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[Tutorial] Orange Pi H3 -- fix thermal/stability problems


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EDIT: All of the below written stuff is outdated and not recommended to run on any Armbian installation anyway. Simply use Armbian with default settings and you're done. In case you want to adjust settings, search the forum for 'h3consumption' utility.


EDIT: Please be aware that it seems voltage switching on the various Orange Pi One boards seems to have some tolerances. A user reported his Orange Pi One crashes randomly when staying on the lower voltage with the new fex settings so unless it's confirmed which voltages are really used or how to measure the real voltage the proposed fix here might lead to undervoltage/stability issues on some boards.


EDIT 2: In the meantime it seems only my board suffers from overvoltage so v0.3 of fix-thermal-problems.sh will apply default settings for Orange Pi One/Lite again.


When we first started with Orange Pi H3 SBCs a few months ago we had to realise that the SoC was blamed for overheating. Fortunately this was mostly due to overvolting/overclocking. I developed a rather primitive script to fix this stuff by converting script.bin to a temporary file, adjusting the relevant parameters to sane values and converting this back to script.bin last year.


Now Orange Pi One is there and the manufacturer simply disappeared. They sell a new board but there's zero information, OS images, any comments on settings, no schematic, simply nothing. This intercultural thing is still really amazing! :)


EDIT: Schematics have been released: http://linux-sunxi.org/Orange_Pi_One#See_also


First investigations showed that the different way to regulate the SoC's voltage seems somewhat broken and Orange Pi One is overvolted by design (affects temperature, stability and probably longevity negatively)


Since most Orange Pi One users cluelessly use OS images for Orange Pi PC and have not the slightest idea what's going on I fixed the fix-thermal-problems.sh script to differentiate between the older Orange Pis and the new Orange Pi One. The script checks the amount of available DRAM and if it's 512MB then it applies sane settings for Orange Pi One (no voltage switching since this is dangerous -- see above).


Anyone here with access to Orange Pi forums (me not -- I lost my logon credentials the 2nd time and this crappy forum doesn't send out password reset links!) should inform the users there that they should take care and that fix-thermal-problems.sh now is also able to cure Orange Pi One. Please spread the word and link to this thread.


1st note: Since most users have not the slightest idea what's going on on their SBC I tried to simplify installation of a small lightweight monitoring solution. If anyone wants to be able to simply monitor what's going on on his Orange Pi: In case a Debian based distro is used it's easier than anytime before: http://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/617-wip-support-for-the-upcoming-orange-pi-one/?p=5317


2nd note (mostly to the other Armbian devs): I also want to collect some feedback on this 'adjust script.bin on the fly' approach since the h3disp utility we develop should be able to run not only on Armbian but on most of the images currently used with any Orange Pi model. We try to improve and not to force someone to use a specific distro/image :)

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Thanks so much for this! May I ask why "no voltage switching since this is dangerous" is struck out? Is the under/overvoltage issue actually resolved? Wouldn't the voltage still swing up to ~1.5V, like you previous reported? IIRC, your review of the One suggests staying out of the device though.


Also, I believe the orangepi.org forum does send out reset emails, except that the Great Firewall blocks emails going out to GMail, etc. You might need QQ to ensure mails going through.


I'm still waiting for my new account to be verified - just need one more day of daily login for that.

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The "orangepi.org" forum is terribly slow sometime, and even some pages appeared incomplete.

My account never been confirmed after several months. Their emails are either never sent or, as you said, maybe blocked.


I believe you'll need to log in for 3 consecutive days for it to be automatically verified.

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May I ask why "no voltage switching since this is dangerous" is struck out?


My 1st assumption was that Orange Pi One switches between 1.3V and 1.5V and therefore decided to create settings that always remain on the lower voltage. While this worked with my Orange Pi One (that is obviously different or maybe damaged) this is not true for OPi One in general: People confirmed that switching between 1.1V and 1.3V happens so my assumption is wrong (and maybe I damaged my OPi One myself since I realised pretty late that the GPIO header is rotated and I tried several times to insert DC-IN where it shouldn't be inserted to)


Apart from this the OPi One works like a charm but since for $5 more you get a device with few more available ports and a better voltage regulation I would buy the PC in most cases (and to be honest: ATM I would buy neither PC nor One since I want to see full specs of the announced 'Orange Pi PC Plus' first -- regarding the naming scheme I still wonder what they smoke over there at Xunlong)

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