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Posts Tagged ‘raspbian’

ComfilePi Industrial Touch Panel PCs are Based on Raspberry Pi CM3 Module

August 24th, 2017 No comments

ComfilePi CPi-A070WR & CPi-A102WR are industrial IP65 panel PCs powered by Raspberry Pi CM3 compute module, with respectively 7″ and 10.2″ resistive touchscreen displays, and that run modified version of Raspbian OS.

ComfilePi CPi touch panel computers specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BMC2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.2GHz with Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB
  • Storage – 1x micro SD Slot
  • Display
    • 7“ 800×480 Touchscreen Pressure-sensitive (Resistive Film Type) LCD display OR
    • 10.2” 800×480 Touchscreen Pressure-sensitive (Resistive Film Type) LCD display
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio out port
  • I/Os
    • 40-pin header socket based on Raspberry Pi 40-pin header pinout with 22x GPIO with ESD protection circuit
    • 2x RS-232 terminal blocks
    • 1x I2C terminal block
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, optional WiFi via USB dongle
  • Misc – 1x Piezzo buzzer
  • Power Supply – 12~24V DC via 3-pin terminal block
  • Dimensions (housing made of Flame retardant ABS)
    • CPi-A070WR – 187 x 124 x 51.1 mm
    • CPi-A102WR – 264 x 70 x 52.6 mm
  • Temperature range – Operating: 0°C to 70°C; storage – -20°C to 80°C
  • IP Rating – IP65 rated front panel

While the company mentions CM3 module, it appears they actually went with CM3L module, an odd choice for an industrial product, as it means the OS will run from micro SD card, instead of the more reliable / resistant to vibrations eMMC flash found in CM3 module.

 

Expansion I/Os Details – Click to Enlarge

The company provides a Raspbian image for the touch panel PC that’s modified for:

  • Legal reasons – Removed Mathematica and the Wolfram Language, the Oracle JDK, and RealVNC since they are not allowed in commercial products (without paying extra)
  • User Interface Framework – Qt 5.8 and supporting packages added
  • Features specific to ComfilePi Panel PC – Touchscreen calibration, and piezzo buzzer beep when touch is detected

Source code can be found in the FTP server, and you’ll find hardware and software documentation in the Wiki. The video below provides an overview and demonstrates a few use cases for the panel PCs.

ComfilePi CPi-A070W & CPi-A102WR industrial panel PCs are sold for respectively $199 & $299 on Comfile Tech website, but you’ll also find both models on US based Saelig distributor for bit more.

Via LinuxGizmos

NComputing RX300 Thin Client Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

August 21st, 2017 4 comments

NComputing RX300 is a thin client based on Raspberry Pi 3 board that will allow to remotely run Windows and Linux operating systems from a much more powerful server, and Raspberry Pi 3 mostly handling the display, and connection to hardware like USB keyboard and mouse. The company has me sent a review sample for evaluation, and I’ll start by checking out what I received, and the hardware design of the device.

NComputing RX300 Thin Client Unboxing

I was asked whether I could test dual display, and then I had to choose between a VGA adapter or a DVI adapter. I selected the former, and I received both RX300 thin client, and a USB to VGA secondary adapter with its USB cable.

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We’ll find the thin client, a 5.1V/2.5A power adapter with a US plug adapter, and a multi-language quick installation guide in the package.

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The enclosure is really cute, and expose most Raspberry Pi 3 port with the four USB 2.0 connectors, Ethernet, HDMI and AV ports, as well as a micro USB port for power.

The only thing that’s not accessible is the micro SD card, but for this particular device it’s not really needed, since it’s designed for one and only purpose: being a thin client. The opening (close to my thumb) on the other red side should be the Kensington lock hole.


The power button is located on the top of the case, and the power / network LEDs can be seen through a transparent plastic bit.

NComputing RX300 Teardown

Most people won’t need to open the case, but in case you find out you don’t need a thin client after all, you could always re-use the Raspberry Pi 3 board for other projects.

Click to Enlarge

As a side note, the bottom of the enclosure allows for wall-mounting, and the user guide mentions an optional VESA mount is for sale, so you could hook the thin client right behind your monitor or TV. There are four rubbers pads, but only the top right in the photo above hides a screw, but there’s another hidden under NComputing’s authenticity? sticker.

