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tkaiser

Quick review of Orange Pi PC

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No longer being sold, only the One model in their store.

 

I wonder if they will run out of H3s and either drop the CPU (because Allwinner request a bigger price due to the CPU being older, funny right?) or they are simply making new ones after overwhelming orders? Either way I thought about getting one of these bad boys to play music with. I was looking at a sound card to use for my router but whatever Chinese sound card I found looked bad quality, I think if the power source for this audio card is unaffected by having its own power it might work? I have distortion so if it picks up sound from the PCB, which it most likely do, then back to looking for a device again :)

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No longer being sold, only the One model in their store.

 

Fortunately not true, the 'Plus' and 'Plus 2' are also still available and Steven said they're simply out of stock and will be available again (after Spring Festival of course). But I would suspect that even if they have a few 'PC' in stock they're holding them back to push the 'One' at the moment.

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Oh! So do you have a bench-top power supply, or did you hack-up a DC power adapter and attach pin headers?

 

I'll admit, I might have spent a few too many days researching power and bench-top power supplies. It never occurred to me to power one of these micro computers with one.

 

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.

 
Do you mean that it messes with the output (I have noticed this, where I have to detach+reattach the USB cable for it to work properly), or do you mean by there being extra power it can't reboot?
 
 
* * *
 
On a related note, here's a weird piece of news:
 
Olimex made their own "Orange Pi One" sized board. It has virtually all the same specs, but the GPIO is on the bottom (no headers/connector attached).
 
h3-nano.jpg
 
 
  • H3 quad core Cortex-A7 processor
  • 512MB of DDR3 RAM
  • 2x USB hosts for mouse and keyboard
  • Ethernet 100Mb interface
  • HDMI Full HD output
  • 4 buttons
  • micro SD card
  • UART console
  • USB-OTG which also is used to power the board
  • 4 mount holes
  • 2x 40 pin connectors (optional) which carry lot of GPIOs

 

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Oh! So do you have a bench-top power supply, or did you hack-up a DC power adapter and attach pin headers?

 

I powered the OPi PC with

  • passive PoE (supply 6V to PoE injector, extract 4.5V-5.5V at the PoE splitter and feed it to GPIO pins)
  • normal 5V/2A PSU with 1.7/4.1mm barrel plug
  • normal 5V/2A USB PSU together with USB 'Type A to 1.7/4.1mm barrel plug' cable
  • bench PSU to GPIO pins
  • 12V PSU with step-down converter to GPIO pins (this was my test setup to get the valid DC-IN voltage range for headless operation: 4.5V-5.5V on the PC)

Regarding UART-to-USB solutions: They backpower the board somehow so you get often in trouble when you try to do a clean restart. This leads to all sorts of weird problems (for example DRAM calibration might go wrong). As a rule of thumb: If strange stuff happens after a reboot think about shutting the board down and disconnect the adapter for a couple of seconds (or look for a working reset switch on the boards -- this was one of the first things linux-sunxi devs did on the Pine64: Solder this button/switch)

 

Regarding the new H3-OLinuXino-NANO I see two potential disadvantages compared to the Orange Pis:

  • It seems Olimex is now using Micro USB for DC-IN
  • They will use a fixed voltage regulator for the SoC's core voltage so you will be limited by the voltage they choose regarding maximum cpufreq

I hope Tsvetan will answer/clarify my last comment here: https://olimex.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/h3-olinuxino-nano-is-only-50x50-mm-but-has-everything-one-computer-must-have/#comment-21665 (I wrote 2W instead of 2A in the hope that this will trigger a reflex)

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BTW: I created yesterday the wiki page for the now available Orange Pi One.

 

There's one important workaround I outlined there and which points back into our developer section here in the forums: When using OS images or settings that were made for Orange Pi PC with the One then to enable thermal throttling (therefore preventing the kernel from shutting down CPU cores in case of overheating) it's necessary to exchange pmuic_type = 2 with pmuic_type = 0 in script.bin: http://linux-sunxi.org/Orange_Pi_One#Compatibility

 

Once the software is fixed to deal correctly with the new voltage regulator on One/Lite this can then be adjusted to the correct value pmuic_type = 1. But unless this is fixed setting this to 0 seems to be the workaround of choice.

 

EDIT: For fixed settings or a working fex file see the link below!

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hi anybody have idea how to login armbian jessie for opipc . everthing is ok but i unable to login since no login id only root password provided for jessie

 unable toadd user or login . kindly support.

