[Freedombox-discuss] Banana Pi BPI-R2

Jonas Smedegaard jonas at jones.dk
Wed Feb 14 16:04:53 UTC 2018

Quoting Mikkel Kirkgaard Nielsen (2018-02-14 13:40:01)
> On 2018-02-13 18:40, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
>> Quoting Josh Blagden (2018-02-13 17:08:56)
>>> I think the Banana Pi BPI-R2 would be a great board 
>>> http://www.banana-pi.com/eacp_view.asp?id=104.
>> Last I checked (quited some time ago) that board lacked a box and its 
>> price was so high that it would likely become too expensive if adding 
>> a box.
> Furthermore, it seems from the tale of [1] that the Banana Pi 
> manufacturers (SINOVOIP) are not that competent hardware designers and 
> not very willing to share details with an open minded community.

Would be great if possible to quantify somehow.

Suggestions for ways to categorize relevancy of boards very welcome!

> I was catapulted into the FriendlyELEC/FriendlyARM[2] camp by the 
> praise of their wiki/documentation in [1]. The NanoPi series of boards 
> seems very affordable comparing specs and their schematics are readily 
> available. No mention of hardware license or design files, however, so 
> most likely not true OSHW like BB/OLinuXino.

Right: Boards involving a compact daughter board is unlikely to be OSHW 
due to those quite likely requiring more complex board wiring than Free 
software board design tools can handle.

Olimex also produce some of its products with only mainboard OSHW but 
the daughterboard not, for that reason.

>> More info here: https://wiki.debian.org/CheapServerBoxHardware
> I don't see the NanoPi on the wiki above or was able to find any 
> mentions in fbx context. Has anyone looked deeper or had a try with 
> these?
> I'm not completely updated on the current supported fbx hw lineup, so 
> haven't got the full insight, but these seem like a nice spec/price 
> ratio compared with the BBB's I've used earlier.

Ah - I didn't look closer at any board branded as "NanoPi" since the 
first ones lacked ethernet and I (wrongly) assumed later ones did too.

It seems odd that the kit includes heat sink and casing, but a casing 
too small to fit heat sink.

Not sure, but seem to recall that H5 chips are cheaper A64 chips lees 
performant for moving data (smaller internal buffers?).  So for some 
uses a board with H5 cpu is inferior to one with A64 cpu.

Also beware that 64bit processing quite likely consume memory faster.  
So for some comparisons a board with H5 cpu and 1GB ram may be inferior 
to one with A20 chip and 1GB ram (unless running the H5 in 32bit mode, 
but is anyone aware if that is both possible and supported in Debian?).

Anyone interested in Non-OSHW H5-based boards like this one should 
likely check if supported by Debian U-boot and linux kernel.  I am not 
yet familiar with how to check that for 64-bit Allwinner chips...

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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