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Piercing though that sticker most probably void any warranty you may have had for the device. You’ll also need a plastic tool to unclip the bottom part of the enclosure. As expected, we’ll find a Raspberry Pi 3 board inside with an 8GB Sandisk UHS-1 micro SD card pre-loaded with NComputing software. We can take out the board by removing the two red sides, and gently pulling it out as it is inserted into a small add-on board use to add a button to the design.

Click to Enlarge

The Raspberry Pi 3 board is also fitted with two heatsinks on the processor, and the USB Hub / Ethernet bridge controller to ensure smooth operation under heavy load and/or high ambient temperature.

That’s all for the hardware part, and the next step will be to install vSpace Pro 10 server on my computer, and connect to it with RX300 to remotely use the power of my computer. NComputing RX300 is supposed to sell for $99 with one-year connection subscription to vSpace Pro 10 and a 6-month trial of vCAST streaming technology, but so far I could only find it for ~$150 and up on sites like Newegg and eBay. The product is also listed on Amazon US, but currently unavailable.

[Update from the company about pricing and availability:

RX300 comes with either 1-year bundled license or 3-year bundled license. The $99 MSRP for RX300 is for the one that comes with 1-year bundled license, and the one you saw on NewEgg is based on a 3-year bundled license therefore higher price.

Our distribution is mostly based on channel partners as they have the reach to local education and SMB customers worldwide, and direct online sales has not been our core emphasis. However, we plan to have RX300 listed on Amazon starting in September for the U.S market.

]

Raspbian for Raspberry Pi Boards Gets Upgraded to Debian Stretch

August 17th, 2017 9 comments

While Raspberry Pi boards support many different operating systems, Raspbian is by far the most popular option, and in the last two years the distribution was based on Jessie (Debian 8), the Raspberry Pi foundation has just announced it was now replaced by an update to Stretch (Debian 9).

The Jessie version is completely gone from Raspbian Download page, and you’ll only be offered to download “Raspbian Stretch with Desktop” or “Raspbian Stretch Lite”.

So what has changed compared to Jessie? Debian 9 changelog will list the main differences compared to Debian 8, but some modifications have also been made in Raspbian itself:

  • Version 3.0.1 of Sonic Pi “Live Coding Music Synth” app – See changelog
  • Chrome 60 stable with improved memory usage and more efficient code
  • Bluetooth audio is supported by the bluez-alsa package by default instead of PulseAudio
  • Better handling of “non-pi users”, as previously many applications assumed to be run by pi user.
  • SenseHAT extension added to Scratch 2
  • BroadPwn exploit fix to close a vulnerability in the firmware of the BCM43xx wireless chipset
  • Other minor bug fixes and UI improvements

If you already have Raspbian Jessie running in your board, and would like to upgrade to Raspbian Stretch, you can try to do so at your own risk by changing all occurrences of ‘jessie’ to ‘stretch’ in /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list, and running:

The Raspberry Pi foundation however recommends to back up your micro SD card first, as upgrading that way is not guaranteed to work in every circumstance.

MASS RPI 07 is a 7″ Industrial Touch Panel PC Based on Raspberry Pi 3

July 6th, 2017 4 comments

MASS GmbH has launched RPI 07, a touch panel PC with a 7″ 800×480 display powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 board, and designed for industrial applications thanks to a 12V to 24V variable power input, aluminum housing, DIO with optocouplers, an optional CAN Bus and more.

MASS RPI-07 specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2837 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 16GB micro SD SDHC Class 10
  • Display – 7″ WVGA 800×480 touchscreen display with 250cd/m² brightness, 500:1 contrast, 10-point touch
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0
  • Optional Interfaces – Real-time clock (RTC), DIO with optocouplers, I²C, CAN, RS232
  • Power supply – 12 to 24V DC (15W max) via 2-pin terminal with on/off switch
  • Dimensions – 200 x 118 x 48mm (powder coated metal housing)
  • Weight – 900 grams
  • Certifications – CE

Hardware options include VESA 75 mount with pivot arm or foot,holding clamp for mounting in consoles, control cabinet doors or wall recessing, digital input card 8-bit with optocouplers, digital output 8-bit card with optocouplers, analog input card 5 channel 10-bit, and analog output card 4 channel 10-bit.

