Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Cheap ARM board running off USB & run linux?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:46 am

Is there a forum for all the various Raspberry Pi copycats?
I'm trying to figure out what the best starting point is for a project running off solar for projects such as weather stations.

The alternatives I've found so far are and their drawbacks:
Android devices, Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Beaglebone, Pandaboard, mk802

This is what I've found:

Beaglebone: The best I've found. However: "Powering via USB: You should directly power the board from a 5 V power connector instead of the USB OTG port. Power via the USB OTG port might work sometimes (via a USB A to mini B cable), but the BeagleBoard attempts to draw more than 100 mA of current without negotiating any additional current, which violates the USB specification. Therefore, most host software will prevent this to comply with the USB specification. "

Android phones: There are no USB drivers for the USB devices I'm hoping to use, plus I find android a bit limiting and linux would be a lot better.

Raspberry Pi: Again it's possible to run off battery power but I think the Beaglebone is a better starting point.

Spark linux tablet: Possibly a bit expensive. Don't need the touchscreen. Might need some kernel work to get more support for USB devices like software defined radio.

Syneta7-R netbook: Not so simple to convert to linnux? How to charge it from solar, batteries or USB (12v car charger is available).

Here is a comparison table of cheap ARM boards, but sadly it doesn't include the voltages required to drive them: http://socialcompare.com/en/comparison/ ... arm-boards

Running off the standard 3.7v we see in mobile phones would allow us to use cheaply available mobile phone batteries without much hassle. Being able to run off, or charge from USB would allow us to utilise various off the shelf power supplies.

Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:51 pm

Re: Cheap ARM board running off USB & run linux?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:26 pm

It's missing the cubieboard: http://cubieboard.org

Posts: 7880
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Cheap ARM board running off USB & run linux?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:19 pm

VIA APC , ODROID -X , Hackberry , Gooseberry , Melee A1000 and the MK802
are other alternatives. If you are too fixed on power requirements ,
especially not willing to modify the boards and your power-supply ,
you will see your choices shrinking to a few.

• Don't like the board ? Missing features ? Change to the prosilver theme ! You can find it in your settings.
• Don't like to search the forum BEFORE posting 'cos it's useless ? Try googling : yoursearchtermshere site:raspberrypi.org

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: Cheap ARM board running off USB & run linux?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:14 pm

OK. Looking at those options I think Beaglebone is the best we have for working off the electrical grid.

So I searched a bit more and found this:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgr ... 9Vh7cosae4

They have a 3.7v battery running the beagle and also charging from the barrel connector. But it's not clear if plugging in a USB solar panel battery would work. Ångström has a very nice feature of monitoring the input voltage and underclocking the CPU - this should prevent voltage use going too high under heavy load and turning the board off, which would happen if running off USB.

The Cubieboard also looks very impressive but again, not much info on running on low power in remote locations...

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