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, with shipping adding $3.39 in my case bringing the total to $10.38.
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]
Thanks to OvCa77 for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
80 Replies to “Orange Pi Zero Allwinner H2+ Board with WiFi and Ethernet is Up for Sale for $7 and Up”
Good that they removed the additional external power adapter .. but Still Raspberry gang will come claim that pi zero is just 5$ .. Dont know where they will get that ..
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?
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)
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”
‘Passive PoE’ is just my assumption based on
– 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)
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
Just ordered one. Will make a 3d case for it and share files.
PoE is shown as option on one of the pictures, so it may not be implemented by default.
They should drop the wifi and ethernet and sell it for 5$ 🙂
any word on orange pi pc2 ?
Its not for $7, its for $11….
By looking at the bottom side of the PCB it’s obvious that pins 4/5 (DC+) and 7/8 (DC-) are routed to a square area nearby with 4 solder pads. Maybe it’s just soldering (or ordering larger quantities with) 2 resistors suitable for the input voltage?
According to Steven OPi PC 2 should be ready these days too (and if H5 used there is rather similar to A64 then we should be able to support the board soon).
For gaming consoles we need to pullout the USB & Ethernet connector .. For remote roof top RTL SDR radio scanning POE is the best option (looks like it supports) ..
Great, i’m hoping for a price lower than 20$.
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
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.
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?).
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.
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.
Seems very interesting for $7.
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
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?
For the first question, that is possible. You can set in kernel command line “quiet console=null”
It is nice with a real usb jack and ethernet port, but no hdmi out…
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 ?
Wifi chips should support BT as well, same frequency.
How open is H2+’s TrustZone? Can you implement your own TEE if needed?
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.
You mean with recent BT4.0 wifi piggy backing ? so it’s just a matter of drivers “supporting” BT protocols ?
Steven told me the 512MB RAM version is coming soon, and the price will be $8.99.
Haha. Do you really believe all this bullshit?
PoE sections of the schematics just have the two resistors. See Orange Pi Zero schematics.
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.
OPi Zero 512MB is out
512mb version also on AliExpress — for $12.22 CDN ($9 US):
Or would you spend the extra on a orange pi lite ?
Cheaper still https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Orange-Pi-Lite-Support-ubuntu-linux-and-android-mini-PC-Beyond-and-Compatible-with-Raspberry/1553371_32662738571.html?spm=2114.8147822.214.171.124RVlw9
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.
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
Using a buck converter based on LM2506HVS would enable 48volt POE
Oh yeah I’ll just solder some wires to those 0805 resistor pads, that’s a great ‘solution’.
H5 PC2 Out https://m.aliexpress.com/item/32761481418.html?trace=storeDetail2msiteDetail
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 ?
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.
Orange Pi PC2 H5 64bit:
It’s Christmas time! 🙂
No. Christmas time is when the board gets EMMC, more RAM and ARMbian support 😉
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’?
I’ve just noticed Shenzhen Xunlong published source code for Linux 3.14.112 and 4.9 for Allwinner H3 boards a few days ago @ https://github.com/orangepi-xunlong/orangepi_h3_linux
Is there anything new there?
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
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.
This time orangepi / xunlong / steven they are 100% honest:
—> Orange Pi ‘ZERO software support’
It’s a really challenge to upload large files to foreign servers from China.
But using Baidu is really not difficult. You just need to known one word: 下载 meaning download. No registration required or anything.
One issue is that the connection is often slow, or not reliable, so it’s possible to use Baidu Exporter which allows resuming download.
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 🙂 )
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.
Success: Armbian up and running on OPi Zero in zero time: http://sprunge.us/KIjc
So H2+ is a stripped down H3, the fex file seems to be more or less correct and all that’s left is adding Wi-Fi driver.
Armbian added OPi Zero to auto builds (beta images) so in a few hours one or two Xenial images should appear at http://image.armbian.com/betaimages/
Known problem: Wi-Fi driver for new XR819 radio has been built successfully but does not work (yet). Needs some debugging.