The company supports Raspbian and Microsoft Windows IoT Core for the panel PC, with other operating systems available on requests.

The company has not released availability and pricing information for the RPI 07. You may find more details on the product page.

Via LinuxGizmos

$25 Orange Pi Win Development Board To Run Windows 10 IoT (and Linux, and Android)

March 13th, 2017 26 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong Software must already have over a dozen of Orange Pi boards, but this is not stopping them from launching more, and the company has just introduced Orange Pi Win, powered by Allwinner A64 processor, and beside supporting Linux and Android like other models, it’s rumored to run Windows 10 IoT too.Orange Pi Win specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 2MB SPI flash, micro SD slot up to 64 GB, footprint for optional eMMC flash
  • Video Output / Display interface – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz with CEC 3D and HDCP support,, MIPI LCD interface
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5 mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6212)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI interface up to 5MP camera, up to [email protected] fps video capture
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi somewhat-compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header
  • Misc – IR receiver; reset and power buttons; power and status LEDs;
  • Power
    • 5V via power barrel or micro USB port
    • Lithium battery header
    • Power selection jumper (4-pin header)
    • AXP803 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 93 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 48 grams

Supported operating systems includes “Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Raspberry Pi image, and Banana Pi image”. The latter is possible since Orange Pi Win is quite  similar to Banana Pi M64, except it has less RAM. “Raspberry Pi image” likely means Raspbian with Linux + Uboot for Allwinner A64 processor, and Raspbian image for Raspberry Pi won’t work. Linux support should now be relatively good due to the work done on other Allwinner A64 boards such as Pine A64 and Banana Pi M64, and I suspect Armbian builds should come soon enough.

Windows 10 IoT is not part of that list, but should eventually be supported according to a forum post, and Shenzhen Xunlong confirmed it by email. Not really surprising considering Windows 10 IoT has been ported to Pine A64 and Banana Pi M64 boards. You can check officially supported Allwinner boards directly on Microsoft Azure IoT device catalog, and Orange Pi Win is not there yet.

The board has just started to sell for $25 + shipping on Aliexpress.

Thanks to Tomaz, Aleksey, and tkaiser for the tip.

How to Control Your Air Conditioner with Raspberry Pi Board and ANAVI Infrared pHAT

March 12th, 2017 16 comments

Leon ANAVI may be a full-time software engineer, but in his spare time he has started to develop open source hardware project with the help of others and by himself. Last year, I got hold of his RabbitMax Flex HAT for Raspberry Pi, and tested it with the provided LCD display, one temperature sensor, and a Raspberry Pi 2 board. The board also featured IR receiver & transmitter, and I tried to use it with my aircon remote control, but at the time I did not find a way to do it easily, and control my TV with LIRC instead. Leon has now made a simpler, smaller, and cheaper add-on board for Raspberry Pi Zero, and other Raspberry Pi boards with a 40-pin header, with 3x I2C headers, two IR transmitters, and one IR receiver. He sent me a sample of “ANAVI Infrared pHAT”, and after quickly describing the board, I’ll show how to I could control my air conditioner with a Raspberry Pi 2 board and his Infrared pHAT.

ANAVI Infrared pHAT

The top of the has the 3x I2C header for 3.3V sensors, a UART header to access to serial console, two x 5mm IR transmitters (IR LEDs), and one IR receiver (IR photo sensor). It also has an EEPROM to store the HAT ID.

Click to Enlarge

The other side comes with the 40-pin female header to connect to your Raspberry Pi board.

The board was designed with KiCAD, and the hardware design files are released under a “Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States” License on github.

ANAVI Infrared pHAT Connection to Raspberry Pi Board

There’s only one step: insert the board on the 40-pin connector of your RPi board. You can only make one mistake, inserting it the wrong way. It has to be connected in away that it covers part of the board.

I’ve connect it with a Raspberry Pi 2 board with a battery kit, but it fits even better on the Raspberry Pi Zero, or newly released Raspberry Pi Zero W.

