M.Sc, MA


Arduino meets N800

coding linux arduino

After a few days of tinkering and a few days of waiting for the right parts to arrive I’ve finally managed to connect an Arduino board to a Nokia N800 internet tablet. First steps towards the Mlab robot.. I was really happy to find out how hackable the internet tablets are! Although there are numerous tutorials around the web, I’ll put a short description of what I did before I forget:

Steps to connect N800 to Arduino

  1. update N800 to OS2008
  2. install rootsh to gain super-user access
  3. install USB Control (enable Chinook Extras repository)
  4. enable host mode through usb control
  5. get a female type A-female type A USB connector. You might need to solder your USB-USBmini cable a bit if it’s only slave mode. I bought one cheap from and it seems to work both ways out of the box. I guess you can also use an external power source if you don't want to solder your cable(?).
  6. get kernel modules for USB Serial communication and FTDI chips from
  7. unpack and install kernel modules as root with

insmod usbserial.ko

insmod ftdi_sio.ko

  1. plug in your arduino

Extra: Python testing

  1. get PySerial and install it. You can also just copy the python module from some *nix computer (I just copied mine from my linux box)
  2. run this:

     import serial
     ser = serial.Serial('/dev/ttyUSB0', 9600)
     while 1:
         print ser.readline()

you should see whatever your arduino chip is printing.

Voilá! You have a connected a very flexible development board with a very hacker friendly, touchscreen enabled linux computer! Think of the possibilities :)