Tribulations with Linux on Zidoo M6 Rockchip RK3566 mini PC

Rockchip Short eMMC D0 pin

After our review of the Zidoo M6 mini PC with Android 11, we’ve installed Linux on the Rockchip device, and we did boot to a Linux Qt user interface built with buildroot. Let’s try to see what we can do with the image, and then try Ubuntu from a competing mini PC to check out if that can work. Since there’s no package manager to install a screenshooting program, I tried to use the usual method to take a framebuffer screenshot.

It generated an 8MB file which looked good, but the content was just comprised of zeros.

I asked Zidoo for a method to take screenshots in their Linux image, but I was told there weren’t any at this time… No worries, let’s try some of the applications in the Qt interface starting with the Multivideoplayer: It starts well with 9 videos of Big Buck Bunny playing simultaneously, […]

Setting up a motion activated light with Sonoff Zigbee sensor and T2 WiFi switch

Sonoff T2 wiring Thailand

Earlier this month, I received a Sonoff ZBBridge Zigbee gateway, a motion sensor, and a Sonoff T2 wireless switch in order to set up everything to work as a motion activated light using Zigbee and WiFi through the eWelink Android app and cloud service. You can check out the first post to have a closer look at the hardware and accessories. We’ve now had time to configure everything and will report the results of the project in this post. The idea is basically to detect motion with the Zigbee sensor, which then transmits the info through the gateway, and the T2 switch is controlled by the eWelink cloud. Last time around, I thought I had a switch with a neutral wire at home, but I did not check in detail enough, and I’ve been unable to use it. Without suitable switches in my home, it was not practical to rewire […]

10.1-inch Raspberry Pi All-in-One touchscreen display review – Part 1: Unboxing and installation

Raspberry Pi OS All-in-One Touchscreen Display

I’ve just received a 10.1-inch touchscreen display designed for Raspberry Pi model B boards with 1920×1080 resolutions from the EVICIV store on Amazon that also offers models with 1366×378 and 1280×800 resolutions, and allows users to create an All-in-One computer based on the popular SBC. The product can also be used as a standalone display connected to an HDMI or USB-C (via DisplayPort Alt mode) source, so it could be interesting for all sorts of projects and not only ones relying on Raspberry Pi boards. In the first part of the review, I’ll check out the hardware, install a Raspberry Pi 4, and boot it to check out whether it works, before going into more details in the second part of the review. RPI All-in-One Touchscreen Display Unboxing The package lists some of the specs and highlights features of the device with a built-in stereo speaker, support for older and […]

Using MangoHud to check FPS, CPU & GPU usage on a ‘hackendeck’

MangoHud

Previously I followed Valve’s documentation to build a ‘hackendeck’ using a mini PC to emulate their highly anticipated Steam Deck. Interestingly the ‘hackendeck’ uses a Linux OS, specifically Manjaro, as whilst Valve based their earlier version of Steam OS on Debian, they have now switched to being based on Arch. If the ‘hackendeck’ had just been Steam on Windows then to review gaming performance I’d just use MSI Afterburner. Until now, however, for Linux, I’ve always had to estimate the average FPS as I’ve not been aware of a good reliable equivalent. Fortunately several ‘commenters’ recommended using MangoHud, a Linux open-source Vulkan/OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, CPU/GPU usage, and temperatures similar to MSI Afterburner. So now I’ve been able to capture the average frame rate for the games I previously tested and I’ll present them below. MangoHud Installation and configuration The installation of MangoHud was extremely simple. First I installed […]

Photon Mono X resin 3D printer review with Wash and Cure Plus Machine – Unboxing and First Prints

Anycubic Mono X resin 3D printer review

Hey, Karl here. Today we are going to unbox and take a look at Anycubic’s Photon Mono X resin 3D printer and Wash and Cure Plus machine. The Mono X is what I would consider a medium size resin 3D printer that boasts a 192x120x245 build volume. Mono is included in the name because they have changed to a mono screen. They say there are 2 advantages when using a mono screen. 1 the screen lasts longer compared to an RGB screen and 2 it allows more light through allowing for faster prints. I won’t go into much detail as I believe most people are aware of this 3D printing method. In summary, UV reactive resin is cured layer by layer until a model is printed. The typical layer height of .05mm vs a typical .2 layer height for FDM printing allows for high detail printing and the layers are […]

Experiences of configuring and using a ‘hackendeck’ homemade Steam Deck

hackendeck

Valve recently released information about developing for the Steam Deck if you didn’t have a Dev-Kit which is an engineering verification test build (EV2) version of their device. Included in the documentation is a suggestion to build your own Steam Deck, or ‘hackendeck’ using a mini PC. Whilst I didn’t have the exact brand they picture in the article I did have a mini PC with the required specifications so I set about following the instructions to see how it performed. Hardware Overview Valve’s documentation under ‘Performance’ states that ‘if you are really interested in finding a PC for testing that will perform similarly to a Steam Deck … there are a few options out there and then goes on to suggest a mini PC with the following ‘roughly similar specifications to a Steam Deck’: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics 16GB of DDR4 RAM This exactly […]

Raspberry Pi OS upgraded to Debian 11 “Bullseye”

Raspberry Pi OS Debian 11 BullsEye

Debian 11 “Bullseye” was released in August 2021, and I was expecting Raspberry Pi OS to soon get upgraded to the latest version, especially the last time around, in 2019, Raspian Buster was released even before the official Debian 10 “Buster” release, although the reason was Raspberry Pi 4 launch. This time around it took longer, but the good news is that Raspberry Pi OS has just been upgraded to Debian 11, meaning it benefits from the new features such as driverless printing, in-kernel exFAT module, “yescrypt” password hashing, and packages upgraded to more recent versions. The Raspberry Pi Foundation goes into more details about what changed in the new Raspberry Pi OS release with GTK+3 user interface toolkit, Mutter window manager replacing OpenBox in boards with 2GB RAM or more, new KMS video and camera drivers, and more. Raspberry Pi OS “BullsEye” can be downloaded from the usual place, […]

ODROID-N2+ review with Ubuntu 21.10 using Wayland and Panfrost

ODROID N2+ Ubuntu 21.10 review

ODROID-N2+ was launched in July 2020, but I only got the Amlogic S922X Rev C SBC recently with Hardkernel wanting me to test their latest Ubuntu 21.10 image with the Panfrost open-source GPU driver. ODROID-N2+ Kit Unboxing Let’s start by checking out the kit I received from the Korean SBC manufacturer. The package includes ODROID-N2+ single board computer fitted with a 32GB eMMC flash module, a 12V/2A power supply with an EU plug adapter, an 80mm fan kit, and a USB 3.0 to eMMC reader. ODROID-N2+ is now only available with 4GB RAM, as the old ODROID-N2 with 2GB was deprecated, and we get four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0 video output,  Gigabit Ethernet networking, and a 40-pin GPIO header with the board cooled by a larger heatsink attached to the bottom of the board. Fan installation, first boot, and system information As we’ll see below the fan is not […]