25$ TV Box running Armbian "out of the box"


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Hi,

 

I successfuly use Armbian on a beelink TV box but I can't install it on eMMC/NAND. So running out of the SDcard will eventually end up crashing .

So I'm Looking for a cheap / realiable / no hassle TV Box to replace it.

 

So what box would you recommend, around 25$ budget, which works fine "out of the box" to install armbian

When answering please tell which dtb you are using with your box.

 

Thanks.

 

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19 minutes ago, funben said:

Hi,

 

I successfuly use Armbian on a beelink TV box but I can't install it on eMMC/NAND. So running out of the SDcard will eventually end up crashing .

So I'm Looking for a cheap / realiable / no hassle TV Box to replace it.

 

So what box would you recommend, around 25$ budget, which works fine "out of the box" to install armbian

When answering please tell which dtb you are using with your box.

 

Thanks.

 

You probably need to be more specific about your requirements.  What features do you need working and what are you planning on using it for. 

I have 4 TX3 Mini 2gb/16gb boxes (the version without the display).  I use two of them for servers, a third to test with and the fourth I use the original android firmware to run a digital display.  These can be found for $25 or less (for example https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000537589239.html).  I use the meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb file.  Ethernet and hdmi work but no wifi or bluetooth.  This box at this price point is on the low end, so don't expect to watch 1080p video, but for light web browsing it works fine.  Now the problem I have.  On two of the boxes I have installed to internal emmc and everything works fine.  However the last two boxes I bought, don't have emmc.  Instead they have internal cheap nand which can't be accessed.  There is nothing about these two nand boxes that indicate they aren't what they are advertised to be, until you open them up and look at the chips that exist on the board.  When you are looking for cheap, there are a lot of vendors that sell knockoffs that look like the real thing but come with substandard components in order to cut costs.  Buyer beware.

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On 4/15/2020 at 4:27 PM, SteeMan said:

You probably need to be more specific about your requirements.  What features do you need working and what are you planning on using it for. 

I have 4 TX3 Mini 2gb/16gb boxes (the version without the display).  I use two of them for servers, a third to test with and the fourth I use the original android firmware to run a digital display.  These can be found for $25 or less (for example https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000537589239.html).  I use the meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb file.  Ethernet and hdmi work but no wifi or bluetooth.  This box at this price point is on the low end, so don't expect to watch 1080p video, but for light web browsing it works fine.  Now the problem I have.  On two of the boxes I have installed to internal emmc and everything works fine.  However the last two boxes I bought, don't have emmc.  Instead they have internal cheap nand which can't be accessed.  There is nothing about these two nand boxes that indicate they aren't what they are advertised to be, until you open them up and look at the chips that exist on the board.  When you are looking for cheap, there are a lot of vendors that sell knockoffs that look like the real thing but come with substandard components in order to cut costs.  Buyer beware.

Hello Steeman,

Any idea for a box around $25-30 to install Armbian on the eMMC.

Because, I have understood that on the last version of the TX3 Mini, It was no more possible (Nand instead of eMMC).

 

Thanks

 

Edited by Armin
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15 hours ago, Armin said:

Hello Steeman,

Any idea for a box around $25-30 to install Armbian on the eMMC.

It is difficult to provide you any specific answer as there are too many factors that go into the answer to your question.  Price is only one factor.  Performance (CPU speed, number of cores, amount of ram, ...), working features (i.e. do you need working wifi, bluetooth, video, 1000mb ethernet, ...).  What are you planning on using the box for:  headless server, desktop, watch 1080p video, ...

The only two factors you have listed so far are price and working emmc, but there are so many others.

Given that there are probably a hundred different boxes out there with various combinations of all of the above factors, and I only own 4 different boxes, I have a very limited set of information to give you.  Having said that, of the boxes I own, the s905x3 2gb/16gb based TX3 can be found on aliexpress for about $25.  I own the 4gb/32gb version as I want the higher level of ram but I run the latest versions of balbes150's builds on the box in emmc.  This box does not have working wifi, bluetooth nor does it have 1000gb ethernet.

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1 hour ago, SteeMan said:

It is difficult to provide you any specific answer as there are too many factors that go into the answer to your question.  Price is only one factor.  Performance (CPU speed, number of cores, amount of ram, ...), working features (i.e. do you need working wifi, bluetooth, video, 1000mb ethernet, ...).  What are you planning on using the box for:  headless server, desktop, watch 1080p video, ...

The only two factors you have listed so far are price and working emmc, but there are so many others.

Given that there are probably a hundred different boxes out there with various combinations of all of the above factors, and I only own 4 different boxes, I have a very limited set of information to give you.  Having said that, of the boxes I own, the s905x3 2gb/16gb based TX3 can be found on aliexpress for about $25.  I own the 4gb/32gb version as I want the higher level of ram but I run the latest versions of balbes150's builds on the box in emmc.  This box does not have working wifi, bluetooth nor does it have 1000gb ethernet.

 

Thanks for your answer.

 

I just need Ethernet and USB (so, BT and WIFI issue is not a problem). I want to create a "domotic" server (https://www.jeedom.com/site/en/ or https://www.domoticz.com/wiki/About_Domoticz) but the price of Odroid C2 is higher than $100 and I think that Box TV with Armbian can be a good alternative to test "domotic" (automation)

 

Therefore, your 4gb/32gb version can be a best solution. Do you have a link to purchase it ?

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

Edited by Armin
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@Armin

if you need just something such small, you may find nanopi or orange pi boards. Some small models are pretty cheap (<10$) and well supported by armbian. Tv boxes have no exposed GPIOs, which can instead be very useful for domotic applications.

For example, I have an old Orange PI One (Allwinner H3) which has ethernet, 1 USB port, 512mb of ram and some exposed GPIO. I paid less than 10$ some year ago. I guess now you can get something similar with wifi too at the same price.

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@jock

Thanks for your feedback.

 

I have checked and the Orange Pi Lite (CPU 1.2Ghz and 512Mo RAM) + box + power-supply is around 25€ and there is no eMMC, only SD card storage (weakless for domotic system).

 

But your point for GPIOs is heardable, even if for the moment, I just need to communicate and drive my Nest thermostat !

Edited by Armin
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