SDK for H2 is here:
Driver for the Wifi chip is here:
And with some tweaks Wi-Fi already works somehow: https://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/2808-orange-pi-zero-went-to-the-market/?view=getlastpost
Consumption update: All settings below made with ‘Armbian IoT settings’ (DRAM downclocked to 132 MHz, USB turned off):
– only Ethernet active, idle: below 500 mW (475 mW measured)
– only Wi-Fi active, idle: below 550 mW (450-520 mW measured, please keep in mind that actual consumption depends on your environment)
– both Ethernet and Wi-Fi disabled, idle: below 410 mW (400-410 mW measured)
More details in Armbian forum. These numbers are only possible with Armbian (legacy kernel), the vendor supplied OS images IMO have a bug regarding voltage regulation (both consumption and temperature too high) and miss the ability to downclock DRAM that much.
The official Lubuntu 14.04 image is in a pretty bad shape: https://github.com/orangepi-h3-linus/orangepi_h3_linus/issues/1
I really wonder why you bother?
If they (xunlong) wants to commit suicide, please, just let them do it!
Another Chinese company will take their place, hopefully with a much better understanding about what the market needs and wants.
I emailed them and they are giving weird answers about PoE active. I’ve ordered a 512MB version but doubtful its PoE standard complaint, if on the small chance it is then it would be a game changer. But knowing Chinese boards and their deliberate avoidance to answer my question I doubt it .
Hope that helps: http://linux-sunxi.org/Xunlong_Orange_Pi_Zero#Powering_the_board
If you really want to make use of active PoE buying stuff like TL-POE10R seems to be the better idea. OPi Zero will shine with passive PoE since over short distances you can use a central 6V PSU and if it’s about larger distances then use the usual 24V/48V and add a simple buck converter to each board. Total costs per installation increase to $10 if cabling is already there.
Xunlong does a great job with hardware and continues listing to community (they brought us OPi Plus 2E which exposes all 4 USB ports directly combined with GbE, 2 GB DRAM and 16 GB fast eMMC for a competitive price — currently on sale and available for just $29, they added this PoE option now on our request and they also start to solder SPI NOR flash).
I don’t want them to disappear and I also don’t like the fact that if anyone chooses their software offerings the hardware immediately feels like crap (slow, overheating, erratic behaviour — all just caused by weird settings and ignoring that community solved these problems long ago)
Oops, since I mentioned TL-POE10R: This is an active GbE PoE splitter that implements 802.3af correctly and might be cheaper than any active PoE components you get to solder to OPi Zero.
The major drawback of this PoE splitter is that it will negotiate a GbE connection while the device behind is only Fast Ethernet capable. Depending on the PoE switch used this might lead to a consumption increase since the switch then has to activate its GbE PHY on the port even if data bandwidth will never exceed Fast Ethernet. So this variant might lead to a massive increase in overall consumption per port.
On the other hand when using OPi Zero with Armbian’s ‘IoT settings’ the board itself idles below 500 mW. Combine this with passive PoE with 48V, CAT-7 cabling (23AWG rated) and a IEEE 802.3az compliant switch (EEE — Energy Efficient Ethernet) you might see massive savings per port. At least to me it sounds weird to combine a PoE powered device that consumes less than 0.5W with an Ethernet setup that wastes +5W per switch port.
i ordered two Opi Zero boards to see how i can use them to replace some NEXX WT3020F or GL.iNet, i’ve installed here and there as “nas” devices, to basically put an usb hdd on a lan (without wifi).
Hopefully it will give better results than those devices when the hdd is ntfs (cpu intensive).
Just did a test to confirm that H2+ is also UASP capable (USB Attached SCSI, speeds USB data transfers up and is a speciality of Allwinner SoCs since they support this faster mode even with USB 2.0). Iozone numbers for a PM851 Samsung SSD connected to USB:
This is with kernel 4.9 and Armbian default settings. Numbers could be slightly better since we downclock DRAM to 408 MHz. But Fast Ethernet will bottleneck you anyway. CPU shouldn’t be an issue since OPi Zero runs fine with 4 cores above 1 GHz 🙂
This is why built in 802.3af is desired.
