The Banana Pi R1
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The Banana Pi R1

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xBpi-R1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CdVYiZ3xtb

The Banana Pi R1

The BananaPi R1 has been released and I have just received mine. It doesn’t feel like too long ago that I reviewed the Banana Pi and talked about how much better of a machine it is. Since then I have picked up 4 more BPIs and now I have my R1. The R1 is an open source router that has a BPI built in. The router features a 4 port switch and wifi. Of course you will need to make your own case (perhaps 3D printed?) and it comes as just a single PCB.

520x453xR1.png.pagespeed.ic.0xvP4hhn8h

Hardware

The hardware is not terrible on the R1, it has a lot of the hardware from the Banana Pi which is built right in with the addition of some interesting additions. Since the device is a router, it has a built in 10/100/1000 ethernet and a 802.11 b/g/n wifi adapter. The device has a A20 arm processor that is running at 1.2 GHz. It also has 1gb of DDR3 RAM and a dedicated ARM Mali400MP2 GPU. The chart below shows the hardware on the device.

Hardware specification

CPU

A20 ARM Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core

GPU

ARM Mali400MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1

Memory (SDRAM)

1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)

Onboard Storage

Micro SD (Max. 64GB) card slot UP to 2T on 2.5 SATA disk

Onboard Network

10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45, WLAN @802.11b/g/n

Video Input

A CSI input connector allows for the connection

of a designed camera module

Video Outputs

HDMI , LVDS/RGB

Audio Output

Audio Input

3.5 mm Jack and HDMI

Microphone

Power Source

5 volt via Micro USB(DC In Only)

USB 2.0 Ports

USB Host and Micro USB (OTG) USB Host

Buttons

Reset button: Next to Power button

Power button: Next to Battery connector

GPIO(2X13) pin

GPIO,UART,I2C bus ,SPI bus with two chip selects,

CAN bus,ADC,PWM,+3.3v,+5v,ground.

LED

Power Key & RJ45

Remote

IR

OS

Android 4.2, Linux

Interface definition

Produxt size

148 mm × 100mm

Weight

83g

633x434xinterface.png.pagespeed.ic.1IwDIOo9AX

653x411xinterface1.png.pagespeed.ic.NfpJxY8Bnv

Software

Currently there is 1 image available, which kind of sucks. The image is an Android build with some networking apps that lets you get it going as a router. Even though this device is a router I can see some other potential uses and I would like to see the other images ported for the R1 as well. The Android image available comes in Chinese with a custom interface which I have still not figured out.

The software is what you would expect from Android so there is not much I can say about it other than it is not in English out of the box. I am really excited to see what we can do when the Kali Linux image is ported from the Banana Pi.

DSC_1156

Usability

The device is built off the Banana Pi, which is of course based on the Raspberry Pi. The device is generally usable although I did have some trouble getting it working right away. I tried several different images including the Kali Linux, RaspberryPi, and Lubuntu images for the originally BPI. I was unsuccessful with these attempts and ended up installing the image supplied for the R1. Since this was just released there seems to be some bugs and annoying quirks.

Our of the box my software was in some form of Chinese, I still have not got the thing in english but the Raspberry Pi image did work for me eventually with the exception of the Wifi interface (which would be sweet to get working). It seems that if you try hard enough this could be a small workstation with a SATA drive and lots of network interfaces. Over all the device being a new thing is not super usable out of the box but you can get there if you hack away at it long enough.

GPIO Pins

The R1 has the same pins as a BPI (or RPI Model A and B) with the addition of a few extra interfaces.  J13 contains the default serial port UART0 (UART0-RX,UART0-TX). UATR0 is configured to be used for console input/output. Whilst this is useful if you want to login using the serial port. So it is the most common used PIN. J12 also contains serial port. CON3 contains CAN bus, SPI bus, PWM, serial port and etc. It can be configured to be used for kinds of peripherals. CON1 is a CSI camera connector. CON2 is a DSI display connector.

xGPIO-1.png.pagespeed.ic.0wsn5qmxof

 

xUART.png.pagespeed.ic.xtMQxZADK7

 

