Banana Pi Zero
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Hi all, this is my first posting although I've been following armbian for some time. Hopefully this is the right forum area...

 

Does anyone know the availability (or otherwise!) and cost of the Banana Pi Zero? It looks like a board clone of the Pi Zero W but with a different processor. Secondly will/does armbian support it assuming it is available?

I have a project using the Pi Zero W but of course they are only available in one off quantities.

Cliff

 

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12 minutes ago, CliffB said:

Secondly will/does armbian support it assuming it is available?

No support currently. Unofficial/community support in the future may be possible, but it depends on the vendor providing complete and correct documentation (I'm sure @tkaiser will write something since this is the first thread here discussing this board).

 

18 minutes ago, CliffB said:

It looks like a board clone of the Pi Zero W but with a different processor.

The only similarity is the form factor.

 

19 minutes ago, CliffB said:

I have a project using the Pi Zero W but of course they are only available in one off quantities.

And if your project is multimedia oriented (i.e. using HDMI display or CSI camera) I would strongly recommend staying with the Raspberries.

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56 minutes ago, zador.blood.stained said:

(i.e. using HDMI display or CSI camera) I

Just to note BananaPi Zero has mini HDMI and CSI camera.

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1 minute ago, @lex said:

Just to note BananaPi Zero has mini HDMI and CSI camera.

Yes, it's obvious from the pictures, I was talking more about the interface, not about the connector type.

And it doesn't have a camera, only a CSI port with unknown compatibility with existing CSI cameras.

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23 hours ago, CliffB said:

It looks like a board clone of the Pi Zero W but with a different processor.

 

It's totally incompatible to any Raspberry or any other of these Bananas following the same stupid naming scheme: https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/2884-the-new-banana-pi-m2-ultra/&page=2#comment-35842

 

Just click on the link at the bottom of this page to see why ignorance and stupidity might be a real problem when dealing with specific board makers: http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/banana-pi-bpi-m2-zero-quad-core-singel-board-computer-with-allwinner-h2-chip-design/3532

 

21 hours ago, @lex said:

Just to note BananaPi Zero has mini HDMI and CSI camera

 

 

CSI connector is incompatible to RPi cameras, HDMI is a joke since those crappy Banana software offerings all rely on an unpatched 3.4 Android kernel only supporting a few 16:9 HDMI resolutions, not EDID capable (so no display resolution/capabilities detection) and no way to force custom HDMI resolutions by editing /boot/config.txt. This is just the try to cash in on confused customers thinking they would get something compatible to RPi Zero W.

 

Edit: Oh, they managed to take our work and ship with our 3.4.113 kernel most probably allowing for a few more HDMI resolutions. Here you find all information available to adjust display resolution: https://bananapi.gitbooks.io/bpi-m2-/content/en/bpi-m2-zero-hardware/bpi-m2-zero-mini-hdmi-interfact.html

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

For the record my project isn't multimedia based, it simply needs a stable (reliable!) armbian (or whatever) headless environment with wifi connectivity, SPI and GPIO. I would stick with the PI Zero W if it were possible to buy them in quantities greater than one at a time and yes, I know the risks of using a PI Zero (W) rather than a PI Compute module etc. I'm not looking for huge quantities, even five at a time would be a start. Hence the BPI-Zero would be attractive if it provided the same header interface assuming the relevant drivers isolate the hardware from my application.

 

From tkaiser's comments, and having fought the BPI-R1 (please don't reopen the debates about it, I'm trying to forget how much time was wasted before I dumped it), I think it's probably best I give the BPI-Zero a miss, at least for now.

I have seen and considered the Orange PI Zero (Plus 2) but recent postings about hardware v1.4 having heat issues and earlier versions have flaky wifi devices steered me away from it. The Nano Neo Air is something I have considered assuming the wifi is stable now (think that's been the case for some time) however comments on the armbian download page such as

  • ‘Out of memory’ (OOM) issues are possible due to a kernel bug

do not full me with confidence about stability.


