Author Topic: Alternative product to Raspberry.  (Read 1589 times)

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Offline luiHS

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Alternative product to Raspberry.
« on: May 28, 2022, 09:41:03 pm »
 
Hi.
Since the Raspberry are completely sold out everywhere, in all models, I would be interested in some other alternative product. I have seen some, but they do not work well and there is no support, neither from the manufacturer, nor from a community that maintains it.

My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works. I just need to receive commands through the serial port and play videos for playback according to the command I receive.

Something so apparently simple, it took me a long time to do it on Raspberry, make the serial port work, cancel running videos to launch a new one, configure the boot to have a black screen and optimize it for a fast boot. Having to start everything over again in another system can be a nightmare, but if there is no stock of Raspberry or expected date, something will have to be thought about.

Regards
 

Online Foxxz

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2022, 01:54:22 am »
From what I've read any raspberry pi production is going to their industrial customers. What a great way to monetize thank the community that maintained code and made them popular in the first place.
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2022, 05:29:54 am »
Most of the whining, wailing and teeth gnashing are not coming from the poor kids that could not buy a RasPi for their little school project, but from bottom rung companies that are buying them by the hundredths, or thousands, to do "cost effective" projects:
- Advertisement displays and other commercial signage projects.
- Home automation
- Even car charging controllers and other industrial projects.

And what separates the bottom feeder from real companies: the ALL use education and academic intended RPis and not Computing Modules, intended for commercial projects, they couldn't care less if a student or a school could not get them, if they got an order of 100pcs of their crap, they will raid all distributors and empty the stock. As long as there is profit to be made because of the price difference between educational and industrial boards, fuck the kids, I want my profits.

One also sees them trawling the support forums and asking "innocent student homework" questions, like:

"I need for my school project to display 4K videos on a large panel using a Raspberry Pi, via a remote controlled app that should download the videos using a secured remote database using a cheap 5G LTE modem,  based on a subscription plan, it should be an easy project, teeheee..."

Once the forums start ignoring them, they move freelancer.com and start "I want a simple Rasberry Pi "script"...", and because they pay the most rancid peanuts price, they usually got the most miserable app that could only be used on RPi and then the tragedy strikes: NO MORE CHEAP SHITE PIs,  :scared: :scared: :scared: and even worse, no more reasonable priced CMs and the shit app that they have can't be easily ported to an NXP iMX 6/8 board or other equivalents. also the community there is less willing to be suckered in providing free support and the freelancer and Odesk people start charging more, oh, the humanity !!!

Oh yes, one more specific characteristic of these bottom feeders: egal if their crappy project bring 1K, 10K, 100KK or whatever, they never keep any stock or invest in researching any replacement for their critical hardware or software, it "wastes" money, all this shortages and "chipagedeons" will pass like everything else, but the survivors will never learn their lesson. Personally, I enjoy seeing the squirming more and more  :popcorn:

For the OP, that I'm sure that is not one of the above described cases, there are a lot of RPi equivalents, all of them considerably more expensive (actually the truth is RPi was very cheap to begin with, because edu).
Besides the original Chines <Fruit>Pi, like Orange Pi (my favorite), BanaPi, LicheePi and so on. there are the newer Rockchip (RockPi, Pine64) boards that started to have good support and, as I've mentioned, a plethora of NXP iMX boards, including a direct RPi replacement (Identical form factor) made by Geniatech: https://www.geniatech.com/product/xpi-imx8mm/ The NXP community, while consistently small as the RPi one, is actually pretty friendly and supportive.

I hope this helps a bit.

Cheers,
DC1MC
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2022, 06:41:08 pm »
From what I've read any raspberry pi production is going to their industrial customers.

Do you have proof of that? That'd be interesting. I think that would kinda be against the RPi foundation's goal.
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2022, 10:23:26 pm »
From what I've read any raspberry pi production is going to their industrial customers.

Do you have proof of that? That'd be interesting. I think that would kinda be against the RPi foundation's goal.

There it "almost true", the fact is there is a shortage of materials that are common to both the RPi and the CM, the industrial customers made contracts with defined quantities and delivery deadlines. Consequently they have priority for existing stock and less or nothing is going to the distributors.

I have have strong doubts that a school or academic institution will have issues to order directly a few for education purposes, the general availability is gone (no contract, no parts), that exposed bottom feeders that don't keep stock at all for some hardships.
 

Offline mindcrime

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2022, 03:10:11 am »
From what I've read any raspberry pi production is going to their industrial customers.

Do you have proof of that? That'd be interesting. I think that would kinda be against the RPi foundation's goal.

I don't know that it's "any raspberry pi production" that is going to industrial, but they did say they were "prioritizing" commercial and industrial customers. See this raspberrypi blog post.

Specifically this bit:


Right now we feel the right thing to do is to prioritise commercial and industrial customers – the people who need Raspberry Pis to run their businesses – we’re acutely aware that people’s livelihoods are at stake. There is currently enough supply to meet the needs of those customers. (Read to the end if you’re in this position and are struggling.) Unfortunately this comes at the cost of constrained supply for individual customer, who might be looking to buy a small number for home projects or for prototyping.

