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Posts Tagged ‘odroid-c2’

RailPi 2.0 DIN Rail Enclosure & Industrial Expansion Board is Designed for Raspberry Pi 3 & ODROID-C2 Boards

January 17th, 2017 1 comment

We’ve already seen the Raspberry Pi compute module used for industrial applications with RevolutionPi RevPi Core industrial computer with a DIN rail enclosure, support for digital I/O modules and fieldbus gateways. Hagedorn Software Engineering GmbH, another German company has designed a similar industrial computer, called RailPi 2.0, with a DIN rail enclosure integrating an add-on board designed for Raspberry Pi 3 and ODROID-C2 boards.

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RailPi 2.0 specifications (adapted from Google Translation of website):

  • I/Os
    • 4x digital outputs, short-circuit-proof, PWM-compatible, with diode for the connection of inductive loads such as relays.
    • 2x optically decoupled inputs, current-limited, with dimensions compliant with the S0 standard to allow them to be used with  pules counters / current meters.
    • RS485 interface
    • 1-Wire bus placed at the front of the RailPi
    • Bus connector for extensions with GND,I2C Clock (5V), I2C data (5V), 5V, and 12V
  • Misc – Real-time clock
  • Power Supply – Input voltage range of 9-36V DC

The Raspberry Pi 3 / ODROID-C2 ports are also exposed through the enclosure with 4 USB ports, Ethernet, and more. RailPi website provides some more details, especially if you can read German. The expansion board schematics have also been released in PDF format.

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This type of equipment is quite specialized and sold in low volume, so pricing might be higher than you would expect. You’ll find two models on RailPi store with RailPi 2.0 + Raspberry Pi 3 board sold for 236.81 Euros, and RailPi 2.0 + ODROID C2 for 248.71 Euros.

If you don’t really need to complete system with industrial input / output boards, but would just need a DIN rail enclosure for your board, there are much cheaper options with on RS Components starting at 4.74 GBP (<$6) although at this low price it might only be part of the case, as well as ModMyPi, and eBay.

Thanks to Sander for the tip.

Ten Most Popular Posts of 2016 on CNX Software and Some Stats

December 31st, 2016 13 comments

The last day of the year is a good time to look back at what the year brought us, and I have to say it has been a fun and interesting year on CNX Software. The TV boxes news cycle has been dominated by Amlogic products, but most products have now switched to 64-bit ARM SoC, with 4K and HDMI 2.0 support, and price have kept going down, so you can now get a 4K TV box for as low as $20, although many people will prefer spending a bit more for extra memory and support. Intel based Bay Trail & Cherry Trail mini PCs have continued to be released with Windows, and in some cases Ubuntu, but the excitement seems to have died off a bit, maybe with the expectation of upcoming Apollo Lake mini PCs that should be more powerful. The year have been especially fruitful in the IoT space with a dramatic reduction in costs and sizes from ESP8266 boards to GPS modules and microwave radar modules, and we’ve also seen LPWAN modules & boards, mostly based on LoRa, but also Sigfox, being brought to market, as well as an alternative to ESP8266 with Realtek RTL8710AF, and of course the launch of Espressif ESP32 SoC with WiFi and Bluetooth LE. We’ve also been spoiled with development boards this year with the launch of 64-bit boards such as Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2, and Pine A64+, as well as more dirt cheap Orange Pi boards, joined by NanoPi boards later in the year, and made all the more useful thanks to armbian community.

I’ve compiled a list of the most popular posts of 2016 using the page views count from Google Analytics:

