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Evaluation of Banana Pi M2+ for an open source and open hardware project in school


Ucino
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Hello,

 

I'm following my investigation in order to have a SBC that can use armbian to deploy it in schools with the Primtux OS in order to make DIY activites ,more details here :

A user tell me about a Banana Pi SBC, thanks a lot to him. I'm trying to add http://www.banana-pi.org/m2plus.html to the benchmark tool : https://mutualiser-les-comparatifs.les-cercles-vertueux.org/comparatif-des-nano-ordinateurs-monocarte

 

Here is my first questions :

Banana Pi M2+ could have H2+, H3, H5 processor.

 

1) What is the most adapted for my needs ? My needs are :

The most usable on VGA old screen that have schools or that people can give to schools ;

The most powerfull (to use openscad, blender, inkscape) ;

 

If i have a look on https://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlining_effort#Status_Matrix I didn't see H2+, is it well supported, especially for VGA compatibility using a HDMI to VGA cable (some one know where can I have more information about this) ? Reading the table It seems that H3 and H5 has approximatively the same support. It seems (but I'm not sure) that H5 is more powerful than H3, so, for using 3D softwares, H5 seems to be the best choice for the school project use case ?

 

2) In the benchmark tool, and for the project we have a special attention for the open hardware things. There is some items about it.

I would like to add the following informations :

2.A) The license of the design files (ie : CC-BY-SA).

2.B) The link where we can find the design files

2.C) The sofware used to make the the design files

 

I didn't found these information, some one have some information about this ?

 

3) The armbian build

On https://www.armbian.com/banana-pi-m2-plus/ there is Legacy kernel images and Mainline kernel images :

3.A) Legacy kernel images are the xxxxx_xxxx_default.7z  https://dl.armbian.com/bananapim2plus/

and Mainline kernel Images are the files in the nighlty folder ? (it seems that no, that's other thing. If it's other thing the file that we can download are the legacy ones ?)

3.B) If I use the Mainline kernel images there is a good support of HDMI resolution (on Legacy it's a know issue) ?

3.C) If I use the Legacy kernel images, there is Mali drivers and hardware accelerated video decoding ?

 

Thanks a lot for your help and attention :)

 

 

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Armbian Linux community supported weekly builds download

1,BPI-M2+ ,just HDMI , you need use HDMI to VGA accessories line to let it support VGA.  Just BPI-M1 with VGA and HDMI port.

 

2,about H2+,H3,H5 chip , all is PIN to PIN compatibility, to support your project ,more support is about software support.

 

3,this is open source project ,you can get all design documents. we can support you.

 

4, armbian have do a good work for support allwinner H3 chip.:)

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks a lot for you replies @Lion Wang

 

1.A) Sorry I think I didn't understand your first answer (the difference between BPI-M2+ and BPI-M1 support of VGA) : If I use BPI-M2+ (with H2, H2+ or H5) and a HDMI to VGA converter cable (ie :this one for example https://fr.aliexpress.com/store/product/HDMI-to-VGA-CABLE-for-Orange-PI-Factory-Quality-in-Stock/1553371_32659253354.html?spm=a2g0w.12010612.0.0.3138f791HJUItg  ) do you think I could run an armbian build on for example 1280x1024 60hz VGA screen or 1024 x 768 60 Hz ?

 

(I have bought an orange pi win + (A64) and wasn't able to have a nice and out of the box display for these screens (http://www.orangepi.org/orangepibbsen/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2931&page=1#pid20282))

 

1.B) And the same question for BPI-M1 that have A20 processor. WIth this I will not have problems on VGA 1280x1024 60hz VGA screen or 1024 x 768 60 Hz ?

 

Thanks a lot

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2 hours ago, Ucino said:

1280x1024 60hz VGA screen or 1024 x 768 60 Hz


Yes. I use one of those as my primary test device. With cheap HDMI 2 VGA converter. All mentioned boards and kernels which run Armbian support this screen. 

