Bringing internet wirelessly to a Palm m100


After connecting a microcontroller to a Palm m100, there was the idea to bring some bits on the Palm via the microcontroller's Wi-Fi interface.

The m100 can "talk" PPP, so the most ideal solution would be a PPP-Server on the D1 mini.

There a some projects on GitHub, which does this in some way, but I wasn't able to get any of these running:

Maybe I can dig in the future in one of these projects and modify them, so I can access directly from the Palm over the D1 mini the internet, but for now I was looking for an easier solution.

But instead of overthinking everything, I got from a discord-user the advice to go a few steps back and begin small.

A wired internet connection for the Palm m100

So the new goal was to bring the m100 online via a wired serial connection to a Linux machine.

This isn't hard, since you need only a few commands. I did this on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, but it should work on any other distribution in the same or in a similar way:

First, the name of the Ethernet device and the local ip needs to be known.

For this, the output of

ifconfig -a is helpful, which looks like this:

user@thinkCentre:~$ ifconfig -a enp0s31f6: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500 inet netmask broadcast ether 60:20:99:0a:d5:90 txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet) RX packets 659970 bytes 774014055 (774.0 MB) RX errors 0 dropped 5278 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 213892 bytes 32920680 (32.9 MB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0 device interrupt 17 memory 0xf7100000-f7120000 lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING> mtu 65536 inet netmask inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10<host> loop txqueuelen 1000 (Lokale Schleife) RX packets 5316 bytes 595665 (595.6 KB) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 5316 bytes 595665 (595.6 KB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

Since I don't have Wi-Fi or any other related interfaces on my machine, it was relatively easy to identify the right one:


But even with more interfaces, there should only be one with a IPv4 inet address.

The needed local address is in my case:

This script executes the required iptables-commands and at the end the actual pppd-command, which establishes the connection to the m100:

#!/bin/bash echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward iptables -A INPUT ! -i enp0s31f6 -j ACCEPT iptables -A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o enp0s31f6 -j MASQUERADE /usr/sbin/pppd ttyUSB0 9600 local noauth ms-dns passive updetach asyncmap 0

In the first second and fourth iptables-command, the interface-name ("enp0s31f6") needs to be replaced.

Also in the pppd-command all ip-addresses need to be replaced:

"ttyUSB0" is the interface from the Linux machine to the Palm. I used a serial-to-usb-cable, so it shows in

sudo dmesg up as "ttyUSB0", after the adapter was plugged into the PC:

[ 7501.198317] usb 1-1.3: new full-speed USB device number 8 using xhci_hcd [ 7501.403471] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=067b, idProduct=2303, bcdDevice= 4.00 [ 7501.403484] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0 [ 7501.403489] usb 1-1.3: Product: USB-Serial Controller D [ 7501.403494] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Prolific Technology Inc. [ 7501.478405] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial_generic [ 7501.478430] usbserial: USB Serial support registered for generic [ 7501.482783] usbcore: registered new interface driver pl2303 [ 7501.482809] usbserial: USB Serial support registered for pl2303 [ 7501.482853] pl2303 1-1.3:1.0: pl2303 converter detected [ 7501.484300] usb 1-1.3: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0 [ 7502.117843] kauditd_printk_skb: 86 callbacks suppressed

(Second line from bottom, shows the needed port name, "ttyUSB0".)

When the script is running, it is waiting for a connection:

user@thinkCentre:~/Desktop$ sudo bash Using interface ppp0 Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/ttyUSB0

But before a connection can be established, some configuration needs to be done on the m100.

First, in "Preferences", "Connection" needs to be selected:

Here, we need to add a new configuration as shown:

The name can be anything, but in "Details..." the Speed needs to be set to "9.600 bps". It is possible to use more when using a wire, but later we are stuck to 9600 bps.

At the end, it should look like this:

Next, "Network" needs to be selected in the Preferences-Menu:

The "Service name can be altered to anything. The User Name is blank and Password needs to be shown "-Prompt-". Connection, the last point, is our newly created configuration:

The (Network-)"Details..." looks like this:

And the "Script..." is just "End:":

Now, everything is set up. The m100 is connected via the serial cabled to the Linux machine via s serial-to-usb-adapter-cable, "" is running and shows "Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/ttyUSB0".

After hitting "Connect", the connection will be established, like shown here:

When it is established, a few pixels should flash in the right upper corner of the m100 and the "Connect"-Button shows now "Disconnect":

The connection was successful and "Xiino" or "EudoraWeb" can be used to surf in the interet. But beware of two facts:

A wireless internet connection for the Palm m100

The next step was to replace the serial cable with a wireless solution, which should look like this:

Palm (Serial) <=> ESP8266 <=> Wi-Fi <=> Router <=> Wi-Fi <=> ESP8266 <=> Serial-USB-Adapter <=> Linux-Machine with pppd

Like written before: this isn't the most optimal/elegant solution, but is a solution to bring internet wirelessly to the Palm m100.