  1. Amlogic S905 vs S812 Benchmarks Comparison (January 2016) – Amlogic S905 was probably the most popular SoC for TV boxes in 2016, thanks to a decent set of features, and aggressive pricing from manufacturers. So people wanted to find out if it was worth upgrading from S812 to S905, or maybe had to decide between purchasing a S905 or S812 TV box.
  2. Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2 and Pine A64+ Development Boards Comparison (February 2016) – 2016 was also the year of cheap 64-bit development board with the launch of Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2 and Pine A64+ boards, more or less at the same time, so again people want have wanted to look at which one to buy through this comparison.
  3. This is What a 16 Raspberry Pi Zero Cluster Board Looks Like (January 2016) – What can generated more buzz than the Raspberry Pi Zero? A cluster of Raspberry Pi Zero boards, as this post went viral the day after being posted. There was some talk about a crowdfunding campaign at one point, but it never happened.
  4. Review of K1 Plus Android TV Box with Combo DVB-S2/DVB-T2 Tuner (February 2016) – My review of K1 PLus T2 S2 might not be the most viewed post on CNX Software, but it sure generated a lot of comments, as while the product offers a unique combination of DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 tuners in an Android TV box at an attractive price, the documentation and software may need some improvements. Unofficial OpenELEC firmware images later surfaced from the community.
  5. How to Change Language to English and Install Apps Remotely on Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced (April 2016) – Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced is probably the most powerful TV box that can easily be purchased worldwide, but the caveat is that it has only been designed for the Chinese market. That post explains how to work around that limitation.
  6. Amlogic S905 vs Amlogic S912 Benchmarks Comparison (September 2016) – Quad core vs octa core, yeah twice the performance! Well not quite, but people were still curious to find out how the latest octa-core Amlogic S912 SoC would perform against Amlogic S905, and the truth is that the performance difference is rather minor, except for 3D graphics.
  7. NEXBOX A95X (Amlogic S905X) TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 and Kodi 16.1 (August 2016) – NEXBOX A95X was one of the first TV boxes based on Amlogic S905X processor, and my second review. The device is tiny an relatively cheap, so the review attracted some eyeballs.
  8. Mini M8S II TV Box (Amlogic S905X) Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware (July 2016) – My first review of an Amlogic S905X TV box nearly had the same number of views as NEXBOX A95X post, and many of the same features, just in a different package.
  9. Getting Started with Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 Board, DHT & Relay Shield (March 2016) – Wemos D1 mini is a great little ESP8266 board. It’s small, cheap ($4), and easy to use. The optional shields, just as cheap, make it a very attractive option for your IoT projects. Other people noticed it too, and then visited my review to get started.
  10. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Board Features a 64-Bit ARM Processor, Adds WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity (February 2016) – The last post is the list if a Raspberry Pi 3 leak just one day before the actual announcement.

Stats

Traffic has been rather steady in 2016 over the months.

cnx-software-traffic-2016The blog got around 9.8 millions pageviews in 2016 compared to about 7.2 millions pageviews in 2015, a 36% growth in traffic that was likely helped by my not going on a 3 months trip this year…

“openwrt” and scoop.it, respectively the top keyword and referral in 2015, were replaced by “amlogic s912” and Facebook in 2016.  Google Analytics only shows the last three months for keywords, and the full year for referrals, with referrals excluding search engines such as Google where CNX Software gets most of its traffic.

Top 10 Keywords Top 10 Referrals
amlogic s912 facebook.com
rk3399 flipboard.com
s905 vs s905x scoop.it
s905x vs s912 t.co
mxq box m.facebook.com
amlogic s905 4pda.ru
orange pi vs raspberry pi com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox
s905 vs s912 duckduckgo.com
s912 vs s905x plus.google.com
amlogic freaktab.com

The visitor mix of the blog per country as not changed much, with the top 10 countries of 2015 still there in 2016, and the top five order unchanged with United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and France.

cnx-software-visitors-2016London still hold the top city spot, but Hong Kong and Moscow dropped of the list to be replaced by New York and Melbourne.

cnx-software-2016-browser-operating-systems

Windows is still the main operating system of CNX Software visitors, but its share, as well as the share of other desktop operating ssystems including Linux and “Macintosh”, keeps dropping, while Android and iOS are having a stronger and stronger presence. In the “browser war”, Chrome lead extended further from 52.93% in 2015 to 59.41% in 2016, and Firefox dropping from 23.54% to 18.90%. Microsoft Edge probably had the best growth going from 0.56% last year to 1.86% this year.

Some of the 2016 review samples and I wish all my readers a very happy, prosperous, and healthy new year 2017.