Get one H3 board, use the legacy kernel and check how can you make use of boards 3D engine (MALI) in the software you are planning to use. Note that those boards use some simple 3D graphics and some hack might be needed like open GL wrapper ... in any case, your best and only way is to proceed with some H3 board. More or less all are supported on Armbian, just go for the one that suits your need best. In term on peripherals and physical dimensions.

If you need 3D engine, forget about mainline kernel and more powerful boards. Software support is the key element. Bad or not existing ... you waste your time.

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4 hours ago, Igor said:

Yes. I use one of those as my primary test device. With cheap HDMI 2 VGA converter. All mentioned boards and kernels which run Armbian support this screen. 

Thanks a lot for your reply. Perfect. for all mentioned boards, you are talking about BPI-M2+ and BPM1 no ? or in general all the boards that have a stable armbian with H2+, H3, and H5 (ie: that could means that the orange Pi PC+ that use H3 will also run with a cheap HDMI 2 VGA converter on these screens ?)

 

 

4 hours ago, Igor said:

Get one H3 board, use the legacy kernel and check how can you make use of boards 3D engine (MALI) in the software you are planning to use. Note that those boards use some simple 3D graphics and some hack might be needed like open GL wrapper ...

 

Ok, I have recently bought the OPiPC+ and I will follow your advices.

4 hours ago, Igor said:

in any case, your best and only way is to proceed with some H3 board. More or less all are supported on Armbian, just go for the one that suits your need best. In term on peripherals and physical dimensions.

Ok, so if I understand well, actually, for making 3D things (OpenScad, Blender...) for kids in schools (with VGA screen) the best SoC is H3. It's the most powerful with the best support for sofwares. I can forget actually H5, A64 and other SOC that are more powerful but with worst software support. And this great topic will help me a lot :) : https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/1351-h3-board-buyers-guide/

 

4 hours ago, Igor said:

If you need 3D engine, forget about mainline kernel and more powerful boards.

 

Ok thanks !

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Ucino said:

Thanks a lot for your reply. Perfect. for all mentioned boards, you are talking about BPI-M2+ and BPM1 no ? or in general all the boards that have a stable armbian with H2+, H3, and H5 (ie: that could means that the orange Pi PC+ that use H3 will also run with a cheap HDMI 2 VGA converter on these screens ?)

 

All of them. With Armbian - some 3rd party Linux might not have those screen resolutions. Original Allwinner kernel has only a few of them.

 

31 minutes ago, Ucino said:

Ok, I have recently bought the OPiPC+ and I will follow your advices.

 

Good pick.
 

31 minutes ago, Ucino said:

Ok, so if I understand well, actually, for making 3D things (OpenScad, Blender...) for kids in schools (with VGA screen) the best SoC is H3. It's the most powerful with the best support for sofwares. I can forget actually H5, A64 and other SOC that are more powerful but with worst software support.

1


Exactly. With H3 you have the best chances for success.

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@Lion Wang

 

In order to following this project (SDC open hardware for schools), it seems that I have enough information for the 1) and 3) part.

 

Now I would like to have more information about the point 2) for the BPI-M2+ H3. This project make sens because it try to support constructor that support open hardware, so I need to check this points :

 

2.A) The license of the design files (ie : CC-BY-SA).

2.B) The link where we can find the design files

2.C) The sofware used to make the the design files

 

I will send you my email by private message or you can tell me how I can ask this information. I will add the 2.A & 2.C answer to the benchmarking tool, for the 2.B if I can add it it's perfect, if you prefer giving this only to people that ask your company, I understand it entirely, and I can add in the benchmark tool how we can ask the design files to your company.

 

14 hours ago, Lion Wang said:

this is open source project ,you can get all design documents. we can support you.

 

Thanks a lot for your proposition of support, this is a very important point in order to make successful this project.

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