You are viewing pages tagged with: zipit

Zipit Z2 Breakout v2 (mini)

It’s been a year and a half since I came out with the first Z2 Breakout Board. They’ve all found new homes and hopefully some neat projects. I’ve considered making a new board since they all sold out but there isn’t really a Zipit market anymore. I think the buzz may have finally wore off although you can still find Zipits on eBay occasionally and hinv still has some for sale. Finally, I found the time to make a new board that is smaller and a better fit for the Zipit. The new board measures 75.11mm x 16.69mm which makes it sit much closer to the Zipit but extends further from side to side. There is a USB Host port (w/5V boost regulator), MicroUSB device port (charging input), 1.27mm breakout header for all 36 pins and special snap off sub-boards (if desired).


Posted by on Wed, 17 Aug 2016
tags: zipit, smt, oshpark.

Boot the Zipit Z2 from a USB drive

In June, I posted about the “bleeding edge” version of openwrt-zipit and a new u-boot. There was just a brief mention that USB host support was built into it and I never got around to testing it until yesterday. It is pretty easy to setup and requires a USB host cable or my breakout board. The following should get you going.


Posted by on Thu, 4 Aug 2016
tags: zipit, openwrt, u-boot.

Expanded Zipit Bottom Case: my first 3D printing adventure

3D printers have been around for quite a while now. When I first read about them I had a million ideas for things I could make. Unfortunately the introductory cost and learning curve were too much to bear. My 3D buzz wore off and the world continued on perfecting the new technology. It’s 2016 now and after seeing this article on Hackaday about a low cost, decent quality beginner 3D printer, I decided it’s about time I do something with 3D printing. That brings us to the Zipit. The original batteries for it are not available and finding a suitable replacement is not easy either. Let’s make a replacement bottom case for the Zipit with more room for a bigger battery.


Posted by on Sun, 3 Jul 2016
tags: zipit, mod, lipo.

Updated Software for the Zipit Z2

Back in February anarsoul ported Linux 4.4 for the Zipit Z2 which added device tree support and some other bits. Around the same time I started working on getting OpenWrt trunk to build for the Zipit. In January, OpenWrt decided to remove pxa support because of a lack of maintenance. The OpenWrt build system allows for installing feeds so I created a new pxa target feed that can be built with openwrt trunk. In addition to the new kernel and new OpenWrt, we also have an updated u-boot with some fancy new features.


Posted by on Mon, 6 Jun 2016
tags: zipit, openwrt.

Using a Raspberry Pi as a JTAG Debugger to Recover a Bricked Zipit

I got my mitts on a Raspberry Pi Zero just after Christmas in a trade agreement (thanks slug). It’s been sitting here staring me in the face waiting for a job to do. About the same time the zero came, deeice was plotting to try out a modified u-boot on the zipit that squeezes a little more space out of the internal flash. Unfortunately, we haven’t got it working as intended yet. In the process deeice managed to brick one zipit by mistake and I bricked one after compiling some probably incomplete source code. Someone posted a link about using the Raspberry Pi as a JTAG debugger and since deeice got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas I figured this is a good chance to force him into getting a soldering iron and using it. :-D


Posted by on Fri, 8 Jan 2016
tags: zipit, raspi, jtag.

Zippity Beeps and some other bits

A few years ago I looked around for a way to have the Zipit play console beeps and found some ways but could never get them working. The other day someone in #zipit reminded me about those beeps so I looked again and found the Fancy Beeper Daemon.


Posted by on Thu, 26 Mar 2015
tags: zipit, openwrt.

Zipit Z2 Breakout v1

It’s official, Zipit breakout boards are here. You can order yours in the shop I’ve setup. My previous posts about the design process have some info about the board’s functionality and some issues that needed fixing. This post is intended to bring all the info to one spot and explain how it functions. Any new information will be added to this post.

Update: This board is sold out and I won’t be producing anymore. I have a public project on OSH Park with a part list if you want to build your own. Thanks to all who ordered!


Posted by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015
tags: zipit, smt.

Z2 Breakout Testing Part 2

After fiddling around with the two breakout boards I’ve assembled, I think I’ve got everything the way I want it. I’ve made some new useful changes as well as fixed the issues I described in my previous post. The remaining parts needed for the Z2 Breakout relay header arrived today and all is working there. I also did some current testing tonight and thought I’d share the numbers.


Posted by on Mon, 15 Dec 2014
tags: zipit, smt.

Z2 Breakout Testing

The Zipit Z2 breakout boards arrived today and I promply pieced one together for testing. I’ve encountered a few problems already so another revision will be in the works. The one board I partially assembled today is working with a few modifications.


Posted by on Fri, 12 Dec 2014
tags: zipit, smt.

Give Thanks for Zipit Breakout Boards

While most Americans were probably eating turkey and watching football today, I was eating sushi and finishing up the layout on a Zipit breakout board. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully it’ll be here before Christmas.


Posted by on Thu, 27 Nov 2014
tags: zipit, smt.

Zipit Z2

What is a Zipit Z2?

