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tkaiser

Quick review of Orange Pi PC

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Guest ThomasGB

I built the image 5 days ago. Not ready for anything. I am uploading it and will be here:

 

Armbian_Orangepiplus_Debian_wheezy_4.4.0-rc4.zip

 

http://mirror.igorpecovnik.com/test/

That's nice. The same idea I had before. I took the u-boot from denx, compiled it with orangepipc_defconfig and tried to boot it (I have an OPI-PC). Nothing happend. So I thought I made something wrong and waited for an image from you. Now I took your image, put it to sd-card, started and -oh wonder- nothing happens. I want to mention that the board is booting with the official lubuntu image prefectly. Have you any idea, what's going on there? Are there differeces between H3 and H3 (older version-newer version? Or could it have to do with something like that:

 

http://lists.denx.de/pipermail/u-boot/2015-August/222658.html

 

Cheers

 

ThomasGB

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I doubt I can just enter a MicroUSB charger on that USB part so I can pick the $23 one for that. I guess that works out.

 

Nope, the H3 has no PMU therefore only DC-IN works (available at the barrel plug or on the GPIO pins -- just re-read the review above). 

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Now I took your image, put it to sd-card, started and -oh wonder- nothing happens.

 

Unless you use a serial console you won't realise that the board boots. There's no LED activity and no HDMI output available at the moment. UART and USB -- that's it.

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Guest ThomasGB

Unless you use a serial console you won't realise that the board boots. There's no LED activity and no HDMI output available at the moment. UART and USB -- that's it.

O.K. By the way only to be shure: Did I understand it right, that the OrangePI PC has its seperate LAN-Controller (and doesn't it by USB like e.g. Raspberry) ?

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Did I understand it right, that the OrangePI PC has its seperate LAN-Controller (and doesn't it by USB like e.g. Raspberry) ?

 

Yes, the H3 has the ability to provide both Fast and GBit Ethernet (EMAC/GMAC) and to either use an external GBit Ethernet PHY through RGMII (as it's the case with nearly all Allwinner SoCs starting with A20) or to rely on an internal PHY that is 100 Mbits/sec capable (that's new with the H3 --> the ability to use Fast Ethernet without any external 'active' components)

 

So when you design a device with the H3 you can either save the few Cents for the RTL8211D/E and route 4 traces from SoC to the Ethernet jack (Fast Ethernet uses only 2 cable pairs) or you choose an external GBit PHY and interconnect SoC and PHY with RGMII. No USB involved.

 

BTW: On Raspberry Pi everything except of access to the SD/TF card has to happen through USB since the SoC only has 1 single USB connection to the outside. Therefore choosing any of the RPi models for anything that needs I/O and network bandwidth is just weird.

 

If Steven Zhao from Xunlong could be convinced to produce an upgraded version of the OPi PC (using RTL8211 for GBit Ethernet and with 2 GB RAM and all available 4 USB ports as type A receptacle) then this could be the basis of a really great low-end NAS for 4 drives even if the H3 doesn't feature SATA.

 

With mainline kernel we've the ability to use UASP (responsible for drive access maxing out at +40 MB/s) and we can also use btrfs with advanced options one of them being transparent filesystem compression which trades in CPU cycles for more throughput.

 

Also an 'Orange Pi NAS' would be possible/great. A board with H3, 2 GB RAM, GBit Ethernet and 3 onboard UASP capable USB-to-SATA bridges where 3 of the available USB ports are directly wired to bridge chips, eg. JMS567/568: http://linux-sunxi.org/USB/UAS#UASP_capable_chipsets_in_disk_enclosures

 

With btrfs you can then setup a RAID-0 or RAID-1 over all 3 connected disks and since btrfs handles RAID-1 differently than md-raid you can even use 3 disks of different sizes in RAID-1 and end up with the whole capacity of all three divided by 2 (btrfs always storing 2 copies of data blocks on two disks and balancing the accesses between disks so the whole capacity will be used)

 

Btrfs is also able to combine RAID-0 for performance with RAID-1 to detect data corruption (striped data and mirrored metadata). Such a setup with activated btrfs compression would easily exceed 80 MB/s locally and this way you would've a NAS that is able to provide +70 MB/s through the network.

