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How-To: Enable SSH and root access (orginal Blink EVSE)

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:28 am
by smurf12345
I looked around and haven't seen anybody post how to get root access to the Blink EVSE, so I thought I would share. It is pretty simple. I recommend to backup the SD Card just in case you screw something up. I used DD (Linux) to clone the SD card. I restored to a new SD card for playing around. Once you have a backup, modify the below files using a text editor from another machine that can read/write SD cards. *Modify at your own risk

Enable SSH Service
Change enable_ssh value from false to 'true'. This will also enable a rule in iptables to allow ssh.

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# File: /CDI/etc/additionalsystemoptions.ini
	enable_ssh=true
Changing the root password
Add the below line to a script that runs with root privileges at boot. I used the firewall script and placed it towards the top.

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# File: /CDI/bin/firewall.sh	
	echo root:newpassword | chpasswd
Now, power cycle the Blink unit. SSH should be enabled and the root account should be changed to your new password. Once that is working, go back and remove the "echo root:newpassword | chpasswd" from firewall.sh

Some useful config files are in /CDI/etc and check out /linux_init file for the reading/writing info serial inputs/outputs.

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File: /linux_init
GPIO devices
#  Input Pins
/dev/blink_connected
/dev/blink_ready
/dev/blink_charging
/dev/blink_protection
/dev/blink_error

#  Output Pins
/dev/blink_start
/dev/blink_stop
/dev/blink_enable

# Make energy meter nodes (Output Pins)
/dev/blink_meter_rx
/dev/blink_meter_tx

# Setup GPIO pins for j1772 control board
pxaregs GPDR2_95 0
pxaregs GPDR3_96 1
pxaregs GPDR3_97 1
pxaregs GPDR3_98 1
pxaregs GPDR3_99 0
pxaregs GPDR3_100 0
pxaregs GPDR3_101 0
pxaregs GPDR3_102 0

Re: How-To: Enable SSH and root access (orginal Blink EVSE)

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:30 am
by DarkStar
Looks great, thank you for the info!

Re: How-To: Enable SSH and root access (orginal Blink EVSE)

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:31 am
by TimLee
Very helpful.
With root access it should be possible to have the Blink unit use WIFI to log charging session data back to a computer in your house, like Blink had been doing with their servers that provided Internet access to the data.
Is that your intent and plan?

Re: How-To: Enable SSH and root access (orginal Blink EVSE)

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:20 pm
by smurf12345
TimLee wrote:Very helpful.
With root access it should be possible to have the Blink unit use WIFI to log charging session data back to a computer in your house, like Blink had been doing with their servers that provided Internet access to the data.
Is that your intent and plan?
Yep. I would like to show real time kWh usage during the charging session and then log that to db or flat file. Also, I thought it would be cool to be able to do some demand usage where I could stop charging or decrease amperage if my home is using a lot of energy. I have a Ted5000 whole house meter and thought it would I could poll that.

Maybe I could make it a nice streaming audio player for the garage :). there are lots of fun possibilities if I ever get the time or even smart enough to do it.

Re: How-To: Enable SSH and root access (orginal Blink EVSE)

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:51 pm
by ka9q
I thought about doing this back when my warranty expired, but I couldn't think of a single useful thing to do with the control computer. Really, I couldn't. (I have a separate device speaking ZigBee to my electric meter, so I can easily monitor our net power draw that way. And it never crashes and turns off power to our house.)

So I just disconnected the damn thing. Inside the EVSE, I unplugged the cable running between the control computer and the J1772 control board, and also the DC power to the control computer.

The screen is now dark and the EVSE is no longer on the net, of course, but it still does all I really need it to do: charge my car. RELIABLY, without those $#@!! self-test failures and pink screens of death. It even starts charging faster than before, and it hasn't failed to do so once in the nearly two years since I did this.