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Hardkernel ODROID-VU8C is 8″ LCD Display and Case Kit for ODROID C1+ and C2 Boards

December 6th, 2016 8 comments

While it’s quite easy to find displays for development boards, they do not always come with a case, so you’d have to make your own. One easier option for the Raspberry Pi boards is the official Raspberry Pi 7″ LCD touch screen Display, plus RS Premium touchscreen case that selling for $132 in total including Raspberry Pi 3 board. But Hardkernel has now launched their own ODROID-VU8C 8″ Touch Display Shell Kit compatible with ODROID-C1+ and ODROID-C2 boards.

odroid-vu8cSpecifications and Kit Contents:

  • 8-inch TFT-LCD with 1024×768 resolution (4:3 ratio)
  • 10 finger capacitive touch input
  • Back-light brightness control with ODROID GPIO PWM
  • Viewing angle : Left 75, Right 75, Up 75, Down 75 degree
  • Screen Dimensions : 189 x 149 x 29 mm
  • Viewable screen size : 162 x121.5 mm (active area)
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A DC to power barrel (powering both the LCD and ODROID ARM Linux board)
  • Power consumption – 700mA/5Volt (Only LCD and display controller)
  • Plastic bottom case
  • DVI to LVDS Converter board
  • HDMI dual gender board
  • 8 x 3.5mm screws; 2port jumper cable
  • Cables – Micro-to-Micro USB Cable (approx. 8cm), Micro-to-TypeA USB Cable (approx. 20cm)

odroid-8-inch-display-assemblyYou’ll have to provide your own ODROID-C1+ or ODROID-C2 board, micro SD card or eMMC module, and assemble the kit. Bear in mind that after assembly, it’s not possible, or rather not convenient, to remove the micro SD card or eMMC module. It works with both Android and Linux operating system, but you’ll have to make sure you use a recent version of the firmware (Linux 3.10.80-128 or higher) and change boot.ini file to 1024×768 (60Hz) resolution (setenv m “1024x768p60hz”) and DVI mode (setenv vout_mode “dvi”). The hardware design is interesting as they’ve used a DVI to RGB converter and a RGB to LVDS converter, instead of just a DVI to LVDS converter, maybe because it’s hard to find?

ODROID-VU8C Block Diagram

ODROID-VU8C Block Diagram

If you still want to access the 40-pin GPIO header in the panel, you can do so easily through the “cutting line ”  on the case.

ODROID-VU8C sells for $90 on Hardkernel website, to which you’d need to add about $32/$40 for ODROID-C1+/C2 board, and shipping. If you’re based in North America, it will be better to purchase the kit from Ameridroid instead, Alternatively the company has other 5″ and 7″ display solutions for their board, but AFAIK there’s no specific case.

Nextcloud Box is a $80 Private Cloud Server with 1TB HDD for Development Boards

September 17th, 2016 29 comments

While there are plenty of cloud services provided by companies such as Dropbox or Google, you may want to manage you own private cloud server instead for performance and/or privacy reasons. One typical way to do this is to install Owncloud or Nextcloud (a fork of Owncloud), on a Linux computer or board such as Raspberry Pi 3. The former is usually a little expensive for just this task, the latter often results in cable mess, and in both case, some people may not be comfortable with setting it all up. Nextcloud, Western Digital, and Canonical seems to have addressed most of those issues with Nextcloud Box including a 1TB USB 3.0 WDLabs harddrive, Nextcloud case with space for the drive and small ARM or x86 Linux development boards, and a micro USB power supply.

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The kit also include a micro SD card pre-loaded with Snappy Ubuntu Core, Apache, MySQL and Nextcloud 10 for the Raspberry Pi 2. They are also working on SD card images for ODROID-C2 and Raspberry Pi 3 boards, but readers of this blog should also be able to use the kit on any ARM or x86 Linux development boards that fit in the case, as all you need to do is install you favorite Linux distribution, and install & configure Nextcloud.

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Some more information and links to purchase can be found on Nexcloud Box product page. Price is $79.99 in the US, 70 Euros in Europe including VAT, and 60 GBP in the United Kingdom. The kit is not available in the rest of the world for now. Remember than you’ll need to add your board, and with a Raspberry Pi 3 the total cost would end up being around $120, but with cheaper boards you should be able to keep the total price below $100 even once shipping is taken into account.

Minimal Ubuntu 16.04 Image for ODROID-C2, and C1/C1+ Boards, Ubuntu Core Image for Bubblegum-96 Board

August 5th, 2016 1 comment

If you’ve been wanting minimal Ubuntu distributions for your server, IoT, or other headless projects, there are some good news from Hardkernel with the release of a minimal Ubuntu 16.04 image for ODROID-C2 and ODROID-C1+ boards, and Canonical has recently announced Actions Semi S900 based BubbleGum-96 board was getting support for Ubuntu Core distribution.