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Another small update. I took Igor's test image with kernel 4.4.0-rc4 again ("Nothing is working, only USB/UART"), plugged in an USB-Ethernet dongle, connected a disk in an JMS567 enclosure and compiled Netatalk (fileserver for OS X) to get results that can be compared easily:

 

Bildschirmfoto%202015-12-18%20um%2020.12

The results are not that good compared to the recommended sunxi boards (all featuring SATA and GbE) but that's due to my USB-Ethernet adapter being cheap crap [1]. But given that I used the very first test image Igor created, that I just had to exchange the device tree contents to get USB running on my Orange Pi PC (Igor built the image for the 'Plus'), that only cpu0 is running since SMP is not working yet, this is simply AWESOME!

 

Really looking forward to see mainline u-boot/kernel improve in 2016. Thank you all you linux-sunxi devs (and Igor of course -- providing the image makes testing convenient)

 

[1] Ethernet adapter used:

root@orangepipc:/mnt/sda1/data# modinfo smsc75xx
filename:       /lib/modules/4.4.0-rc4-sunxi/kernel/drivers/net/usb/smsc75xx.ko
license:        GPL
description:    SMSC75XX USB 2.0 Gigabit Ethernet Devices
author:         Steve Glendinning <steve.glendinning@shawell.net>
author:         Nancy Lin
alias:          usb:v0424p7505d*dc*dsc*dp*ic*isc*ip*in*
alias:          usb:v0424p7500d*dc*dsc*dp*ic*isc*ip*in*
depends:        usbnet
intree:         Y
vermagic:       4.4.0-rc4-sunxi SMP mod_unload ARMv7 p2v8 
parm:           turbo_mode:Enable multiple frames per Rx transaction (bool)

root@orangepipc:/mnt/sda1/data# lsusb -v -d 0424:7500

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0424:7500 Standard Microsystems Corp. 
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bDeviceClass          255 Vendor Specific Class
  bDeviceSubClass         0 
  bDeviceProtocol       255 
  bMaxPacketSize0        64
  idVendor           0x0424 Standard Microsystems Corp.
  idProduct          0x7500 
  bcdDevice            1.00
  iManufacturer           1 WS
  iProduct                2 USB Gigabit LAN
  iSerial                 3 0000000814
  bNumConfigurations      1

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So i think I'll just go for the 23 dollars pack since mainline support looks promising and the test image is a good sign that this board will get support.

I was just thinking the Transparent ABS Case might be a poor choice as the thermal tests on sunxi are probably with the board exposed to the air without any case over it. It has two air outlets on the top but it would probably heat more nonetheless. I have attempted to find a heatsink for it on old components but surprisingly I wasn't able to find one, and I've run out of thermal pads so I would probably put it straight on. If you know a good one I could use for this purpose would you link me up to one? (A ton of them sells of varying price and quality). I can probably rob the one my RPi uses as I doubt it needs it anyway for what it's doing right now, at least as a start. See http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/UT8z9hgXttbXXagOFbXP.jpg The holes at the top are obviously meant so that the GPIO pins can go out of the case.

 

One thing I didn't think about first is indeed a problem I've had with the RPi, that it's able to actually provide power to whatever USB devices attached to it This was not the case of MicroUSB and I've actually had to provide power to whatever I'm connecting that needs high power through a powered USB hub which can even backpower some boards. The first experience I had was that it powered down to prevent damage when I attached a USB network card, which was pretty much when I learned that it's indeed not providing enough power. I guess with this device some of those problems might be solved. But now that i have most of my stuff secured with external power and the USB HDD I will be connecting already has power so I won't need the HDMI nor USB to be able to draw much power.

 

Either way, judging from what you said it should be able to run without heatsink once the dvfs/thermal settings are fixed, I could always just leave the case unused too if it doesn't work out. Sorry for again asking dumb questions nut I still don't know that much. if I supply power through barrel plug, which I usually assume provides the same current to the device, why is it possible to adjust the values and the power supply will give less power and not provide the same building up more heat? Is is automatically able to adjust somehow, which I think newer chargers etc does so that the battery for instance in phones doesn't get excessive heat once it's fully charged which might damage it. I guess this is probably it, some kind of regulating built-in. Probably the same principle as a PC PSU where components vary.

 

Asking since their cable is 5V3A and since it doesn't need to power anything external it would probably work with 5V1A or more like you said, and I could increase it if I attach lets say a Wi-Fi card, which might be possible in the future once it gets mainline (my wi-fi cards driver got into kernel 4 without need to make)

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Regarding USB power the RPi (and most sunxi boards) and H3 based boards are totally different. On the RPi you can control how much USB peripherals are allowed to draw (see here for example) which is not possible with Orange Pi PC since the H3 has no PMU support.

