Orange Pi 2G-IoT was unveiled at the start of the year as an ultra cheap ($10) Linux development board with 2G cellular connectivity. The board has just launched for $9.90 + shipping on Aliexpress.
Orange Pi 2G-IoT specifications have changed a little since the initial announced as WiFi is confirmed to be supported:
- SoC – RDA Micro 8810PL ARM Cortex A5 processor @ up to 1.0 GHz with 2Gbit (256 MB) on-chip LPDDR2 RAM, 4Gbit (512 MB) on-chip SLC NAND flash , 256KB L2 cache, Vivante GC860 3D GPU, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE Modem (Download datasheet)
- External Storage – micro SD slot
- Display I/F – LCD connector up to qHD resolution
- Video – Decoding up to 1080p30, encoding up to 1080p30 H.264
- Audio I/F – 3.5mm audio +FM jack, built-in microphone?
- Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 2.1/EDR module (RDA5991), and 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE module with SIM card slot
- Camera – MIPI CSI-2 connector for camera sensor up to 2MP
- USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Expansion – 40-pin GPIO header with SPI, I2C, GPIOs, etc…
- Debugging – 3x pin UART for serial console
- Misc – 8 selection jumpers, power button, boot selection header
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; optional battery
- Dimensions – 68 x 42 mm
- Certifications – CE and FCC (if we can believe the markings on the PCB silkscreen)
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.
67 Replies to “Orange Pi 2G-IoT ARM Linux Development Board with 2G/GSM Support is Up for Sale for $9.90”
Where can i find the u-boot / kernel sources?
@@lex Yes i know you have not find it yet, I was editing the post to better ask: will be SDK from Xunlong?
I have just realized that it is not with Allwinner SOC like the other Orange Pi boards and now I am wondering about the same.
Any info on the power management chip for connecting a battery? I can’t find any info. This could make an excellent cheap platform for a portable console due to the built-in LCD connector.
I think they inverted LCD and CSI connector on picture label. It might be a 40-pin DPI interface.
Regarding LCD connector: decades ago Xunlong started with two Allwinner A20 based boards and used the same 24 pin FPC connector for an LCD they also sold on Aliexpress. But why bother? No linux-sunxi support, no buy. It’s that easy. 😉
And the Intex Aqua G2 has Android 4.2 jellybean
Some people complain of heat problems with Challenger phone which seems aimed at India
Oh, that looks interesting, especially due to the included 2G modem. Remote sensing applications with reporting of values back over the mobile network perhaps?
Do note that if you are in the USA the 2G network is in the process of being shut down and the bandwidth is being redeployed for LTE use. I believe it is supposed to be completely turned off on all carriers within two years. AT&T has already shut down their 2G network. They told 200,000 paying customers, tough luck, we’re still shutting it down.
For USA LTE-M is best for future deployments. Can we get a $10 LTE-M board?
Is Orange Pi taking on FriendlyArm competitively? The pricing of this board and the recent H5 Zero product seem aimed right at FA.
Orange Pi should be worried about Friendly because they do support much better than OPi does. FriendlyArm is underrated and underappreciated, IMHO. I have a FriendlyArm NanoPi NEO and I’m quite pleased with the Ubuntu core image, the available Wiki, the available schematics and other docs, support forums where the company employees seem to appreciate customer feedback.
As Jon says
Specific Network Turn-Off Dates
AT&T has now shut down its 2G network.
Rogers GSM/GPRS Network is extending availability to 31 December 2020, after which point it will be fully decommissioned. New activations of GSM/GPRS only devices will not be accepted after 1 July 2018. Access to the network from 1 January 2019 will be provided without warranty.
M1, Singtel and StarHub will cease the provision of all 2G services with effect from 1 April 2017.
Vodafone Australia has announced the shutting down of its 2G network, with the service to be switched off on 30/09/2017.
Optus 2G network is phased to shut down beginning from 03/04/2017 until the 01/08/2017.
Can the imei be changed on these boards? Just asking because its incredibly hard to make these run here without a registered imei.
The Qualcomm patent licensing alone for LTE must be $10!
But yes this is a generally useless board with no future. No buy from me.
I think this is a great iot board for markets, that still plan to keep 2g networks up.
And since this has battery support, it makes it great for embedded projects (like pulling data from sensors)
lets just hope we get a half decent working linux distro for this. I know, big ask for xunlong 🙂
Verizon is promising LTE M hardware for as little as $6.
