Orange Pi Zero Allwinner H2+ Board with WiFi and Ethernet is Up for Sale for $7 and Up

Orange Pi Development Boards

Orange Pi Zero development board powered by Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with 256 to 512MB RAM, Ethernet, and USB ports is now available for sale on Aliexpress for just $6.99, which shipping adding $3.39 in my case bringing the total to $10.38.

orange-pi-zero-board

Orange Pi Zero specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 256 to 512 MB DDR3-1866 SDRAM
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Allwinner XR819 WiFi module) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion headers – Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header + 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals
  • Debugging – Unpopulated 3-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – 2x LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or optional PoE
  • Dimensions – 52 x 46 mm
  • Weight – 26 grams

Based on the hardware features and likely good availability it’s a serious contender to Raspberry Pi Zero (and Nano Pi NEO) for headless applications, and provided Allwinner H2+ is close enough to Allwinner H3 software support should be fairly good, as I expect armbian support very soon. Allwinner XR819 is a completely new WiFi module, at least to me, so there may be driver issues, but if it is working in the firmware image provided by Orange Pi (none so far), it should be possible to add this to other Linux images too. [Update: Orange Pi Zero schematics are now available]

orange-pi-zero-descriptionThe Aliexpress page explains the default version has 256MB RAM, but it’s not really clear whether / how we can buy the 512MB version. [Update: The 512MB version now available on Aliexpress for $8.99 + shipping]

Thanks to OvCa77 for the tip.

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varghese
Guest
varghese

Good that they removed the additional external power adapter .. but Still Raspberry gang will come claim that pi zero is just 5$ .. Dont know where they will get that ..

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@varghese
Good that it still seems to be possible to provide power through the 26 pin GPIO header (since Micro USB simply sucks for DC-IN if the device draws just a little bit — undervoltage will occur since most USB cables are crap).

And I’m curious how the passive PoE support is implemented. Maybe OPi Zero could also be used as PoE injector to power another device through Ethernet?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Wi-Fi driver seems to be available through latest ‘Tinalinux SDK’. At least below github.com/BPI-SINOVOIP/ a new repo with support for the first R40 device in the wild appeared recently (R40 device called BPi M2 Ultra or something like that) and there interesting stuff is contained in

(firmware seems to be missing though)

nobe
Guest
nobe

why do you think it’s passive PoE ?
all i’ve read so far make me think it’s active PoE : in the specs (shown as an image) from the aliexpress site : they write “integrated POE power supply”

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@nobe
‘Passive PoE’ is just my assumption based on

– price
– external non-PoE magnetics (H1102NL) which wastes a lot of space
– traces on the lower PCB side

If that’s true I would assume voltage regulators used on the board have a wide input range so maybe injecting 7V on the other end of the Ethernet cable might be ok even with voltage dropping as low as 4.75V. Maybe even lower since there are no USB ports to feed 5V (+0.25V/-0.25V) to and also no HDMI (4.8V-5.3V IIRC)

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Apropos ‘lower PCB side’: seems there’s space for an unpopulated SPI flash module so maybe the variant with 512MiB comes with SPI (and also a populated 26 pin header)? Then neither the price for a PSU nor for an SD card has to be added since SPL+u-boot could be flashed to SPI NOR flash (using FEL mode and the Micro USB port) and then the board boots via Ethernet from its power source.

Some background information: http://linux-sunxi.org/Bootable_SPI_flash and http://linux-sunxi.org/FEL

Farrukh
Guest
Farrukh

Just ordered one. Will make a 3d case for it and share files.

Member

They should drop the wifi and ethernet and sell it for 5$ 🙂

Member

any word on orange pi pc2 ?

Alpha
Guest
Alpha

Its not for $7, its for $11….

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@cnxsoft
By looking at the bottom side of the PCB it’s obvious that pins 4/5 (DC+) and 7/8 (DC-) are routed to a square area nearby with 4 solder pads. Maybe it’s just soldering (or ordering larger quantities with) 2 resistors suitable for the input voltage?

@Benjamin
According to Steven OPi PC 2 should be ready these days too (and if H5 used there is rather similar to A64 then we should be able to support the board soon).

varghese
Guest
varghese

For gaming consoles we need to pullout the USB & Ethernet connector .. For remote roof top RTL SDR radio scanning POE is the best option (looks like it supports) ..

Member

@tkaiser
Great, i’m hoping for a price lower than 20$.

nobe
Guest
nobe

it seems like active PoE would require some DC-DC converter since the specs require a 37-57V voltage range at the powered device via the ethernet cable
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet#Standard_implementation

JotaMG
Guest
JotaMG

Alpha :
Its not for $7, its for $11….

