NanoPi R2C is a cheaper dual GbE mini router with YT8521S Gigabit Ethernet PHY

NanoPi R2C

FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi R2C is an updated version of NanoPi R2S dual GbE mini router that replaces Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver with a Motorcomm YT8521S chip. NanoPi R2C mini router still comes with a Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, 1GB DDR4 memory, and a Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller for the second Ethernet port. NanoPi R2C specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450MP2 System Memory – 1GB DDR4 RAM Storage – MicroSD Slot, SPI flash footprint Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via MotorComm YT8521S Gigabit Ethernet transceiver 1x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type-A host port, USB Type-C port Debugging – 3-pin 2.54mm pitch header for serial console Expansion – 10-pin GPIO header with GPIOs, I2C, UART, IR_Rx, 5V, 3.3V and GND […]

3D printer board leverages Allwinner A64’s AR100 core for real-time control

Recore Allwinner A64 3D printer board

Elias Bakken has been working on Recore 3D printer control board based on Allwinner A64 processor since 2019 and with revision “A5” of the PCB,  Recore is now considered stable and will ship to customers. But wait? Isn’t Allwinner A64 just a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor meant to run Linux? But 3D printer control boards require real-time I/O and that’s why many are designed with STM32, Arduino compatible Microchip MCU or other microcontrollers. The trick here is that Elias did not use the Cortex-A53 cores for real-time control, but instead the 300 MHz AR100 32-bit OpenRISC 1000 core found in Allwinner A64 SoC. Recore specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 1 GHz, with AR100 32-bit core @ 300 MHz, Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 RAM Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI output to connect a display Networking – Gigabit Ethernet […]

PineDio indoor LoRa gateway to combine Pine A64-LTS SBC with RAK2287 LoRaWAN concentrator module

Pine64 indoor LoRa gateway

RAKwireless has offered Raspberry Pi-based indoor LoRaWAN gateways for development/evaluation purposes for several years, including the more recent RAK7246 LoRaWAN developer gateway equipped with Raspberry Pi Zero W SBC. But there’s will soon be another option, also not directly from RAKwireless, as Pine64 PineDio indoor LoRa gateway will feature RAK2287 LoRaWAN concentrator module connected to Pine A64-LTS single board computer via a custom-designed adapter board. PineDio indoor LoRa gateway preliminary specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – Up to 2GB LPDDR3 Storage – 128Mb SPI boot Flash, MicroSD card slot, optional eMMC flash module Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K resolution @ 30 Hz Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet Optional WiFi & Bluetooth module LoRaWAN via RAK2287 mini PCIe concentrator module based on Semtech SX1302 with support for RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923; external antenna GNSS […]

Z-Pi 7 Z-Wave gateway devkit works with Raspberry Pi and Orange Pi Zero boards

Z-Wave Raspberry Pi & Orange Pi Zero

WiFi & Bluetooth are the most popular wireless protocols for home automation, alternatives like Zigbee and Z-wave have also been widely adopted, at least in some countries. And if you are interested in the latter, Aeotec has just introduced the Z-Pi 7  gateway development kit that lets you add Z-Wave connectivity to Raspberry Pi boards or Orange Pi Zero SBC with an expansion board connected over UART through the GPIO header. Aeotec Z-Pi 7 Z-Wave expansion board (ZWA025) specifications: Z-Wave connectivity Silicon Labs EFR32ZG14 Arm Cortex-M4 SoC @ 39 MHz with Series 700 and Gen7 technology  Frequencies ZWA025-A: US Frequency 908.42 Mhz ZWA025-B: AU Frequency 921.42 Mhz ZWA025-C: EU frequency  868.42 Mhz TX Power – US: +9.3 dBm; EU: +4.8 dBm RX sensitivity – -97.5 dBm Range Indoor – US: 70+ meters; EU: up to 60 meters Outdoor – Up to 200 meters SmartStart native integration and S2 security. Z-Wave Plus Certified […]

Cherry Pi PC SBC is an Orange Pi PC clone selling for $16.5 and up

Cherry Pi PC SBC

Orange Pi PC is an Allwinner H3 SBC that was launched in 2015 for as little as $15 plus shipping (now $17.42 with 1 GB RAM), and made by a company called Shenzhen Xunlong Software. The next year, the company launched Orange Pi PC Plus with 8GB eMMC flash and WiFI connectivity for $20 (now $25.54). It appears another company named “Shenzhen LC Technology” has designed a board with similar specifications & layout, so not technically a clone, but close enough. Meet Cherry Pi SBC. Cherry Pi PC V7 SBC specifications with highlights in bold or strikethrough showing the differences with Orange Pi PC: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad-core Cortex A7 processor with an Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3 Storage – MicroSD card slot up to 64GB, optional 8GB eMMC flash, Video Output – HDMI 1.4 and AV ports Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, […]

Station P1 & M1 fanless mini PCs run media or desktop-optimized Android OS

Firefly Station OS Multimedia & Desktop Modes

T-Chip has recently introduced two fanless “Geek” mini PCs under their Firefly brand with Station P1 & M1 respectively powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, and RK3328 quad-core processor. Both mini PCs can run Firefly’s Station OS in either desktop or media mode, as well as Android or Ubuntu. There are also some community efforts to port Armbian and LibreELEC to the devices. Station P1 specifications Specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with two Cortex A72 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores, Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with support for OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, DX11, VPU with support for  4K H.265 10-bit 60fps video decoding, multi-channel 1080p video decoding and encoding System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 dual-channel 64-bit RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC flash (16GB/64GB/128GB Optional), onboard 16MB SPI flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output HDMI 2.0a up to 4Kp60, HDCP 1.4/2.2 DisplayPort 1.2 up to 4Kp60 […]

ODROID-HC4 low-cost dual NAS comes with 4GB RAM, supports 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives

Low-cost Linux NAS dual SATA Drive

[Edit: Hardkernel has now updated their documentation to clarify the NAS uses ASM1061 PCIe to SATA controller instead of JMB582] It’s hard to find low-cost NAS platforms often because of the mechanism to insert drives and the enclosure add to the cost. An alternative is to use boards like Hardkernel ODROID-HC1 for 2.5-inch drives or ODROID-HC2 for 2.5- and 3.5-inch drives, but each board supports only one drive. The designs are stackable, but you’d need one Linux board per drive, so it’s not ideal. The Korean company has now launched a new model with ODROID-HC4 powered by an Amlogic S905X3 processor and shipping with a case supporting two 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA drives that will start selling later this month for just $65 and up. ODROID-HC4 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ 1.8 GHz with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB DDR4 Storage 128 Mbit SPI […]

NanoPi R2S & NanoPi NEO3 tested with Armbian – Thermal test, Ethernet and USB performance

NanoPi R2S NanoPi NEO3 Review

In the first part of the review of NanoPi NEO3 and Nano R2S I checked out the hardware, with both tiny gateways powered by a Rockchip RK3328 processor but a different features as NEO3 includes a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 3.0 port, while R2S comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port. I’ve now had time to test both gateways using Armbian 20.08.1 release based on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal. Note that while NanoPi R2S is officially supported by Armbian, NanoPi NEO3 images are currently tagged as “suitable for testing“. Having that said I did not come across any specific issues on NEO3, and it may mostly mean it’s easier to get support on the forums with R2S. I flashed two microSD cards using USBImager with: Armbian_20.08.1_Nanopi-r2s_focal_current_5.8.6_minimal.img.xz Armbian_20.08.1_Nanopineo3_focal_current_5.8.6_minimal.img.xz That means Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux 5.8.6, but since Armbian is always updated, I ended the review with […]