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Posts Tagged ‘odroid-c2’

SupTronics X800 2.5″ SATA Drive Expansion Board and Cases for Raspberry Pi 2/3 and ODROID C2 Boards

March 16th, 2017 15 comments

I wrote about SupTronics expansion boards for Raspberry Pi a few year ago. Those add features like WiFi, Bluetooth, RTC, SATA, VGA, S/PDIF, etc… I’ve just stumble upon a new model Suptronics X800 specifically designed for 2.5″ SATA hard drive and SSDs that I found on DealExtreme for $32.73 with a 5V/4A power supply, or $21.43 with just the expansion board and accessories.

 

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SupTronics X800 board features:

  • SATA connector for 2.5″ SATA drivers up to 1TB implemented via GL830 USB to SATA bridge
  • HDMI port – Duplicate Raspberry Pi HDMI output
  • USB – Connects to Raspberry Pi
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via 5.5/2.5 power jack
    • Optional & recommended power supply –  AC 100 – 240V input ~50 / 60Hz, 5V/4A output with US and EU snap plugs
    • Powers the Raspberry Pi, i.e. a USB power supply is not needed
  • Dimensions – 109mm x 85mm
  • Compatibility – Raspberry Pi Model B+, Pi 2 Model B, Pi 3 Model B, and other electrically and mechanically compatible boards like ODROID-C2.

X800 HDD Expansion Board ships with a power connection wire, 4x M2.5 spacers, 4x M3 spacers, 8x M2.5 screws, 8x M3 screws, and 4x M3 screw nuts, as well as an optional 5V/4A power supply. Once you have assembled everything together it looks like the pictures below.

You’ll find the assembly manual on X800 product page.

It’s more compact than a solution using a Raspberry Pi board with an external USB hard drive, but you may prefer getting a case for your Raspberry Pi and its hard drive, and it turns out SupTronics has a bunch of those either for 2.5″ SATA drives, or mSATA drive, with or without stereo to 7.1 audio DACs via their X-Series DIY kits.

The prettiest enclosure comes with their X3000 kits. Made of aluminum allow, it supports mSATA drives up to 1TB, comes with a built-in IR sensor, a touch button for power, a micro USB OTG port to access SATA from a computer, but sadly exposes a mini HDMI instead of a standard HDMI port.

If you prefer a Raspberry Pi case for 2.5″ SATA drives, you’ll have to select a less pretty “black brick” such as their X1000K model.

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One interesting features is the port on the rear panel – which looks like a parallel printer port – and can be used to access Raspberry Pi GPIOs signal using an add-on board part of the kit.

SupTronics X3000 launched last year for around $100 with Raspberry Pi, and it may priced itself out, as none of the stores are selling it anymore. X1000K mini PC kit is still for sale for about $80 and up on DealExtreme, Banggood and Aliexpress.

Categories: Hardware Tags: odroid-c2, raspberry pi, sata

LibreELEC v8.0.0 Released with Kodi 17.0 (Krypton)

February 26th, 2017 5 comments

LibreELEC is a JeOS (Just enough Operating System) based on Linux that creates a media center appliance platform for Kodi (formelly XBMC), and a fork of OpenELEC. The developers have now released LibreELEC v8.0.0 with the latest Kodi 17.0 “Krypton”.

Beside the update to Kodi 17, some of the changes since the last stable version (v7.95.3) include:

  • Fix for TVheadend issues in the WeTek Play 2 DVB driver
  • Fix for interactive governor causing slowdown issues on the WeTek Core
  • Fix for missing Bluetooth “connect and trust” option when pairing
  • Fix for missing ir-keytable streamzap support after recent changes
  • Updates to refine lirc repeat timing changes
  • Update WeTek Play 2 remote keymap to expose more buttons
  • Updates to linux-amlogic 3.10 (arm) and 3.14 (aarch64) kernels
  • Add hexdump busybox applet needed for Odroid_C2 overclocking

The full list of changes can be found on github.

While it’s possible to update from an existing installation, there are a few potential issues if you were running a mixed-arch build ( 32-/64-bit) for Amlogic devices, or enabled “Sync Playback to Display” with audio pass-through. If you update, and get stuck in Kodi 17 splash screen, you may want to delete /storage/.kodi/userdata/Databases/Addons27.db. While some workarounds are explained in the release blog post (linked in the introduction), you may prefer installing from scratch using LibreELEC SD creator with images available for the following platforms:

  • Generic x86_64 – Note: I tested a community/beta version of LibreELEC 8.0 for Apollo Lake last month.
  • Raspberry Pi & Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2 & Pi 3 boards
  • Freescale/NXP i.MX6 hardware
  • ODROID-C2 Development board
  • WeTek Play, Wetek Core, WeTek Hub, WeTek Play 2

Those are the officially supported hardware platforms, but if your device is not listed, there could be community support firmware images for your device. You’ll have to check out the forums to find out. Some work also also started to run LibreELEC 8.0 on Rockchip RK3288 processor.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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.