 

DC-IN is directly used to provide power to the USB ports and HDMI. As far as I understand you might be able to draw 2A from a type A connector if you insert 3A on DC-IN (but I might be wrong). I will report back in the next few days when I try to use 3 bus-powered 2.5" disks clearly exceeding 2A peak current while spinning up.

 

I tried to explain the overvolting stuff already (15th Dec). In short: The higher you clock a chip the more voltage it needs. Usually you want the lowest voltage (with some safety headroom) since that helps with consumption, temperatures and longevity. To fulfil both needs dvfs will be used, adjusting the Vcore voltage depending on the clockspeed and the clockspeed will be adjusted dynamically also (cpufreq scaling based on load).

 

Normally the PMU/PMIC is responsible for the Vcore adjustments but since the H3 lacks PMU support, the cheap SY8106A programmable voltage regulator is used by Xunlong. The voltage will be set using I2C and this way it's possible to overvolt the CPU cores (Vcore above 1.4V) even while the board itself is undervolted due to bad cables or a bad PSU (DC-IN voltage below 4.7V). All the voltage regulators used on Orange Pi PC are able to be fed with 4.5-5.5V. But since DC-IN is directly used for USB and HDMI you might get in trouble with connected USB peripherals and/or a display when you exceed the 'safe range': 4.8V - 5.25V (USB: 4.75V-5.25V, HDMI: 4.8V-5.3V)

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And another small update. Still running Igor's 1st test OS image with kernel 4.4.0-rc4 and 2 disks in JMS567 equipped enclosures. Both UAS enabled (according to dmesg):

[    4.208848] scsi host0: uas
[    4.216324] scsi host1: uas

A rather primitive hdparm test (only testing read speeds since on /dev/sdb is important data):

/dev/sda:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 120 MB in  3.03 seconds =  39.56 MB/sec
/dev/sdb:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.38 MB/sec

/dev/sda:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 120 MB in  3.04 seconds =  39.50 MB/sec
/dev/sdb:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 116 MB in  3.01 seconds =  38.49 MB/sec

/dev/sda:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 120 MB in  3.04 seconds =  39.45 MB/sec
/dev/sdb:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 114 MB in  3.03 seconds =  37.58 MB/sec

Great results since both disks were tested in parallel: /dev/sda is a fast SSD and /dev/sdb just a slow 2.5" disk. But this is still an Orange Pi PC with just a single active CPU core since SMP stuff isn't ready in mainline kernel now. And CPU utilisation looks like it's possible to saturate even another USB bus with one CPU core.

 

EDIT: Nope, not true. As soon as a filesystem is involved and also write speed the single CPU core becomes a bottleneck. I repeated the tests using a btrfs raid-0 between the two disks. When reading sequential throughput is ~79 MB/s (great!) while writing the throughput decreases to 57/65 MB/s (with 4K and 1M record size). I hope that we'll get SMP support rather sooner than later and then post a follow-up with an in-depth comparison of BOT vs. UAS when using the H3.

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Today I was able to add a 3rd disk (since another UAS capable enclosure arrived using an ASMedia ASM1153E USB-to-SATA bridge that is not UAS blacklisted). Again only read tests since one of the disks contains important data):

 
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.44 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.43 MB/sec
114 MB in  3.04 seconds =  37.44 MB/sec

106 MB in  3.00 seconds =  35.30 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.45 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.36 MB/sec

116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.45 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.44 MB/sec
114 MB in  3.04 seconds =  37.44 MB/sec

116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.45 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.45 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.04 seconds =  38.10 MB/sec

116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.43 MB/sec
116 MB in  3.02 seconds =  38.43 MB/sec
114 MB in  3.04 seconds =  37.47 MB/sec
That's +114 MB/s sequential read throughput with just one single CPU core running at 1008 MHz and the kernel being able to utilise UASP :)
 
This looks really promising using H3 based devices for NAS purposes with mainline kernel since when SMP is working and we're able to adjust clockspeeds up to 1296 MHz again there's enough horsepower left even with 4 disks connected to use btrfs compression and stuff like that.

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That's +114 MB/s sequential read throughput with just one single CPU core running at 1008 MHz and the kernel being able to utilise UASP :)

 
This looks really promising using H3 based devices for NAS purposes with mainline kernel since when SMP is working and we're able to adjust clockspeeds up to 1296 MHz again there's enough horsepower left even with 4 disks connected to use btrfs compression and stuff like that.

 

Yeah, that sounds pretty good.

