Adding an external serial console port to NanoPi R6S

NanoPi R6S DIY external UART console

I had no trouble with my first experience with NanoPi R6S while installing and running the FriendlyWrt/OpenWrt 22.03 image, but that was another story when testing Ubuntu or Debian as the mini PC would not boot at all after flashing the images with eFlasher apparently successfully, but suspiciously fast (under 2 seconds). I spent nearly four hours trying the different images and then the Rockchip Windows utility, but all my attempts failed, and FriendlyElec was not overly helpful. So I decided to connect a serial console to see what was going on. The NanoPi R6S comes with a 3-pin header for the serial console, but it’s not populated. So I soldering one, but not at the top of the bottom, and instead at the bottom since it would allow me to still use the metal enclosure to cool the processor. Some readers, or at least one, often complain about the […]

LapPi 2.0 – A DIY laptop for Raspberry Pi 4 and other single board computers (Crowdfunding)

LapPi 2.0 DIY Raspberry Pi laptop

The LapPi 2.0 is a DIY laptop kit with an acrylic enclosure, a UPS HAT with a 18650 battery holder, and off-the-shelf parts including speakers, a touchscreen display, a Raspberry Pi camera, and a wireless keyboard that’s suitable for the Raspberry Pi 4 and pretty much any other small single board computer from Radxa, Orange Pi, Banana Pi, FriendlyElec, Hardkernel, and others. We’ve seen several Raspberry Pi laptops over the years with the CrowPi L and Pi-Top, and I have to say the LapPi 2.0 is not the most eye-pleasing or sophisticated design, but at least, it’s versatile and not limited to the Raspberry Pi family. LapPi 2.0 kit content and highlights: Display – 7-inch 5-point capacitive touchscreen IPS display with 1024×600 resolution support for audio output via 3.5mm audio jack and 4-pin header Camera – Official 8MP Raspberry Pi Noir camera with night vision support Audio – 2x 5W/8 […]

NanoPi R5C mini router features two 2.5GbE ports, supports M.2 wireless modules

NanoPi R5C router WiFi module

FriendlyElec NanoPi R5C is a smaller version of the NanoPi R5S router with the same Rockchip RK3568 processor, but only two 2.5GbE ports and support for an internal M.2 WiFi and Bluetooth module, instead of just USB dongles for the earlier NanoPi R-series routers. The mini router can also be used as a mini PC thanks to a built-in HDMI 2.0 video output port and two USB 3.2 ports and is offered in two versions with either 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, or 4GB RAM and 32GB storage for just $10 more. NanoPi R5C specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3568B2 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G52 MP2 GPU, 0.8 TOPS AI accelerator, 4Kp60 H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoder, 1080p60 H.264/H.265 video encoder System Memory & Storage 1GB LPDDR4X and 8GB eMMC flash or 4GB LPDDR4X and 32GB eMMC flash MicroSD card socket Video Output – 1x HDMI […]

Giveaway Week 2022 winners announced!

CNX Software Giveaway Week 2022 Winners

CNX Software’s Giveaway Week 2022 has just ended, and it’s time to announce the winners. Just like last year, some companies added to the review samples I offered with Rakwireless and ELECFREAKS offering a LoRaWAN devkit and an educational robot respectively. If you check out the photo of the items given away below you’ll find quite more than seven because the SONOFF NSPanel kit includes four Zigbee modules, and more importantly, we also organized a parallel giveaway week on CNX Software Thailand with small boards such as the Raspberry Pi Zero W or XIAO BLE. We had eight winners on CNX Software: NanoPi R5S gateway – Ingmar, GERMANY e-con Systems e-CAM20_CURB camera – Johnny, ESTONIA Pico:ed Smart Cutebot Kit –  jednorozec, CZECH REPUBLIC Pico:ed V2 board – Leonardo, BRAZIL Sonoff NSPanel Pro and Zigbee modules – Tim, CANADA RAK Developer Kit (Air Quality Kit) – Magnus, SWEDEN GL.iNet GL-S10 BLE […]

