Banana Pi : first start

In the previous article, I unboxed the Banana Pi. It’s time to power it on.

Let’s start with downloading the official Banana Pi image : link
I will start with the RaspberryPi_For_BananaPi_v1.0 image. Later, I will test the Lubuntu and Android 4.2 distros.

The download is 2.2G, so I will take this time to comment some interesting pictures I took :
Those 4 solder points are not the best I ever saw… It’s the GPIO connector. I didn’t notice more of these around the board.

CM140520-19124309 CM140520-19125410
These 2 unpopulated pads are undocumented. I suspect they are a battery charge and the connector for a RTC battery. I will check these for sure.

One Samsung RAM chip (there are two) and the ARM SOC closeups.

Burning the image

Like a Raspberry Pi, the image is tar+zipped. Inside, a 7.7Gb file : pi.8GB
Let’s keep it simple for the first image : Win32DiskImager works ok with this file, the image is being created on my 16Gb SD card. I must admit this class 4 card is very old, and not the fastest (Writing speed: 5.16 MByte/s – Reading speed: 14.5 MByte/s). But I don’t mind destroying it, so let’s start with that.

It’s time to plug the freshly installed SD card in the Banana, plug the Banana on my TV (the only HDMI display I own), the keyboard wireless receiver in one USB, and my 5V 10000mAh powerbank in the DC-IN mini-USB connector.

As you can see, the unit boots without an error, and that is a nice surprise.
Another surprise is in /dev, showing I2C and a RTC (along many other devices).
The last surprise is in the shutdown sequence : a Real Time Clock is being updated… what ??? An onboard RTC ? So I may be right about the unpopulated BAT1 trace : it may really be the RTC battery connector… Very cool…

As you can see in this movie, the Banana Pi really works out of the box !

In the next article, we’ll dive even more in details with hardware benchmarks.

It feels like a Raspberry, it looks like a Raspberry, it smells like a Raspberry, but it is a Banana !

About Captain Stouf

Spécialiste en systèmes informatiques, Développeur matériel et logiciel, Inventeur, Maker : électronique, Systems on Chip, micro-controlleurs, Internet of Things, Modélisation / Scan / Impression 3D, Imagerie...

3 thoughts on “Banana Pi : first start

  1. blub
    15/06/2014 at 7 h 46 min

    hi, stilll waiting for mine to arrive … just a fast q: how many i2c buses does it show / or ave? (2 ?)

    how maby uart/lvs lines does it have (i expect mutch ref to the pinout)


    an attached dmsg would have been great

  2. 07/10/2014 at 15 h 26 min

    Is there any update on « These 2 unpopulated pads are undocumented. I suspect they are a battery charge and the connector for a RTC battery. I will check these for sure. »

    1. Captain Stouf
      08/10/2014 at 12 h 33 min

      Hi, yes there are updates about these 2 pads : they really are pads for rtc and main battery. The onboard rtc is now almost working out of the box, and work is actually being done about the main battery functions.

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