1. no external bits that add more problems. Just build it on board to make a complete PoE device for non wifi IoT, it’s easy enough to install jumpers for those who don’t buy the 802.3af convertor and want to do passive PoE
2. enables use with a regular 802.3af switch, passive PoE is largely used by a minority saving money and not needing the management of 802.3af
This is a brilliant little board. Everything works , based on H3 code, , wireless can do HT20 but couldn’t get to HT40
Schematic too is available, what a surprise !
iw reports dual band but the certification is only for 802.11b/g/n
The link to firmware is in the sunxi page. http://linux-sunxi.org/Wifi#Allwinner
Will need to enable the device using the gpio at PL07. (set default port value to 1 in fex)
Have fun, great little board – Thank you , @xunlong
This XR819 is dual band?
I am not sure, according to linux-sunxi , thie device is certified for 802.11 b/g/n http://certifications.prod.wi-fi.org/pdf/certificate/public/download?cid=WFA61880
but iw list shows it as a dual band device. Never got it working on 5GHz band though.
Yeah, makes perfectly sense to add active PoE stuff for +$10 to a $7 device 😉
In the meantime community did a great job, everything (Wi-Fi included) up and running with kernel 4.9 (patches not landed upstream though) and u-boot patches also allow booting from SPI NOR flash. Also a $2 companion board has been released by Xunlong yesterday: https://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/2808-orange-pi-zero-went-to-the-market/?p=20294
What’s now needed? Making some noise to convince Xunlong to solder the same amount of SPI NOR flash to OPi Zero by default as they already do with OPi PC 2: 16 Mb should be enough to hold a basic ‘firmware’ that makes those little gems even more useful (universal user friendly boot loader can be stored there that then boots a device agnostic Linux from SD card, USB stick/disk, network, whatever).
BTW: We also try to start an initiative that tries to harmonize GPIO libraries for all H2+/H3 boards. Currently 4 different pin mappings exist for the GPIO headers on the various OrangePi and NanoPi (of course Banana Pi M2+ does it differently and they do not even manage to document their own pin mapping properly — as usual) so different ports of WiringPi/WiringOP are needed.
We started to make device auto detection work (with both mainline and legacy kernel) and now hope that some community members start to hack together one GPIO lib to rule them all, checking the board in question at runtime and then use the correct pin mapping on its own. More information also in last link to Armbian forum above.
and coming soon… Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 -> https://github.com/OrangePiLibra/OrangePi_H5SDK/blob/master/external/sys_config/OrangePiH5_Zero_Plus2_sys_config.fex
It’s beginning to be hard to keep track of all those boards…
I know what you mean : )
I am holding out for the Orange Pi TV box, egg whisk, laundry washer and NAS with coffe grinder running open wrt
Now H5 based Zero Plus 2 starts to make a lot more sense (if it comes with GbE Ethernet — but maybe we see another board coming soon): https://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/2808-orange-pi-zero-went-to-the-market/?p=21651
I emailed zhaofiyan at OPi re: AliExpress shipment, and he replied:All models except Lite, One and Plus 2 are in stock and shipping. OPi goes on vacation end year.
Good news. For now SPI flash comes soldered onboard the 512 MB Zero version, and will be soldered onto the 256 MB version in next production.
Orange Pi Zero + expansion board (2x USB, AV output, mic, and IR receiver) + case for $22 @ http://www.dx.com/p/orange-pi-zero-ram-256mb-expansion-board-matching-abs-case-kit-455823?Utm_rid=93072394&Utm_source=affiliate
Is there any mechanical drawings available?
I would hate to think the people believed there was ANY comparison between this stuff and the Raspberry Pi. The latter works out of the box and has a massive support community. The Orange Pi Zero – I’m having issues getting anywhere with the WIFI – either with their own software or with third party software. Has anyone used the Pi Zero on WIFI for extended periods RELIABLY and if so would they tell us what they are using to achieve that?
I believe your problem stems from the same issues i had. Its not that the WIFI isn’t working, its that the allwinner/broadcom chip overheats and keeps resetting. I bought the heatsinks for a raspberry pi and fitted them and then put the whole thing in a custom case with a fan and it seems to run more stable now.