If someone can persuade me that the Nano Neo Air is stable I'll alter my PCB design to support it as well as the Pi Zero W

 

You guys do a great job with supporting these various boards so a thanks from me for that at least.

 

Edited by CliffB
Additional comments

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On 28.07.2017 at 6:47 PM, CliffB said:

I have seen and considered the Orange PI Zero (Plus 2) but recent postings about hardware v1.4 having heat issues and earlier versions have flaky wifi devices steered me away from it.

Rev. 1.4 problems are related only to the first Zero (one with the Ethernet and Xradio wireless), Zero Plus 2 has better wireless and shouldn't have any serious overheating issues.

 

On 28.07.2017 at 6:47 PM, CliffB said:

‘Out of memory’ (OOM) issues are possible due to a kernel bug

This applies to all H2+ and H3 devices - quality of the legacy kernel is not the best, and mainline will be much more stable.

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8 minutes ago, CliffB said:

I have seen and considered the Orange PI Zero (Plus 2) but recent postings about hardware v1.4 having heat issues and earlier versions have flaky wifi devices steered me away from it.

 

Huh? Is OPi Zero Plus 2 also affected by 'heat issues' (which according to Xunlong are just different thermal calibration issues -- no idea since not having an OPi Zero 1.4 around. Also 'Wi-Fi' issues should be fixed by the hardware change on PCB rev 1.4 -- no idea since... no one is testing this for reasons unknown to me).

 

NanoPi Air as well as OPi Zero Plus 2 both feature AP6212A Wi-Fi which works pretty nice also with mainline kernel (maybe a 'firmware fix' -- renaming a file -- needed). And I found Wi-Fi on OPi Lite relatively performant (given it's 1T1R 2.4GHz Wi-Fi).

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I didn't realise that the heat issue was related to the original OPI Zero but having re-read the posting I see that it was. I did see the thread regarding the change from AP6212 to AP6212A however and the comments in this thread have put my mind at rest. High speed connectivity isn't required for my unit but stability is. The links to the tests indicate that wifi perfomance is more than adequate.  I shall go with the OPI-Zero Plus 2 for the moment and change the design to suit. Thanks again for the comments.

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5 minutes ago, CliffB said:

High speed connectivity isn't required for my unit but stability is.

 

So the original OPi Zero for $7 is an option. I would wait what's reported here https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/4805-the-dogafu-experiment-ds18b20-unreliable-sd-card-power-source/#comment-36433 or simply order one anyway.

 

BTW: I can't really comment on the OOM issue with legacy kernel for H3 but when I set up an official Armbian torrent seeder months ago I chose an Orange Pi Zero with 256 MB running with legacy kernel to see whether I run into any issues. Power consumption is below 700mW (yes, mW not mA) and memory footprint of this task is pretty low: http://sprunge.us/KLHN (check the bottom for 'free' output. Uptime is only 4 days since OPi Zero is powered by an USB port of my router and when I restart the router the Zero gets power cycled too)

 

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7 hours ago, tkaiser said:

Also 'Wi-Fi' issues should be fixed by the hardware change on PCB rev 1.4 -- no idea since... no one is testing this for reasons unknown to me).

Since there's some interest in stability of the wlan on OPi rev 1.4, I decided to run the experiment some days with the reliable SD-Card & powering to see how it performs. Added a pingtest every 20 seconds for you. :P

597bcc69c0ef8_pingcount.jpg.962e85000e077f548d72c8e4dcae8d72.jpg

 

 

Edited by chwe
added a counter (4 not connected comes from a planed reboot)

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chwe's test should yield useful information although it's on a sample of one unit of course.