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Hi, i'm pretty new to these Pi boards and today arrived my Pi PC, i don't have psu with a barrel plug and i was wondering if it's possible to power it with ATX PSU, maybe taking 2 needed wires from cpu 4 pin connector?

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i was wondering if it's possible to power it with ATX PSU, maybe taking 2 needed wires from cpu 4 pin connector?

 

Sure, I take 5V/GND from the Molex pins of my x86 build host and feed them on Orange Pi One/PC to GPIO pins 2 and 6: http://linux-sunxi.org/Orange_Pi_PC#Tips.2C_Tricks.2C_Caveats

 

But beware that using an efficient 5V/2A PSU your Orange Pi PC will idle at below 1.5W (suspend to RAM below 0.4W) and with your setup with an ATX PSU you will need most probably 5 times more even when powered off. Fortunately most ATX PSUs won't switch on when the load is below ~10W ;)

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Hi Poxucis

you may want to use the purple +5V Standby wire which works even when the arx supply is off.

By pulling the green Power On wire to ground from your pi using and a transitor I then feed my power leds...

Best wishes, gnasch

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Before starting powering experiments I would do a search for 'usb barrel 4 1.7' on ebay or aliexpress and get a cable for less than 2 bucks that can be used with any good USB PSU. These cables do not show high resistance as it's most often seen with Micro USB cables used to power the boards.

 

If used in combination with a powered USB hub you should keep in mind that the Orange Pi PC fed this way just behaves as a dumb device (not speaking any of these languages) so maximum current provided by the hub might be limited (but unless you add several USB disks to the OPi PC this shouldn't be a problem)

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Or even cheaper - buy cheap 5V/2A power supply with 2.5/0.7mm connector (or 5.5 - they are also cheap). It costed me $1 shipped from China. I've just cut the connector and soldered so called "dupont" connectors to attached directly to pin 4 and 6. Works perfectly.

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Or even cheaper - buy cheap 5V/2A power supply with 2.5/0.7mm connector (or 5.5 - they are also cheap). It costed me $1 shipped from China. I've just cut the connector and soldered so called "dupont" connectors to attached directly to pin 4 and 6. Works perfectly.

If you plan on running 24/7 using a cheap Chinese power brick sounds to me like asking for a housefire. It may cost more for the USB PSU than what the device costs, but you can order just the OPi with the barrel plug bundle and then use a branded power supply you have lying around. I would say the 2A might not be all that necessary, if you do like the guide and remove the overclocking and don't stuff the USB ports you can probably do it with less amperage. I have a small branded one that does 1.75 Ampere which I plan on using with the OPi PC, but not that sure about that yet.

 

I would not trust the one they have in that bundle though, it looks like they probably printed on the certifications, not that I can say much about that.

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Unfortunately even 'branded' PSUs can start to burn so I would both try to reduce the count of PSUs used and always choose their location carefully to avoid flammable stuff around. That's one of the reasons why we choose passive PoE for a bunch of Orange Pi PC: Use one regulated quality 24V PSU and provide power through the 2 unused Ethernet cable pairs to the board where a step-down converter injects 5V through the GPIO pins.

 

Regarding consumption it depends on the use case as you already said. As can be seen on page 1 of this thread (the review) you can limit maximum consumption to ~500mA pretty easily by using optimised dvfs/cpufreq settings.

 

In normal useage scenarios it's not that easy to let the board consume more than 1500mA alone (given you use the sane Armbian settings and not the ones found in Orange Pi forums) but USB peripherals add to this when not being behind a powered hub so take this into account since then consumption might exceed 2.5A and you should better use a 3A/4A rated PSU that shows stable voltage.

 

The most important thing regarding PSU amperage ratings is mostly misunderstood: Voltage drops when consumption increases (see this nice example and especially the footnote regarding Micro USB fortunately avoided with all Orange Pis). Most Orange Pi PC components work still if DC-IN drops to 4.5V but both HDMI and USB peripherals do not tolerate voltage drops below ~4.8V so get a PSU that can handle this.

 

BTW: The best variant to run in all sorts of annoying troubles is to use both a crappy PSU and a crappy SD card. This will ensure the worst user experience ever :)

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The most important thing regarding PSU amperage ratings is mostly misunderstood: Voltage drops when consumption increases (see this nice example and especially the footnote regarding Micro USB fortunately avoided with all Orange Pis). Most Orange Pi PC components work still if DC-IN drops to 4.5V but both HDMI and USB peripherals do not tolerate voltage drops below ~4.8V so get a PSU that can handle this.