 
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Online ledtester

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2022, 03:50:06 am »
My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works. I just need to receive commands through the serial port and play videos for playback according to the command I receive.

Something so apparently simple, it took me a long time to do it on Raspberry, make the serial port work, cancel running videos to launch a new one, configure the boot to have a black screen and optimize it for a fast boot.

What about an old laptop or Chromebook running Linux? Your application code will basically be the same as the Rpi itself is running Linux. The only difficulties might be in your boot-up requirements.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 03:52:14 am by ledtester »
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2022, 07:32:08 am »
My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works. I just need to receive commands through the serial port and play videos for playback according to the command I receive.

Something so apparently simple, it took me a long time to do it on Raspberry, make the serial port work, cancel running videos to launch a new one, configure the boot to have a black screen and optimize it for a fast boot.

What about an old laptop or Chromebook running Linux? Your application code will basically be the same as the Rpi itself is running Linux. The only difficulties might be in your boot-up requirements.

The OP most likely sells "digital signage", these annoying large LCD panels plastered allover that  run commercials in a loop, hey the modern ones even have "customer detection" (camera, blutooth, etc) to personalize the crap.
Accordingly, he wants the cheapest possible platform capable of displaying the videos and that's it RPi, anything else will cut from profits. Also as he says that it struggles with elementary stuff (fully disabling the boot-up logo, setting up resolution and refresh rate, controlling a video player via some channels (serial, network, BT, etc) it will have to struggle finding more RPis. Any solution based on laptops will not cut it.

To keep on topic, as it seems that no store or building wall is not hip enough if doesn't bombard you with commercials, personally I recommend the to my friends that run to get one of these cheap but powerful Android boxes, like this one:

https://www.geekbuying.com/item/H10-MAX-TV-BOX-Amlogic-S905W2-4GB-64GB-TV-Box-491034.html

or this one:

https://www.geekbuying.com/item/D9-5G-TV-BOX-Android-10-0-Amlogic-S905L2-1G-RAM-8G-ROM-2-4G-5G-WIFI-Bluetooth-LAN-498193.html
(they can be get way cheaper if you know where to look and order bulk, and you can get from 8K to FullHD output capabilities, depending on your panel, stick a SD card in it and have unlimited storage).

and then get one of the millions of digital signage apps, that allows for everything, from managing videos to customer management. They all have been very happy, but I did have to fiddle a bit the U-Boot logo on some, not to disable it (that is a naive approach  >:D), but to replace it with their company logo, so far only praise and no complaints.

 Cheers,
 DC1MC

 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2022, 07:24:33 pm »
From what I've read any raspberry pi production is going to their industrial customers.

Do you have proof of that? That'd be interesting. I think that would kinda be against the RPi foundation's goal.

I don't know that it's "any raspberry pi production" that is going to industrial, but they did say they were "prioritizing" commercial and industrial customers. See this raspberrypi blog post.

Specifically this bit:


Right now we feel the right thing to do is to prioritise commercial and industrial customers – the people who need Raspberry Pis to run their businesses – we’re acutely aware that people’s livelihoods are at stake. There is currently enough supply to meet the needs of those customers. (Read to the end if you’re in this position and are struggling.) Unfortunately this comes at the cost of constrained supply for individual customer, who might be looking to buy a small number for home projects or for prototyping.


Yeah, that's interesting. While the rationale is understandable (and they are just using the fact that they wouldn't want to put people out of business, which would be arguably worse than amateurs not being able to learn and tinker), I think this goes against the RPi foundation's own goals. So that is kinda fucked up.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2022, 08:00:51 pm »
Most of the whining, wailing and teeth gnashing are not coming from the poor kids that could not buy a RasPi for their little school project, but from bottom rung companies that are buying them by the hundredths, or thousands, to do "cost effective" projects:

did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?
 

Offline abquke

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2022, 08:14:08 pm »

Hi.
Since the Raspberry are completely sold out everywhere, in all models, I would be interested in some other alternative product. I have seen some, but they do not work well and there is no support, neither from the manufacturer, nor from a community that maintains it.

My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works. I just need to receive commands through the serial port and play videos for playback according to the command I receive.

Something so apparently simple, it took me a long time to do it on Raspberry, make the serial port work, cancel running videos to launch a new one, configure the boot to have a black screen and optimize it for a fast boot. Having to start everything over again in another system can be a nightmare, but if there is no stock of Raspberry or expected date, something will have to be thought about.

Regards

There's a parts shortage on. Check stock next year or so.
 