“I expect this price to go below $8 and maybe over time to approach … $6,” Karam said. “With this Cat-M what you are trying to do is make a solution that is really as cheap as a 2G solution, and 2G is really today in the $6 range. Cat-M is replacing 2G because 2G is [being]refarmed and Cat-1 is replacing 3G.”
You can buy modules with those Sequans chips right now, but the modules are $70 Not sure how to achieve that $6 price point. Maybe CNX can ask them how?
I be even happier if the cell carriers deployed SigFox on their cell towers since I can use off-the-shelf $3 radios with it. But we all know cell companies are all about maximizing their own profit and customer needs are a minor concern.
Here’s the $75 module.
Cat M1 (also called LTE-M) is also a licensed-spectrum solution, and, in addition to reaching the market before NB-IoT, it does have some performance advantages over that recently standardized technology. However, pricing may keep Cat M1 from gaining the competitive edge it needs. According to Verizon, the company plans to offer $2-per-month data plans for Cat M1-connected devices, with additional options available for volume purchasing. In contrast, Actility estimated at the LPWAN conference in Paris last week that average costs across the market for devices connected to low-power, wide-area networks are closer to $1.
LTE M is another game altogether!
Pycom has pre-orders (May/June deliver) for their G01 modules with an ESP32 WiFi/Bluetooth micro + Sequans module for about €24: https://www.pycom.io/product/g01-oem-module-shipping-may-2017/
They’re also about to ship the FiPy board with the ESP32 micro + Sequans LTE CAT M1 / NB1 module + LoRa and Sigfox (both via Semtch SX1276 chip) very soon at €49: https://www.pycom.io/product/fipy-preorder-shipping-april-2017/
I think $6 for the Sequans module alone in large quantities isn’t too far off.
anyone can recommend a ZigBee IOT dev board?
The Ubuntu image demonstrated at LCB 2017 was made by Xunlong. I’m not sure Linaro is actually involved in software development for Orange Pi i96, maybe 96Boards is just used as a form factor/brand here?
No recommendation per se, but you may want to check out Samsung Artik development boards.
Alternatively browse http://www.cnx-software.com/tag/zigbee/ for solutions (not only dev boards though).
Another strange animal from Xunlong, this time not even Allwinner 😉
1. Can a CVBS/ AV port, more flash/ RAM, mic/speaker ( if not already) and a DC jack be attached on a cheap shield, similar to the $2 shield for the ill fated OPi0?
SD cards are slow and most people regret buying cheaper ones later. eMMC will standardize and be cheaper. No harm with both options that all xPi vendors ought to consider.
2. Can an Ubuntu distro (or Android 4.4.4) fit in 512MB flash and have room for apps including NodeRed and MQTT etc?
3. Maybe the WiFi- BT antenna can be used to stream from cam/ USB port to a Miracast TV dongle (likely requiring HW acceleration), while the 2 G modem can do IoT over the Internet with or without Cloud storage.
Small addition for the Wi-Fi: the chip appeared in at least one Allwinner tablet and one developer already ported the Android driver to be useable with mainline kernel: https://github.com/jelly/sunxi-rda5990
Keep in mind that aside of the US, Canada and Australia, the majority of the world population (Asia, Africa) will use 2G for a long time, so this is a very attractive board.
Besides Ubuntu there are plenty of distros which fit on 512MB. And you don’t need a full blown desktop environment.
This SoC is in Videocon Challenger v40ld, runs Android 4.4, so if you look at the products already using this SoC since 2016, you get a idea of it’s abilities as the Ram and Nand Flash are the same.
Yes I saw your comment but then it disappeared and others appeared !
I have experienced some site loading issues.
I looked up online and yes the same spec is being sold as a $35 Android 4.4.2 phone in India !
So hopefully Xunlong might have less software support headaches here. That XR819 on OPi0 is still a fail, rebranded by some loudmouths as “low end, to be fixed with the new driver.”
The 2G SIM idea is quite nice for $10. A 2G dongle alone looks like $6, about same cost as for a 3G dongle, without the integration.
So this could be a better deal than the $8 WiFi Lichee Zero, which seems to promote its IoT and LoRA modules more than the Zero.
