Silverjaw Hardware Setup



The following describes how to physically connect the Silverjaw Lure to the Minnowboard Max using the standoffs included with the Silverjaw, insert an mSATA harddrive and connect the Minnowboard Max to a host Linux computer. Completing these steps will ready the Minnowboard Max for installation of a Linux distribution to the mSATA drive.

Connecting the Silverjaw to the Minnowboard Max

The Silverjaw Lure connects to the Minnowboard Max using the high speed connector 60-pin header on the bottom of the Minnowboard. To connect the Silverjaw to the Minnowboard, hold the Minnowboard in one hand and the SIlverjaw in your other hand. Carefully align the Silverjaw’s 60-pin male header with the 60-pin female header on the bottom of the Minnowboard and gently push them together. Note that you could also lay the Silverjaw face down and mate the headers from above by pushing the Minnowboard down into the Silverjaw’s header, however, this has the potential to bend the mSATA and mPCIe port’s metal tabs that secure cards in place, so it’s not recommended. Here are photos of the Silverjaw pre-insertion and post-insertion:

With the Silverjaw connected to the Minnowboard Max secure it with the standoffs provided with the Silverjaw. You should have 4 standoffs, 4 spacers, and 4 screws:

This step can be a little tricky to align the spacers with the mounting holes on both boards while inserting the screws. An easy way to do this is as follows:

  • Stand the paired boards on end and gently insert a spacer between the two boards aligning it with the board’s mounting holes as closely as possible. To do this, gently pinch the boards together with your free hand.
  • While continuing to pinch the boards together, insert a screw from the Minnowboard side of the boards through the Minnow, the spacer, and the Silverjaw.
  • Place a finger over the head of the screw to keep it from pushing back through the boards while carefully screwing a standoff onto the Silverjaw side of the boards.

NOTE: Others find it easier to insert the spacers between the boards with the boards laying horizontal. Although this method is possible, you will run the risk of bending the metal latches on the Silverjaw if you put too much downward pressure on the boards.

Connecting a mSATA Hard Drive to the Silverjaw

With the Silverjaw connected securely to the Minnowboard, proceed to connect a mSATA hard drive to the Silverjaw Lure. The following describes one way to connect a mSATA drive to the Silverjaw. Other methods may be more comfortable for certain users. Be certain not to put to much pressure on the top or bottom board surfaces to avoid potentially damaging components.

  • Holding the Minnowboard in one hand, carefully insert a mSATA hard drive into the expansion slot on the Silverjaw labeled “mSATA” at a 45 degree angle.
  • Using your thumbs, press gently just below the mounting holes on the mSATA card bringing the card in contact with the two metal latches on the Silverjaw. Push firmly enough that the latches click over the mSATA card to hold it in place.
  • If connected properly a side view of both boards and the mSATA card will look like the following image:

Connecting the Minnowboard Max Peripheral Hardware

With the mSATA hard drive installed in the Silverjaw Lure and the Silverjaw connected to the Minnowbaord Max, proceed to connect any peripherals you may have to the Minnowboard Max as follows:

  • Connect a HDMI monitor to the Minnowboard Max via a micro-HDMI cable.
  • Connect a network cable to the Minnowboard Max ethernet port.
  • Connect a USB Hub to a USB port on the Minnowboard Max. If you’re not using a USB Hub but are using a USB keyboard and mouse, plug the keyboard and mouse into the USB ports on the Minnowboard Max. Note that a USB Hub is recommended as it provides more USB ports than found on the Minnowboard.
  • Connect the Serial Cable to the Minnowboard Max 6-Wire Serial Console Port and connect the other end of the Serial Cable to an open USB port on your host computer. Note the position of the black wire of the Serial Cable and match it to pin 1 on the Minnow. Pin 1 should be indicated by a ‘1’ written directly on the board.

First Boot and mSATA Card Detection Verification

The following assumes that a mSATA Hard Drive is properly inserted into the Silverjaw Lure, the Silverjaw is connected to the Minnowboard Max, all peripheral hardware is connected to the Minnowboard Max, and the Serial Cable is connected to a host Linux computer via a USB port.

  • This procedure utilizes the GNU Screen program. Verify that screen is installed on your host computer with the following command:
$which screen

If screen is installed, you will see the location of the screen binary executable similar to or exactly like:


If you do not see a location for the screen binary, you’ll have to install screen using your systems package manager. This is beyond the scope of these procedures, but a quick search using google for your distribution will help.

  • Assuming you have screen installed, open a Terminal on your Linux host and enter the following command:
$sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

You should see a blank, black terminal window with no output at all. What we just did was tell screen to listen on the ttyUSB0 port at a speed of 115200 baud.

  • Now apply power to the Minnowboard Max. Do this by connecting the barrel connector of the power adapter to the Minnowboard Max’s power connector:
  • You should see some activity in the blank Terminal window on your Linux host computer. It will look like:

Additional Resources

For a detailed description of the High Speed Expansion port, please see the following wiki page: High Speed Expansion

Next Steps

At this point you can proceed to install an operating system to the mSATA hard drive in the Silverjaw.

