I contacted some people who received the device and posted a review/tutorial, they gave me some information, and I successfully flash a clean Linux system with pre-installed drivers and utility software into iHost.
Note: DO NOT do this to your iHost if you’re not a developer, once you have flashed in a third-party firmware, you will not be able to go back.
Here’s my process:
Use a type-c cable to connect iHost to your PC
(keep the Ethernet cable on iHost connected to your router, now the PC powers up the iHost)
Enter MaskROM mode
In the eWeLink app go to iHost, choose the … menu in upper right corner (device settings).
Tap on device-id for 7 times. You’ll see the MaskROM mode entrance.
Once enabled, you will see the LED indicators turn green.
Love it. Thanks! I got the iHost to
a.) play around a bit and then
b.) set up a basic Smart Home environment for a friend (preferably Home Assistant)
And since I am a user, not a developer, I am a bit reluctant to experiment with the device and permanently close the door for future updates of this system. But I am very interested and will follow this closely. And if another Linux distribution turns out to be the better platform for a working HA environment, I will gladly follow.
Does the “Download” tab of the Rockchip tool download the installed firmware of the iHost to your PC?If so then this can be a great way to backup the original firmware and to be able to revert to the original firmware when needed. Can someone confirm that this indeed can be performed succesfully?
Unfortunately I cannot confirm or deny anything - I can just assume:
You might be able to reinstall the original firmware, but enabling MaskROM probably sets a flag for the iHost and it won’'t be elligible for future updates. At least that is what happens with the NSPanel Pro. You can enable adb and then sideload Android apps.
Afterwards you can no longer receive OTA updates. (However, you could install releases manually, if you can get hold of them).
I have the problem with my Nspanel Pro . I have ADB turned on and now couldn’t get OTA upgrades. My NsPanel has firmware v1.4.0 but I have second one with firmware v1.8.0
How it is possible upgrade my old firmware with ADB switched on??
How I can do this manually