Agree. And if an SDK/BSP relying on a somewhat recent kernel version will be provided there’s no doubt someone will port OpenWRT/LEDE to it.
There are several Zigbee USB sticks on the market. That is a lot simpler than messing with integrated boards. With the USB stick you can even work on your desktop. I’ve used both Zigbee and Zwave sticks this way.
it will, Steven Zhao says he’s having trouble uploading it to github from China and it keeps dropping the connection and he doesn’t feel like dealing with it until next week/until there are more shipped orders(?).
In another email he also told me that he would patch it to 3.10.105 and fix the newer CVEs (I sent him links).
I cannot believe. Today arrived new model: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Orange-Pi-Prime-Development-Board-H5-Quad-core-Support-linux-and-android-Beyond-Raspberry-Pi-2/1553371_32803048527.html
Will they stop making new boards every day?
Germany actually decided to keep 2G longer than 3G (which will be eol’d ~2020)
So 3.10 is confirmed. 3.10 LTS was already EOL at the end of last year and only due to a kind soul taking over maintainership it will be EOLed now in October.
And there’s also a difference how to deal with these BSP kernels: Taking mainline of same version, then import BSP stuff to have an idea what the hardware vendor has changed (auditing) and then simply apply mainline kernel branches. Or you just take the BSP kernel as it is and apply mainline patchsets. That way you might fix some CVEs but things like Allwinner’s ‘rootmydevice’ will be discovered later or never.
Orange Pi Win Plus board, A64
And another one: https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/3946-rk3399-orange/ (features also a SIM card slot so it is somewhat comparable to Orange Pi 2G-IoT, isn’t it?)
Orange Pi software support team are going to be so busy writing all that fully functioning software with so many diverse boards.
That appears to have a slot for a MiniPCIe modem, a lot of other boards have that (and a SIM slot connected to the right pins on the modem slot). It has no actual WWAN modem on board as far as I can tell.
Well if Aliexpress figures can be trusted, seems Orange Pi main Xunlong site has 328 orders already for 2g IoT, do remember boards are sold elsewhere too.
What’s the purpose of you posting untrue claims all the time? The ‘328’ appear in this sentence: ‘328 transactions in last 6 months.’, then there is written ‘435 orders’ in this moment and if you understand Aliexpress just a little you search for these 2 words ‘pieces available’. There it’s 1331 right now and since it has been 2000 in the beginning you can do the math yourself (or most probably not 😉 )
To get back to something newsworthy: the OS images for this board seem to be only on Baidu now so it’s time to install aria2, clone github.com/banbanchs/pan-baidu-download and then to get eg. 2G_IOT_Ubuntu1604_Server_V0_5.rar it’s as simple as
For future reference, here’s the link to Orange Pi’s Baidu account with all images: https://pan.baidu.com/share/home?uk=1077680202#category/type=0
There’s also the OrangePi_2G_IOT_android_V0_5.rar for those interested in Android instead.
Screen grab from when I posted
But hey why let’s facts get in the way when your out insult people, like a self entitled bighead with a potty mouth and master race issues.
Just had a short look into the 2G_IOT_Ubuntu1604_Server_V0_5 thing and already deleted everything. Partition table already tells us that this is just an Android image with an Ubuntu userland:
As usual parted starts to complain about ‘backup GPT table is corrupt’ and so on (the usual stuff when dealing with OS images that fell out of Android BSPs). It’s an armhf ‘16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus)’ userland with an ‘3.10.62-rel5.0.2’ Android kernel started by u-boot ‘2012.04.442-rel5.0.2’ so most probably no 3rd party software support ever 🙂
Fortunately I’Almost forgot. That’s the rootfs:
A ‘little bit’ too fat to fit into the 512MB flash. Fortunately a lot of scripts are in /usr/local/ (many of them from loboris who made the first H3 based Orange Pis useable) and one of the first tasks should be rootfs expansion by running loboris’ fs_resize script.
The OS image seems to be either loboris’ Ubuntu Mate 15.10 upgraded to Xenial (/boot is full of garbage only useable with H3 legacy kernel) or just a weird mixture of anything (apt history starting at 2016-11-07 but ‘/home/orangepi/.bash_logout’ from 2015-09-01). And bash_history proves that this userland was also used on an OPi Zero before:
Well, at least I know why I only trust in OS images completely made from scratch 🙂
Why are there no kernel sources??!! This board will be unusable without them.