 

BTW: The best variant to run in all sorts of annoying troubles is to use both a crappy PSU and a crappy SD card. This will ensure the worst user experience ever :)

interesting. I have noticed that even though they are USB supplies and deliver the same volt/amperage the mobile one is far smaller than the bigger one I use to power development boards with. With this PSU I've never had any problems, but then again it was bought specifically for this purpose. Judging by the seemingly much smaller size I can just guess that the voltage is going to drop if I attempt to use it going by what you are saying. Perhaps I should buy one of those USB voltage meters for development boards (not a car one since I won't be able to hook that up to the PSU) and look for the voltage there? I have a wide range of PSUs for example from Andersson, Google (1A5V the new Chromecast model), phone companies that I'm not sure how they would act in the long run.

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I just read some of the text above about POWER SUPPLY.

Basically you can get from China devices like iPhone and Galaxy S7 - means they can really make high quality.

 

I have Power Supplies for years plugged in without any problems.

The more efficient it is designed, the less it will get warm. IKEA has a nice one with 3 USB-plugs, around € 9.- and with Amps up to 2,5 or 3.

 

If a housing is bigger or smaller can also depend on the technic used, if it works only with 230 Volt or only 120 Volt most probably it has coil to transform the voltage.

If if can handle from 100 - 240 Volt it might use the newer technic which has its pro and cons.

The ones with coil are usually heavier and bigger.

 

Edit: added IKEA link

Edited by Tido

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Basically you can get from China devices like iPhone and Galaxy S7 - means they can really make high quality.

 

Of course. But many people don't want to pay for quality but only search for cheap stuff (following the 'buy cheap, buy twice' principle again and again).

 

Board vendors (and obviously we at Armbian as well) should emphasize that the most basic rules to have fun with the device are

  • Use a quality PSU
  • In case the board features an insufficient DC-IN plug (Micro USB): use short USB cables that are rated 20AWG and nothing else to power the board
  • Use either onboard eMMC to burn an OS image to or buy a fresh, fast quality SD card and test it directly after purchase

And even then people will try it with phone chargers, crappy old USB cables lying around and order this 'genuine Kingston' SD card on aliexpress for a third of the usual price to ensure they get a counterfeit card.

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I just read some of the text above about POWER SUPPLY.

Basically you can get from China devices like iPhone and Galaxy S7 - means they can really make high quality.

 

I have Power Supplies for years plugged in without any problems.

The more efficient it is designed, the less it will get warm. IKEA has a nice one with 3 USB-plugs, around € 9.- and with Amps up to 2,5 or 3.

 

If a housing is bigger or smaller can also depend on the technic used, if it works only with 230 Volt or only 120 Volt most probably it has coil to transform the voltage.

If if can handle from 100 - 240 Volt it might use the newer technic which has its pro and cons.

The ones with coil are usually heavier and bigger.

Interesting, so the IKEA ones are good then? I don't get why they use three USB ports with limited ampere, but considering the Andersson one I am looking at costs 4 euros more and have less ampere with one port I might give it a try if you claim there is no drops/used it for long. 

Yeah, I have some which are bigger and others which are most smaller but seemingly rated the exact same. I believe the bigger one heats much less than the smaller PSU, but that might just be that the bigger one has more surface to spread it with or draws less amperage in it's use case. Which was why I wondered if I could check the voltage on the USB prots which I think are supposed to be at 5V to look for voltage drops when I test different PSUs. I do not know where you can order these, but surely they are sold somewhere. As far as I can see this is the only way to measure it unless I can use a voltmeter and point them to the circuits on the board or the DC-IN. 

 

 

And even then people will try it with phone chargers, crappy old USB cables lying around and order this 'genuine Kingston' SD card on aliexpress for a third of the usual price to ensure they get a counterfeit card.

Good one. I believe it is very hard to see they are fakes as you have no way to know which flash chip is inside without physically opening it.The rule is you simply do not order any storage on Chinese sites, you should always order them on local stores (even Amazon can in some cases sell fakes).If you do open it may also be the same flash memory, just the controller could be a cheap one which doesn't do as good a job. I have actually seen good Chinese cards using Samsung memory and some cheap China controller, search for mixza and sort by order number to find these. Not that I have fully tested it yet, it was just for storing music on for a small MP3 player and I didn't need any expensive brand card for that. When i transferred files with a USB 2.0 adapter it got 12 megabyte/s, they looked pretty serious and had a verification code on it and everything. Again can't say could be memory that doesn't handle many writes and starts failing after a while. Sorry for going off-topic, just a mention.

