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Mon, 29 Mar 2010
OpenBTS workshop in June (Pfarrkirchen/Germany)

If you've always been interested in Open Source / Free Software GSM using OpenBTS, you might be interested in the upcoming three-day OpenBTS workshop in Pfarrkirchen/Germany.

The workshop is held by OpenBTS project leader David Burgess, and will cover subjects ranging from OpenBTS installation, configuration and deployment down to actually extending OpenBTS with some custom code.

p.s.: Please don't misunderstand, the workshop really is about OpenBTS not OpenBSC - though there might be OpenBSC folks hanging around ;)

[ /gsm | permanent link ]

Mon, 15 Mar 2010
Holidays in Taiwan

Just in case you are wondering why there are no updates here: I'm currently on holidays in Taiwan and thus not working much on my various projects, i.e. no major updates on this blog until some early/mid April.

[ /personal | permanent link ]

Fri, 05 Mar 2010
OsmocomBB now performing location updating procedure against GSM cell

I haven't had much time for blogging recently, too much exciting work going on at OsmocomBB:

  • we now have simplistic support for Uplink (transmit) on SDCCH/4
  • we have a minimal Layer2 (LAPDm) implementation
  • we can send LOCATION UPDATING REQUEST to the network, and receive the respective response
  • there's wireshark integration, i.e. all packets on the L1-L2 interface can be sent into wireshark for protocol analysis

There are still many limitations, but this is a major milestone in the project: We have working bi-directional communication from the phone to the network!

The limitations include:

  • The cell has to use a combined CCCH (SDCCH/4 on timeslot 0)
  • The cell has to use no encryption/authentication
  • The layer2 is not finished, especially re-transmissions will not work yet
  • There's no power control loop yet
  • There's no timing advance correction
However, most of those are more or less simple we know what needs to be done, its just a matter of getting it done kind of tasks. There are no big unknowns involved, and particularly no further reverse-engineering of the hardware is required.

Also, the existence of a stable bi-directional communications channel between the network and the phone means that anyone interested in working on the higher layers can now actually do so. Completing and testing layer2 as well as RR/MM/CC on layer3 is a major task in itself, and it definitely requires the lower layers to be there.

The other good part is that development of layer2 and layer3 can happen entirely on the host PC, where debugging is much easier and there's no need for cross-compilation and we can use all the usual debugging options (gdb, valgrind, ...)

I'm now almost heading off for holidays (starting March 10), so don't expect any major progress from me anytime soon. I hope other interested developers will be able to take it from here and fill in some missing gaps until I'll get back.

[ /gsm/osmocom-bb | permanent link ]

Mon, 01 Mar 2010
Looking for documentation on sunplus SPMA100B

In the Motorola/Compal C155 phone supported by OsmocomBB, we have found a ringtone melody chip called SPMA100B from sunplus.

As strange as it might seem, this is the only part used in the phone for which we have not been able to find any kind of programming information. So if you know anything about how to program this part from software (register map, programming manual, ...) please let me know!

And no, we don't need electrical/mechanical data sheets, thanks :)

[ /gsm | permanent link ]