[E3-hacking] Just got an e3 - where do I start

Edward Robbins edd.robbins at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 28 14:29:48 BST 2012

On Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM, Ralph Corderoy <ralph at inputplus.co.uk>wrote:

> Hi,
> Antony Stone wrote:
> > Edward Robbins wrote:
> > > I guess that means it's basically a brick then? Any plausible way
> > > around?
> >
> > I personally know of no way to reflash it once it's got 5.1, but I'm
> > not exactly an expert around here.  Others may well be better-informed
> > than I am.
> I suppose JTAG using the exposed pads on the circuit board, how the
> ROM's contents were obtained originally IIRC, might be a complex
> option...
After scouring the mailing list it doesn't appear that anyone actually ever
managed to find all the JTAG pins for the e3. Question is, if I get another
emailer from ebay (which in all likelihood will turn out to be PBL 5.1) and
remove the SoC to find the test pads, will somebody else with a 4.9 PBL be
willing to hook up a JTAG and get a dump for me?

I have the tools to remove the SoC and find the pads, and also have access
to a JTAG debugger, but wouldn't know how to go about getting a flash ROM
dump even so...

> Is it correct that no revenue is now made from the Emailer family;  that
> the premium rate numbers have been closed, etc., and whoever bought the
> relevant part of Amstrad has no interest in operating it any more?  If
> so, could an approach to them to make available, e.g. signing key, for
> the benefit of those that want to tinker?  No skin off their nose now
> and if the right person is reached it may work, what with the increased
> prominence of the Maker movement, etc.

This might work, though in my experience they may be prevented from helping
simply by company policy or because the people with the relevant knowledge
have moved on or are too busy to spend time on something that will generate
no revenue. On the other hand it can't hurt to try... any idea what the
best line of contact might be? Or how I should frame the question?

> Cheers, Ralph.
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