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 !

A propos 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...

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