How to Open Tronsmart Vega S89 (Elite) and Access the Serial Console

Tronsmart Vega S89 (Elite) is an Android TV based on Amlogic S802 quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 2GHz, and is one of the fastest Chinese ARM box on the device, at least until Rockchip RK3288 and AllWinner A80 devices come to market. In my unboxing post, I mentioned the UART pins were available, and sometimes in March Amlogic released U-boot and Linux source code for M802/S808, so it’s likely some developers will play around, and eventually run Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, …) on the platform. So today, I’ve done some preliminary work by connecting a USB to serial debug board to my device. The steps to follow are straightforward, and should work on Beelink M8/S82, Jesurun S82, MBOX-S82, IdeaStar S82, etc… which are basically the same box with different names.

Before accessing the serial port, we’ll need to open the box. Start by removing the 3 sticky pads at the bottom of the device with a flat-head screwdriver, and remove the 3 screws.

Tronsmart_Vega_S89_BottomThe top of the enclosure can then easily be removed, but be gentle in order to avoid damaging the Wi-Fi antenna.

Tronsmart_Vega_S89_Open_CasingTo remove the board from the bottom plate of the enclosure, you’ll need to push the board laterally. I’ve used the back of my screwdriver to push against the RJ45 connector.

Tronsmart_Vega_S89_Push_EthernetThen locate GND, Rx and Tx UART pin on the 4-pin header close to Netxeon markings to solder a 4-pin 2.5mm header.

Tronsmart_Vega_S89_SerialFinally simply connect a 3.3/5V USB to serial debug board as shown in the picture below. You only need to connect GND, Tx and Rx to GND, Rx and Tx between S802 board and the debug board.

Tronsmart_Vega_S89_USB-To-Serial_AdapterThat’s all! If you want to put the board back in the case, you’ll need an isolation pad between the 4-pin header on the board, and the lower heatsink, which is conductive, in order to avoid short-circuits. I’ve also found out that it can be a real pain to reassemble the board and the enclosure because of the round shape makes it difficult to properly align connectors.

For reference, here’s Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite boot log with Android 4.4:

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