The PogoPlug pink is a low powered linux based computer that is based around the SheevaPlug. It is is originally designed to allow sharing of USB flash drives and devices over the internet, but as with most gadgets these days, the true power of the device comes when you start to hack the unit.
You may have noticed that there is no video ouput on the unit, when you start installing new bootloaders and operating systems, this lack of video output can leave you in the dark. The solution? Open the unit up and install a serial cable.
Opening the unit
Opening the PogoPlug itself couldn't be easier, first off you are going to need to slip the transparent cover from around the main body of the unit…
With this cover removed, take a small flat headed screwdriver and insert it in between the two halfs. With a bit of effort they should seperate easily and with no damage.
Revealing the motherboard and power supply PCB of the PogoPlug..
Constructing The Cable
With the PogoPlug opened we can see that we won't have to make any modifications to the motherboard itself, there is a handy serial connection socket already soldered in place. The socket itself is a 0.079" (2.00mm)4 pin connection which can be found at Digikey with a part number of H2013-ND. Alternativley, if you have an old analog CD-ROM audio cable lying around, you will find that the white connecter is a perfect match. Your also going to need a Nokia CA-42 Data Cable for the other end, these cables contain a USB to serial converter built into the USB plug, compatible cables will work but you will have to decode the pinout yourself. Below is the pinout for the genuine Nokia CA42 cable (BM07083821)
Once you have worked out which pin relates to which color for you wiring scheme you are going to need to match those up to the connector on the PogoPlug motherboard. The image below shows the pinout for the PogoPlug Pink E-02 UK version. I can't guarantee that all versions will be the same so it might be worth checking before you go ahead and wire your cable up.
I noticed that if you are using a 6 wire CA-42 cable then you will need to wire up the 3.3v connection, there are some 4 wire cables available which don't require this but if your using the 6 wire original Nokia cable then it will not be recognised by your PC until you connect the 3.3v. Other versions of the cable appear to get their power directly from the USB port.
Using PuTTY for serial access
Once your cable is completed then you are ready to move onto the next stage, first you are going to need some sort of serial program. You can use the HyperTerminal which is built into Windows XP but a better option is to use PuTTY. It can be downloaded from this link.
Before you launch PuTTY you are going to need to connect your newly created cable to both the Serial socket on the PogoPlug motherboard and to the USB socket on your PC. Make sure the cable is detected and shows up in your device manager as a virtual COM port, you will need to turn your PogoPlug on for this to happen. Make a note of this port as we are going to need it later.
Now load up PuTTy and select 'Serial' from the left hand side menu, you can now configure the connection. Match the settings from the image below, 115200 Baud (Speed), 8 Data Bits, 1 Stop Bits, No Parity and No Flow Control. Chance the 'Serial line to connect to' to match the COM port you made a note of earlier.
Once you have done this select 'Open' and press the push button on your PogoPlug motherboard, this will reset the PogoPlug. If all has gone correctly you should now see the serial output from your PogoPlug scrolling down your PuTTY window.
If not then check your wiring, check your PogoPlug has power and lastly check that your PC is picking up the cable as a virtual COM Port. You should now be able to recover a bricked PogoPlug or gain much needed information while installing alternative Operating Systems.