Since I don't see any chips on it, it probably would be doable.

Honestly I am terrified to take my O2 apart to that level to actually get at the front plane.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby pierocks » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:50 pm

Actually something much sillier. I was (back burnered for the moment...) working on tapping into the unpopulated 14 pin header in the frontplane to implement some really basic remote management functionality. I can get the state of the status led, as well as control the power and reset switches. I was probing the pinouts of the other connectors on the frontplane to see if there was a place to get serial tx/rx as well, but it's not looking good unfortunately.

The idea was to use an embedded board with GPIO and ethernet, hidden in the chassis, to do the work.

Unfortunately, I bricked the board that I was going to use, and other projects came up. I'll get around to it someday...possibly sooner rather than later if people want to see this happen. I kind of assumed I was the only person in the world that wanted lights out management for an O2, because I'll be using it as a server, rather than a desktop. But who knows, there are some real weirdos out there.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:18 am

If we do successfully map and duplicate the frontplane, and can find matching connectors, we will be able to create flatter O2s for laptops and rackmounting.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby johnnym » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:08 am

Dodoid wrote:If we do successfully map and duplicate the frontplane, and can find matching connectors, we will be able to create flatter O2s for laptops and rackmounting.


They were already available for rackmounting in the past, although in a not that space-saving manner. :)
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby Dodoid » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:13 am

johnnym wrote:
Dodoid wrote:If we do successfully map and duplicate the frontplane, and can find matching connectors, we will be able to create flatter O2s for laptops and rackmounting.


They were already available for rackmounting in the past, although in a not that space-saving manner. :)


Yeah, I know about the rack mount O2s, but I was thinking more of a big long 2U sort of a thing, probably built inside a PC server case. Either that, or a pizza box workstation (Indy2?)
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby johnnym » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:26 am

Dodoid wrote:Yeah, I know about the rack mount O2s, but I was thinking more of a big long 2U sort of a thing, probably built inside a PC server case. Either that, or a pizza box workstation (Indy2?)

A R5K O2 system board might even fit in a 1U box. Would be cool indeed! :) You know of the O2 Laptop?

...but running the flight simulator next to someone else's WinDoze solitare game on the commuter rail makes it all worthwhile.
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I assume they had to create a modified frontplane for this machine. The base part of the laptop looks like it has at least the height of one rack unit but not much more.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby johnnym » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:04 am

pierocks wrote: [...] Unfortunately, I bricked the board that I was going to use, and other projects came up.

Sorry to hear of your loss, to be exact, did your system board break or your frontplane?

pierocks wrote:I'll get around to it someday...possibly sooner rather than later if people want to see this happen. I kind of assumed I was the only person in the world that wanted lights out management for an O2, because I'll be using it as a server, rather than a desktop. But who knows, there are some real weirdos out there.

I don't consider this weird at all, most of my machines are only a few metres away, but the remaining ones are a few hundred kilometres away, so I try to get them remote controlled (as much as possible). And even for the local machines it's fantastic to control them by software.

If you have a PDU (e.g. a Cyclades/Avocent AlterPath PM10i) you can power on and power off an O2 (the hard way). The O2, just like the Indy and the Octane(2) and maybe other SGI gear seem to remember their power state. So when power is removed and they were running, they will power on when power returns. Not sure if it hurts the PSU if you basically cut off the power lines, but I didn't notice any negative effect so far for my machines and I'm also not sure if my PDU really disconnects power and neutral.

If the OS powers the machine down on system halt you loose control though. This is a problem with Linux on the O2, I've not yet managed to prevent the Debian 7 from powering the machine down on shutdown (even when using shutdown -H or just using halt instead of halt -p).

So a better solution would be greatly appreciated. Do you already have the pinout for power and reset on J503 (the 14 pin header) available for sharing? :)
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby Dodoid » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:50 am

Isn't there a PROM setting that always turns the machine back on? Also the O2 has a jumper that always keeps it on and doesn't let it turn off, but I have only used it for powering on when the button does nothing (apparently a common problem), so I don't know if you're supposed to leave it on for servers or not.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby pierocks » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:13 am

Actually, the thing that I bricked was the little embedded widget that I wanted to use as the brains for the lights-out-management operation. It was this crummy little no-name network device that's powered over a micro-USB and has ethernet and wifi. There's also solder pads on the board for 3.3V serial so you can get a console on the thing. I was hoping to upgrade the bootloader (uboot), because the factory installed uboot was lacking the features I wanted to play around with the thing (such as loading a kernel over TFTP, which would have been essential for development). Luckily, the thing only cost me like $7, shipped. Here's a link to a page with some info on it:

https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/unbranded/a5-v11

I also managed to rip one of the solder pads for the serial connection clean off the board, so I didn't feel too bad about bricking it :lol:

I'm hoping I can find some unused pins on the frontplane/motherboard connector and maybe pass serial TX/RX through to the frontplane.

Sadly, I don't know how "clean" this hack will wind up. I'll probably have to have an external power supply for the embedded board, because the O2 power supply is only rated for 10 mA at 3.3V on the aux line that's live even when the machine is turned off. Even if that's a really conservative rating, I believe the A5-V11 board draws well over 100 mA at 5V, so I doubt I'll be able to make something work with that...
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby johnnym » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:03 am

Dodoid wrote:Isn't there a PROM setting that always turns the machine back on?

You mean that autopower variable, I assume. Unfortunately I wasn't successful when setting this variable neither on the O2 nor on my Octanes in the past. When the O2 was powered down and power was removed it never powered on automatically when power returned. Same for the Octanes.

According to the "IRIX Admin: System Configuration and Operation" Documentation on page 221 the autopower variable only works for Power Indigo2 and Octane systems and indeed, when setting this variable on my specific O2 I can see it in the output of printenv but when resetting the system, the variable is gone. So at least for my O2 this does not work. My Octanes keep the variable though but also do not power on automatically when power returns if they were powered off earlier.

Dodoid wrote:Also the O2 has a jumper that always keeps it on and doesn't let it turn off, but I have only used it for powering on when the button does nothing (apparently a common problem), so I don't know if you're supposed to leave it on for servers or not.

This would be an improvement as the O2 then can be powered down before power is removed. Where can I find this jumper, on the frontplane or on the system board?
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby pierocks » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:41 am

The auto power jumper (labeled "pwr up" I believe) is located next to the Dallas chip on the motherboard.
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Re: SGI O2 Frontplane Pinouts

Unread postby Dodoid » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:53 am

pierocks wrote:The auto power jumper (labeled "pwr up" I believe) is located next to the Dallas chip on the motherboard.


I know of the jumper, I'm just saying I don't know if you're meant to use it in servers to keep the system on or if it only for resurrecting systems that won't power on.
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