I’ve emailed Steven MULTIPLE times and, even when I ask multiple questions in an email he answers every question except “Will you upload the RDA8810 kernel source?”
the following kernel command line is hard coded into u-boot. would be hard to boot from nand
mem=236M selinux=1 androidboot.selinux=permissive console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/mmcblk0p7 rw rootfstype=ext4 noinitrd init=/sbin/init
Depends. There’s something called ‘Boot selector’ on the PCB so you might be able to transfer an OS image from SD card to the SLC flash, then adjust this and boot happily from a different device with the partition still being /dev/mmcblk0p7. But obviously not with this OS image since too fat.
Time will tell, at least I lost any interest in this platform some hours ago after checking kernel version and the state of the OS image (could’ve been fun to play with even if I totally lack use cases for this board… OPi Zero is the way better choice for me).
As usual most users don’t give a sh*t about kernel version, security and the like so I really hope for both customers and Xunlong that the quality of this OS image is better than it seems.
Addendum: it’s rather easy to take this overweight Ubuntu image, throw the userland into the bin and replace it with a random armhf OpenWRT/LEDE userland. Then it would easily fit into the SoC’s flash but no one right in his mind would spend time on this since smelly kernel and stinky OS image format (being an Android with exchanged rootfs) so this is something you would need to hire someone for (I’m a bit surprised that this hasn’t happened but maybe it just needs some patience)
Personally this is what I will do
Remove recovery, misc partition
Change uboot config & default environment to instead use the former boot partition as FAT, with zImage and initrd.gz on it.
Good idea but I wonder why Xunlong’s software guy didn’t do that already? If there are sources available stuff like this should be rather simple, if not even trivial fixes will be impossible. BTW: I also forgot to look whether/how Wi-Fi would be enabled on this OS image (in the past sometimes it took months until such ‘features’ became available on the official images). I also forgot to check the ‘fs_resize’ script since if it’s not modified it will fail dealing with mmcblk0p7.
Now sales exceeded 700 pieces already, I wonder how many of the buyers aren’t aware that software might be a problem for the first weeks or maybe ever…
The board has been featured on some larger news sites (ZDnet, PC Magazine, CNET Japan…) , so many of the orders may come from those sites with people that may not be that familiar with Orange Pi boards.
According to github.com/OrangePiLibra/OrangePi_Settings commits Wi-Fi should work on the board but who knows…
BTW: really scary that people in 2017 still do silly things like putting Wi-Fi credentials in world-readable files… but hey, the Internet of shitty things needs to grow.
BuddyZhang1 has a really strange style of programming (in C it’s even worse) and naming files, that makes me think he’s almost entirely self taught.
I have been playing with the Orange PI 2G IOT board and was able to retrieve a LOT of data from it. Using the serial connection on the three pin header and minicom in LOGmode I was able to make an ls -lR of the root directory, dumps of the flash images. Initially it was spewing a lot of data, but after some 15 miniutes it got quiet. With ‘su’ i could reach root level and with cat *.rc all init scripts were read.
shell@etau:/ # ls
shell@etau:/ # ls system
shell@etau:/ # ls system/bin
I can’t put all data here. A few only
crw——- root root 90, 0 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd0
crw——- root root 90, 1 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd0ro
crw——- root root 90, 2 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd1
crw——- root root 90, 3 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd1ro
crw——- root root 90, 4 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd2
crw——- root root 90, 5 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd2ro
crw——- root root 90, 6 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd3
crw——- root root 90, 7 2000-01-01 00:00 mtd3ro
brw——- root root 31, 0 2000-01-01 00:00 mtdblock0
brw——- root root 31, 1 2000-01-01 00:00 mtdblock1
brw——- root root 31, 2 2000-01-01 00:00 mtdblock2
brw——- root root 31, 3 2000-01-01 00:00 mtdblock3
A hexdump of mtdblock0 shows
0000c000 83 00 00 00 7f 89 44 cc 6d 74 64 70 61 72 74 73 |……D.mtdparts|
0000c010 3d 72 64 61 5f 6e 61 6e 64 3a 32 4d 40 30 28 62 |=rda_nand:2M@0(b|
0000c020 6f 6f 74 6c 6f 61 64 65 72 29 2c 32 4d 28 66 61 |ootloader),2M(fa|
0000c030 63 74 6f 72 79 64 61 74 61 29 2c 32 4d 28 6d 69 |ctorydata),2M(mi|
0000c040 73 63 29 2c 34 4d 28 6d 6f 64 65 6d 29 2c 38 4d |sc),4M(modem),8M|
0000c050 28 62 6f 6f 74 29 2c 31 30 4d 28 72 65 63 6f 76 |(boot),10M(recov|
0000c060 65 72 79 29 2c 31 34 35 4d 28 73 79 73 74 65 6d |ery),145M(system|
0000c070 29 2c 31 38 30 4d 28 76 65 6e 64 6f 72 29 2c 2d |),180M(vendor),-|
0000c080 28 75 73 65 72 64 61 74 61 29 00 00 00 00 00 00 |(userdata)……|
This are only the first few explorations…..
