Another SoC/SBC First Look

xu4-nondescriptFigure 1: A recent addition to the SoC herd is the xu4 from Hardkernel … (click to enlarge)

Posted 06/30/2016:

I love to get the brown non-descript boxes in the mail, especially when those boxes contain more SoC/SBC investigative opportunities. My gray-scale picture may not do it justice, but the XU4 that I’ve just now added to my lineup is the most powerful SoC/SBC yet …

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New Face for Orange Box Server

pi-orangebox3Figure 1: The Pi (2) powered Orange Box server with its new Face (click to enlarge).

So, the orange box server has gotten a nice facial.  No longer a plain little orange server box, it’s less plain and sports an 800×480 “monitor” screen to keep tabs on what it’s doing.  Currently the monitor is USB powered, but when I can figure out which header connectors on the back of the new face are safe to use for DC power connections, I’ll remove the ugly USB cable looped around on its top.  I have a “cover” on order, and that should hide the edges of the screen and protect it from abuse. The origin of the cover is interesting …

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Tiny Power RF Comm

nrf24-showing-status-byte3Figure 1: Status and printDetail() page of the pingpair_dyn sample app (click to enlarge).

Finally, the nRF24 devices are talking to each other!  It was a bit of a road trip.  One thing to note is the importance of the status byte, and the status page.  A hex 0x00 in the status byte, and lots of zeros in the printDetail() page is a pretty good indicator that your SPI is not operational, and you’re not talking to the transceiver.  More on this issue follows …

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