I’ve finally decided to pull my PinePhone Braveheart edition out of it’s box and plug it in. There’s a task for it; acting as an LTE hotspot through a USB tether for the network. That’ll plug into a tiny Atom based SFF computer running OpenWRT… but that’s a write-up for another day. On with fixing the PinePhone!
Which phones this will effect is entirely unclear. If you’ve got Mobian, Manjaro, or some other mobile Linux OS loaded up on your PinePhone, and USB-C devices aren’t working, then the ANX7688 firmware might be the culprit.
And cleaning loading the firmware in was the last thing I did in a series of changes. So some of those may be necessary as well. I’ll load up a default Mobian Bookworm (Debian) image and check when I’ve got this one backed up.
Which was another issue. The Mobian installer images weren’t working, for some reason, and I had to revert back to a earlier non-installer image (the first of 2022) then apt upgrade it. That did bring it up to the current release and worked.
To fix the USB Dock/USB Tether issue I needed to use the ANX7688 firmware found here. Installing it entails copy the firmware to
/lib/firmware on the phone and triggering the flash with
echo 1 > /sys/class/typec/port0/device/flash_eeprom
I would only do that while it’s plugged in to mains and running stably. It may be possible to brick the phone if you, or the phone, does something unexpected. For more information refer to the code’s author at their website.
What you’re doing there, in case you’re curious, is updating the firmware of the ANX7688. The ANX7688 is a mobile HD chipset that also handles quite a few other things; you can find out more at Analogix’s website.
I’ll have more to write about fixing the PinePhone coming up. You’ll be able to follow along as I clean this platform up a bit and likely make a hash of it along the way!
2 thoughts on “Fixing the PinePhone USB-C Dock and USB (network) Tether”
glad to see some specific information about the ANX7688 and the USB Tethering for the Mobian Pinephone. Thank you for the info. I have been content with Bullseye on my Ubport community edition ( un re-soldered ) with the USB Tethering. The last known kernel to work was Linux mobian 5.10-sunxi64 #2 SMP PREEMPT Tue Jan 12 09:55:56 UTC 2021 aarch64 GNU/Linux. I did not have to (did not know to) reflash the FM for ANX7688. I did blacklist it for charging issues. If I hadn’t dropped my phone once too many, I would still be using that phone. (typing on the virtual keyboard has become untenable). I am currently working with a new unit of Pine Phone with the Convergence package. This is when i found out that the 5.10-sunxi64 had yet another upgraded version that broke my USB Tethering. strangely enough it was named #1 but had a date of July 2021. Anyhow, thought I’d share.
Thanks for the info! I’ll have more on the Pine Phone if I get to editing down the video and pictures.
I still can’t decide if I like it or if the manufacturer support is too little to make it useful.