Too bad this device has the bottleneck of 100Mbps NIC, but it doesn't mean it's bad nonetheless. I just get a feeling they could have upgraded it for not much extra charge since other boards got gigabit NIC with Allwinner like the Plus version. 

If maineline comes with the crypto engine I'll definitely buy this board and give it a try. I would have liked people to release images with proper dvfs and throttle settings (people are actually running it with the Xulong ones?)

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Too bad this device has the bottleneck of 100Mbps NIC

 

If Steven would produce a variant with an external PHY (RTL8211 -- not that expensive) and optional 2 GB RAM that would be the most interesting H3 based board -- at least for me. Since the only other board with these 2 features (the Orange Pi Plus 2) has less available I/O bandwidth (due to a wasted USB port for the ultra-slow GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge) and a useless WiFi module (maybe never supported by mainline kernel). I would believe Xunlong could sell such an OPi PC Plus without all the useless stuff and solely adding GBit Ethernet and an additional GB RAM for $20 if they're able to sell an upcoming Orange Pi One for less than $10 also.

 

BTW: Since a few days an SMP 'hack' is available for Orange Pi PC therefore all 4 CPU cores are already useable: http://pastebin.com/Vj9JYPTn(this is 'fritz' from the orangepi.org forums running his own kernel with Arch Linux)

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If Steven would produce a variant with an external PHY (RTL8211 -- not that expensive) and optional 2 GB RAM that would be the most interesting H3 based board -- at least for me. Since the only other board with these 2 features (the Orange Pi Plus 2) has less available I/O bandwidth (due to a wasted USB port for the ultra-slow GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge) and a useless WiFi module (maybe never supported by mainline kernel). I would believe Xunlong could sell such an OPi PC Plus without all the useless stuff and solely adding GBit Ethernet and an additional GB RAM for $20 if they're able to sell an upcoming Orange Pi One for less than $10 also.

 

BTW: Since a few days an SMP 'hack' is available for Orange Pi PC therefore all 4 CPU cores are already useable: http://pastebin.com/Vj9JYPTn(this is 'fritz' from the orangepi.org forums running his own kernel with Arch Linux)

He might not see those upgrades you are talking about, come on the people sells a poorly overclocked device which looks like it's mainly meant to just get money from but he will see the high sales number for Orange Pi PC, I hope he gets what people want from that :)

(Currently over 5000 orders for only the PC device on the official AliExpress store)

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Another update: Yesterday two new cheap H3 based Orange Pis were announced:

 

http://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=895

 

Both are smaller and are equipped with 512 MB RAM, CSI camera connector, 40 GPIO pins in the usual RPi style, TF card slot, HDMI and micro USB OTG port (DC-IN through the usual 1.7/4.1mm barrel plug)

 

Orange Pi One: One USB host port and 10/100 MB/s Ethernet for $10

Orange Pi Lite: no Ethernet but Wi-Fi (maybe again using the RTL8189ETV accessed through SDIO?) and two USB host ports for $12.

 

With the PCB layout only small heatsinks might fit on the H3 but fortunately we now know that it's matter of dvfs/thermal settings to prevent the H3 from overheating.

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Finally Xunlong gave up on overclocking/overvolting the H3 badly ("runs at 1.6GHz")  :)

 

Bildschirmfoto%202016-01-27%20um%2009.31

 

The picture is from their Aliexpress store where the Orange Pi One can be bought (shipping costs remained the same!)

 

The new voltage regulator used on Orange Pi One/Lite is driven through GPIO and allows to adjust the voltage only between 1.1V (at 654 MHz) and 1.3V (@1200 MHz).

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It is nice to see, that Xunlong in opposite to SinoVoip /Foxconn is smart enough to stay with the same SoC for different SBC :)

I didn't read through this thread maybe it is already written somewhere, but a quick look at sunxi does not mention good support.

To bad, if you consider the first line. The latest changes on Github are also 9 months old.

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Guest martinayotte

I've just ordered one OPi One this morning ... :-)

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Guest PoV

Interestingly, it looks like Xunlong recently discontinued the Orange Pi PC.

 

Their AliExpress store got a lot simpler too. Now they only sell 3 boards, all with H3 chips (OPi One, OPi Plus, OPi Plus 2). I would imagine the Plus models are only there because they still have a few hundred units of stock left to move.

