FriendlyELEC Mailbag: NanoPi NEO OLED Starter Kit, NEO Station NS-120B, and NanoPi K2 Multimedia Kit

FriendlyELEC will send me some review samples from time to time, and normally I just ask for one item, but they aways send a bunch of their products instead. This time I asked for a NanoPi NEO NAS Kit v1.2 to play with, but I got clearly more than what I asked for… Let’s start with the box at the top. It contains “NanoPi NEO complete starter kit” selling for $29.99for $29.00 with the following items: NanoPi NEO board NanoHat OLED Heatsink and thermal pad kit Akuminum housing a Mico USB cable A micro SD card pre-loaded with NEO OLED Ubuntu firmware. Three buttons, and screws It’s actually not fully complete, as you’d need to provide and solder your own male headers to NanoPi NEO board. I did not have time for soldering that day, but the final results should be really neat based on pictures from their website. If you prefer the more powerful board, the same kit is …

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NAS Kit v1.2 Gets Support for NanoPi NEO 2, an UAS Capable USB to SATA Bridge, and an RTC Battery

Last month, FriendlyELEC launched a NAS Dock kit for NanoPi NEO board, but they’ll already removed it from their store. That’s because they have a new version NAS Dock v1.2 that also supports NanoPi NEO 2 with Gigabit Ethernet, replaces JMicron JM20329 by UAS capable JMicron JMS567 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge, and adds an RTC battery. The rest of NAS Dock Kit v1.2 specifications remain the same: 1-bay NAS Dock expansion board with JMicron JMS567 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge SATA connector for 2.5″ HDD drive Extra USB host port On/off switch, and dual color status LED Header to connect NanoPi NEO / NEO 2 board 12V DC power input Dimensions – 151 x 89.7 mm NS-120 aluminum enclosure (154 x 100 x 47.5 mm, 414 grams) Heatsink set for NanoPi NEO / NEO 2 4x M3 6mm screws, 8x M2.5 6 mm screws Four rubber pads Front and back covers Since NEO 2 has a low profile Ethernet jack, the …

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NanoPi NEO Boards Get a New Arduino UNO Compatible Dock to Play with Arduino Shields

FriendlyELEC has launched a new accessory board for their NanoPi NEO / NEO 2 / NEO Air boards with UNO Dock V2.0 board compatible with Arduino UNO board thanks to its Microchip ATMeaga328P MCU and compatible headers, and also equipped with headers to plug a NanoPi NEO board. Key features for UNO Dock v2.0 for NanoPi NEO: MCU – Microchip ATmega328 8-bit AVR  MCU @ 16 MHz with 2KB SRAM, 32KB flash, 1024 bytes EEPROM USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports connected to NEO board Expansion Arduino UNO headers for shields Female headers to insert the NanoPi NEO board Male headers to access NanoPi NEO boards’ IOs Debugging & Programming – 1x micro USB port (USB to UART), ICSP header, NEO debug UART header Misc – Power on/off, reset button, UART select jumper Power Supply – 12V DC via 2.1mm power barrel   The system would be great if NanoPi NEO boards actually had an HDMI output port, as it …

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$40 NanoPi K2 Board Powered by Amlogic S905 Processor Competes with ODROID-C2, Raspberry Pi 3

Hardkernel ODROID-C2 board is getting some direct competition with FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi K2 development board powered with Amlogic S905 processor with 2GB RAM, a very similar form factor, and many of the same features, which together with Khadas Vim (Pro) brings the number of low cost Amlogic based development boards to three. NanoPi K2 board specifications with differences compared to ODROID-C2 highlighted in bold or stricken-through: SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – eMMC module socket, micro SD slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212 module) with chip antenna + IPX connector USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (GL825G USB hub) + micro USB OTG port for power and adata Expansion Header 40-pin header with GPIO, I2C, UART, ADC, PWM, SPDIF, and CVBS 7-pin I2S interface …