Source code is now available @ http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/04/18/rda-micro-rda8810-android-sdk-with-linux-u-boot-source-code-for-orange-pi-2g-iot-board-released/
Setting wifi on armbian image
Instead of manually editing files, another way of configuring Wifi from the command line is to use nmcli or nmtui.
For nmcli see beginning of http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/02/19/how-to-use-chip-board-as-a-linux-printer-scanner-server/
Not tried nmtui myself. See manpage -> http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/wily/man1/nmtui.1.html
Well, nmtui is just the single step variant of nmcli suited for most common tasks. You can either choose your SSID from a list or if you know it already (or it’s ‘hidden’ — funnily still people do this BS in 2017) you then do just ‘nmtui-connect SSID’, enter the password and you’re done. Way too easy!
People fear this would be worse than editing plain text files. Well, both nmcli and nmtui just create a ‘profile’ below /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ which is such a plain text file but only readable by root (so unlike the irresponsible /etc/network/interfaces approach now your Wi-Fi credentials are not world readable). You can take this file and throw it at the same location of another machine and ‘it just works’ even if the Wi-Fi interface there is named differently. Again that’s way too easy.
For testing purposes I did it exactly that way a while ago with my Armbian builds: throwing in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/Snort-Honeynet profile automated in every newly built image just to realize that I later f*cked up some networking tests since I fiddled around with a new board that was not even connected to Ethernet.
i got this error with armbian image
“Timed out waiting for device dev-ttyS0.device”
,it seems it doesnt go to login prompt..
Hello, Does anyone know where I can purchase a card with a developed board that has SIM card slot and will work on AT&T or T-Mobile broadband wireless service?
It would be similar to theOrange Pi 2G-IoT, I am not sure if that is compatible? It would be going into one of our MDVR GPS 3 dash cam system.
Normally, any 2G compatible SIM card would be compatible.
In case AT&T or T-Mobile don’t support 2G network anymore, then you may have to get a board with 3G support. There are several but are normally more expensive. Some examples:
Alternatively, if you use virtually use any Linux board with a 3G or 4G USB dongle of your choice.
In the US use a USB dongle if possible. They are plug and play with Linux. This is a cheap place to get them.
They have 3G USB modems for as low as $12.
Can a USB to HDMI TV out be used with this board?
You’d need a DisplayLink adapter that’d cost more than the board, then you’d have to hope the DisplayLink graphics stack works on the board, which does not seem guaranteed, as other people had troubles on other ARM Linux board.
Is it possible directly connect a 800×480 40pin 5″ LCD display (like the adafruit.com–product–1680) to this board?
The only compatible display I know of is that one: http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/06/14/10-smartphone-display-released-for-orange-pi-2g-iot-board/
For other displays, it’s less clear. You’d need to study Orange Pi 2G-IoT schematics, and RDA8810PL datasheet to find out if it’s compatible with the display you want to use.
Orange Pi 4G-IoT is coming at the end of the month.
HDMI, 4G (obviously), WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3x USB, camera and LCD display interfaces, audio jack, built-in mic, and 40-pin header.
Orange Pi 4G-IoT is based on Mediatek MT6737 quad core Cortex A53 processor with LTE Cat 4.
It will be found in Android Go smartphones that will be sold for $30 in India in the next few weeks.
Price should quite competitive for the board, hopefully below $40.
Based on that info, it will likely be an Android board, but Linux support never really taking of like for Orange Pi 2G-IoT.
Orange Pi 4G-IoT board launched -> https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/03/23/orange-pi-4g-iot-development-board-launched-for-45