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botfap

Linux on H96 Max - RK3399 variants

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If you dont need GPIO then you are probably better off looking at TV boxes or boards intended for that market instead of an SBC. That market is starting to see PCIe and USB3 attached 4x4 wifi chips and at very cheap prices. I brought back some dirt cheap RK3399 TV box boards back from China in June with AP6255 (2T2R) chips that perform much better than expected as an AP for upto 5-6 simultaneous clients. I get approx 425Mbps with 1 client, ~295Mbps with 3 clients and ~165Mbps with 6 clients. Thats line of sight in a ring approx 3 meter radius around the AP.  I also get 890Mbps on the GB port on boards that cost me about €35 each (¥27500 for 100 boards)

 

¥275 / €35 RK3399 boards with GBe, 32GB eMMC, 4GB Ram, USB2 / 3, USB C

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5 hours ago, botfap said:

Im sure you can probably get them for ~€40 with a PSU from Ali.

 

¥275 / €35 RK3399 boards with GBe, 32GB eMMC, 4GB Ram, USB2 / 3, USB C

well maybe ali has dynamic pricing but if you send me a RK3399 TV-box with eMMC for 40$, I'll buy 1-2 of them.. :P All the boxes I find are in the 100$ price-range.. 

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6 minutes ago, chwe said:

well maybe ali has dynamic pricing but if you send me a RK3399 TV-box with eMMC for 40$, I'll buy 1-2 of them.. :P All the boxes I find are in the 100$ price-range.. 

I'm a little curious how their price could be so low. AFAIK the RK3399 SoC itself is about $20, and 2GB DRAM costs around $20 (or more, these days).

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Just now, hjc said:

I'm a little curious how their price could be so low. AFAIK the RK3399 SoC itself is about $20, and 2GB DRAM costs around $20 (or more, these days).

Maybe falling down the truck bridge when nobody saws it? :ph34r:

 

you forgot the 32GB eMMC..  but as said.. for 40$ I'm in.. :P 

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@tkaiser They may well be from H96 Max boxes, they seem to be almost identical from what I just googled. Ive got a H96 android image downloading to test on one now.  Ive only used 12 so far but they all have the AP6255 not LTM8830. They came with blank eMMC so Im not sure what they were originally intended to run. Stock RK u-boot compiles and works with a couple of config changes. Stock RK 4.4 Kernel that I cloned in June mostly works fine with some config changes though the current RK 4.4 kernel seems to have broken over the last month or so.

 

@chwe, @hjc The RK3399 is getting pretty old now and can currently be bought for about ~$12 in volume, though the identical RK-OP1 branded 3399 is still ~$18. Even so I recognise that this was a one off purchase and I probably wont get any more at that price, certainly not from the UK. After looking on Ali this morning I see the H96 Max retails for about €90 in single units so its a lot more expensive than I guessed at. I bought them from a market in Chongqing and me and one of my employees brought home 50 each as hand luggage which caused a bit of a delay coming back into the UK :) They were listed at ¥349 each which seemed ridiculously cheap for the spec so I bartered him down to ¥275 to take nearly all of them off him. I was pretty sure they would come in useful at that price! The build quality is poor and the soldering is truly horrifying but hey, they work for what I need from them.

 

If you guys want one to play with I will send you one each for €35 + postage 

 

Edit: H96 Max Android image boots without problem and everything seems to work fully except the WiFi chip which isnt detected. From @tkaiser this may be because its looking for a LTM8830

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On 8/25/2018 at 3:11 PM, botfap said:

Edit: H96 Max Android image boots without problem and everything seems to work fully except the WiFi chip which isnt detected. From @tkaiser this may be because its looking for a LTM8830

depends on version you look at.. E.g. this one http://freaktab.com/forum/tv-player-support/rockchip-based-tv-players/rk3399-devices/645643-h96-max-rk3399-tv-box-4-32gb/page2

has an the AP6255.  ;)

 

Unfortunately,  UART get's silent quickly after boot and I still don't understand exactly why..  using mainline u-boot.  Well, let's see what will work with @ayufans u-boot

 

 

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5 minutes ago, botfap said:

Also is there a 2nd uart header on the board? I seem to remember there being 2 serial headers but I may be wrong

There are two.. Unfortunately they have a 2mm pitch not 2.54 so soldering is nasty.. :P Soldered my uart to the one labeled debug and the first messages also show that this seems to be the right one. But I might solder to the other uart as well. At least firstrun doesn't came up.. otherwise the FS would be expanded. 

BTW did you load something to the eMMC? cause there's a short bootlog when I boot up without SD-Card (the binary creation date changes, so I assume there's a difference)...