Setting up Raspberry Pi, and Controlling the Air Conditioner with LIRC

It’s time to start software setup in order to control the Haier air conditioner pictured below.

You’ll need to install Raspbian, and some packages including LIRC, but I’ve already explained how to do that in RabbitMax Flex Getting Started Guide, so I’m not going to repeat those steps here, especially you can find them in ANAVI Infrared pHAT user’s manual too, and I’ll assume you have already setup your board.

The reason why I could record IR commands from my TV remote control, and not my aircon remote control last time around, is because aircon remotes send not only one byte but also status info each time. The trick is to use mode2’s “alternative display mode” to capture pulse/space data as raw config files.

Let’s do that:

Now I faced the IR receiver and pressed the power key on the remote control:

Wow, that’s a whole bunch of numbers, but that’s exactly what we need as those are the duration of the high and low levels of the IR signal. I have repeated the same command, but capturing 4 keys: off, on, up to 29C, and down to 28C.

Then we need to edit our lircd-haier-ac.conf file manually:

Note that you need to delete the first “big number” from each captured command. For example, I had to delete “4989552” from the first capture of the power key. If you want full control, you’ll need to record all keys. You may want to read lircd.conf manual to understand parameters like aep or aeps. I used the default values, but in case it does not work for you, or works unreliably, you may have to adjust them, possibly from data obtained using an oscilloscope. I did not have such problem, and copied the file to /etc/lirc/lircd.conf:

In theory, you can restart lircd from the command line:

but in my case, I always had troubles when running irsend command:

So I had to reboot the board with sudo reboot to enable changes. Later I used the reload command (to take into account the update config) after restart, and I could avoid a reboot:

Once it’s all working, we can list the keys we’ve just defined in lircd.cong:

To turn on the aircon:

Then I was not sure what action would happen when I recorded the up key once setting the temperature. So I first set the temperature to 23C to check whether it would increment the temperature to 24C, or set it to 29C:

And the later happened, which means you need to record all temperatures you want to set, and there’s no such thing as UP and DOWN keys.

You’ll already guessed how to turning off the aircon:

Then I realized that since “29C” and “28C” commands send the temperature, it might also send the power status, and indeed I can turn on the aircon @ 28C directly with with 28C command. So instead of recording keys for your aircon, you are actually recording “scenes” which you could name “night”, “25Cfanlowswingup”, “off”, and so on. I added 25Cfanlowswingup with temperature set to 25C, fan speed set to low, and swing set to up, added it to lircd.conf, and a single command would turn on the aircon and set all those values:

Pretty neat.

While the instructions above will work with any board with IR receiver (for first time setup) and IR transmitter, you may be interested in getting ANAVI Infrared pHAT on Indiegogo for $9 plus shipping ($5 to  $7). There are also other rewards including the pHAT, I2C sensors, and debug tools. The campaign has already surpassed its funding target ($500), and delivery is planned for September 2017.

$6 LicheePi Zero ARM Board Runs Linux 4.10, Supports Lots of Add-On Boards (Crowdfunding)

March 10th, 2017 89 comments

We’ve already covered LicheePi One board powered by Allwinner A13 processor, but it was not for sale out of China, and the developers are now back with LicheePi Zero board/module, slightly bigger than an SD card, featuring Allwinner V3s processor, and offered for as low as $6, or $8 with WiFi via an Indiegogo campaign.

LicheePi Zero specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner V3s ARM Cortex A7 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400 GPU, 512Mbit (64MB) DDR2 on-chip
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, SPI flash (not 100% clear if it will be populated when shipped to backers)
  • Display – FPC40 RGB Connector with support for 800×480 RGB LCD
  • Audio – Audio codec
  • USB – micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion
    • 2x 15 headers with 2.54mm pitch, breadboard friendly with GPIOs, 2x UART, 1x SPI, 2x I2C,ADC, 1x PWM
    • 2x  30 half-holes with 1.27mm pitch with OTG USB,MIPI CSI,EPHY,RGB LCD, more GPIOs
    • RGB connector can take add-on boards for GPIO, LVDS, HDMI, VGA, etc…
  • Misc – RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, or 5V/GND header
  • Dimensions – 44.6×25.5mm

Pinout Diagram

Most development board come with SDK using older version of Linux, but LicheePi Zero supports the latest Linux 4.10 kernel, as well as buildroot, Debian, and Raspbian Jessie with Pixel (experimental). The source code and hardware documentation can be found on Github.