NanoPi R6S Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Teardown, OpenWrt 22.03, and iperf3

NanoPi R6S routing benchmark

NanoPi R6S is a Rockchip RK3588S powered device that can not only work as a router with two 2.5GbE ports, but also as a mini PC with HDMI and USB ports, and an Edge AI computer thanks to the 6 TOPS NPU found in the processor. FriendlyElec has just sent me two samples of the NanoPi R6S for review. Today, I’ll start with an unboxing, a teardown, and install OpenWrt 22.03 to run some iperf3 benchmarks. I’ll try other features with either Debian or Ubuntu Desktop in a few weeks. NanoPi R6S unboxing The router/mini PC ships with 6 rubber feet (3M), and nothing else. The front panel comes with four LEDs for the system and Ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port, as well as an IR receiver “window” (under the USB 3.0 port). The rear panel includes a USB Type-C port that supports 5V […]

Giveaway Week – NanoPi R5S router

NanoPi R5S review

It’s that time of year… CNX Software giveaway week! For the 9th edition, we’ll have seven items to give away, five that I will send myself, and two that will be sent directly from two companies that accepted to add their own products to the giveaway. We’ll start the giveaway with NanoPi R5S router based on Rockchip RK3568 SoC with 2 GB DDR4 RAM, 8GB eMMC flash plus an M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, two 2.5GbE Ethernet ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as HDMI 2.0 video output and two USB 3.0 ports.   I reviewed the NanoPi R5S router with OpenWrt and Ubuntu 20.04 “FriendlyCore”, but I had to call this a “preview” since 2.5GbE was far from optimal, sometimes only a little faster than with a Gigabit Ethernet link. But I can see the company has released new images, including one based on the latest OpenWrt 22.03, […]

NanoPi R6S – A Rockchip RK3588S router and mini PC with dual 2.5GbE, GbE, and… HDMI 2.1

NanoPi R6S RK3588S router

FriendlyELEC has launched its sixth generation router with the NanoPi R6S equipped with a Rockchip RK3588S processor, two 2.5GbE ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, and two USB interfaces. But the device will not exactly be limited to router functions as it comes with 8GB RAM, a 32GB eMMC flash, and an HDMI 2.1 port that support up to 8Kp60 video output, not to mention 8K video decoding capability and the integrated 6 TOPS NPU for AI workloads. NanoPi R6S specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3588S octa-core processor with: CPU – 4x Cortex-A76 cores @ up to 2.4 GHz, four Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8 GHz GPU – Arm Mali-G610 MP4 quad-core GPU with OpenGL ES3.2 / OpenCL 2.2 / Vulkan1.1 support VPU – 8Kp60 H.265/VP9/AVS2 video decoder, 8Kp30 H.264 decoder, 4Kp60 AV1 decoder, 8Kp30 H.265/H.264 video encoder AI accelerator – 6 TOPS NPU System Memory – 8GB LPDDR4X @ 2133 MHz Storage […]

NanoPi R4SE dual Gigabit Ethernet router adds 32GB eMMC flash

NanoPi R4SE router

NanoPi R4SE is a variant of the Rockchip RK3399-powered NanoPi R4S dual Gigabit Ethernet router that adds a 32GB eMMC flash instead of only relying on a microSD card for the operating system. Most of the specifications remain the same with dual GbE, two USB 3.0 ports, but the router is now only offered with 4GB LPDDR4 and there’s no option for only 1GB RAM, and the GPIO and USB 2.0 headers are gone. The listed temperature range also changed from -20°C to 70°C to 0°C to 80°C. NanoPi R4SE specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with dual-Core Cortex-A72 up to 2.0 GHz,  quad-core Cortex-A53 up to 1.5 GHz, Mali-T864 GPU with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenCL, DX11, and AFBC support, 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 60fps video decoder System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Networking – 2x GbE, including one native Gigabit […]