Mecool M8S Plus W ($15, S905W)

  • Hello libre people!


    There is this bargain out there where you can get directly from the Chinaman a Android 7.1 TV Box with Amlogic S905W SOC and accessories (power plug, HDMI cable, remote) wit 1GB Ram and 8GB ROM for $15. Much better is only the version with 2GB of Ram and 16GB of ROM, downside is you need already to spend $18 on it to get it to your home. 8|


    This is all nice, but the question is: will it run libreelec? And if so, how could it be installed? This device misses the usual micro SD slot which is (AFAIK) the entry point for a custom os.

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  • I'm running one of 905W 1/8 in our bedroom and is no different than s905x 2/16 in living room. There is no need for bigger storage or ram to be honest. Just got no idea why your source would miss SD card slot? 🤔

    905x is running from SD card and it was on internal before it got corrupted. 905w runs from internal 2 years already....and it will run until corrupt then I'll switch to SD card 😉

  • I'm running one of 905W 1/8 in our bedroom and is no different than s905x 2/16 in living room. There is no need for bigger storage or ram to be honest. Just got no idea why your source would miss SD card slot? 🤔

    905x is running from SD card and it was on internal before it got corrupted. 905w runs from internal 2 years already....and it will run until corrupt then I'll switch to SD card 😉

    Nice. Thank's for your feedback.


    The missing microSD slot is maybe due to the low bottom price? They needed to save some parts.


    Here is a link for more information: Mecool M8S Plus W TV Box Sells for Less than $15 (Promo)


    Any ides libreelec could run/boot of a usb stick?

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  • Sounds like a deal... But... there is always a but ...


    Storage space is not as big a concern depending on how much crap you keep on the box...


    Personally i would never buy a box these days with less then 2g sram as more Sram is always good and besides pretty much the only place you see 1g devices these days is in New Old Stock that the crappy dealers will try and dump just to get their costs back.


    Its not that it Can't run LE or any of the LE clones/forks like CE/EE/AE or others but its already getting hard to find developers releasing for older devices so no matter what the deal maybe it could still end up as a waste of money if your not into taking things into your own hands development wise.


    Kodi has already moved to 18 and in the near future will be going to 19 and unless you want to just settle to keep it going on 17 and python 2 or maybe if your lucky enough to find a version with Kodi 18 your choices will keep getting smaller.


    But if that is all you expect out of the device then it may serve your purposes...

  • For sure I want the latest kodi running on my device. I don't now why it shouldn't run?


    If there is no recent *elec available for it I just have to bite the bitter apple and install kodi on the box (prerooted android 7.1)...


    Borygo77 what image/version you are running on your a905w box?

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  • Don't get me wrong as i am not saying it won't run.


    Hell i have matrix 19 running on older S812 and up.


    I am just saying that if your not self sufficient in developing and are like most that rely on other developers for firmware then even a free box without current software really is not worth anything other then a parts board to be played with or thrown on to your pile of old devices.


    Out of all the different developers out there to a large extent they all are based on OE and LE and as such pretty much make use of the same build system that each fork has altered for their own purposes and the amount of support for the older boxes is getting smaller all the time.


    Currently with LE focused on moving linux to mainstream and off the old proprietary BSP's and help push Kodi thru the python 3 upgrade they have chosen to support a smaller pool of devices while transistioning... So most of the other Distributions are trying to support some of the older devices while still supporting the older propriatary BSP's for the devices they have chosen to support.


    All I was saying was that unless your willing to learn or already have the ability that you will probably have to either rely on someone else's firmware and if you can't find any then you will be at least at a minimal level have to take some existing build and hope to mod it enough to get it to work. Maybe just a dtb change maybe more...


    So as much as $15 bucks is a good deal you may not have much of a choice other then running Android and then Kodi as a app, which to me is something not worth the effort.


    I have been running Linux on these devices going all the way back to the Dream devices as the idea of running Kodi on a OS that is basically a touch screen OS is just dumb in my opinion if your trying to get the best performance out of Kodi. but hey to each their own...


    But just to be clear i never said it can't or won't run.

  • I've a Tanix TX3 mini which is the same spec (1GB/8GB and also S905W) purchaded off eBay for $18 a year or so back. The TX3 device-tree will probably work on is as most of these ultra-cheap S905W boxes are carbon copies of the Amlogic reference board. It likely only differs in choice of wireless chipset.

  • I've a Tanix TX3 mini which is the same spec (1GB/8GB and also S905W) purchaded off eBay for $18 a year or so back. The TX3 device-tree will probably work on is as most of these ultra-cheap S905W boxes are carbon copies of the Amlogic reference board. It likely only differs in choice of wireless chipset.


    Nice to hear. I ordered the 2GB/16GB now for $18 shipped. Does the TX3 device-tree also offer a 2/16 Version?


    And what would be the most convinient way to check with wifi chipset is used (once I have my device...)?


    I actually found a photo from the inside from this m8s plus w (1GB/8GB) here


    vXNqbhT.png

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  • Mainline kernel doesn't have same hard-coded 1GB/2GB device-tree silliness as older kernels. Wireless chip is the SSV6051P .. the same crap cihp that's in the Tanix box. There's no support for that chip under mainline kernel (and unlikely to change).

  • Mainline kernel doesn't have same hard-coded 1GB/2GB device-tree silliness as older kernels. Wireless chip is the SSV6051P .. the same crap cihp that's in the Tanix box. There's no support for that chip under mainline kernel (and unlikely to change).

    Nice to know. But no mainline support for the wifi doesn:t mean no support for libreelec, right?


    Here it's written libreelec supports the SSV6051P:

    ARMBIAN for Amlogic S905 and S905X (ver 5.44 =<) - Page 42 - TV boxes - Armbian forum


    Is this still true?

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  • It just means the wifi chip will not work. The chip copies (is ripped off from) a Realtek design but with enough differences that you can't simply add the chip IDs to the existing Realtek driver, and the existing driver source for Linux 3.14 "works" but is garbage code. We had a stab at forward porting to Linux 4.20? (it was some time ago) but with no documentation and badly written code to start from it wasn't a fruitful expedition and we gave up. I also had one of the Rockchip staff (native Mandarin speaker) do some phoning around and he confirmed SSV went bust in 2016 so there's never going to be newer official sources. The latest kernel the current driver will run on is Linux 4.4. After 4.4 you run into significant crypto API changes (needs a major rewrite) and this stops the driver from working.

  • It just means the wifi chip will not work. The chip copies (is ripped off from) a Realtek design but with enough differences that you can't simply add the chip IDs to the existing Realtek driver, and the existing driver source for Linux 3.14 "works" but is garbage code. We had a stab at forward porting to Linux 4.20? (it was some time ago) but with no documentation and badly written code to start from it wasn't a fruitful expedition and we gave up. I also had one of the Rockchip staff (native Mandarin speaker) do some phoning around and he confirmed SSV went bust in 2016 so there's never going to be newer official sources. The latest kernel the current driver will run on is Linux 4.4. After 4.4 you run into significant crypto API changes (needs a major rewrite) and this stops the driver from working.

    Very valuable information about this (dead) wifi chipset. Thank's a lot!


    I then *just* need to a attach a usb wifi dongle with a (mainline) supported chipset that I have flying around anyways ;)

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