Pins Defined

PIN

 PIN define  GPIO

CON1-P01

LINEINL

CON1-P02

LINEINR

CON1-P37

HPL

CON1-P36

HPR

CON1-P07

FMINL

CON1-P09

FMINR

CON1-P04

ADC_X1

CON1-P06

ADC_X2

CON1-P08

ADC_Y1

CON1-P10

ADC_Y2

CON1-P13

LRADC0

CON1-P15

LRADC1

CON1-P33

RESET#

CON1-P17

CSI0-D0

PE4

CON1-P19

CSI0-D1

PE5

CON1-P21

CSI0-D2

PE6

CON1-P23

CSI0-D3

PE7

CON1-P25

CSI0-D4

PE8

CON1-P27

CSI0-D5

PE9

CON1-P29

CSI0-D6

PE10

CON1-P31

CSI0-D7

PE11

CON1-P20

CSI0-PCLK

PE0

CON1-P24

CSI0-MCLK

PE1

CON1-P28

CSI0-VSYNC

PE3

CON1-P30

CSI0-HSYNC

PE2

CON1-P18

CSI0-STBY-EN

PH19

CON1-P26

CSI0-RESET#

PH14

CON1-P32

CSI1-STBY-EN

PH18

CON1-P34

CSI1-RESET#

PH13

CON1-P14

TWI1-SDA

PB19

CON1-P16

TWI1-SCK

PB18

CON1-P12

CSI0-FLASH

PH17

CON1-P22

CSI0-PWR-EN

PH16

CON1-P35

CSI-IO0

PH11

CON1-P38

IPSOUT

CON1-P40

IPSOUT

CON1-P05

GND

CON1-P11

GND

CON1-P39

GND

CON1-P03

VCC-CSI

CON2-P09

LCD0-D00

PD0

CON2-P11

LCD0-D01

PD1

CON2-P13

LCD0-D02

PD2

CON2-P15

LCD0-D03

PD3

CON2-P17

LCD0-D04

PD4

CON2-P19

LCD0-D05

PD5

CON2-P21

LCD0-D06

PD6

CON2-P23

LCD0-D07

PD7

CON2-P25

LCD0-D08

PD8

CON2-P27

LCD0-D09

PD9

CON2-P29

LCD0-D10

PD10

CON2-P31

LCD0-D11

PD11

CON2-P33

LCD0-D12

PD12

CON2-P35

LCD0-D13

PD13

CON2-P37

LCD0-D14

PD14

CON2-P39

LCD0-D15

PD15

CON2-P40

LCD0-D16

PD16

CON2-P38

LCD0-D17

PD17

CON2-P36

LCD0-D18

PD18

CON2-P34

LCD0-D19

PD19

CON2-P32

LCD0-D20

PD20

CON2-P30

LCD0-D21

PD21

CON2-P28

LCD0-D22

PD22

CON2-P26

LCD0-D23

PD23

CON2-P22

LCD0-CLK

PD24

CON2-P20

LCD0-CS

PH6

CON2-P18

LCD0-HSYNC

PD26

CON2-P16

LCD0-VSYNC

PD27

CON2-P14

LCD0-DE

PD25

CON2-P12

LCD0-IO2

PH9

CON2-P10

PWM0

PB2

CON2-P08

LCD0-IO1

PH8

CON2-P06

LCD0-IO0

PH7

CON2-P04

TWI3-SCK

PI0

CON2-P02

TWI3-SDA

PI1

CON2-P01

IPSOUT

CON2-P03

IPSOUT

CON2-P05

GND

CON2-P24

GND

CON2-P07

VCC-3V3

CON3-P18

CAN_RX

PH21

CON3-P16

CAN_TX

PH20

CON3-P23

SPI0_CLK

PI11

CON3-P21

SPI0_MISO

PI13

CON3-P19

SPI0_MOSI

PI12

CON3-P24

SPI0_CS0

PI10

CON3-P26

SPI0_CS1

PI14

CON3-P05

TWI2-SCK

PB20

CON3-P03

TWI2-SDA

PB21

CON3-P15

UART2_CTS

PI17

CON3-P22

UART2_RTS

PI16

CON3-P11

UART2_RX

PI19

CON3-P13

UART2_TX

PI18

CON3-P10

UART3_RX

PH1

CON3-P08

UART3_TX

PH0

CON3-P12

PH2

PH2

CON3-P07

PWM1

PI3

CON3-P01

VCC-3V3

CON3-P17

VCC-3V3

CON3-P02

VCC-5V

CON3-P04

VCC-5V

CON3-P09

GND

CON3-P25

GND

CON3-P06

GND

CON3-P14

GND

CON3-P20

GND

J12-P03

PH5

PH5

J12-P05

PH3

PH3

J12-P04

UART7_RX

PI21

J12-P06

UART7_TX

PI20

J12-P01

VCC-5V

J12-P02

VCC-3V3

J12-P07

GND

J12-P08

GND

J13-P01

UART0-RX

PB23

J13-P02

UART0-TX

PB22

 

Final Thoughts

I am a huge fan of these single board computers. I have big plans for the R1 but for now I might be at the mercy of their development team unless I devote some time to trying to port something over. I want to eventually run this as a bridge or AP for my Bitcoin mining hardware. I see a lot of potential but for now it is going to be a device reserved for people who really want to hack away at their devices.

If you want to pick one of these up, you can grab one from from their shop. You can also get their source code from their Github account.