See Installing Linux to the mSATA Harddrive

Installing Linux to the mSATA Harddrive

Given that the Minnowboard MAX is very similar to a regular PC, installing Linux is also quite similar.

For additional information and alternate distributions, please see MinnowMaxDistros on the wiki.

Installing Debian From a USB Flash Drive

This method requires a USB Flash Drive large enough to store the bootable Debian netinst image. The Debian 8.0 amd64 image is about 260MB.

Download the Debian Image

Current Debian installation images can be downloaded directly from []. For the Minnowboard MAX download the AMD64 netinst image.

Copy the Image to your USB Flash Drive

Plug the USB Flash Drive into you Linux computer and determine the device assignment using the


command. The device assignment will be described last in the dmesg output.

For example:

[2464385.576471] usb 1-1.1.2: new high-speed USB device number 16 using ehci-pci
[2464385.671593] usb 1-1.1.2: New USB device found, idVendor=090c, idProduct=1000
[2464385.671596] usb 1-1.1.2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[2464385.671597] usb 1-1.1.2: Product: USB DISK
[2464385.671599] usb 1-1.1.2: Manufacturer: SMI Corporation
[2464385.671600] usb 1-1.1.2: SerialNumber: AA04012700008630
[2464385.672000] usb-storage 1-1.1.2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[2464385.672173] scsi15 : usb-storage 1-1.1.2:1.0
[2464387.193242] scsi 15:0:0:0: Direct-Access     FLASH    Drive SM_USB20   1100 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
[2464387.193444] sd 15:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
[2464387.195603] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] 3915776 512-byte logical blocks: (2.00 GB/1.86 GiB)
[2464387.196479] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[2464387.196483] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
[2464387.197477] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.197480] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.201858] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.201860] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.202858]  sdd: sdd1 sdd2
[2464387.205852] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] No Caching mode page found
[2464387.205856] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[2464387.205859] sd 15:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk
[2464387.385349] ISO 9660 Extensions: Microsoft Joliet Level 3
[2464387.386348] ISO 9660 Extensions: RRIP_1991A

In this case, the Linux operating system has assigned the device as sdd.

Using the dd utility, copy the AMD64 netinst Debian image to the USB Flash Drive:

$ dd bs=4M if=Downloads/debian-8.0.0-amd64-netinst.iso of=/dev/sdd
61+1 records in
61+1 records out
257949696 bytes (258 MB) copied, 0.158209 s, 1.6 GB/s

And to unsure all copying is complete, do a sync.


Boot Minnowboard MAX with USB Flash Drive

Remove the power cable from the Minnowboard MAX if the board is currently powered. Insert the USB Flash Drive built in the steps above into a USB slot on the Minnowboard MAX. Assuming the USB Flash Drive is a USB2 device, insert it into the USB2 slot (the top one) on the Minnowboard MAX. Insert the power cable to boot the Minnowboard MAX. Depending on the boot order in the MAX’s bios, you may or may not boot directly to the UEFI shell. If the MAX boots directly from the USB Flash Drive, select Graphical Install from the choices provided on the screen.

If the MAX boots to an UEFI Shell, you can start installation from the USB Flash Drive with the following:


Choose Graphical Install and proceed through the Debian installation steps. At the “Partition Disks” step, you should see 2 choices similar to the following:

   SCSI2(0,0,0) (sda) - 128.0 GB ATA ADATA SP310
   SCSI3(0,0,0) (sdb) - 2.0 GB FLASH Drive SM_USB20

These choices are specific to the type of mSATA hard drive installed in the Silverjaw and the type of USB Flash Drive. In this case, we want to choose the 128.0 GB ATA drive which is the hard drive in the Silverjaw.

Following the completion of the Debian installation to the mSATA drive, remove the USB Flash Drive and reboot. The Minnowboard MAX will reboot directly to the Debian installation on the mSATA drive.

Next Steps

At this point, if you have a mCPIe wireless card you can proceed to:

Configuring the mPCIe Wireless Card

Configuring the mPCIe Wireless Card

These steps describe the installation and configuration of a mPCIe wireless card installed in the Silverjaw. This Linux distribution used is Debian 8.0.

Hardware Installation

The specific mPCIe wireless care used is an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC7260 care.

As this is a half-sized card, a mPCIe Extender Bracket should be used. Attach the extender bracket to the card and install the card in the Silverjaw. Insert the card at a 45 degree angle gently and push down to secure the card to the board. Here is the card installed in the Silverjaw.


These steps assume a keyboard, monitor and mouse are attached to the Minnowboard MAX.




General Information

The Silverjaw Lure, designed by TinCanTools is an mSATA+mPCIe dual-port MinnowboardMax extension board.



  • Features:
    • Dual mPCIE and mSATA sockets
    • supports half-size and full-size cards
    • Boot from a memory card in the mSATA socket
    • efficient switching power supplies
    • same footprint as the Minnowboard Max

Reference Material

Design Files