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FriendlyELEC Introduces $12.99 1-bay NAS Dock Kit for NanoPi NEO & NEO 2 Boards

NanoPi NEO is a tiny board with Fast Ethernet and USB 2.0 interface, so in theory it could make a nice low-end NAS as long as you don’t need the best performance. As always the problem is that there was no case for it, but FriendlyELEC changes that as they just launched a 1-bay NAS Dock Kit for NanoPi NEO / NEO 2 board selling for just $12.99 (promotional price at launch). The kit comes with the following: 1-bay NAS Dock expansion board with JMicron JM20329 USB to SATA bridge SATA connector for 2.5″ HDD drive Extra USB host port On/off switch, and dual color status LED Header to connect NanoPi NEO board 12V DC power input Dimensions – 151 x 89.7 mm NS-120 aluminum enclosure (154 x 100 x 47.5 mm, 4141 grams) Heatsink set for NanoPI NEO M3 6mm screws, M2.5 6 mm screws Four rubber pads Front and back covers The company provides an OpenMediaVault image and …

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NanoPi NEO2 Board Benchmarks with Ubuntu 16.04.2 using Linux 3.10 and Linux 4.10

I’ve received NanoPi NEO 2 boards, add-boards and sensor modules last week, where we could see how small the boards were, and how it could be suitable for IoT projects or “hardware hacking” education.  Before testing the board with the add-ons, I have to select the image to run on the board, and currently we have two choices: Ubuntu 16.04.2 FriendlyELEC image with Linux 3.10 “legacy” kernel, or Armbian Ubuntu 16.04.2 Xenial nightly build with Linux 4.10 “mainline” kernel. So I decided to try both: dfssf nanopi-neo2-ubuntu-core-qte-sd4g-20170329.img.zip (296 MB) is the image from FriendlyELEC (previously FriendlyARM) Armbian_5.27.170401_Nanopineo2_Ubuntu_xenial_dev_4.10.0.7z (222 Mb) is the image from Armbian, which I downloaded on March 31st despite the filename including “170401” string You can flash the image with Win32DiskImager (Windows) or dd (linux) to a micro SD card the usual way, and while I’ve never personally had troubles with dd, I’ve been told Etcher was better, as it verifies the SD card after flashing, and dd …

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NanoPi NEO2 Board, NanoHats, and BakeBit Starter Kit Review – Part 1: Hardware Overview & Assembly

NanoPi NEO 2 development board is an update of NanoPi NEO with a quad core 64-bit Allwinner H5 processor + 512 MB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and an extra audio header, which can be a great little board for headless application since there’s no video output. FriendlyELEC ask me whether I wanted to review to board with some of their NanoHATs add-on boards, and while I asked for NanoHat PCM5102A audio board and NEO Hub which I intended to use with Grove modules from my Wio Link Started Kit, I get a bit more than expected, as the company included sets of NEO 2 boards and accessories, NanoHATs, two serial debug board, and their BakeBit Starter Kit with several Grove modules to play with. Since I have so many things to look at in this first post, I’ll just describe the hardware, assemble it, quickly check the paper documentation, and give some of my impressions about the kit I receive. Let’s …

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NanoPi NEO2 Development Board Powered by Allwinner H5 64-bit ARM Processor Sells for $15

NanoPi NEO is a cool little board, and I’ve been using it with Armbian as a 24/7  MQTT + Domoticz server for several weeks without any issues so far. FriendlyElec has now an update with NanoPi NEO2 featuring Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor instead of Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor, a faster Gigabit Ethernet connection, and a new audio header. NanoPi NEO2 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with an ARM Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – micro SD card slot Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (via RTL8211E-VB-CG chip) USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port, 2x USB via headers Expansion headers 24-pin header with I2C, 2x UART, SPI, PWM, and power signals 12-pin header with 2x USB, IR pin, I2S 5-pin audio header with microphone and LINE out signals Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console Misc – Power and status LEDs Power Supply – …

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