XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

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XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Hiya peeps,

So recently I picked up a homebrew computer cluster project. I buy broken SBCs for cheap (Mostly RPis, apparently there are no broken Odroids on the market 8-) ), fix them, and off they go at the top of my stack.

An old friend of mine, who happens to be a CTO of a local tech company, offered me a batch of 10+ XU4s, reportedly with broken LAN. An offer I can't possibly miss, but I kinda need LAN for them to be of any use :roll:
Since I am expected to name the price for this batch, I need to know how much would it cost me to fix them in the first place, so I won't end up with my arm elbow deep in a potty.

So first things first, I ought to ask what can be possibly wrong with them - I have no idea what they did to those SBCs, but I assume there isn't much you can do wrong with Ethernet wiring - PoE, ESD, mechanical damage. Since they broke many of those, I'd rule out PoE and mechanics. ESD hazard in Ethernet is not common either.
Maybe there is something I'm missing, some other way to break LAN in XU4s or in general.

I have the right tools and skills to play with hardware repairs, no problem. I skimmed through the schematics and I'm worried that I might end up replacing RTL8153 chips - is there any way to obtain them at all?
Same goes for DW-1108C5011-2, a LAN connector used on board. Perhaps I could get away with some other mechanically compatible model and sacrifice the glory of LEDs flashing at me every night.

Thanks for all your help in advance!

BTW - can I power XU4s via their pin headers?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by odroid »

We've shipped over 300,000 XU4 series boards but we have heard about the damaged LAN port extremely rarely in the recent few years.

How many XU4 boards have the broken Ethernet port problem from 10+? All of them?
Which PoE power splitter (5volt) they have used with XU4?
Can you show us "lsusb" and "lsusb -t" outputs to check which part is broken?
If you are sure the RTL8153 was fried, we will try finding a way to sell the component separately.
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mctom (Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:18 pm)

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Those boards were used for R&D purposes, so I'm guessing they either tried doing something nasty (non-standard) to them, or maybe blamed XU4s when the problem was actually at the other end of the cable.
I'll try to ask more about what exactly they did.
odroid wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:05 am
If you are sure the RTL8153 was fried, we will try finding a way to sell the component separately.
That is extraordinarily nice of you - thank you very much!
I know no promises were given, but I'll take the risk, try to buy those XU4s for $5 each or so.

I think I'll continue this thread when I examine the boards myself.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by odroid »

Once you show us "lsusb" and "lsusb -t" outputs, we can probably know whether the RTL8153 was damaged or the CPU or the RJ45 stuff.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

I will. I just have to get those boards first. I haven't even seen them yet. :)

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mad_ady »

Ask if USB and emmc works, also. Most often, when powered improperly via the GPIO pins something breaks inside the SOC which causes USB to fail completely, and ethernet is connected to USB internally. If usb still works, than at least you can add s usb-ethernet dongle.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by rooted »

I have a XU4 with broken LAN, it was due to lightning. Not a direct strike just nearby.

I use a USB dongle for LAN and it works fine.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

You guys raised some good points,. Perhaps there is something more damaged than just LAN, and maybe all failed at once, for whatever reason.

I am boiling with curiosity myself, but that friend of mine is a busy guy - I asked him for one sample so I can investigate throughout the weekend.

I really would not resort to USB-LAN dongles if there is a way to fix the problem. Personally I prefer fixing problems over workarounds, and I use all opportunities to learn stuff. :)

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Alright, I got one for investigation and the company is interested in me trying to solve their mystery.
I also got a second XU4 that doesn't work at all, but that's outside of the scope of this topic. Or maybe not? We shall see about it.
odroid wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:05 am
Can you show us "lsusb" and "lsusb -t" outputs to check which part is broken?

