RDA Micro RDA8810 Android SDK with Linux & U-boot Source Code for Orange Pi 2G IoT Board Released

Orange Pi 2G IoT board was released a couple of weeks ago, shortly followed by Android and Ubuntu images, but since it was not based on Allwinner, but an RDA Micro  8810PL processor, we did not have any source code so far, which can be a real problem for a development board… Shenzhen Xunlong has now managed to upload a 6.7GB Android SDK to MEGA, with the link published via Orange Pi Resources page.

MEGA has a download limit which depends on how much traffic they get at the time, and after 5.3 GB download,  I was asked to register for a PRO account, or wait for four hours before resuming the download. If you want to avoid this limit for any large MEGA download, you can run megadl instead. That’s what I did in Ubuntu 16.04 (remember to escape any special characters with \):


Once the download is done, none of the files have extension, but the first file is a gzip compressed files, while others are just raw data, so I concatenated all 6 files into a gzip file before uncompressing it, at which point I realized it was a tar file too:


The company has made it unnecessary difficult for that part, but I was finally successful, and that’s what the content of the SDK looks like.

Click to Enlarge

The Android SDK  relies on Linux 3.10.62, and I’ve been told while the Android part is quite poor, the Linux part looks better, even though the version is not quite the latest. U-boot source code is also included, and part of the 2G modem code can be found in the modem directory.

I got the news through ParrotGeek1 who plans to rebase the code to Linux 3.10.105, and release a Debian image. He has setup a RDA8810 github account (update September 21. 2018: now deleted, see comments) with the Linux kernel. So you’ll have to be patient, or join the fun to get a better Linux image. There’s no clear roadmap for Orange Pi 3G-IoT or 4G-IoT based on other RDA Micro processors, but that would certainly help motivating a few more people if such boards were planned.

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parrotgeek1
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parrotgeek1

*rebase to 3.10.105

And the code’s not there yet. If you look, the branches are all the same

You should also add that there are absolutely no proprietary blobs or GPL violations in the whole kernel!

Their Wi-Fi driver is significantly worse then all of the other kernel code and smells of being ported from Windows CE. It will be made into a separate repository to be fixed.

Also about 3G iot or 4G iot, RDA only seems to make a 3G processor, the RDA 8850. They don’t have a 4G processor in their roadmap nor code.

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

I’m having significant issues with their WiFi driver, it keeps crashing the board. I’ve only been able to connect it once using tethering from my phone (would crash when trying to connect to my home router) and only _after_ setting up the audio (that didn’t work, at least for me). But setting up audio, then WiFi to my Android phone in tethering mode worked .. once.. now I’m trying to replicate this on a second board and it no longer works.

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

If anyone else is wondering, removing alsa-utils and all its dependencies made WiFi work … don’t ask me why but I now have a stable WiFi connection. The magic command was “sudo apt-get purge –auto-remove alsa-utils” – it appears the audio driver is crappy and crashes the board. Without it, it works just fine. I have no need for sound here.

Jon Smirl
Member

CNX — create a random, new gmail account which comes with 7GB free storage, then push this up to the associated G-Drive. Free, fast distribution for all!

Jon Smirl
Member

Also — there is zero need to push these 7GB snapshots of Android around. All you need is the delta from whatever public Android release this is based on. Those deltas usually compress down to a few hundred MB. Pine is using this technique to distribute Android source, do you hear anyone complaining about Pine downloads?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

U-boot sources (require 4.9.x arm-linux-gnueabi soft float toolchain) mirrored: https://github.com/zador-blood-stained/u-boot-orangepi2g

The ‘full’ SDK seems to contain some funny things (eg. full or partial libMali.so sources) so it might be worth to mirror the tarcall even for people who are not interested in RDA at all.

@Razvan Dragomirescu
Do you play around with Xunlong’s ‘0.5 Ubuntu server’ image?

muvlon
Guest
muvlon

@tkaiser
What makes you think there are libmali sources there?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@muvlon
Some hints somewhere else and looking through the contained readme files, eg. https://pastebin.com/zbrgpA56 (I’m not going to extract this tarball, just threw it in an archive)

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

@tkaiser
Yes, I’m trying to make the Ubuntu Server 0.5 image work (thought it would be a good start, I’ve only received the boards yesterday). WiFi appears to work ok now (with sound disabled) but I couldn’t find a way to access the GSM/GPRS radio at all (I do get 3 serial ports – ttyS0 (console) and two others, ttyS1 and ttyS2 but none appear to respond to any AT commands at any speed).

