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#1 RaZz0R

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:03 AM

I mean the A8X_rom20110616 version...
Android Version 2.2
Kernal : 2.6.32.9 "root@caixl-desktop #385"


I am about ready to type up the review (mini one) and post up vid & pics - Just wondering if I should create a new thread for it... Nah I'll do it here and if a mod thinks it is worth a new thread then they can move it ;)

***Edit:

OK - I did a very quick video and slapped it together - its posting to youtube now.
Attached to this post is pics I have taken of the unit and also taking it apart.
I think I might do a video on it later if needed.

Tested:

GPS - Yes - Got signal but have yet to load up igo8, route66, Androzic & Ozi Explorer with maps for full testing

Wifi - Yes - Out of the box it seems unable to get DHCP settings correctly - work around is to add them manually, however updating to the latest firmware fix's this issue.

Bluetooth - untested

Screen - Freaking awesome! Very quick, the viewing angle is awesome as well. The only thing to pick on is it does reflect - so a anti glare screen protector would be good. Will test in sunshine when I can.

System - Not too bad - a few bugs here and there, but nothing a good post or custom rom can't fix!!

Market - locked down - updated versions tried so far for Android2.2 produce fore closes - working on it! ;)

G - sensor - Yes - Works well - haven't tried it on SpeedX which is a game that loves G-Sensors ;) But from what I have used of it with car racing games - its not bad at all.

HDMI Out - No - Unable to test this so far as I need to pick up a cable for it

Camera - Yes - its.... a basic web cam lol 0.3 Mega pixel - but really - thats fine anyway for web video if you wanted to. The recording on the cam is as good as a basic 20 cam.



Things to watch for - Its seems if these tabs are in sleep mode and run out of power - when you plug them in again you need to hit the reset to get them to power on. This happens with all 4 units I got. It seems they are packaged in sleep mode so the battery is pretty much out of charge when you get them. Some people have reported charging problems. From what I have seen the cable included are not very good at all. I would recommend using your own USB power cables for your computer and charge off USB or get a good quality wall charger. One unit has sat for a long time now trying to charge with the included cable not making it past 40%. Once I changed the cab;e to my own - its up to 60% and still going ;)


Attached File  resized_IMG_1091.jpg   76.68KB   285 downloads
Attached File  dropadax8.jpg   536.51KB   134 downloadsAttached File  ax8screws.jpg   814.38KB   176 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1087.jpg   58.12KB   192 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1091.jpg   76.68KB   285 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1086.jpg   60.01KB   195 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1086.jpg   60.01KB   195 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1088.jpg   67.47KB   162 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1084.jpg   34.19KB   161 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1077.jpg   25.9KB   157 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1079.jpg   43.64KB   160 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1078.jpg   51.42KB   149 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1072.jpg   42.24KB   146 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1089.jpg   49.95KB   157 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1075.jpg   53.23KB   156 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1085.jpg   55.65KB   155 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1071.jpg   67.9KB   177 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1090.jpg   78.3KB   200 downloadsAttached File  resized_IMG_1080.jpg   67.19KB   190 downloads

Attached Files


Edited by RaZz0R, 27 June 2011 - 10:54 AM.

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Samsung Galaxy S | Darkys Rom v10.1 | Dropad Ax8 - projects and works starting|
"Flash it, then flash it some more - if it don't boot, recovery and flash again!!"
Its a flashy life for me :p
Read my AX8 blog: http://www.slatedroi...at-1-dropad-ax8

#2 Zagdima

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:31 AM

And some photos from me
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Edited by Zagdima, 17 July 2011 - 02:33 AM.

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#3 Adrian Nicolaiev

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 01:28 PM

And some photos from me


Zagdima, please take a look at this updated topic.

Thanks for close up photos.

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#4 Zagdima

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 04:03 PM

sorry i'm not a technition. But found that we can add 1 more led ) on pic #6 D10 states near

Edited by Zagdima, 17 July 2011 - 04:04 PM.


#5 EdgeTK

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:34 AM

And some photos from me


Good stuff! thanks!

#6 FoxxOTG

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:18 PM

sorry i'm not a technition. But found that we can add 1 more led ) on pic #6 D10 states near


Quite possible but you may also need to install the SMD Resistor R204 and transistor Q17. I think this might be a Red/Green Charging/Done Charging implementation. The resistor would likely be identical to R239 and the transistor could be either a simple fast switching general purpose NPN/PNP type. I would have to take my multimeter to the PCB to trace some paths to determine that, but dont hold your breath. I will put that on mt "To-Do List"

Check out pic #3, marking for J2. That looks like a USB OTG header to me. This isnt a tablet but on this device, yes, it is the USB Hookup to the onboard FLashROM which is pretty much just a 512MB USB Thumbdrive. The header leads into it, I use this to dump/reflash the OS on this gizmo, its an Asus SV1T Skype Videophone. This pad might be worth investigating.

https://picasaweb.go...754228830583890

Posted Image

#7 FoxxOTG

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:43 AM

After some research on the GOODIX GT801 chip, its the Capacitive Touchscreen controller. The connector J2 is more likely used for external hardware buttons. Only way to know if we can use it for some extra buttons, maybe even a small trackball of some kind, is to load a piece of software in android to report the state of button presses to see if anything registers.