 

Thread on their forum is here:

 

http://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1010&extra=page%3D1

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If Steven would produce a variant with an external PHY (RTL8211 -- not that expensive) and optional 2 GB RAM that would be the most interesting H3 based board -- at least for me. Since the only other board with these 2 features (the Orange Pi Plus 2) has less available I/O bandwidth (due to a wasted USB port for the ultra-slow GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge) and a useless WiFi module (maybe never supported by mainline kernel). I would believe Xunlong could sell such an OPi PC Plus without all the useless stuff and solely adding GBit Ethernet and an additional GB RAM for $20

 

That sounds amazing. All 4 of those independent USB ports (no OTG), Gigabit Ethernet, 2 GB RAM, for around $20. Would be the perfect brain for so many projects, instead of the half arsed boards we seem to have instead.

 

I'm still fairly new to all this, but I've noticed testing the boards I have, I've been hitting a 10-20 MB upper limit on MicroSD card performance on pretty-much everything (despite using fast memory cards). Is there anything that can be done here, or is the I/O of the SD cards something the fault of the bargain chip(s) themselves?

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but I've noticed testing the boards I have, I've been hitting a 10-20 MB upper limit on MicroSD card performance on pretty-much everything

 

There's some sort of a hard limitation at 25 MB/s (50 MHz data rate at 4 bit). Can be overcome if hardware vendor and drivers provide the ability to switch voltages (default 3.3V, for faster modes is 1.8V needed). I'm not that much into that, you should better read from here on: https://olimex.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/a64-olinuxino-routing-completed-but-we-still-have-to-final-touch-this-and-that/#comment-21480

 

 

It is nice to see, that Xunlong in opposite to SinoVoip /Foxconn is smart enough to stay with the same SoC for different SBC :)

 

Not true. Until yesterday they had 2 boards relying on A20 and some based on H3. The A20 boards seem to be discontinued and everything regarding software/support for the remaining H3 and the upcoming H8 based board depends on community. You must be a moron if you think you get decent software/support at the price of $10 or $15.

 

H8 on the announced 'Orange Pi 3' is another variant of A83T used on Banana Pi M3 so I would suspect software support will be as crappy as now with Banana Pi M3 or pcDuino8 Uno (also H8 based) EDIT: (I though about Cubietruck Plus that relies on H8).

 

H64 on the announced 'Orange Pi 3' is another variant of A64 used by Pine64 so regarding software support you either have Allwinner BSP crap or wait for mainline u-boot/kernel done by linux-sunxi community. I wouldn't expect that Xunlong has resources/knowledge to provide a good OS image. The best they can do to release soon is to take any of the crappy Pine64 images based on Allwinner's 3.10.65 kernel provided by the Pine64 community and to exchange boot0/SPL to be able to boot H64 instead of A64. It will be as bad as it was when Xunlong started with H3 :)

 

But regarding H3 everything interesting will happen at linux-sunxi and not Xunlong.

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Until yesterday they had 2 boards relying on A20 and some based on H3

interesting, if I remember correct I searched 14days ago for Xunlong A20  NOTHING on AliExpress store NOTHING

 

You must be a moron

Well, if you have only 1 SoC model, every improvement you make, counts for all SBC. So, yes but NO.

And I already mentioned sunxi in my posting. And if you read: does not mention good support.

 

Das heisst, auch sunxi hat keinen Support für die Xunlong's - es sei denn das Wiki wäre uralt.

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Well, if you have only 1 SoC model, every improvement you make, counts for all SBC

 

Xunlong did no improvements to any of their images. They released a few ones in the beginning and then community took over. With Xunlong OS images you won't be able to use Ethernet or USB on the Orange Pi PC since definitions were wrong. CPU cores would've been shut down when overheating (and they wouldn't come back until the next reboot). Every improvement made was done by community members and required sometimes massive pushing of Xunlong's Steven to release necessary informations. The SoC used is pretty irrelevant.

 

Regarding software it simply doesn't matter what Xunlong did in the past or will do in the future. And this is the same with Pine64 -- but they never created the impression they would care about Linux or even made any promises! They said just: "We do Android, community does Linux" (and sent out over 50 dev samples in the meantime -- the linux-sunxi devs now doing the fundamentals and members of the Pine64 forum afterwards flooding the net with shitty Linux OS images ;) )

 

EDIT: Just to prevent misunderstandings: The Pine64 folks do care about Linux support (trying to get source code from Allwinner and pushing them a bit in the 'open source' direction) but don't provide it on their own. 

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Orange_Pi_PC_headless_with_camera.jpg

 

 

Hey, sorry a bit of a noob'ish question about powering the device(s).