I’m guessing some sort of driver is needed to expose the 2G modem but I honestly have no clue where to start with that.

parrotgeek1
Guest
parrotgeek1

I have found the exact point where the Android official kernel was 3.10.62, forked it, and started to clean and compare RDA code to the original. Currently there are (excluding the WiFi driver) about 280 files added and 90 files changed from official kernel, after reverting a lot of Android kernel_common patches. I have also reverted a large number of changes from RDA’s backport of newer ubifs and zram and kernel same page merging.

Before I upload it I am going to put all of their machine specific changes behind #ifdef CONFIG_ARCH_RDA.

Here are some of the things I am trying to figure out with the kernel:

Why does the sound driver break wifi? It seems like a problem specific to this OS image… In Android it would be so immediately noticed that RDA would have to fix it!

Relatedly, the sound driver is a giant pile of redundant, although well structured, code. I’ve started working on this already.

What is going on with the MTD subsystem? They have made dozens of patches to apparently round transfer lengths to a multiple of some value. Is this even necessary?

USB appears to be limited by a patch to musb driver, to USB 1.1 host mode but 2.0 device. Why? A hardware bug?

There are a few more things, but I typed this on my phone so I’ll add them later.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@Razvan Dragomirescu
Well, if you follow the first link above in the comments there you find some impressions from looking at this OS image (eg. bash history confirming that this userland has been already used on OPi Zero too). I’ve two of these boards now lying around but won’t touch them until at least a clean OS image can be built. Still hoping that interested parties join development efforts now that an SDK is available (see the github link above).

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@parrotgeek1
Just FYI: github.com/igorpecovnik/lib/commit/e1f6b953437a3491933ce078f172601695ffc0c8

zoobab
Guest
Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

@parrotgeek1
Thank you for your effort! Please let me know if you’d like me to test anything.

Regarding the sound/WiFi interference, it’s not that the sound driver kills WiFi, it kills the entire board! On first boot, the sound driver is not loaded and I can mess around and do the initial WiFi setup, etc. However, on second boot, I get a kernel panic in the sound driver and the board stops working. So the first thing I did on subsequent tries was to remove alsa-utils on first boot and now it’s stable.

For the modem part, there appears to be a module for GSM access under vendor/3rdparty/misc/driver_test/test_mdcom . It’s supposed to expose 3 serial ports

ttyRda0 – AT command channel
ttyRda1 – Sys command channel
ttyRda2 – Trace channel

I don’t have a working toolchain (yet) to compile it, maybe @parrotgeek1 would like to give it a try.

Thank you (again)!

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

Oh, if anyone’s interested, USB doesn’t work either in their Ubuntu Server 0.5 image… it doesn’t detect anything plugged into that port, not even a bus-powered 4-port USB hub. I have the feeling that nobody at Xunlong has actually tested that image (other than a first boot…).

lolek
Guest
lolek

@Razvan Dragomirescu
i cant get serial console on ubuntu img

Suspending console(s) (use no_console_suspend to debug)

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

@lolek
I only get that message when booting Android from the internal NAND. Are you sure you are booting Ubuntu? Ubuntu should switch to 115200bps as it boots up, if you get console output at 921600bps continuously, you’re booting Android from internal Flash, check the boot source jumper and make sure that the SD card is seen (it’s very picky, I was only able to make it work with a 2GB card).