Another selling point of this tiny board is the number of add-boards, with a WiFi board that be either plugged into the micro SDcard slot, or soldered along some of the 2.54mm pitch header, several converter using the RGB interface for VGA, LVDS, HDMI, DVP camera) or even some extra GPIOs.

The developer also provides a baseboard for LicheePi Zero module giving access to a 3.5mm audio jack, a built-in microphone, and Ethernet, as well as I/O ports for even more add-ons such as cameras, OLED or TFT displays, speakers, LoRa modules, and so on.

The modularity and options of Lichee Pi Zero is well summarized in the diagram below.

To get started easier, the developers also worked on some projects or bundles like a portable Linux handheld computer, a mini DIY laptop, VGA or HDMI computer bundles, “LoRa Netgate”, wireless speakers, etc… You can watch the demo of some of those, and more details about the board and modules in the video below.

While LicheePi Zero and ZeroW models are respectively $6 and $8 per unit, you can’t buy one only at price, as the minimum order is two, so $12 for Zero, and $16 for ZeroW, except for the developer edition (shipped ASAP) that’s $12 for one ZeroW. ZeroW mini laptop DIY suit rewards with a LicheePi Zero, a micro SD wifi card, an OTG adapter, a 5″ 800×480 LCD, a wireless keyboard, a LiPo battery, and other accessories as shown at the start of the video above is just $39, while the LoRa Netgate suite with 2 A.I Thinker LoRa modules and a custom protocol (not LoRaWAN) goes for $40. There are many other rewards that you can checked in the Indiegogo page. Shipping is not included by only adds $5, and delivery is planned for May to June 2017 depending on perks. You can ask your question on on Indiegogo, as well as iLichee Forums.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

NComputing RX300 is a Raspberry Pi 3 based Thin Client for Windows & Linux

March 2nd, 2017 No comments

NComputing is a company specializing in thin clients, which are low power computers that run code from one or more powerful servers, so for example you could edit photos in Photoshop running in Windows 10 using a Raspberry Pi 3 board connected to an HDMI display. That’s exactly what the company had done with RX300 “cloud-ready” thin client based on the Raspberry Pi 3, and optimized specifically for the company’s vSpace Pro desktop virtualization solution for Linux and Windows.

Ncomputing RX300 hardware specifications:

  • Based on Raspberry Pi 3 model B board powered by Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB micro SD pre-loaded with software
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio – Via HDMI, 1x speaker jack (16bit/22kHz high quality audio)
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports with full USB redirection support (2 required for mouse and keyboard)
  • Misc – Kensington security port, sleep mode button to disable display output for power saving mode
  • Power Supply – 5.1V via micro USB port

The thin client supports virtual desktops from 9 Windows operating systems: Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2 U1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 / 2011. vSpace Pro 10 also supports VMWare & Citrix virtualization, so I assume this is how you could enable access to Linux distributions. Alternatively, the IT admin can also switch to “Raspbian Linux Mode” to use RX300 like any other Raspberry Pi 3 board.

RX300 thin client also supports 1920×1200 full screen video playback thanks to vCAST direct streaming technology, transparent USB redirection – meaning the server can access the local USB ports on RX300 -, and dual display configuration via an optional NComputing USB dongle (VGA or DVI). RX300 can also be mounted on the back of the monitor using a VESA mount kit.

NComputing solution are designed for small & medium businesses, schools and universities with IT admins managing a “fleet” of thin clients. If you want to do something similar at home, you can also use VNC with tools like TightVNC or DirectVNC. Performance may not be quite as optimized however, and you’ll lack all managements tools, which should not be needed at home anyway.

NComputing RX300 will start selling for $99 in March with one-year connection subscription to vSpace Pro 10 and a 6-month trial of vCAST streaming technology. After one year you’ll need to renew the license. Further details can be found on NComputing RX Series product’s page.