#8 Yak995

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:55 AM

Quite possible but you may also need to install the SMD Resistor R204 and transistor Q17. I think this might be a Red/Green Charging/Done Charging implementation. The resistor would likely be identical to R239 and the transistor could be either a simple fast switching general purpose NPN/PNP type. I would have to take my multimeter to the PCB to trace some paths to determine that, but dont hold your breath. I will put that on mt "To-Do List"

Check out pic #3, marking for J2. That looks like a USB OTG header to me. This isnt a tablet but on this device, yes, it is the USB Hookup to the onboard FLashROM which is pretty much just a 512MB USB Thumbdrive. The header leads into it, I use this to dump/reflash the OS on this gizmo, its an Asus SV1T Skype Videophone. This pad might be worth investigating.

https://picasaweb.go...754228830583890

Posted Image


We can repair a bricked device with that usb ? O.O
What can we do with it ?
Sorry for my english

#9 FoxxOTG

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 10:49 AM

After some research on the GOODIX GT801 chip, its the Capacitive Touchscreen controller. The connector J2 is more likely used for external hardware buttons. Only way to know if we can use it for some extra buttons, maybe even a small trackball of some kind, is to load a piece of software in android to report the state of button presses to see if anything registers.



We can repair a bricked device with that usb ? O.OWhat can we do with it ?Sorry for my english


unfortunately I dont think this is for USB anymore. I think it is for more hardware buttons. The JTAG can be used to debrick the unit though.

#10 perimbean

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:54 PM

May I ask if the Dropad A8X comes with MicroHDMI or MiniHDMI output?

I understand one has to get a HDMI cable to output the video+sound to tv but was wondering which output does the Dropad A8X comes with.

Thanks!
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#11 FoxxOTG

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:46 PM

For the record the Droppad A8X has Mini HDMI. I will check right now if it does Video + Audio or just plain video.
I am running the 705 Firmware rooted.

[update]

I tested all the HDMI output options of the dropad. This is my result.

Video + Sound works, however my LCD TV (Element Electronics model), or perhaps the dropad, wont update the image on screen, so you only see the Settings menu. It may be a weird quirk between the two devices. However HDMI audio does work.

Testing on a computer LCD (Refurb HP HD2310m) and a Samsung HD LCD display, video works just fine. I was unable to test sound as neither displays have speakers or process HDMI audio.

There are some reports of people having issues with the HDMI Audio if you check in the Known Issues thread. I am running the 0705 firmware, I have seen posts of people upgrading to this or a newer firmware and getting positive results. Also take into account that the HDMI protocol and specifications have been under some change over time and your display may not be able to work 100% which is what happened in my case. I think my LCD TV is a bit on the older side and doesnt fully support the HDMI version the Dropad uses. Given some more time, effort, and patience I could likely get my LCD TV set up properly to work, but I have a major case of the *smile'its.

[More Update]

HDMI + Sound works just fine. Tested it on some more displays, you need to make sure the dropad a8x outputs the proper HDMI format. As for full 1080p video playback, thats an entirely different issue.

Edited by FoxxOTG, 12 August 2011 - 07:10 PM.


#12 panvirtuality

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 11:23 AM

Good day, sorry, i don't know where to ask, so i ask here, it's all about hardware problem=)

Friends, did anyone buy replacement battery for A8X? Can you give me link to correct battery or clues how to find it?
Friend of mine ask me to buy him A8X and possibly short-circuit battery inside. A8X works now only when it plugged in.
I find 3.7v 3500mah batt here in Russia, but it's height slightly larger than original and batt leaves some traces on
the screen (sorry, difficult to explain, like the battery contour visible on LCD). So if someone able to help me, thanks
in advance!=) I tried to google the batt, but without success.

#13 bigorna

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:25 PM

Good day, sorry, i don't know where to ask, so i ask here, it's all about hardware problem=)

Friends, did anyone buy replacement battery for A8X? Can you give me link to correct battery or clues how to find it?
Friend of mine ask me to buy him A8X and possibly short-circuit battery inside. A8X works now only when it plugged in.
I find 3.7v 3500mah batt here in Russia, but it's height slightly larger than original and batt leaves some traces on
the screen (sorry, difficult to explain, like the battery contour visible on LCD). So if someone able to help me, thanks
in advance!=) I tried to google the batt, but without success.


Hi. I understand what you mean. Anyway is a good idea to check the screen cable socket, which is known to cause issues like you experienced. Or maybe the battery, due its size, is pressing cable/socket...

#14 panvirtuality

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:10 AM

Yes, it's pressing screen, so i need correct batt for A8X. But i don't know how to find it. Maybe i can try to write the SAAYI? Is it worth the chance?