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I don't understand what's the problem? You login with root and provide password 1234, than you are asked to repeat and change. Next you are asked to create user.

 

 

Absolutely well done on Armbian 5.05. Delighted with it on Orange Pi one.

 

I had a similar problem with OP0ne 5.05Armbian as my tv as a monitor was slightly overscanning.

 

So when Armbian first booted the request to login was hidden under the bottom of the monitor view-able area.

 

Eventually I guessed what was happening and eventually by putting in root and PSW 1234 was able to log in.

 

But I still had the same problem when it requested me to enter a new password.

 

Armbian on My 1080p TV defaulted to 720p . But was over-scanning my TV has no way to adjust the screen. On my Android TV Box (Minix H6) the android set up software has a ability to reduce the size of the screen to fit the view-able area.

 

Thanks heaps for your efforts on Armbian.

 

Seasalt

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Armbian on My 1080p TV defaulted to 720p . But was over-scanning my TV has no way to adjust the screen. On my Android TV Box (Minix H6) the android set up software has a ability to reduce the size of the screen to fit the view-able area.

Finally got the time to try out my OPi PC so I also hooked it up to my 1080p 50" TV as I had no other monitors available and no powered HDMI-to-VGA/DVI adapter to use my spare screens. It defaulted to 720p and was overscanned, but easily solved by setting to 1080p60 through h3disp. Should be something that you can adjust like you say, but not in h3disp? I don't recommend running 720p on 50" though. 

 

As for the headline use, was wondering if I should put it aside until mainline patches go through (if they ever?) or just go with it now. The poor old 600 MHz 1-core ARMv6 is starting to fail on me and needs to be replaced soon, and I do not think there is much more than apt-get update;apt-get upgrade to update it once it goes through since I use armbian? May be it was set to only be legacy.

 

I did not get an IKEA PSU, but an Andersson one rated 2.1A using the barrel plug to USB they sell in the official bundle (hopefully these are good cables), it should handle good output and if it doesn't I finally ordered a KCX-045 voltmeter. The main thing I want to make sure of before I test it out and attempt a underclocked setup like yours is that it will not have the potential to damage the board when vcore/board receive lower voltage? I know overclocking (increased voltage) on hardware can damage components-or at least decrease their lifetime, but hardly ever used undervolt. The settings that came with armbian seemed pretty decent, and might not need much tweaking if I install the server-only version (might as well edit it too ifs high). If I connect USB's that do not draw power (external power like for example HDD docking) or use the audio jack that probably won't need much change from your example. Since the PSU is rated at 5V it may affect decide to behave funny when used too much below 5V? Or maybe I've misunderstood how these bricks work, better wait for my voltmeter to arrive. I'll look through what was already written about that. I'll read-read what you wrote and try to fine-tune it, thanks a lot for that by the way I feel like I have been pretty ignorant (&probably still is).

 

Last thing I wanted to talk about while I was at it, was thinking of having it play audio just for the sake of it. I adjusted up the volume of "audiocodec" in alsamixer, assuming that's the audio jack. But somehow the whole board crashed/froze with an error code when I attempted to play music with mpd. May be the output is set to HDMI even though the HDMI was disconnected or just a completely random fail. Another thing was that I heard you tell over IRC that the integrated PHY was bad for mainline, does that mean I should be wary about it's performance if I switch from legacy or was I misinterpreting? 

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Since we want to use the OPi PC as cheap home automation controllers we evaluated the possible input voltage range. Good news: DC-IN voltage can vary between 4.5V - 5.5V when you neither need USB nor HDMI (DC-IN will be directly routed to the power pins of USB/HDMI).

 

 

There're some cheap 5V 3A "LED Strip" power adapters sold on Aliexpress. They measure 6V at idle, but voltage may drop some at load. Can it damage OPI using such an adapter - what components? And if the power port is damaged, would it still be possible to power OPI through the PIN Header as you did?

 

And if 6V is supplied directly via USB and HDMI power pins, can it also damage USB Thumbs and PC Monitor HDMI ports & main board?