Minimal_Ubuntu_16.04_Image_for_Raspberry_Pi

If you’re using an ODROID board you can download ubuntu64-16.04-minimal-odroid-c2-20160803.img.xz (196MB) firmware, which become 1.7 GB once uncompressed and flash it 2GB or greater micro SD card.

After Raspberry Pi 2 and Samsung Artik 5/10, Bubblegum-96 is the third officially supported board that can run Ubuntu Core. You can download the 3.63GB beta image and instructions to flash it from an Ubuntu 16.04 machine on Mega. Bugglegum-96 is a 96boards compliant development board based on an quad core Cortex A53 processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB flash manufactured and sold by ucRobotics for $89.

ucRobotics Bubblegum-96 Boards

ucRobotics Bubblegum-96 Boards

LibreELEC 7.0 Ported to Amlogic S905 TV Boxes & ODROID-C2 Board

July 18th, 2016 37 comments

Most TV boxes are now sold pre-loaded with Android, but there’s still a fair amount of people who only want to play videos in their box, or only run Kodi, so they may prefer a Linux experience. Some companies provide ready-to-use solution such as ARNU Box Mach 10 64-bit Pure Linux, but in some cases it’s also possible to side-load OpenELEC or LibreELEC, with the main advantage being that it is usually quite cheaper at the cost of being a bit more complicated.

LibreELEC_AmlogicThanks to a comment by Sabai, I discovered LibreELEC 7.0.0 had been (unofficially) ported to Amlogic S905 TV boxes, and tested one devices such as NEXBOX A95X (S905), WeTek Hub, Beelink S905 Mini MXIII, MXQ Pro 4K, and others. If you own an ODROID-C2 board, you can load another LibreELEC 7.0.0 image.

If you are unsure whether your Android TV box is supported, you should first try the SD card method by copying  aml_autoscript, kernel.img,  SYSTEM and 2 md5 files to the root of the SD card, and enter recovery. This is all explained in details in the forum post linked above, and this will not affect your Android installation nor data.

If you’re happy with the results, and don’t plan to use Android anymore, you can flash LibreELEC to the NAND/eMMC flash. The procedure is the same as the SD card method, except the files are different, and you’ll have to copy aml_autoscript, factory_update_param.aml and an update zip file containing LibreELEC firmware to the SD card.

The developers have already fixed many bugs, but at the time of writing there are still a few known issues for the TV box version:

  • Reboot and poweroff may take a long time or don’t work at all when using Broadcom WiFi
  • No multichannel PCM audio
  • Jerky playback of some 29.97fps videos and some Live TV channels
  • CEC is still a bit buggy

There are also some unsupported features such as SSV6051 WiFi, front LED/segment displays, and built-in DVB tuners.

You can report other bugs on LibreELEC forums. If you’ve tried it on your own Amlogic S905 TV boxes, it might be nice to report success or failure in comments too.

Android and Linux Benchmarks on MiQi Development Board

April 20th, 2016 25 comments

MiQi is an upcoming low cost development board powered by Rockchip RK3288 SoC that will sell for $35 with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage, and $69 for the version with a  2GB / 32GB combination. Since Rockchip RK3288 was launched in 2014, most available benchmarks were made on Android 4.4, and since MiQi is the first low cost board based on the processor, other RK3288 based board such as FireFly have not been that popular. So I’ve decided to run updated benchmarks in MiQi both in Android 5.1 and Linux (Lubuntu 14.04), which was easy since a dual boot image is pre-installed. But since I received an early sample without heatsink, I found a spare heatsink added some thermal paste and placed it on top of the processor and partially on RAM and eMMC flash.

MiQi_Board_HeatsinkMiQi Board Android 5.1 Benchmarks

I ran Antutu both using 1080p60 and 2160p30 video output, and for both output, the system achieved a little over 51,000 points, which remains a good score even today, and better than recent Rockchip RK3368 or Amlogic S905 based devices (35,000 to 38,000 points)

MiQi_Board_Antutu_6.0.1You can get the full details about the score here.

Vellamo Score is also very good with 3308 points for Chrome Browser, 3,021 points for the stock Browser, 2,019 for multicore, and 1,322 points for the Metal test.