I don't want to use the OPI-Zero original as I intend running from onboard eMMC but since the price is so low anyway I may order a couple. I have already stepped off the fence and ordered two of the OPi Zero Plus 2 boards. I'm more comforted that at least there are a range of OPi boards with similar footprints. Having looked into my current PCB design I noticed that the pin layout for the OPi is different from the Pi Zero W in that odd number pins are on the edge of the PCB rather than it being the even numbered pins like the Pi Zero W. This doesn't make any difference electrically, just mechanically so I'm redoing my CAD in any case. it's no big deal to change it before boards are made. I note that the Nano Neo Air has the pins physically arranged as per the Pi Zero W. I'll try and allow for a Neo Air to be a pluggable option as well albeit with the PCB extending the other way over the main board.

The low current consumption of the original OPi-Zero is attractive as is a network port but since it's relatively easy to just install and configure an OS using an SD card and then move it to eMMC I'd rather have the option of an HDMI socket as it opens up other possibilities in the future.

tkaiser's comments re the Banana Pi products (camera interface being incompatible for instance) have steered me away from them.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CliffB said:

tkaiser's comments re the Banana Pi products (camera interface being incompatible for instance) have steered me away from them.

 

There's no need to rely on my comments, not rejecting reality is already sufficient. The CSI connector is physically incompatible and even if there were adapters still no Raspberry camera would be compatible to Bananas and vice versa. Same with the DSI display connector on the so called 'RPi 3 killer' also known as Banana Pi M2 Berry. At the same time resellers have to lie to their customers about 'all accessories being fully compatible' since SinoVoip simply doesn't give a shit about providing correct information (check this link and 'Fragen und Antworten' there).

 

Their official 'technical documentation' is just the result of a brain damaged retard playing 'copy&paste gone wrong' and if you want a proof that these Banana products are not supported even by their own manfucaturer just visit their forum and ask a very simple technical question. You will only get an answer if your question is sales related and/or the moron posting as 'sinovoip bpi team' responsible for censoring their forum thinks he can squeeze some money out of you. Just visit their forum to get the idea how lost you are if you have to rely on 'vendor support'.

 

Some people were stupid enough to try to help these irresponsible guys now for over 2.5 years ( @Tido and me amongst them) but they simply don't get that they need to improve, stop being notorious liars, provide correct information, release sources they have as soon as possible, provide correct schematics (they fail even with this! It's just unbelievable how lousy this company behaves). My last try to help was suggesting how to solve the M2 Ultra instabilities but now it's enough (I had to use a different account of course -- guess what happened as soon as they found out that 'charles' is 'tkaiser'? The 'sinovoip bpi team' moron immediately started to delete a lot of my posts)

 

Let's leave this Banana stuff for the clueless crowd they defined as their target audience, let them babble in Facebook groups or whereever they want and simply forget about it. At the moment the manufacturer starts to improve let's talk again.

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QED

 

I don't rely on anyone's comments, but some feedback is more useful and valued than others. I came across the BPI-R1 issues after I had ordered the damn thing, hence my initial post about the BPI Zero.

For the record they replied to my email saying the OS 'wasn't yet ready' and the board wasn't available in the UK but I could order one for 15 USD.

 

I'm looking forward to the OPI offering arriving.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, CliffB said:

For the record they replied to my email saying the OS 'wasn't yet ready' and the board wasn't available in the UK but I could order one for 15 USD.

 

Whom have you talked to? The UK guy trying to get as much people as possible currently sending him money through PayPal?

 

The M2 Zero is just the most boring H2+/H3 device we've ever seen. Since those irresponsible guys do not 'develop' in the open you have to download 'BPI-files/SD/BPI-BOOT/BPI-BOOT-bpi-m2z.tgz', then extract this archive and look into bpi-m2z/linux/sys_config.fex (line 3 already being wrong -- as lousy as expected). They use my recommendation to clock single bank DRAM H2+/H3 boards with 'dram_clk = 408', they use our kernel and all our settings for their M2+ (even 'corekeeper_enabled = 1' we developed last year having a hard time dealing with their crappy other H3 device), if 'pmuic_type = 0' is true then they again moronically 'forgot' to implement voltage regulation (the reason why BPi M2+ so badly overheats, if they use now the same fixed VDD_CPUX voltage setup on this M2 Zero good luck since due to much smaller board size heat dissipation is even more of an issue!).