The Zipit Z2 Wireless Messenger was released in 2007 to be used by kids as a wifi enabled chat device. The Z2 originally came with it’s own application running on top of a Linux kernel. Soon after the device was released many people began to hack the device and get a new kernel and operating system to work on it. This page is intended to be an accumulation of information about hacking the device.

General Hardware Specifications

  • Marvell PXA270 CPU @ 312mhz (overclockable)
  • Marvell 802.11b/g Wifi (libertas driver)
  • 32mb SDRAM
  • 8mb NOR Flash Storage
  • MiniSD memory card slot
  • 2.8 inch QVGA color display
  • 5V 2A DC Adapter Input
  • Backlight QWERTY Keypad
  • Headphone Jack
  • Microphone and Remote control Jack (similar to Nintendo DS)
  • 36 Pin Expansion (Hirose) Connector on back (see below for pinout)
  • 3.7V 1230mAh Lithium Ion Battery Model ZWM2-1230LI (67mm x 60mm x 4mm)

IC / Parts List

Here is the list of chips seen on the Zipit2’s board. This list contains all the major chips, their complete markings, and available information.


Posted by on Thu, 15 May 2014
tags: zipit, linux, pxa270, openwrt, ubuntu, debian.

IRC Logs logfiles


** NEW ** Search the logfiles

Join the #zipit & #zipit-dev conversation via webchat


Posted by on Thu, 15 May 2014
tags: zipit.

z2uFlashstock v0.3

It’s that time of year again for an upgraded flash script. This latest version is the easiest yet and again will flash from stock to u-boot and back. As usual, the goods are at the bottom of this post. I’ve added some fancy new features like progress bars.


Posted by on Sun, 9 Feb 2014
tags: zipit, linux, u-boot.

New z2uflasher and Flashstock combined

It’s time again for a new flash script. slug_ has been busy pumping out the releases of gmenu-jffs2 so I figured I’d make something a little easier to update. The new z2uflasher/Flashstock combo runs entirely from a fat formatted sd card. It will ONLY work on a stock zipit or one with u-boot already installed (sorry “OpenZipit” / 2.6.29 users). Flashstock is pretty much the same, the special goo is in the new z2uflasher which runs via initramfs inside the 2.6.29 kernel (for maximum sd card compatibility).


Posted by on Thu, 21 Feb 2013
tags: zipit, u-boot.

Linux 3.6.0 Kernel for OpenWrt (with zram!)

The Linux Kernel has a new feature called zram that allows RAM to be compressed. This could help out on the Zipit since it only has 32M. Back in September Wejp built a kernel with zram and a new Arch rootfs. I figured I’d try to get it going on OpenWrt and have succeed. I used anarsoul’s 3.6 tree but also had to add a patch that allows LZMA compression on JFFS2 filesystems so it can be used with slug’s in flash rootfs. This is a rough guide on how to get it working.


Posted by on Sun, 23 Dec 2012
tags: zipit, linux, openwrt.

Tidbits and Goings On

I haven’t made a post in quite a while so I thought I’d summarize what’s been happening in my neck of the woods.

On the Zipit front there has been some progress with OpenWrt…


Posted by on Fri, 24 Aug 2012
tags: zipit, linux, openwrt.

Gameboy Emulation on OpenWrt-Zipit

I felt like re-living old times by playing some Gameboy roms on the Zipit so I compiled the ohboy emulator with OpenWrt buildroot.


Posted by on Fri, 13 Apr 2012
tags: zipit, linux, openwrt.

OpenWrt OverlayFS - Part 2

After much experimenting with overlayfs in OpenWrt I've finally settled on a solution that works well. I have decided to call this project 'ovpkg' as in 'overlay package'. You can still use my old instructions if you have an ext2 partition on your card, but if you want to use a completely fat formatted card you can try out this new set of scripts.


Posted by on Mon, 26 Mar 2012
tags: zipit, linux, openwrt.

OpenWrt RecoveryOS Tweak - overlayfs

Update: It’s come to my attention that Windows will not see a Fat partition on a card if the first partition is ext2. I have changed the instructions below to so that the fat partition is first on the card, thus allowing you to use it with Windows.

I've been playing around with the OpenWrt RecoveryOS a bit recently. I like it because it's small, fast and there's a good amount of packages available in Projectgus' repo. The problem with all these awesome packages and the RecoveryOS, though, is that there's not much space left in the Zipit's internal flash to store these goodies. 


Posted by on Tue, 24 Jan 2012
tags: zipit, linux, openwrt.

Zipit Soft Keypad Mod

The Zipit keypad has a distinct click to it when pressing a key. This is fine most of the time, but when one wants to be quiet it can be a problem. I’ve been told numerous times to “shut that thing up” when my wife is trying to sleep so I needed to find a way to quiet the keys. I found that the Nintendo DS and DSi have similar keypad buttons to the Zipit, but are softer (presumably because it’s a gaming device). They are almost the same size only slightly larger. The D-Pad on the Zipit has smaller dots that are similar in size to the DS/DSi Start/Select/Power buttons. Thankfully there’s enough copper pad left on the Zipit that the DS button dots will still make contact.


Posted by on Fri, 4 Mar 2011
tags: zipit, mod.