#15 FoxxOTG

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:16 AM

Yes, it's pressing screen, so i need correct batt for A8X. But i don't know how to find it. Maybe i can try to write the SAAYI? Is it worth the chance?


Make sure the battery isnt too thick. The dropad a8x uses a standard lithium cell. Some manufacturers will have thicker heat shrink on their batteries that could cause a slight issue in some deices. I would not encourage you to take the heat shrink wraping off unless you have something else that can protect the cells from making accidental contact with metal points that could cause a short circuit. I have used regular household clear package tape (the stuff used to tape up cardboard boxes before you send them to the post office) in order to compensate for this. The dropad a8x has very little room inside of it to begin with.

Also try to loose then screws holding the black plastic bracing down just a little bit. It will release some pressure being held on the LCD and mainboard so the battery doesnt push into it as much. I had to do this with my stock Dropad A8X after documenting the internals. When I put it back together I had a similar issue, loosening the screws a little released the pressure causing this.

#16 jsaily

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 02:56 PM

Hi guys, would it be possible to take some close-up photos of the WLAN antenna in this? I work with antennas at work, and could probably design a better antenna for our devices. I saw two U.FL coaxial cables going somewhere from the main PCB on your pictures, are there two antennas?
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#17 FoxxOTG

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:20 PM

Hi guys, would it be possible to take some close-up photos of the WLAN antenna in this? I work with antennas at work, and could probably design a better antenna for our devices. I saw two U.FL coaxial cables going somewhere from the main PCB on your pictures, are there two antennas?


I will take some next time I am in my Dropad. You are right, its a u.Fl connector. The antenna is a small PCB mounted inside to the framework. The reason the Dropad a8x has such horrible wifi receptin is because the case is metal, the LCD has metal shield, and the antenna is isolated from the RF signals. It may be possible to make a mod to add an external RP-SMA or possibly MMCX to the top where the power button is. The GPS antenna is also up there. Check my Internal Pictures topic and picasa page. I will add more pictures when I can. I have some parts coming in the mail for some additional mods.

#18 jsaily

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 12:08 PM

I will take some next time I am in my Dropad. You are right, its a u.Fl connector. The antenna is a small PCB mounted inside to the framework. The reason the Dropad a8x has such horrible wifi receptin is because the case is metal, the LCD has metal shield, and the antenna is isolated from the RF signals. It may be possible to make a mod to add an external RP-SMA or possibly MMCX to the top where the power button is. The GPS antenna is also up there. Check my Internal Pictures topic and picasa page. I will add more pictures when I can. I have some parts coming in the mail for some additional mods.


I opened my Dropad and looked for any loose cables or wires but couldn't find any :-/ The PCB antenna is a simple shorted monopole -type microstrip antenna, and the ground plane is done with a copper tape strip. The PCB antenna is mounted on the plastic 'radome' on the top, and it should be pretty allright since it's not between any metal sheets. But since the reception is so bad, I think it's not tuned correctly for the WLAN band. I have a u.fl test jig at work, and I'm going to measure the input matching of the antenna for reference. I'm a professional antenna engineer and can surely do a better antenna for the device. The wifi chip in my Dropad is surely broken because I can not connect to any access points any more even after a reflash to 0705 firmware. I hope to replace the device by Pandawill...

Edited by jsaily, 26 November 2011 - 02:27 AM.

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#19 FoxxOTG

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:14 PM

Very nice jsaily. I am an avid ham radio guy and electronics engineer, its nice to see another person with similar talents working on this. There have been reports of issues with the wifi chipset now and again, also take note that the chipset and antenna are also used for Bluetooth. If you are tossing any sort of test equipment up to the u.Fl connector can you also test the various bluetooth functions? There arent too many android utilities for testing out RSSI and signal loss across the bluetooth.

#20 jsaily

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 03:03 AM

Very nice jsaily. I am an avid ham radio guy and electronics engineer, its nice to see another person with similar talents working on this. There have been reports of issues with the wifi chipset now and again, also take note that the chipset and antenna are also used for Bluetooth. If you are tossing any sort of test equipment up to the u.Fl connector can you also test the various bluetooth functions? There arent too many android utilities for testing out RSSI and signal loss across the bluetooth.


I did some research on the subject of PCB trace antennas vs ceramic antennas, and PCB antennas are easily detuned by the presence of metal objects nearby. My plan is to check the antenna performance in free-space, mounted on the chassis and maybe with the back cover in place. I can also hookup a spectrum analyzer to the motherboard while at it.

I have some Johanson Technology WLAN ceramic chip antennas with 3 dBi gain at work, and will do a small PCB for those with a u.fl-connector. This would be an easy upgrade with a u.fl - u-fl cable, and should give comparable signal levels to a small external rubber-duck antenna. There is plenty of space below the radome, so even a small array of those would fit (like H- and V-polarized chips) but that could be an overkill. I'll be using the 2450AT45100 chip, and the suggested board layouts from the manufacturer are here:

http://www.johansont...-for-80211.html

Edited by jsaily, 27 November 2011 - 03:48 AM.

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