MIP520 Frequently Asked Questions

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Question #340: I observe power-up problems or sudden, unmotivated resets of the MIP board during normal operation. It seems to get worse if an additional add-on card is installed and/or the CPU and/or GPU load is increased.
Answer: Chances are that this is a power supply problem. In contrast to the PIP boards, the MIP boards expect their 5V system input voltage to be provided in a "suitable, clean" form, especially relating to short power transients. Please check the following points:

  • make sure there is a low impedance connection between the external power supply and the MIP board (wire length as short as possible / wire cross section as wide as possible).
  • supply 5.25V  instead of 5V to the system.
  • use a better power supply.
  • solder the power supply wires directly to the pads of the power supply connector on the MIP board.


Question #345: I'm having trouble to get an USB device to work with one of your SBC. Either the USB device is not working reliable (or not at all) or the MPL SBC is even being reset if I insert the plug into the USB port or if the device is activated. The same USB device works without problem if I connect it to my laptop/desktop.
Answer: Is the USB device powered from the USB port only (no external power supply is being used)? If yes, your USB device most probably needs more power than it is allowed to do. The USB standard specifies that an USB device must not consume more than 500mA for USB2.0 / 900mA for USB3.0 (even not more than 100mA before being successfully initialized). For all USB peripherals with higher power requirements than the values mentioned above, the use of an external power supply is mandatory.
So please make sure that you use an external power supply or try to find another, standard conforming USB device.

Please note that the use of an "Y" shaped USB cable to "steal" power from a second, unused USB port is NOT a solution!

Question #329: I have attached a PC/104 or PC/104-Plus card to the [PIP | MIP] and I am sure that the card is configured correctly both from the hardware and the software side. Nevertheless the card does not work as expected, but shows erratic behaviour.
Answer: Does the card need +12V, -12V or -5V from the PC104/PC104-Plus bus? If the answer is yes, chances are that the I/O drivers and/or some A/D or D/A circuitry are not properly powered.
By default the [PIP | MIP] does NOT provide the voltages mentioned above on the PC/104 or PC/104-Plus bus.
Please check the corresponding "User Manual" and/or "Technical Reference Manual" for details.

Question #367: Which Elan SC520 pin is used to drive the SSI EN# pin of the MIP520?
Answer: The SSI EN# pin is connected to pin PIO31.

Question #200: Does the MIP520 has a power save mode?
Answer: No, the Elan520 does not have any power management functions integrated. However the MIP520 does just need 4W at a DOS prompt. Through a good idle task program the power consumption in standby mode could be reduced about 25%. In fact depending on the application and features used it can be reduced down to 2W.

Question #198: Why can't I change the monitor resolution?
Answer: Most probably, the "CRT/LCD" setting in the Custom Configuration Menu of the BIOS is set to "Both". In this case, the screen resolution is determined by the settings of DIP Switch 1 (Display Settings) and the VGA drivers respect this setting. If you don't have a LCD connected, change the BIOS setting to "CRT".

Question #292: What operating system runs on the MIP520?
Answer: We have tested so far DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, LINUX, OS-9000. All other OS that run on a standard PC will run on the MIP520 as well as it is 100% PC/AT compatible. Please note that some "newer" OS like Windows XP are designed to run on processors of the "Pentium" class or better. So these OS will NOT work on the MIP520.

Question #196: Under Linux, the system clock looses about 10 seconds per hour to actual time.
Answer: The reason for this behaviour is the clock speed of the Elan520 used in the MIP520 for the timer 0. This input clock speed is about 0.3% slower than on normal AT machines which leads to an incorrect system time. Currently, the following solutions are known under Linux:
  • Recompile your kernel for the "Elan" Processor in the "Processor type and features" Kernel Configuration entry (CONFIG_MELAN option available since Linux 2.4.18) . This will adapt the divisor for the system clock accordingly.
  • Use a Network Time Protocol (NTP) client to synchronize the clock to an external master clock. This solution will give you the precise time within a few milliseconds typically. You can learn more about NTP for Linux from the Network Time Protocol Project. Most distributions carry the client and server software required preconfigured and compiled.
  • Use the "hwclock" utility with the "--hctosys" option for updating the system clock with the hardware clock values. If don periodically (using "cron", for example), you can limit the time error to the rate tolerated by your application.

Question #197: Help, my monitor goes black after the operating system starts up!
Answer: Most probably, the "CRT/LCD" setting in the Custom Configuration Menu of the BIOS is set to "LCD". In this case, the interface for the monitor is shut down.

Question #199: What CPU-Frequencies are possible?
Answer: Configurable via BIOS setup between 100MHz and 133MHz

Question #201: Does MPL offer any connector assembly support?
Answer: Yes, we offer several cable kits.
  • MPL50-Kit, that offers a flat ribbon cable (1 m length) for Parallel, 2 x RS232 and 2 x PS/2
  • STDPERI-Kit, that offers standard connectors for Parallel, 2 x RS232 and 2 x PS/2
  • MIP-Kit, that offers standard VGA & USB connector, SSI and timer conectin as well as an expansion of the RJ45
  • 485/IrdA-Kit, that offers a RS485 and IrdA inteface

Question #202: What date and time does the RTC show if battery-power is lost?
Answer: Backup battery voltage is monitored at power up, if it is below 2V RTC data is reseted. After RTC reset data has default values -> Date = 1.1.1980, Time = 00:00:00.

Question #203: What Battery is used for the Realtime Clock?
Answer: It's a Lithium Manganese Dioxide battery from Varta AG (type CR 1/3N SLF)

Question #204: Is there a BIOS Update available? I need a BIOS with the XXX feature!
Answer: Please contact MPL AG for availability of updated or customized BIOS variants
 
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