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Armbian booting on this board: https://pastebin.com/AwN5bJ5i

@parrotgeek1
Will you do the boring job to throw in all the patches/commits to get the kernel version up to 3.10.105?

surfero75
Guest

Thanks for the help, without knowing that it is necessary to disable the audio could not have used the card. I have managed to connect to the GSM modem: /dev /modem0, i use Orange Spain and almost have it configured, this afternoon I will try to finish it. I have done this tutorial thais is based in others tutorials fron the web:

http://surfero.blogspot.com.es/2017/04/configurar-modem-gsm-en-la-orange-pi-2g.html

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

@surfero75
Great work! I had not noticed /dev/modem0 and /dev/modem1 … feeling kinda silly now … I kept looking for the ttyRda* devices mentioned in Android. I am able to talk to the modem now, thank you!

surfero75
Guest

I have configured a GSM data conection witch Freedompop, this is a GSM modem and is necesary to enable it before conect to carrier:

http://surfero.blogspot.com.es/2017/04/freedompop-orange-pi-2g-iot.html

fajar
Guest
fajar

can u do sms with this gsm? i always failed to do at+cmgs with this gsm

parrotgeek1
Guest
parrotgeek1

@tkaiser
AFTER the audio driver works without kernel panic

where is this image that you are using?

parrotgeek1
Guest
parrotgeek1

@tkaiser
Can you get a log of a kernel panic when you try to use alsamixer

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

@parrotgeek1
Sorry, I did not even try to boot this board. Someone else used the WiP configuration in Armbian’s build system to let a preliminary OS image build. More information where I got the boot log from: https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/3232-orange-pi-2g-iot/&page=2

@lex
Guest
@lex

Has anyone here being able to build modem.img? For whatever reason it tries to build /modem-2g instead of /modem-dualmode-2g and ask for MIPS cross compiler.

Theguyuk
Guest
Theguyuk

@@lex

Is that caused by the RISC cores?

.2 MODEM FEATURES
lSystem CPU(XCUP)
♦RDA RISC Core 32×32 bits
♦16/32 bit instruction set
♦4KB I-cache and 4KB D-cache
lBase Band CPU (BCPU)
♦RDA RISC Core32x32 bits
♦16/32 bit instruction set
♦1KB I-cache and 1KB D-cache
♦GSM/GPRS Dedicated accelerators
♦RF Interface (RF IF)
♦DigRF interface for communication with the integrated transceiver
♦EGPRS class 12
lRF Transceiver
♦Quad bands integrated transceiver
♦Integrated RF transceiver, Saw-Less, only needs external PA.
♦Digital low-IF receiver
♦Direct modulation transmitter
♦Frequency synthesizer
♦Integrated VCO, loop filters, etc.
♦Digital AFC
♦DigRF interface between digital baseband and transceiver
♦RF FEM control
lVoice and Modem codec
♦Supports HR, FR, EFR, AMR voice codec
♦Integrated microphone bias
♦DTMF and Comfort Tone generator
♦4 samples In and Out Fifos
♦I2S / DAI Interface
♦Serial Input / Output at 8/16 ks/s
♦Can be used for test purpose in DAI mode
♦Audio Interface To ABB
♦13 bit RX Data from audio ADC
♦16 bit TX Data to stereo DAC

@lex
Guest
@lex

@Theguyuk
Yes, certainly.

Has anyone managed to re-build this? Can you share the recipe? Was this modem-2g or modem-dualmode-2g?

Razvan Dragomirescu
Guest

As an update to my earlier post, I was able to enable USB Host by switching all the tiny DIP switches next to the USB host adapter to ON (1-8, all in the up/ON position). However, either this setup is wrong or there’s a driver issue – the device plugged into the port doesn’t appear to work correctly (it gets power and is listed in lsusb but I cannot interact with it at all and when I remove it, the board doesn’t notice (it continues to list it in lsusb ) ). Even inserting a new device doesn’t trigger a refresh, it still lists the old one. Any idea what the correct position is to enable USB host? Page 6 of their schematics shows the correct setup but the comments are in Chinese :(.

Vasileios Logas
Guest
Vasileios Logas

Did some one know that is this i search alot but i dont find and solution about this problem can some one help me please
Thanx in andvance
[ 938.337219] [RDAWLAN_ERR]:: ss_list[ 945.387207] [RDAWLAN_ERR]:: ss_list[ 952.437194] [RDAWLAN_ERR]:: ss_list->count ==0

parrotgeek1
Guest
parrotgeek1

hi @cnxsoft can you delete the link to rda8810 github, we gave up