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root@odroidxu4:~# lsusb
Bus 006 Device 003: ID 0bda:8152 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8152 Fast Ethernet Adapter
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 05e3:0616 Genesys Logic, Inc. hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0fe6:9700 ICS Advent DM9601 Fast Ethernet Adapter
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 05e3:0610 Genesys Logic, Inc. 4-port hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
root@odroidxu4:~# lsusb -t
/:  Bus 06.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 5000M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 3, If 0, Class=Mass Storage, Driver=usb-storage, 5000M
/:  Bus 05.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 480M
/:  Bus 04.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 5000M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/2p, 5000M
/:  Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/2p, 480M
        |__ Port 1: Dev 3, If 0, Class=, Driver=dm9601, 12M
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=exynos-ohci/3p, 12M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=exynos-ehci/3p, 480M
So it seems that the RTL8153 chip at least does something. It also glows orange LED and blinks irregularly every few seconds, after hooking up a cable to it.
I'll poke it with an oscilloscope probe and see what else I can find.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mad_ady »

Is usb 2/3 working?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by rooted »

Yeah that's different than mine, the network is no longer detected and no activity lights.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

mad_ady wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:38 am
Is usb 2/3 working?
Yes it does, it detects the RTL chip and my LAN dongle I connected to access XU4 in the first place.

I poked around and found nothing suspicious so far. The crystal works at 25MHz, 3V3 is right, however 1V0 appears to be 1.18V - but hopefully this is fine.

When I connect the cable to faulty Ethernet socket, I can see 200us bursts of data on all eight Ethernet data pins (PCB side). Bursts repeat every 22ms almost always.
I checked all four differential pairs and those seem to be well coupled together. I've got no experience with Ethernet so I cannot tell whether these waveforms are okay or not, but they are mirrored pairs around 1.66V, which is probably what it was supposed to be.

I can't see any evidence of USB traffic to RTL8153 when I connect the Ethernet cable, but something appears in dmesg.

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root@odroidxu4:~# dmesg | grep r8152
[    4.400513] usbcore: registered new interface driver r8152
[    6.423071] r8152 6-1:1.0 eth0: v1.10.11
[    6.831672] r8152 6-1:1.0 eth0: v1.10.11
[    6.867977] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: renamed from eth0
[   11.818719] r8152 6-1:1.0 eth0: v1.10.11
[   11.931517] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: renamed from eth0
[   20.045492] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier on
[  310.033273] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier off
[  407.602584] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier on
[  948.305267] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier off
[ 1603.215039] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier on
[ 2557.425141] r8152 6-1:1.0 enx001e0636e824: carrier off
Carrier on and off happens when I plug and unplug Ethernet cable.
The weird name assigned to r8152 is due to another ethernet adapter present in the system for debugging.

So, any ideas what else I could look into?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Okay, this is getting weird.

I did:

Code: Select all

sudo ethtool -s enx001e0636e824 speed 100 duplex half
And now the connection has been estabilished. Now green LED is on.

I've been connecting XU4 to 1Gbps switch for my tests. It seems that forcing it down to 100Mbps half duplex did the trick.
Setting full duplex also works, and setting back to 1000Mbps works as well.
What?
After reboot, it still works.
After shutting down, plugging out power and running XU4 again, the network is still fine. Working at 1gbps, full duplex.

What on earth has just happened?

I'm using fresh Armbian Focal image for my tests, that has nothing to do with whatever software they were using. My first guess is that the chip has gone into some kind of latch-up or something..

The only thing that has changed is a name for the ethernet interface - it's not eth0, just that garbled stuff, even though I removed my LAN dongle a while ago. I'll try again with a fresh Armbian image.

How is this possible?

Well, the bad news is that this XU4 appears to not be broken in the first place, so I'm guessing that the deal is off :roll:

EDIT: I learned that they are using Android on XU4s. And indeed, when I boot from eMMC that is present on board, the network doesn't work. When I boot from fresh Armbian, it still works without any changes.
This is very, very weird.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Hi again,

So I took a leap into the second XU4 board that I got for investigation. This one didn't do anything. Upon connecting +5V power supply, it drew about 200mA for a few seconds, then dropped to 0.
I wanted to check some voltages under the heatsink, so I removed it et voila, the board booted. Just like that. :D
There are some tiny scratches on the blue coating of the heatsink, that seem to resemble C289 pads, thus might have shorted it out. Too bad this is actually a heatsink supporting dummy component.
Nevertheless, I'll get crazy with thermal pads and call it a day, unless it throttles later on.

Anyway, the reason I mention this board is that it had the same problem with Ethernet not working since the first run. This time I got the access using my trusty dongle, but checked interface settings before pushing those that I know to work.