Yes, $7 is misleading, unless you going to get it right from Steven’s hands… haha

Even at $11 (with 512Mb ram, of course), this board can be a game changer, if orangepi/xunlong knows how to play it, but I really don’t believe they know.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Regarding passive PoE: The picture Steven sent us some weeks ago shows 2 Zero-ohm surface-mount resistors connecting the solder pad pairs (near the FCC logo): http://forum.armbian.com/uploads/monthly_09_2016/post-1-0-44359700-1474890506.jpg

So people with soldering skills (me not 😉 ) can add the ‘PoE option’ on their own it seems 🙂

On the above picture also SPI NOR flash seems to be populated (or could this also be an EEPROM?).

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@Alpha
Well, yeah you might want to add shipping costs. The quantity I would order (+30 pieces) means $2 shipping each (and since exceeding EU VAT redemption also VAT and customs have to be added) but for specific use cases this is still a bargain if voltage regulators on the board accept a wide range of DC-IN input voltage (passive PoE use case).

At least you can a) order this thing, b) order it in quantities and c) get shipping discounts unlike vaporware with ‘Zero’ in its name. I had to pay £4 for RPi Zero and an additional £4 for shipping. And if I would need a second one it would take me again weeks of my life and an additional £8 since I can only order one at a time.

@nobe
Active/Standard PoE would also increase the price tag by magnitudes. If you google for POE-PAN8 or POE-PAN16 and a good Meanwell PSU you can calculate ‘per port’ costs with a passive PoE scenario if it’s about more than just 1 or 2 boards.

AEtech
Guest
AEtech

Seems very interesting for $7.

nobe
Guest
nobe

oh i didn’t see this picture, thx for the link
now i’m 100% sure it will be active PoE :
– the 2 pairs of the ethernet cable “linked” to the resistors are the ones “transporting” the power
– you have to solder something on the board … that’s the dc-dc converter module
here is an example of an active PoE module : http://www.silvertel.com/products/poe-power-over-ethernet/26-poe-modules/159-ag9800.html

I’ve already seen a passive PoE adapter : the mux/demux of data & power is done outside of the device
here is an example : https://www.amazon.com/iCreatin-Passive-Injector-Splitter-Connector/dp/B00NRHNPUA

darethehair
Guest
darethehair

One of my new requirements for any development board to consider is this:

The ability to attach a GPS module to its TX/RX pins without system/console messages interfering on the UART ‘/dev/ttyS*’ device. RPi has the ability to turn this off. Can I safely assume that I can do that with the Orange Pi Zero (or Nano Pi)?

I further require that it be painless to use GPIO pins for sensors. Do I need to wait for folks to purchase and verify functionality like this?

parrotgeek1
Guest
parrotgeek1

For the first question, that is possible. You can set in kernel command line “quiet console=null”

pug_ster
Guest
pug_ster

It is nice with a real usb jack and ethernet port, but no hdmi out…

agumonkey
Guest

For a pi zero like form factor and price, I find the eth socket weird. But maybe people really need one. No bluetooth for sure ?

zoobab
Guest

@agumonkey
Wifi chips should support BT as well, same frequency.

noone
Guest
noone

How open is H2+’s TrustZone? Can you implement your own TEE if needed?

Galileo
Guest
Galileo

Rpi zero is still cheaper. Pitards think a $5 computer with $6 shipping is cheaper than a $7 computer with $3 shipping. Also Rpi has a better community support. Lots of hand holding. Good marketing. And it’s nonprofit unlike Opi so the moneys help the poor in Africa and fights AIDS. And the Rpi specs are better. The videocore GPU is super effective. It has open drivers and they’re also building an open bootloader. No EFI.

agumonkey
Guest

@zoobab
You mean with recent BT4.0 wifi piggy backing ? so it’s just a matter of drivers “supporting” BT protocols ?

Igor
Guest

Galileo :
And it’s nonprofit unlike Opi so the moneys help the poor in Africa and fights AIDS.

Haha. Do you really believe all this bullshit?

Theguyuk
Guest
Theguyuk

The RPI ZERO and this board not like for like, this has no HDMI socket, so I suggest it is WiFi enabled IOT device. There is TV OUT but it is on the 13 pin interface, as the photo shows.

Trouble with raspberry pi zero turd, is it is just a unbundled slow PC. Once you start adding parts like box, keyboard, power supply it costs more than a secondhand old Intel PC.

If it is child education you want a Android TV box with a Chinese clone Arduino uno r3 will teach them just as good.

OvCa77
Guest
OvCa77

OPi Zero 512MB is out

Theguyuk
Guest
Theguyuk

Or would you spend the extra on a orange pi lite ?

http://www.gearbest.com/boards-shields/pp_428940.html

Nightseas
Guest
Nightseas

Looks like the PoE is power is directly connected to Micro USB 5V power.
So I really doubt if it can support 48V PoE.