 

But we don't know whether these settings are not as usual just the result of their copy&paste monkey doing something stupid or if these are really settings that match the hardware. In the past they never succeeded to provide these fex hardware descriptions correctly and it would be a wonder if they would do this time. And since they're too ignorant or stupid to provide schematics (still nothing to see here) we'll need to buy the next Banana board ourselves to see which flaws they implemented this time. If we're stupid of course, better ignore hardware that is not supported by its own manufacturer.

 

If their fex file would be correct it would take me less than an hour to get this BPi M2 Zero FULLY SUPPORTED by Armbian. We did this with the following other H2+/H3 boards in the past without having them in our hands solely based on CORRECT hardware descriptions provided by the board makers: NanoPi Neo, NanoPi Air, NanoPi M1, Orange Pi Zero, Orange Pi Zero Plus 2, NanoPi M1+ -- if you deal with hardware vendors that do NOT behave like brain damaged retards you get correct hardware descriptions (either fex file or DT and schematics of course -- all correct and not the result of 'copy&paste gone wrong'). That's really all you need as developer and that separates other board makers from SinoVoip.

 

But since the SinoVoip guys still behave like brain damaged retards I hope no one will be dumb enough to add this M2 Zero thingie to Armbian's build system ever. Unless they hire someone able to write technical documentation (or at least someone who understands that providing CORRECT information is necessary), they stop censoring their forum and start to support their own hardware nothing will change. You must be stupid as open source community member to try to support their hardware...

 

BTW: Since with their 'RPi Zero W' competitor called M2 Zero they completely rely on our underlying work you get at least a kernel patched up to latest 3.4 LTS version (3.4.113 fixing tons of issues). Unfortunate customers buying their 'RPi 3 killer' called M2 Berry suffer from their ignorance/stupidity and get a 3.10.65 kernel only (outdated since over 2.5 years containing a lot of exploitable security vulnerabilities). Community tried to help them by even sending them all the fixes necessary to get to latest 3.10.107 LTS kernel or the fix for the DRAM instability issues: https://github.com/BPI-SINOVOIP/BPI-M2U-bsp/pulls

 

It would take them maybe 10 seconds to merge these pull request. They refuse to do since they don't seem to give a sh*t about anything else than selling hardware to clueless people (or maybe the 'responsible' guys over there are simply too ignorant to get the meaning of 'security' just like they don't understand what 'open source' means).

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I emailed sales@banana-pi.com and received a reply from HailyMei in their China office. Since they appear not to provide any valid information or respond to your (or others) data requests it would appear that quietly dropping them off the radar is the most appropriate action for users like me at least.

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On 29.7.2017 at 6:43 PM, CliffB said:

chwe's test should yield useful information although it's on a sample of one unit of course.

Send me 10 samples and I'll do this again.. :lol:

Does the Size really matters for your project? Otherwise I would go for the orange pi PC plus (barrel plug instead of micro USB, enough place for heat dissipation, 8gb EMMC. everything for around 30$ with charger.

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If I get 10 spare samples I'd be happy to. 