Code: Select all

root@odroidxu4:~# sudo ethtool enx001e063724c0 
Settings for enx001e063724c0:
	Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
	Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
	                        100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
	                        1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full 
	Supported pause frame use: No
	Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
	Supported FEC modes: Not reported
	Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
	                        100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
	                        1000baseT/Full 
	Advertised pause frame use: Symmetric Receive-only
	Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
	Advertised FEC modes: Not reported
	Speed: 10Mb/s
	Duplex: Half
	Port: MII
	PHYAD: 32
	Transceiver: internal
	Auto-negotiation: on
	Supports Wake-on: pumbg
	Wake-on: g
	Current message level: 0x00007fff (32767)
			       drv probe link timer ifdown ifup rx_err tx_err tx_queued intr tx_done rx_status pktdata hw wol
	Link detected: no
The default speed is 10Mbps and Half Duplex. I think it may be incompatible with modern networks, but why does it insist on working with such specs in the first place?

Anyway, changing it the way I did last time didn't apply changes to the ethtool output immediately, but did work indeed.

Code: Select all

root@odroidxu4:~# ethtool -s enx001e063724c0 speed 1000 duplex full autoneg on
root@odroidxu4:~# sudo ethtool enx001e063724c0 
Settings for enx001e063724c0:
	Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
	Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
	                        100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
	                        1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full 
	Supported pause frame use: No
	Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
	Supported FEC modes: Not reported
	Advertised link modes:  1000baseT/Full 
	Advertised pause frame use: Symmetric Receive-only
	Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
	Advertised FEC modes: Not reported
	Speed: 10Mb/s
	Duplex: Half
	Port: MII
	PHYAD: 32
	Transceiver: internal
	Auto-negotiation: on
	Supports Wake-on: pumbg
	Wake-on: g
	Current message level: 0x00007fff (32767)
			       drv probe link timer ifdown ifup rx_err tx_err tx_queued intr tx_done rx_status pktdata hw wol
	Link detected: no
After plugging the ethernet cable to the native Ethernet port:

Code: Select all

root@odroidxu4:~# sudo ethtool enx001e063724c0 
Settings for enx001e063724c0:
	Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
	Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
	                        100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
	                        1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full 
	Supported pause frame use: No
	Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
	Supported FEC modes: Not reported
	Advertised link modes:  1000baseT/Full 
	Advertised pause frame use: Symmetric Receive-only
	Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
	Advertised FEC modes: Not reported
	Link partner advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
	                                     100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
	                                     1000baseT/Full 
	Link partner advertised pause frame use: Symmetric
	Link partner advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
	Link partner advertised FEC modes: Not reported
	Speed: 1000Mb/s
	Duplex: Full
	Port: MII
	PHYAD: 32
	Transceiver: internal
	Auto-negotiation: on
	Supports Wake-on: pumbg
	Wake-on: g
	Current message level: 0x00007fff (32767)
			       drv probe link timer ifdown ifup rx_err tx_err tx_queued intr tx_done rx_status pktdata hw wol
	Link detected: yes
It also works after rebooting.

So the conclusion for now is that Android somehow was able to permanently select 10Mbps half duplex mode and the RTL chip appears to remember it. The problem reappears after booting Android (no idea what particular distribution), and then can be permanently solved by ethprobe -s command.
I have no faint clue how could this possibly happen. I investigated the XU4 schematics and RTL datasheet, and although I admit not to understand it to full extent, I see no way of writing something persistent into the chip. It does contain some sort of one-time programmable Flash, but I'm guessing it's a read only memory? Or is it overwritten by the OS?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mad_ady »

10Mb/half is the default setting for an ethernet interface when there is no link (you have Link detected: no), or when autonegociation doesn't work.
You can use something like ethtool -s eth0 autoneg=off speed=100 duplex=full to set it manually.
But this doesn't/shouldn't persist after a reboot.
You should try sock or voodik's android for xu4 to further isolate the problem...
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mctom (Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:54 am)

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Okay, so my findings didn't tell the whole story. Perhaps I should have checked ethtool output with the cable plugged before I fixed it by forcing 100 or 1000 mode.
Or maybe the bitrate setting doesn't matter in the first place.