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There're some cheap 5V 3A "LED Strip" power adapters sold on Aliexpress. They measure 6V at idle, but voltage may drop some at load. Can it damage OPI using such an adapter - what components? And if the power port is damaged, would it still be possible to power OPI through the PIN Header as you did?

 

And if 6V is supplied directly via USB and HDMI power pins, can it also damage USB Thumbs and PC Monitor HDMI ports & main board?

I don't know about those 6V adapters, but i guess if they drop to 5V at load it's ok. I am using similar "LED Strip" power adapter for my OPI PC through GPIO pins currently, but it's 5V/5A. The exact model have to be like this one - 5V 5A Switching Power Supply Driver Switching For LED Strip Light Display 110V/220V :

 

2a5hizo.jpg

 

When idle, shows 5.03V, at load (playing HONEY BEES 96fps IN 4K (ULTRA HD)(Original_H.264-AAC demo) drops to 5.01/02V, so this model is reliable.

Before that i was using provided cable through PC USB3.0 port (not working at USB2.0 obviously, shut downs randomly on my TV 1A rated USB, it's demand at least 2A), but it's more stable with this power supply.

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I was talking about this model, its unregulated, but I don't think it drops to 5V under OPI standalone load. Any simple way to find it out? I'm concerned about PC Monitor impact due to HDMI overvoltage.

 

I assume your application requires passing up to 5A current through OPI. Would such current damage tiny power components of the device? I think, even powering an external 3.5' USB HDD is a bad idea due to high starting current. I found a few interesting power supply options for OPI allowing to use 12V CCTV or laptop adapters:

 

12V-to-5V 3A adjustable DC-DC Converter

12V-to-5V 3A Double USB Step Down Module

 

 

On a relevant note, is it a good idea to use a USB powered hub with the device to connect multiple peripherals? I mean, if connecting a USB webcam, sound card, and Uno board to the same USB port on OPI One, they likely to limit each others signal bandwidth or otherwise interfere.

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Could very well be my testing equipment is a bit flawed, but here are my results using the armbian server build and my PSU

Idle: 5.12V 0.25 A 1,322W
stress --cpu 4 (high load): 5.11V 0.56 A 2,880W

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Is the integrated ethernet controller working with latest mainline release?

 

A month ago it worked but I've no clue whether it still does. You can try it out yourself but need a serial console anyway (no HDMI support currently): Armbian_5.10_Orangepih3_Debian_jessie_4.6.0-rc1.7z

 

At least I won't look into it until 4.7 (and the THS patches ready, without working thermal throttling it's somewhat dangerous to encourage people to run mainline kernel on H3 -- please keep that in mind)

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A month ago it worked but I've no clue whether it still does. You can try it out yourself but need a serial console anyway (no HDMI support currently): Armbian_5.10_Orangepih3_Debian_jessie_4.6.0-rc1.7z

 

At least I won't look into it until 4.7 (and the THS patches ready, without working thermal throttling it's somewhat dangerous to encourage people to run mainline kernel on H3 -- please keep that in mind)

So it's better to wait :) Thanks!

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Could very well be my testing equipment is a bit flawed, but here are my results using the armbian server build and my PSU

Idle: 5.12V 0.25 A 1,322W
stress --cpu 4 (high load): 5.11V 0.56 A 2,880W

 

Was not to sure about how much I can trust that command put max load on the device, but seeing how much current it was drawing it should be safe to power this device with my even lower Google ITE 1A supply. I am not too sure how calibrated my USB multimeter was, so I was planning on getting a regular voltmeter and checking DC-IN directly. But today I checked with that Google PSU on another device just to use my USB voltmeter for something. It was pulling 5.04V (flickers to 5,06) 0.39 A 2W which makes me believe that this PSU delivers slightly lower voltage? Does that 0.08 voltage different mean anything for the board itself in the long run? I was just curious due to your past mentions about voltage drops after higher power draw, while these seem to keep a stable just slightly small different voltages.

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A month ago it worked but I've no clue whether it still does. You can try it out yourself but need a serial console anyway (no HDMI support currently): Armbian_5.10_Orangepih3_Debian_jessie_4.6.0-rc1.7z

 

At least I won't look into it until 4.7 (and the THS patches ready, without working thermal throttling it's somewhat dangerous to encourage people to run mainline kernel on H3 -- please keep that in mind)

 

Thanks for the warning.  I am very excited to get a 4.x kernel working on my Orange Pi boards.

 

Thanks again for your hard work!

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