Buffalo LinkStation cheap serial port

After plenty of frustration trying to upgrade my LinkStation box to a newer version of Debian, I gave up and tried Gentoo as per the nas-central guide, and discovered just how friendly and cuddly apt-get can be… Whilst I have used Gentoo from source on my Qube, trying to do anything with pre-built stage3 tarballs is a royal PITA when the portage EAPI has changed.

As all I wanted was a simple ARM box, I decided it was time for something less complex: Linux from Scratch, but to avoid having to pull the hard drive each time I made a boot config error, I though it would be useful to add a serial port using another nas-central guide and a Nokia 7250i DKU-5 USB data cable from eBay, for a whopping £1.49 (inc. P&P).

My cable was a five wire that required power from the box, so it was a little worrying having to solder things in place without fully testing the data transmission, but for anyone wanting wire colour confirmation:

    Orange: not used
    Green: +ve
    White: Rx
    Blue: Tx
    Black: GND

It also required the insulation shaving carefully on two sides before it would fit through the Kensington lock hole, but after that and with the addition of a cable tie it fits quite neatly.

Some bodged soldering later, it was in, but refusing to work on OS X even though there was a /dev/ttys000 entry created as soon as the cable was plugged in. Some Googleing later and this page provided the driver I needed – after that it was a simple screen /dev/tty.usbserial 115200 and everything was in place.

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