I dug into a driver code and it seems that the only way to change bitrate is through a procedure that always sets some other OCP register bits as well.
https://github.com/wget/realtek-r8152-l ... 52.c#L3727

OCP is a register that was never described as non-volatile anywhere, hell, I don't even know what OCP stands for. However, the very same register is meant to hold LED settings, and those settings are vendor-specific and should be non-volatile.
mad_ady wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:31 am
But this doesn't/shouldn't persist after a reboot.
And you're right, I just checked.

This only adds to the overall weirdness of this situation. I got boards that need this extra step performed just once and work fine ever since.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mad_ady »

However, the very same register is meant to hold LED settings, and those settings are vendor-specific and should be non-volatile.
Could it be led color to speed mapping? Green for 100, orange for 1000?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

Yep. More precisely, there are three LED outputs available that can be congured in all sorts of fashion. 10, 100, 1000, solid or blinking on RX/TX etc. This is what I referred to as "LED settings". Which goes where is to be decided by the board designer, thus these settings are non-volatile.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by odroid »

@mctom,
Which OS image and kernel version do you use for the investigation?

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

@odroid,
Armbian Focal with Kernel 5.4. I picked the most familiar one since I expected actual hardware problems here, so any OS would do.

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by odroid »

Try our Ubuntu 20.04 image to have a correlated test condition if you don't mind.
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/os_i ... e/20210113

The following outputs are generated without any USB device connection.

Code: Select all

root@odroid:~# uname -a
Linux odroid 5.4.87-218 #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jan 6 16:24:35 EST 2021 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux

root@odroid:~# lsusb
Bus 006 Device 002: ID 0bda:8153 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8153 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 05e3:0616 Genesys Logic, Inc. hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 05e3:0610 Genesys Logic, Inc. 4-port hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Code: Select all

root@odroid:~# lsusb -t
/:  Bus 06.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 5000M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Vendor Specific Class, Driver=r8152, 5000M
/:  Bus 05.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 480M
/:  Bus 04.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 5000M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/2p, 5000M
/:  Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci-hcd/1p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/2p, 480M
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=exynos-ohci/3p, 12M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=exynos-ehci/3p, 480M

Code: Select all

root@odroid:~# ethtool eth0                                                                                                        
Settings for eth0:                                                                                                                 
        Supported ports: [ TP MII ]                                                                                                
        Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full                                                                          
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full                                                                        
                                1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full                                                                      
        Supported pause frame use: No                                                                                              
        Supports auto-negotiation: Yes                                                                                             
        Supported FEC modes: Not reported                                                                                          
        Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full                                                                          
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full                                                                        
                                1000baseT/Full                                                                                     
        Advertised pause frame use: Symmetric Receive-only                                                                         
        Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes                                                                                           
        Advertised FEC modes: Not reported                                                                                         
        Link partner advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full                                                             
                                             100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full                                                           
                                             1000baseT/Full                                                                        
        Link partner advertised pause frame use: Symmetric                                                                         
        Link partner advertised auto-negotiation: Yes                                                                              
        Link partner advertised FEC modes: Not reported                                                                            
        Speed: 1000Mb/s                                                                                                            
        Duplex: Full                                                                                                               
        Port: MII                                                                                                                  
        PHYAD: 32                                                                                                                  
        Transceiver: internal                                                                                                      
        Auto-negotiation: on                                                                                                       
        Supports Wake-on: pumbg                                                                                                    
        Wake-on: g                                                                                                                 
        Current message level: 0x00007fff (32767)                                                                                  
                               drv probe link timer ifdown ifup rx_err tx_err tx_queued intr tx_done rx_status pktdata hw wol      
        Link detected: yes

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Re: XU4s with broken LAN - what might be wrong?

Post by mctom »

I just talked to "the guy" and promised to deliver more broken XU4s shortly to investigate more. This is important because after "ethtool -s ______" the board is "fixed" and I cannot reproduce the problem.
Apparently his company bought hundreds of these SBCs.

He also told me that LAN connection was always unstable and was always dropped completely after Android was put to sleep mode.

I'm pretty convinced that their Android distribution had a wrong / buggy LAN driver.

Anyway, I'll try Hardkernel images in next boards.

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