miriam english (miriam_e) wrote,
miriam english
miriam_e

Banana Pi

Yay! My Banana Pi computer arrived today, just one week after ordering it online. Very cool. It cost me just AU$ 69.02. The shipping from China was free.

It's like the famous Raspberry Pi (which I also have), but considerably more powerful. One of the nicer surprises is the ability to plug a 2.5 inch SATA drive directly into machine.

I've just downloaded one of the several versions of Linux operating systems made for it and will try it out tonight if the thunder storms don't move in first.

ADDITIONAL: Having tried it out, I'm a little surprised at the amount of energy it requires. My power source only supplies 1 amp -- at 12 volts  5 volts that's 12 watts  5 watts. The Banana Pi works on that, but just barely. The display cuts in and out. It really needs an electricity source capable of supplying 2 amps. I don't know how much of that it will draw, but the extra capabilities of the Banana Pi appear to have a much greater energy cost. I originally wondered if I should have bought the (more expensive) Banana Pro, but with onboard WiFi it would have sucked even more electricity.

I'm hoping next week to have a solar panel suitable for running this (or another computer) plus my 12 volt, 9 watt screen. A monocrystalline 20 watt panel is $70, and a 40 watt panel is $130. I already have three small 12 volt, 7.2 amp-hour batteries that I already use during thunderstorms to power some other very low energy computers.

This is the season for floods and week-long blackouts. I should get this organised soon.

CORRECTION: Sorry. I was fiddling around with 12 volt batteries, and forgot that the Banana Pi runs on 5 volts. (I use a 12V DC to 5V DC adapter.) I've corrected my numbers above. Power consumption looks a lot more sane now.

(Crossposted from http://miriam-e.dreamwidth.org/326512.html at my Dreamwidth account. Number of comments there so far: comment count unavailable)
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