The Orange Pi Plus 2e (also Orange Pi+ 2e) is a computer card built around the SoC Allwinner H3. The H3 is a Cortex-A7@1.6GHz quad-core microprocessor capable of delivering a 4K (H.265 / HEVC) image using the Mali400MP2@600MHz graphics chip (compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0). Compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 which became the reference of the domain, the Orange Pi Plus 2e comes with 2GB Ram DDR3 (shared with the GPU) as well as a 16GB Samsung KLMAG2GEND-B031 eMMC module that equips many smartphones, Tablet and smartTV. Faster, more economical and energy efficient, eMMC memory is also more reliable than SD cards usually used to operate the system. The Pi + 2e approximates the raw performance of the Odroid C2 at a much lower price (the eMMC module must be purchased separately).
Unpacking Orange Pi Plus 2e
Like all models in the Orange Pi familly, it is recommended to use a 5V – 2A power supply.
OrangePi+ 2e is found on the main online commerce sites
- CPU: Allwinner H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7@1.6GHz
- GPU: Mali400MP2 @ 600 MHz (OpenGL ES 2.0)
- Memory :
- RAM: 2GB DDR3
- EMMC: 16GB
- Ethernet: 10/100 / 1000M
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b / g / n (Realtek RTL8189ETV). APEX connector to replace antenna for larger range
- Video Output: HDMI
- Audio Output: Jack + HMDI (supported by Ubuntu – Pulse Audio)
- USB 2.0: x3
- Micro-USB 2.0 (OTG): x1
- Camera (1): 1080p@30fps
- GPIO (2): 40 pin
- Microphone: x1
- IR: x1
- Dimensions: 108mm × 67mm
- Weight: 83g
(1) Not compatible with the camera of Raspberry PI. It is necessary to use the camera 2MP sold by Orange Pi, which limits the interest of the connector.
(2) Raspberry Pi B + compatible connector. The connector is rotated 180° from the Raspberry Pi!
Prepare an SD card with Armbian
OrangePi makes available on its site images of different Linux systems (Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, Android …). Returns are not always positive on the forum. I advise you to install the Armbian distribution already presented several times.
You can retrieve the Armbian image adapted to the Orange Pi Plus 2e here.
You can also build your own image from Linux sources by following this tutorial. This is what we will do in this tutorial.
Prepare your SD card with Etcher as usual on Windows, macOS or Linux.
DVI compatible video configuration
Hdmi dvi converter for the entire Orange PI family, you may experience a display problem on a DVI or VGA monitor if you are using an HDMI / DVI or HDMI / VGA converter. Connect the Orange Pi+ 2e to a TV using an HDMI cable. After creating the user account, Armbian suggests you change the video configuration. Accept by pressing ‘Y’.
Here are the different available. Choose a format compatible with your monitor.
480i use "-m 480i" or "-m 0"
576i use "-m 576i" or "-m 1"
480p use "-m 480p" or "-m 2"
576p use "-m 576p" or "-m 3"
720p50 use "-m 720p50" or "-m 4"
720p60 use "-m 720p60" or "-m 5"
1080i50 use "-m 1080i50" or "-m 6"
1080i60 use "-m 1080i60" or "-m 7"
1080p24 use "-m 1080p24" or "-m 8"
1080p50 use "-m 1080p50" or "-m 9"
1080p60 use "-m 1080p60" or "-m 10"
1080p25 use "-m 1080p25" or "-m 11"
1080p30 use "-m 1080p30" or "-m 12"
1080p24_3d use "-m 1080p24_3d" or "-m 13"
720p50_3d use "-m 720p50_3d" or "-m 14"
720p60_3d use "-m 720p60_3d" or "-m 15"
1080p24_3d use "-m 1080p24_3d" or "-m 23"
720p50_3d use "-m 720p50_3d" or "-m 24"
720p60_3d use "-m 720p60_3d" or "-m 25"
1080p25 use "-m 1080p25" or "-m 26"
1080p30 use "-m 1080p30" or "-m 27"
4kp30 use "-m 4kp30" or "-m 28"
4kp25 use "-m 4kp25" or "-m 29"
800x480 use "-m 800x480" or "-m 31"
1024x768 use "-m 1024x768" or "-m 32"
1280x1024 use "-m 1280x1024" or "-m 33"
1360x768 use "-m 1360x768" or "-m 34"
1440x900 use "-m 1440x900" or "-m 35"
1680x1050 use "-m 1680x1050" or "-m 36"
The desired format is indicated to the control. Either in the explicit format, for example -m 1280×1024, or by the number – m 33. If you are using an HDMI to DVI converter, you have to specify it with the -d parameter, which gives for example
h3disp -m 33 -d
Restart (sudo reboot) to take the configuration into account.
Installing Armbian on the eMMC
The big advantage of the Orange Pi Plus 2e is therefore its eMMC memory of 16GB. The module is soldered on the card unlike the Odroid C2 which made the choice of a connector allowing to choose different capacities. We can not change the capacity but it is not a big problem, Linux being an economical system in place. The SD card slot remaining available, or will be able to use a large capacity SD card for file storage. On the other hand the Orange Pi Plus 2e does not offer any SATA connector to connect a external hard drive faster, it will be satisfied with USB 2.0. If you need a SATA connector, you should opt for Orange Pi Plus or Plus2
Start on Armbian on the SD card
To install Armbian on the eMMC memory, start Armbian on the SD card as usual. For this tutorial, I used the image built in the previous tutorial.
After booting, open a Terminal and run this command and answer a few questions
About 36 minutes to complete the installation.
Installation is complete. Turn off the Orange, remove the SD card from the drive, and turn on the Orange, which will now boot into the eMMC.
Armbian on eMMC
Once restarted, you will find the system and all your old files on the SD card.
The Orange Pi Plus 2e is a credible alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3. The price / performance ratio is very good. The 2GB of RAM and the eMMC module of 16GB is a plus compared to the Raspberry Pi 3. Small regret however, the bluetooth is not part (as on the whole Orange Pi range for that matter). This is a bit of a shame because the Pi Plus 2e is well suited for building a small multimedia server and installing OpenElec for example. You will need to add a Bluetooth dongle to enjoy a wireless keyboard. The GPIO is identical (and compatible) to that of the Raspberry Pi but the library (WiringOP) requires to adapt the programs developed for the Raspberry.
- Install Home Assistant (HASS) on an Orange Pi running under Armbian
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- Start programming with Node Js and Johnny-Five: IoT and robotics based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi
- Orange Pi: test of the OPI.GPIO package for Node-Red (node-red-contrib-opi-gpio)
- Orange Pi (Armbian): replace the GPIO by an Arduino/Firmata, Node-RED and Johnny-Five