I'm told that size always matters ;) but in this case if I was going to use a larger board I might just use a Pi 3 and be done with it. The power connector is a non issue as whatever board I use will plug into a motherboard. At $18 or so an OPi Zero Plus 2 is a reasonable compromise, in any case I've ordered two so the decision is made. I'll hold off completing my motherboard PC until I've evaluated the OPis although I'm sure they'll be fine. Considering the first incarnation of the project some years ago used an Atmel Mega with a CS8900 and used a version of the uIP stack any modern Pi or Pi clone will make the development process total luxury programming and hardware wise.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, CliffB said:

I'm told that size always matters 

did you ever considered boards like c.hi.p or Omega2? Not that powerful compared to an OPi, but if not needed why not? Both of them are cheap, both have NAND for storage but of course no armbian for it.. ;) 

 

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I've looked at almost all of the available boards and have used some of the earlier generation in the past. Power isn't a problem for my application as it will be mains powered. That said tkaiser's report of a 700mW OPi Zero is interesting however it has no eMMC as standard. I even considered using an ESP8266 but it is too basic for my purposes. I have used an ESP8266 as a wifi enabled fan controller for refrigeration cooling. It seems to me that a stable Linux distro running on many platforms (thank you armbian!) makes an attractive starting point, especially where options like audio I/O and even video I/O are also possible.

I am platform agnostic but as an old hardware designer who then had to program his creations I know the benefit of a standard platform with a stable, core OS.

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$ 15.00 ?

That's a good price for what the board offers, mini HDMI, CSI port, 512 MB and Wifi&Bluetooth. Personally i would add a 8 GB eMMC and try to keep the price below $ 20.00. Once you boot from eMMC you will never want to boot from SD card again.

BTW, Have you considered Banana Pi M2M? no HDMI but there is a MIPI DSI port to connect LCD panel, and i can say the 5" LCD is the best LCD i have tested so far, unfortunately i have damaged the LCD some how while porting it to M64. They are short on supply another sample but Nora Lee is kindly sending me another one when they are ready so i can finish all the tests, i have not tested it to the exhaustion nor did any extensive testing but there is no problem with heat and Wifi&BT works as expected and the board has been a nice surprise.

 

I have no idea about the price and availability.

 

 

 

Lion Wang and Nora Lee like this

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Just appeared for sale on Aliexpress. Shipping is $6.53 to the USA ($21.53 total).

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Allwinner-H2-Open-source-hardware-platform-BPI-M2-zero-all-ineter-face-same-as-Raspberry-pi/302756_32839074880.html

 

I have enough ARM boards to keep me busy, but it might make an interesting substitute if your project was designed for the board size of the RPi0.

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Quick look, I see component values and a lot of labels, excellent.  No time tonight to compared to advertised specs, but quick glance I see H3 on the schem, it is an H2+ in actuality, correct?  What is the 4-pin header between the micro-USB connectors for, is it a DC in or a power button?  I would love to see another way to get power to one of these boards besides micro-USB or the Pi-factor GPIO.

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we test H2+, H3, H5 chip on this design ,  for Allwinner H2+,H3,H5 chip is PIN to PIN compatibility.  this design can support 3 type chip onboard.

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On 31.10.2017 at 6:05 AM, TonyMac32 said:

Quick look, I see component values and a lot of labels, excellent

 

Can you help me interpreting voltage regulation on this board? With its only compatible Banana sibling M2+ the schema (still) looks like this:

Bildschirmfoto%202017-10-31%20um%2008.28

 

It's labeled as 1.2V (which is wrong of course since @Tido measured and asked and according to some forum post they eventually confirmed that it's 1.3V on production batches and another one of their employees even explained how to fix the developer samples using 1.4V)

 

Now it looks like this:

Bildschirmfoto%202017-10-31%20um%2008.28

 

According to their hardware description PMIC type is 0 (no voltage regulation), schematic lists the usual SY8113B suitable to switch between two or even 4 voltages. So what happens here? Is VDD_CPUX adjustable and if yes which voltages are used?

 

According to their fex file 1200 MHz cpufreq are allowed (which would be an indication that VDD_CPUX must be at least 1.3V) but then I found weird stuff like this.

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26 minutes ago, zador.blood.stained said:

If this schematic and component values are correct, then one voltage is 1.1V and the other is 1.3V

 

And which is the default and how can be switched between (PL01 it seems?).

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