It requires a pppd-server, which is always on, when the m100 wants to go online. But since it can be running on a Raspberry Pi, it is acceptable.

Since the Palm is already configured for an internet connection, and also the pppd is running, we need "just" to replace the serial cable.

On the Palm-side the already installed D1 minis is used for the serial-to-Wi-Fi-bridge and on the other side, an ESP8266 (NodeMCU V3) is used, for the Wi-Fi-to-serial-bridge.

So just the code for the D1 mini on the m100 (secondary) and the ESP8266, which will be connected to the Linux machine (main) is needed.

The code for the ESP8266 looks like this:

#include <ESP8266WiFi.h> #include <WiFiClient.h> const char *ssid = "MySSID"; const char *pw = "MySecurePassword"; #define BAUDRATE 9600 #define TCP_PORT 8880 WiFiServer server(TCP_PORT); WiFiClient tcpClient; uint16_t dataCounter = 0; int roundCounterS = 0; int roundCounterT = 0; void setup() { delay(500); Serial.begin(BAUDRATE); WiFi.mode(WIFI_STA); WiFi.begin(ssid, pw); while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) { delay(500); } server.begin(); // start TCP server server.setNoDelay(true); } void loop() { if(!server.hasClient() && !tcpClient.connected()){ while(!server.hasClient()) { delay(1000); // We need to wait, until the client has connected } if (tcpClient && tcpClient.connected()) { tcpClient.stop(); } tcpClient = server.available(); } yield(); while(tcpClient.available()) { Serial.write(; } yield(); while(Serial.available()) { tcpClient.write(; } yield(); }

The sequence is quite simple:

  1. A Wi-Fi connection will be established
  2. A TCP Server will wait for a client (the m100) to connect
  3. When the client is conneted, the TCP server simply reads all data from the TCP connection and writes it to the serial connection ...
  4. ... then the data from the serial connection is written to the TCP connection.

Since the ESP8266 has only one CPU-core, eveything incl. Wi-Fi is done by it. If the Code takes to much CPU-time in one steap, the ESP866 can crash. The "delay()" or "yield()" call gives some time to the other compents and the ESP8266 will not crash.

The code can be uploaded to a ESP8266 (in my case a NodeMCU V3) and connected to the Linux machine, which runs "pppd" (via the bash script from above). It should be ensured that the ESP8266 is connected as "ttyUSB0", or the bash script must be changed to the correct USB-Port-name.

(The ESP8266 is first connected to the Linux machine, then the bash script is started.)

The IP address of the ESP8266 is needed, which should be found in the router where the ESP8266 is connected to. In my case, it is the ""

The script for the D1 mini looks quite similar:

#include <ESP8266WiFi.h> #include <SSD1306.h> #include "SoftwareSerial.h" #include <WiFiClient.h> const char *ssid = "MySSID"; const char *pw = "MySecurePassword"; #define BAUDRATE 9600 #define TCP_PORT 8880 WiFiClient tcpClient; IPAddress master(192,168,0,111); // IP of the Main-Device SSD1306 display(0x3C, D2, D1); SoftwareSerial softSerial(D4, D3); // RX, TX void setup() { delay(500); display.init(); display.clear(); display.flipScreenVertically(); softSerial.begin(BAUDRATE); display.drawString(0, 0, "Starting Wifi"); display.display(); WiFi.mode(WIFI_STA); WiFi.begin(ssid, pw); while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) { delay(500); } display.drawString(0, 15, "Setup OK"); display.display(); } void loop() { if(!tcpClient.connected()){ display.drawString(0, 30, "Looking for a Sever"); display.display(); while (!tcpClient.connect(master, TCP_PORT)) { delay(100); } display.drawString(0, 45, "Sever-Connection OK"); display.display(); delay(2000); display.clear(); display.display(); display.drawString(0, 0, "Data transmission ongoing..."); display.display(); } yield(); while(tcpClient.available()) { int tb =; softSerial.write(tb); } yield(); while(softSerial.available()) { int sb =; tcpClient.write(sb); } yield(); }

The sequence is very similar to the one for the ESp8266:

  1. A Wi-Fi connection will be established
  2. A TCP Server connects to the ESP8266
  3. When connection to the ESP8266 was successful, the TCP server simply reads all data from the TCP connection and writes it to the serial connection ...
  4. ... then the data from the serial connection is written to the TCP connection.

Since no flow control is used, the maximum bit rate is limited to 9600 bits/s. I have already added some wires to the CTS, RTS and DTR pins of the m100 to improve this project. But currently I have no time for this, and I'm happy, that it is running with 9600bit/s (around 1KB/s).

Here is m100 in action with a wireless page load of

(Video is without sound.)