 

I noticed in the photo above that you bypassed the power connected and power the device via expansion pins. Is this via a USB TTL cable? If so, could you have connected the TX and RX pins for a serial connection?

 

Thanks.

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In the above picture, the cable is shown as pin2=5V and pin6=GND, which is match the header pinout.

(I presume that the barrel connector is directly connected to those pin too)

 

Yes, I'm asking if adding the other 2 pins would have worked (TXD and RXD in addition to VCC and GND). I've never tried powering a device using the "red wire" (I've only left VCC disconnected). I just want to make sure I grasp what's going on here.

 

954_MED.jpg

 

I realize the answer is probably yes (assuming that is a USB TTL cable). I'm just really impressed at how versatile these cables are. Nearly everything I've worked with in the past all had proprietary cables, so I never had to think about this.

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Hi Tkaiser,

 

I just found out about the OPi One (and all the OPi's) yesterday and they look amazing.

I've read many of your comments on this forum and on the cnx-software.com blog. You seem to be quite knowledgeable regarding the OPi hardware.

 

I've got about 2 years experience with RPi's and Banana Pi and Linux on x86_64.

 

This is what I've gathered from what I've read about OPi.

* The Raspbian image should be avoided on OPI hardware (slow and it's just there to attract customers)

* None of the Linux software images offered by orangepi.org are fully working right now.

* To get a working Linux install you need to (IIRC)

  ** download some image from somewhere

  ** Run a kernel update script by loboris

  ** do something with fex files

  ** do another hack to get multiple cores running

  ** do something to set the clock speed and vcore to reasonable levels and enable thermal protection.

 

I've seen bits of information about the above, scattered across various posts and pages and some of it might be outdated.

Could you please list the steps to get a working Linux install for Orange Pi One and Orange Pi Plus? I'd REALLY appreciate it, and I will help where I can also. I'm going to order an Orange Pi One today. Maybe we can setup a forum post or a page somewhere with the latest recommended steps to get an optimal install working from scratch?

 

Which distro works the best?

* Orange OS (what distro is this based on?)

* Debian

* Lubuntu

(A minimal Debian or Ubuntu distro would be my preference)

 

Orange Pi Plus SATA performance?

The main reason the Orange Pi Plus interests me is the SATA (and the extra RAM). You said the SATA chip on the Orange Pi Plus is slow. But then you were talking about connecting hard drives to the H3 via it's USB2 ports with UASP. This is surprising because UASP should do less than 40MB/s whereas a typical magnetic hard drive can do >100MB/s and SSD's scream. How can the SATA chip be worse than 40 MB/s?

 

It's surprising/disappointing that they didn't expose the additional USB ports of the H3 via pads on the Orange Pi One PCB???

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To address some of your concerns/questions:

  • The GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge seems to be responsible for the slow SATA performance (15 MB/s write, 30 MB/s read -- it's really weird to realise that the very same crappy IC is also used on Banana Pi M3 and Cubietruck Plus now). If they would've used a better bridge and if mainline kernel could be used then 40 MB/s per USB port are possible. I already suggested to Steven/Xunlong to release such a board (H3, 2 GB RAM, GbE, 3 x JMS567/JMS568)
  • Software/support situation for the H3 based Orange Pis has been very poor in the past. The manufacturer's OS images being broken more or less you would've to rely on 'loboris'. He's done a great job getting everything to work. Unfortunately his settings made use of heavy overclocking/overvolting leading to all sorts of stability and heat problems.
  • In the meantime the situation changed. Many linux-sunxi devs show an interest in Orange Pi PC, sane settings regarding voltage/thermal/clockspeeds have been developed, mainline u-boot/kernel support for H3 improves constantly
  • Igor provided a first useable test image for Orange Pi Plus/PC a few weeks ago (that's still in use here with an Orange Pi PC serving music). And in the meantime he also started to work on combining mainline u-boot with Allwinner's old 3.4.39 kernel -- situation will improve pretty fast.
  • Regarding Orange Pi One/Lite we'll have to see what changed or what software changes are necessary.

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I noticed in the photo above that you bypassed the power connected and power the device via expansion pins. Is this via a USB TTL cable?

 

Nope: http://linux-sunxi.org/Orange_Pi_PC#Tips.2C_Tricks.2C_Caveats

 

In case you're doing development work with such an UART-to-USB adapter you should keep in mind that this adapter somewhat powers the board also and that sometimes you run into strange symptoms trying to reboot the device when the serial connection remains established.

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