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Yes I pre loaded an android 7.1 image for the H96 max. I didn't test your actual board but I tested a few and android booted straight up after a 3 min black screen. You might have to zero the first 4M of the eMMC to force SD boot or I think there may be a reset button behind the audio port. On the serial console side, I think it may switch uart's when the bootloader starts but Im not 100% sure, it was a while ago and I see a lot of different boards

 

I have discovered I have 3 different revisions of the board (dark blue, light blue and green pcb's) mfg in 2017-11, 2017-08, 2017-06. They all have 4G+32G+AP6255 stickers and are visually identical though I haven't had chance to actually compare them yet

 

We should probably start a H96 Max TV Box thread

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2 hours ago, botfap said:

We should probably start a H96 Max TV Box thread

Splittened this one.. 

 

2 hours ago, botfap said:

I have discovered I have 3 different revisions of the board (dark blue, light blue and green pcb's) mfg in 2017-11, 2017-08, 2017-06. They all have 4G+32G+AP3255 stickers and are visually identical though I havent had chance to actually compare them yet

Compared to the pictures from the link:

2 hours ago, chwe said:

 

it looks similar despite: 

  • SK hynx ram not 'ELPiDA'
  • eMMC is not from samsung
  • 'QL1720' not 'QL1716'

but both are labeled ZH-RK3399-TVBOX v2.0 even the date matches (2017-03-30).

2 hours ago, botfap said:

You might have to zero the first 4M of the eMMC to force SD boot or I think there may be a reset button behind the audio port.

I may need an USB-C cable now.. :P All my computers are from the time before USB-C was standard.. :D 

 

2 hours ago, botfap said:

On the serial console side, I think it may switch uart's when the bootloader starts but Im not 100% sure, it was a while ago and I see a lot of different boards

I guess this behavior can be fixed with some board config stuff (e.g. https://github.com/armbian/build/blob/9c15130252828c7b2ecf3c18b9c3a5dec8494bf9/patch/u-boot/u-boot-rk3399/nanopc-t4.patch#L62-L63 and https://github.com/armbian/build/blob/9c15130252828c7b2ecf3c18b9c3a5dec8494bf9/patch/u-boot/u-boot-rk3399/nanopc-t4.patch#L785 for the time before DT kicks in.. schematics would be nice.. :P but well.. I assume they don't change that much from default for cheap tv boxes).. 

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You can flash it with a standard USB A-A cable in the USB3 A port

 

From what I could work out at the time, the designs were all the same but the swapped ram, emmc, wifi and others between productions runs based on whatever was cheapest / available. All the different branded / cased boxes appear to share this board with some variant of peripherals

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12 hours ago, botfap said:

We should probably start a H96 Max TV Box thread

 

But there are many different H96 Boxes...

I ordered a H96 Max+ and this got a RK3328 CPU, 4GB Ram, 32GB Flash and USB 3.0

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BTW. you might replace thermalpaste.. Mine was a bit dry (not terrible dry, but I guess they also go for the cheapest thermal past the can get.. :P )

 

It was accessible via USBA to UBAA cable (I had to kill two of my el cheapo microUSB cables, :D)

My soldering tip died and resoldering of the UART (one cable directly soldered broke) was nasty.. It works somehow.. but not really well. I may need an HDMI screen as well to get a clue.. according to console out.. the emmc should be empty now.. so my next attempts will start soon. 

 

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Wow,  ¥349 for RK3399 4GB/32GB is really cheap. The cheapest I can find from Taobao is  ¥599.  Then I still need to pay either 7% GST plus cheaper sea shipment or more expensive shipment to Singapore. The cheapest RK3399 based dev board seems to be Nanopi M4 ( ¥499 board +  ¥49  heat sink) 2GB with zero eMMC.

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Looks promising, i am looking forward to get a more powerful sbc and i dont need any gpios or additional connectors. 

A unused single serial connector would be nice. So that a external microcontroller can be directly connected without usb. 
You mentioned 2 serial headers is it possible to use one for the kernel debug output, so that the otherone is free for custom applications after boot?

Is everything working fine like USB3.0, WIFI, eMMC and GBit Lan?

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@botfap did you load the eMMC with the windows tool? I think there's still partly a bootloader somewhere in eMMC which might be not as healthy for debugging.. (I've to be really careful to not break the wirings again until I've a proper soldering iron back.. :P )

 

On 9/20/2018 at 12:25 PM, christoph said:

Is everything working fine like USB3.0, WIFI, eMMC and GBit Lan?

...

On 9/15/2018 at 10:16 PM, botfap said:

Yes I pre loaded an android 7.1 image for the H96 max. 

 

if you talk about 'armbian' or armbian-a-like nope...  Or at least not that I know. :) 

I might switch to @ayufans rockchip u-boot fork. :) 

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@chwe I used the Linux rkflashtool to poke the Android image but one of my guys has done it with the windows tool too. I seem to remember some maskrom limitations of the Linux tool but I can’t remember what at the minute. I’m on my way home from Germany at the min but I will have a look tonight and tell you what I did. I was planning to have a go at it tomorrow 

 

I did build a partially functional system using RKs own uboot, kernel and buildroot with only minor changes in June. When I retried using master branch from August the kernel was broken and I didn’t have the enthusiasm to find out why at that stage

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