This page details ways to connect to the serial port on the QNAP Turbostation series of devices. Both the TS101 and TS201 have a 2x3 pin connector located behind LED 1 on the HDD side of the board. The pin outs are shown on the figure and labelled below


150px Click to enlarge

3.3V GND
N/C Tx
N/C Rx

NOTE: This is a 3.3V TTL 232 communication protocol - you should level shift the cable so that a PC can see 5V TTL. There are a variety of ways to do this - most are documented at the nslu2-linux website. Use a Serial Console and Adding a serial port.

The easiest method is to purchase a FTDI USB TTL-232R-3V3 cable (e.g. here, or through international distributors). This enables a host machine to connect to the turbostation via a USB connection and interact directly with the U-Boot Bootloader. You could however use a level shifter (e.g. Maxim 3232) to enable the serial port to power other RS232 based devices.

Host to Turbostation Cabling

The FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 cable comes with a 6x1 0.1" female connector which needs to be connected to a 1mm pitch female connector. The easiest approach is to carefully remove the existing pins using a small knife or screwdriver to carefully lift the little black flap, and remove the pin. A small piece of wire can then be used to connect the two female plugs together. Note it is sensible to use a insluating cable around the bare plugs to remove the problem of short circuits.


USB FT TTL 232R 3V3 cable connected to serial port on TS-101

Based on current FTDI colour coding and naming conventions the following setup works

3.3V Red GND Black (GND)
N/C Tx Yellow (Rx)
N/C Rx Orange (Tx)

Host to Turbostation Communication

Windows XP Users


Inserting the FTDI cable into the USB socket should autostart the 'New Hardware Detected Wizard' - and all drivers should auto-install. Check which COM port is valid by going to Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager. Under Ports (COM & LPT) you should see USB Serial Port (COMx). In most cases it will probably appear as COM4.


Hyperterminal (Programs->Accessories->Communication->Hyperterminal) provides an adequate terminal so long as you don't try and scroll backwards which seems to cause corruption of the display.

Set up a new session (e.g. called QNAP) with Baud 115200; and select the default settings. You are now connected to your Turbostation; rebooting should produce the standard console output.

To get around the scrolling problem it is best to capture all sessions to a file 'just in case'. There is a Capture Text option under the Transfer menu.


The version of kermit built into Hyperterminal is compatible with the U-Boot loadb command. After entering the command select 'Transfer->Send File', provide the filename (using browse) and ensure the transfer protocol is 'Kermit'.

Linux Users


There is a driver already built in to the 2.6 kernel and after plugging in the cable you should find that you have a /dev/ttyUSB0 device connected to your Turbostation.


Minicom works fine as a serial console. Run minicom -s and under serial port setup select device: /dev/ttyUSB0, Bps/par: 115200 8N1, and software flow control. Save as the default settings for convenience. After a restart run minicom -o and you should be able to access the serial console on the Turbostation. Depending upon permissions you may need to do one or both steps as root.


To enable kermit from within minicom so that files can be uploaded to U-Boot, it is necessary to install a compatible kermit implementation. Download gkermit and install. Then edit the file '/etc/minirc.dfl' as follows:

pu pname7 YUNYNkermit
pu pname8 NDNYNkermit
pu pprog7 /usr/bin/gkermit -iXs
pu pprog8 /usr/bin/gkermit -iXr

You can now send a file to U-Boot (in response to a loadb command) by choosing the Send file command within minicom, selecting kermit and then choosing the required file. Note: don't use 'run kermit' as this is incompatible with U-Boot.

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