Offline DC1MC

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2022, 09:57:16 pm »
Most of the whining, wailing and teeth gnashing are not coming from the poor kids that could not buy a RasPi for their little school project, but from bottom rung companies that are buying them by the hundredths, or thousands, to do "cost effective" projects:

did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

I'm on the "wrong side of the bed" regarding any company/person that are taking resources that should have been used used for youth education and and use them commercially. Especially when equivalents exists for marginal extra cost. If you don't like it, so be it, also gmb.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2022, 10:15:47 pm »
Most of the whining, wailing and teeth gnashing are not coming from the poor kids that could not buy a RasPi for their little school project, but from bottom rung companies that are buying them by the hundredths, or thousands, to do "cost effective" projects:

did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

I'm on the "wrong side of the bed" regarding any company/person that are taking resources that should have been used used for youth education and and use them commercially. Especially when equivalents exists for marginal extra cost. If you don't like it, so be it, also gmb.

someone is buying a product that's doesn't have restrictions on use, you think they should they have to pass some "worthiness test" to buy it?

manufacturers sometimes restrict commercial use of devboards because they are sold at a loss to advertise parts, I don't think Rpi are selling at a loss
 

Online ledtester

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2022, 10:20:02 pm »
... configure the boot to have a black screen ...

A hardware solution is to control a cheap video switcher via a GPIO or perhaps there is a video signal line you can ground to blank the display.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2022, 11:00:08 pm »
Somebody put this up a few days ago. Don't know if it's useful to any of you.
Pi Shortage - Are These Worthwhile Raspberry Pi Alternatives?


 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2022, 04:19:21 am »
Since the Raspberry are completely sold out everywhere, in all models, I would be interested in some other alternative product. I have seen some, but they do not work well and there is no support, neither from the manufacturer, nor from a community that maintains it.

My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works.
Take a look at Atomic Pi, it's just a very cheap x86 PC.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2022, 06:43:04 am »
Since the Raspberry are completely sold out everywhere, in all models, I would be interested in some other alternative product. I have seen some, but they do not work well and there is no support, neither from the manufacturer, nor from a community that maintains it.

My application is simple, but still I don't know if there is something serious alternative to Raspberry that works.
Take a look at Atomic Pi, it's just a very cheap x86 PC.

afaiu it is cheap because it was made for a later cancelled project and they are just selling of the stock and there will never be any more of them than was made for that project
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2022, 09:11:25 am »
Somebody put this up a few days ago. Don't know if it's useful to any of you.
Pi Shortage - Are These Worthwhile Raspberry Pi Alternatives?



Seems a bit clueless to buy two A53-based boards (that should be compared to Pi 3) and then complain they don't play HD video as well as a Pi 4.

It seems he was going by price and reasoning that something at expensive as a Pi 4 should perform like one. No. The Pi series are cheap because 1) they have huge production volume to spread costs, and 2) as a non-profit foundation funded to a considerable extent by charitable donations they don't have to recover NRE on developing the boards, software, documentation.

Also, in his failed software build he didn't have sufficient clue to understand he was trying to build non-portable 32 bit software (casting pointers to int32) on a 64 bit OS. The assembly languag errors were weird, with the offending instructions using a mix of ARM32 and ARM64 register names. I'm guessing it's C code with inline asm, and the hand-written asm is 32 bit ARMv7 code, while the 64 bit (naturally) compiler is substituting in variable names as ARM64 register names.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 09:16:57 am by brucehoult »
 
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Offline rooppoorali

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2022, 07:10:36 pm »
Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Beaglebone are some options. But may  find it difficult to buy those too now a days.
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: Alternative product to Raspberry.
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2022, 10:34:49 pm »
Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Beaglebone are some options. But may  find it difficult to buy those too now a days.

I've heard Raspberry Pi is even worse than the rest because they are prioritising large industrial orders, possibly with penalties for non-performance.

In the seven weeks this thread has been idle a new pretty nice looking RISC-V board, the VisionFive 2, has been officially announced and had a 30 day Kickstarter campaign -- just to take orders, not to finance development, which is already completed with boards being manufactured already, and first deliveries due in November. They got 2017 backers pledging a total of SG$213,963 (US$149k).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/starfive/visionfive-2/description

The kickstarter has ended but you can now make preorders elsewhere:

https://forum.rvspace.org/t/how-to-purchase-visionfive-2/665

Prices start from US$45 for a board with 2 GB RAM, up to $65 with 8 GB.

The quad SiFive U74 RISC-V cores are something like 80% of the performance of the ARM A72 in the Pi 4 at the same MHz. The Imagination Tech GPU is reportedly 4x as powerful as the GPU in the Pi 4, which if properly supported is probably more important for many people. Developers who already have one are saying they run great at the advertised 1.5 GHz, or at 1.75 GHz with a small passive heatsink.

Pine64 will announce a board with the same SoC very soon. We know it's called the "Star64" and looks the same as their Quartz64 model A and they say the price and performance are about the same also.

There are apparently a couple of RISC-V boards with quad core 2.5 GHz OoO cores similar to A72 to be announced in December (one company said shipping in December too, in a Telegram chat).  Then there will be boards with RISC-V cores similar to ARM A76 maybe near the end of first half of 2023 (similar to the new RK3588 ARM SBCs that are selling for $150 to $250+)

There's a lot happening, if companies can get chips and boards manufactured.
 


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