I decided to dust off my old Orange Pi PC 2 and promptly went ffffffffffffff because it’s been about 10 months since I touched a SBC, which might as well be 10 years in neonaut time. Fortunately, I kept some notes last time and I knew that past me at least had the wherewithal to implement a safe shutdown button and use a good quality 64 gig SD card. Good job, neonaut! I figured I’d start a notes post for the next time I forget absolutely everything I know about Orange Pi. Check the tag for notes on onboard button and wifi.
At the time I purchased it, the Orange Pi PC 2 was a fairly new SBC with the Allwinner H5 which had limited support. It takes a 5V2A via barrel and has USB OTG and multiple USB ports. The OTG does not supply power, which ended up being a significant inconvenience for me. It has an HDMI port so you can hook up an HDMI-in device and you won’t have to go headless.
Armbian is the OS of choice for Orange Pi. Windows users may use WinSCP to transfer files and Putty to SSH and talk to the Pi if headless. I already have Armbian running, so I simply upgraded the firmware.
Issues with Power
I was quickly reminded of the PC2’s power issues, or at least the issues my board has. It seems once power is cut to this board the barrel jack must be unplugged, then replugged… but sometimes that’s not enough, and it takes some wiggling/unplugging until the green LED comes back on. After I thought I had the pi up and running, I returned to it to find I could not power the board via the jack at all. I confirmed the power supply voltage was 5.2 with a multimeter, and right after I plugged it back in, the pi unexpectedly turned on. So either the jack or the board is flaky.
If you need to run it off the pins, you can power it with 5V to the 5V (2,4) and GND (6) pins. I was unable to do this with stable 5.1V and 5.2V power supplies however. I’d hoped this would be a more reliable way to power the board, and that seems like it ought to be enough power, but I will rely on the DC jack for now.