Gallery

Some pictures of the device

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Follow Daniel Blair:

I am Dan, a web and mobile application developer in Winnipeg MB (Canada!). I am the kind of person who gets excited about technology regardless of what it is and I am really passionate about what I do. I focus a lot on open source development making things that help other people but I have also recently started making some fun little games but I am by no stretch of the imagination a full fledged game developer.

  • pretty prefect daniel!
    BPI-R1 in stock, welcome to order.

    • Pali

      Hello Daniel, at the mo i have been given a Banana Pi Router Board, from my Company to Play around with, well to be exact to get it set up. Im doing an apprentice at the Company as a computer techie. I have only jus started so this is Kind of new to me. Ok, i have all the stuff to get started, but there seems to be so many Problems!!!! Like which OS Image should i have, and then using the PhoenixCard installer, the Image will not write to the SD Card. i get an error tht the Script is not foun and tht i should get the latest Image! This is getting annoying. I would be so grateful for your helpful tips. Help me :S

      • Currently there are 2 images for the R1, Android and OpenWRT. I have installed the Android version but it is all in Chinese so I can’t use it properly even after changing it to English the apps are not changed. There is however a new OpenWRT image for the Pi which has been developed by the community in the forms. You can grab the images here:

        http://www.bananapi.com/index.php/download?layout=edit&id=65

        As for Pheonix Card Reader, I have no had that issue but I have had success with this on Windows (For the Android image):

        1. Format the SD card to Fat32 (using whatever method you like), you can use this: https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/eula_windows/
        2. Download PhoenixCard_V309 (The version is important)

        3. Run Pheonix as admin, right click “Run as admin”

        4. Load the img file into Pheonix

        5. Select the “Startup” write mode

        6. Click burn

        You will know it is good when you see “Magic completed”. I did find that once this was set up and good to go, if I tried to boot the unit with a USB cable attached to a hub or PC, I wasn’t getting enough juice and the board would crash when the switch was intiialized. I switched to an adapter which plugged directly into an outlet (I used my HP chromebook charger). There are more instructions to get going here:
        http://www.bananapi.com/index.php/help?layout=edit&id=61

        Also a nugget of information for you since you will be playing with this for work. I posted a thread on the community forum the other day in regards to the SATA drive. If you connect a drive to the board it will create a connection of 2 of the resistors under the drive. I had to insulate the board using a nonconductive material in order for the board to boot. Also the GPIO pins are in a bad space if you plan on using a Rasperry Pi accessorie with the R1. You can read that post here:
        http://www.bananapi.com/index.php/forum/general/266-sata-drive-issue

        Let me know if you need any other help.

        • Pali

          Wow, nice tht u got back to me. Thank you very much! I will take all this on board when im at work tomorrow, as i wasted a few precious hours trying to write the image, only for it to fail everytime. 🙂 I will defo get back to u, to let u know how im doing. Thanks again!!! 🙂

          • No problem, have fun 🙂

          • Pali

            So after trying unsuccessfully with Openwrt Image (It jus didnt want to burn to the Card, Phoenix kept giving me a “Script not found bla bla blaaaa” error, so i gave up and burned the Android Image, which worked after another few tries., success!!! 🙂 I was elated. To my dissappoing when i booted it, everything in Chinese. Click click, changed lingo to german. Everything Looks great. Had an Internet Connection too: but not Wlan. Jus as i was looking forward to Setting up the router, my work colleagues, who were not excited about Android asked if there wasnt an OS for Linux 🙁 Man, now we r using Lubuntu. and now they have practically made my Projects theirs, now i wont beable to know how theyre Setting this Thing up…… so tht was an update of how things r looking up in my part of the world of Banana Pi R1 🙂 How is urs coming on?

        • Guest

          Hello Dan! What micro SD Card did you use? Also Kingston?

          • The one I am using for the R1 is a 16gb GSkill class 10. I am using a Kingston for the regular Banana Pi.

        • Pali

          How big is the openwrt for BPi-R1 v1.0.img?? 70MB? Im guessing thts too small? tht it should be much bigger?

          • OpenWRT is a very small package. It is just router software, not full blown Linux. You get a web interface but you don’t need a lot of storage. The OpenWRT image for the regular Banana Pi is only 20mb.

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  • I want to build an owncloud server that synchronizes with my dropbox account. I was looking at Banana Pro and BPI-R1, which one would you choose?

    • Honestly the Pro is pretty good. The R1 is cool but I have been having trouble with SATA. I am currently using the original Banana Pi for Own cloud. The pro is like the same but upgraded.

      • Thanks for the feedback! I’m also looking at Orange pi plus since I want to do a raid 1 setup with two drives and could use the quad core cpu. Have you tried Orange pi?

        • Waiting on the Orange Pi right now, Expect some reviews soon. Looks like an interesting board.

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  • Moni

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