Also there’s no system image, wiki or document on it.
I’m not going to buy it until they make everything work well. Or a NanoPi NEO (Air) seems good to me.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@Nightseas
The PoE option is supposed to work in various ways. Since there are 4 solder pads you can choose either active or passive PoE.

– use an external 6V power source, a short Ethernet cable and zero Ohm resistors and you end up with passive PoE @ 5V (4.5-5.5V should be fine unless you want to power USB peripherals from OPi Zero)
– use any external higher PoE voltage (24V, 48V, whatever) and solder instead of zero Ohm resistors a buck converter in between. Now you ‘implemented’ passive PoE that works over large distances
– solder a ‘real’ PoE component in between (eg. Ag9050) and you get 802.3af compliant behaviour as long as your PoE switch uses cables 4/5 and 7/8

For obvious reasons the first two cheaper variants will be used with devices for $7/$9.

Regarding software support I would assume OS images for Orange Pi One will work out of the box so it’s just adding Wi-Fi driver and adjusting display stuff (TV out instead of HDMI): http://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/2808-orange-pi-zero-went-to-the-market/?p=19004

Leo Gerritsen
Guest
Leo Gerritsen

Using a buck converter based on LM2506HVS would enable 48volt POE

Guest
Guest
Guest

Oh yeah I’ll just solder some wires to those 0805 resistor pads, that’s a great ‘solution’.

OvCa77
Guest
OvCa77
nobe
Guest
nobe

@tkaiser
there is still something that is bothering me :
– when you use their custom 5V passive PoE, wouldn’t there be high current in the short ethernet cable ? maybe up to 1.5A or 2A? can the ethernet cable handle that much ?
– is there a risk of damaging the board if one use a 802.3af compliant PoE injector (up to 57V) by mistake ?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@nobe
If a PoE injector/switch is 802.3af compliant then it will provide no power at all since another active 802.3af compliant component on the other side of the cable has to demand powering needs (negotiation phase). Also current doesn’t live in cables, it’s all about a device drawing a specific amount of current. And Ohm’s law when using very low voltages like 5V on tiny Ethernet wires will lead to severe voltage drops if current drawn exceeds 1A.

Simply check the two links to Armbian forum above, there’s also a link to a PoE calculator in one of the two threads. Also some use cases for passive PoE with very low voltage.

JotaMG
Guest
Slackstick
Guest
Slackstick

@JotaMG
No. Christmas time is when the board gets EMMC, more RAM and ARMbian support 😉

amazed
Guest
amazed

this is just wayyyyyy too funny (or scary). i asked the seller about the spi flash. and that’s his (?) reply.

> steven zhao
> 2016-11-04 19:10
>
> Hello friend,
> Could you pls tell us what is the “optional” spi flash’?
> Thanks

*facepalm*

amazed
Guest
amazed

page says “4.Android image:http://pan.baidu.com/s/1mipr5v6
baidu? and if your customer is not chinese?
what’s that thing?
anybody who speaks chinese willing to make a mirror for those who don’t? thanx

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@cnxsoft
Nothing new there, just a forked Armbian legacy kernel lacking all commits from last 2 months (no dirty COW for example) combined with 4.9 kernel sources (hopefully including Armbian patches) + some static u-boot stuff and a few scripts from loboris to cook OS images.

While I understand that not everyone wants to use Armbian (eg. since our two main distros now — Jessie and Xenial — rely on systemd) I really don’t understand why people don’t use kernel+u-boot Armbian’s build system provides. It’s easy to extract that stuff from http://apt.armbian.com/pool/main/l/ and it might even work to convert the .debs to RPM and other package formats using alien.

JotaMG
Guest
JotaMG

This time orangepi / xunlong / steven they are 100% honest:
—> Orange Pi ‘ZERO software support’
😉

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

After looking through freshly released H2+ SDK (scratching our heads where the news are — but at least both driver and firmware for Allwinner’s XR819 Wi-Fi chip are included) fortunately @Jernej spotted an important comment in the kernel sources we use for nearly half a year: https://github.com/igorpecovnik/linux/blob/sun8i/arch/arm/mach-sunxi/sun8i.c#L134-L147

H2+ and H3 being members of the same SoC familiy is really good news since then H3 software should work with just minor modifications (applies to both legacy kernel and mainline 🙂 )

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Based on assumptions/information I hacked together a fex file suitable for outdated H3 Android and Linux images: https://github.com/igorpecovnik/lib/commit/c17867b64e5dc69cfeab81d5362d295da7f40fa2

This is based on the assumption that H2+ and H3 are compatible, tries to implement sane throttling and clockspeed settings and should bring up OPi Zero hardware in a useable state (only known exception: without a new kernel you won’t get Wi-Fi up and running). This fex should only be used with smelly and outdated OS images — curious Armbian and OpenELEC users should use most recent version of this file from latest commit.

But since board samples are already shipped out new Armbian and OpenELEC images for Orange Pi Zero will be provided soon anyway.