MiQi_Board_VellamoIt’s not quite as fast as Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced, but still offers superior performance (orange bars) compared to most Android TV boxes on the market.

MiQi_Board_Vellamo_TV_Boxes3DMark Ice Storm Extreme is about the same as on Android 4.4 RK3288 devices launched about 18 months ago with 7,758 points.

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MiQi Board Linux / Ubuntu 14.04 Benchmarks

I’ve installed Phoronix, and repeated the benchmarks run recently on some other developer platforms such as Orange Pi boards, Banana Pi Boards, Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2, ODROID-XU4, and so on.

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Let’s have a closer look at a couple of benchmarks.

MiQi_John_The_RipperJohn the Ripper is a password cracker benchmark that makes good of all available cores, and while octa-core boards like ODROID-XU4 and Banana Pi M3 do great, MiQi somehow edges out ODROID-XU4 board.

MiQi_Board_FLAC_Audio_EncodingFLAC audio encoding is mostly a single thread benchmark, and here ODROID-XU4 does best, followed closely by MiQi board. The diffference with

Full detailed results can be found  here.

The results are mostly in line with what to expect in theory, but bear in mind that while Android benchmarks are rather short, and most of the time cooling is not that much of an issue, Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks in Linux may take around one hour to complete, and the heatsink got really hot at some stage (67 degree with IR thermometer) and too hot to leave the fingers on it for more than a few seconds, so it’s quite possible that adding an fan to the heatsink may have yielded slightly better results in some cases.

Low Cost Development Boards Linux Benchmarks – Raspberry Pi vs Banana Pi vs Orange Pi vs ODROID

April 2nd, 2016 22 comments

LoveRPi, a distributor and reseller of electronic boards and accessories, has run benchmarks from the Phoronix Suite on several low cost development boards:

  • $46* Banana Pi M2  based on Allwinner A31s quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Armbian (Ubuntu 14.04)
  • $74* Banana Pi M3 based on Allwinner A83T octa core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.80 GHz with Debian 8.3
  • $32 ODROID-C1+ based on Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex A5 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Ubuntu 14.04
  • $40 ODROID-C2 based on Amlogic S905 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Ubuntu 16.04
  • $74 ODROID-XU4 based on Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Ubuntu 15.10
  • $10 Orange Pi One based Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $15 Orange Pi PC based on Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $39 Orange Pi Plus based on Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $35 Raspberry Pi 2 based on Broadcom BCM2836 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 900 MHz with Raspbian
  • $35 Raspberry Pi 3 based on Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Raspbian

* Banana Pi boards price includes shipping, while all other boards do not. The total price for each board may vary a lot for your country depending on shipping and local taxes.

Banana_Pi_Orange_Pi_Raspberry_Pi_ODROID_BenchmarkThe 7 benchmarks John The Ripper (password cracker), C-Ray (raytracer), Smallpt (illumination renderer), Himeno Benchmark (solver of pressure Poisson), OpenSSL, FLAC audio encoding, and Timed MAFFT alignment are mostly stressing the CPU’s integer and floating-point unit either for single thread or multi-thread performance, so other parts such as storage should have very little impact on the scores.

The table shows the Cortex A15 based ODROID-XU4 is ahead in most benchmarks, and from a CPU performance perspective deserves its higher price, while the Raspberry Pi 2 is now clearly the slowest of the bench.

John_The_Ripper_Banana_Pi_M3John The Ripper is the only test where ODROID-XU4 is outperformed, and the eight cores clocked at 2.0 GHz of Banana Pi M3 makes it the best boards of the lot, if you want to crack passwords with a cheap board. Interestingly Orange Pi boards performance is not that far of the one of Raspberry Pi 3.

Audio_Encoding_BenchmarkFLAC audio encoding must mostly relies on single thread performance as ODROID-XU4 is clearly ahead here. For this particular task a $10 Orange Pi One board will do just as well as a $35 Raspberry Pi 3.

If you want another take on Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 benchmarks, Mikronauts recently posted different benchmarks comparing the boards to ODROID-XU4, ODROID-C1+, LeMaker Guitar (Actions Semi S500 Cortex A9 processor), MIPS Creator CI20, etc…

Of course benchmarks are only one part of the story as you also need to consider the interfaces, system memory (e.g. there’s usually no difference between a system with 1GB RAM and one with 2GB RAM in benchmarks), and other requirements for your project or use case.