July 26, 2018

First steps with the Nanopi Fire3

There is a 4 pin header providing a console serial port. With the board in front of you with the ethernet to your right, this header is at the upper left, and the pins are (from left to right):
  1. Ground (black)
  2. 5 volts
  3. Tx (blue)
  4. Rx (purple)
I used a CP2102 usb to serial dongle I had laying around and ignored the 5 volt pin. The colors above refer to the heat shrink on my cable/dongle.

The board is powered via USB and your are warned that it requires 2 amps. In theory this means that powering from a plain old USB port will not do. (nonetheless, see below) For my initial tests I used a 2 amp "Samsung" branded wall module intended for my cell phone that was laying around and it seemed to work just fine.

As it turns out, a plain old USB cable from my computer (restricted to 500 mA) seems to work just fine for everything I have done thus far. It even works to boot unix, though I am certain that problems will crop up if I get the board busy doing things with all the cores running.

I downloaded the 64 bit image s5p6818-friendly-core-xenial-4.4-arm64-20180615.img (provided as a zip file, but just unzip it to get the plain image). I used "dd" to copy it onto a 8G micro SD card and it booted right up. While I was at it, I grabbed a copy of the linux sources in the manner instructed in the Friendly ARM Wiki.

The system comes up running user "pi". You need to su to root with password "fa" to do a clean shutdown. Use halt or "shutdown now".

pi@NanoPi-Fire3:~$ uname -a
Linux NanoPi-Fire3 4.4.49-s5p6818 #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed May 9 14:01:02 CST 2018 aarch64 aarch64 aarch64 GNU/Linux
pi@NanoPi-Fire3:~$ df
Filesystem     1K-blocks    Used Available Use% Mounted on
udev              383552       0    383552   0% /dev
tmpfs              96812    3244     93568   4% /run
/dev/mmcblk0p2   7517744 4585644   2915716  62% /
tmpfs             488152       0    488152   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs               5120       4      5116   1% /run/lock
tmpfs             488152       0    488152   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs              97632       0     97632   0% /run/user/1000
No heat sink yet. No telling what the clock rate is. Chip gets noticeably but not alarmingly hot, but it is just idling.

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's electronics pages / tom@mmto.org