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Raspberry Pi Clones

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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 980
Topic starter  

I have about a dozen (various old and new) Raspberry Pi's that I purchased long before the COVID and was rather sticker shocked by current state of affairs.  The five Raspberry Pi Zero W's I  purchased for $5 a piece and never opened are going for $60+ on eBay and they're not even the latest model.  I've even considered reselling most of mine at that price.  The 8GB RasPi4, I got at the original sticker... is now 4x that price.  What happened?  Is COVID the only reason?

Anyway, the real reason for the post...

I've started reading several "Best RasPi Alternatives..." and when my cynical side pipes up and says... hmmm... have they actually put hands on one?  Are Affiliate Links a driving force to their reviews?  So I turn here to forum.dronebotworkshop.com and the knowledgeable, experimenting and cash-strapped forum members.  What have you tried and actually used and/or just your thoughts on the various Banana Pi, Orange Pi, Cream Pi... Cow Pi models out there and about issues like:

  1. Price
  2. Availability
  3. Are they hardware compatible with Raspberry Pi's
  4. Do they use the actual Raspberry Pi flavor of OS
  5. The ones that aren't compatible (say hardcore RISC and CISC processors) do they offer significantly higher performance... either:
    1. Better CPU, more cores
    2. More ram memory
    3. More power efficient

Context...

... is everything.  I'm not looking to make a media server out of it.  I don't care to have Ethernet... or POE.  I don't care about HDMI outputs... I'll be running them headless anyway.  I want mainly CPU crunch power.  More CPU cores, more CPU speed, more memory.  I don't really care about the GPU unless it can be used for crunch power... like CUDA cores can with high-end graphics cards.

I am leaning toward the smaller form-factor like Pi Zero W versus the full-blown RaspPi 4 models to go inside robots... again... not needing the peripherals, I'd rather not be using the power to power those things.

Opinions are welcome also, but please identify those that are just opinions and those that are based on your actual experience with the device.

Thanks!

VBR,

Inq

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, Access Point Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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frogandtoad
(@frogandtoad)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 1506
 

@inq

Posted by: @inq

Context...

... is everything.  I'm not looking to make a media server out of it.  I don't care to have Ethernet... or POE.  I don't care about HDMI outputs... I'll be running them headless anyway.  I want mainly CPU crunch power.  More CPU cores, more CPU speed, more memory.  I don't really care about the GPU unless it can be used for crunch power... like CUDA cores can with high-end graphics cards.

I am leaning toward the smaller form-factor like Pi Zero W versus the full-blown RaspPi 4 models to go inside robots... again... not needing the peripherals, I'd rather not be using the power to power those things.

Opinions are welcome also, but please identify those that are just opinions and those that are based on your actual experience with the device.

Opinions based only on reviews I've seen in the past!

SBC: OrangePi4+ performs better than RPI4
SBC: LattePanda 3

As for MPU's, I don't think anything comes close to the Teensy 4.1:

image

Cheers


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 980
Topic starter  
Posted by: @frogandtoad

Opinions based only on reviews I've seen in the past!

SBC: OrangePi4+ performs better than RPI4
SBC: LattePanda 3

As for MPU's, I don't think anything comes close to the Teensy 4.1:

So far... my real-time needs are still being fulfilled by cheap ESP8266's.  Although I'm getting close on my Robot Stepper Motor driver.  I just added the ability of it keeping track of its global X, Y, Azimuth.  The Trigonometry is about to knock the knees out from under it.  Although bumping it up to 160 MHz gave it some more head-room, I'd like to avoid that.  I'll have to keep the Teensy in mind if it becomes a problem. 

The SBC is more for the vision related issues.  The high-res ToF sensor I have coming looks to need the RasPi instead of MPU's.  Also the Linux and large SD card for point clouds and room mapping will also be necessary.

The market is all FUBAR'd.  With the recession and crashing of Bitcoin mining, computers are a dime a dozen.  We can get a full blown Windows laptop for half the price of a RaspPi4 kit.  It just blows my mind!

$139

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Celeron-N4020-14-Inch-Laptop/dp/B09YRY6QCX/

$299

https://www.amazon.com/GeeekPi-Raspberry-Pi-8GB-Kit/dp/B0B5KHJZP9/

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, Access Point Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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RCROWLEY7
(@rcrowley7)
New Member
Joined: 2 weeks ago
Posts: 1
 

I have several project ideas that require HDMI video output.  But, as we have seen the mainstream Raspberry Pi seems to be on the long-term endangered (if not extinct?) list. I could kick myself for not stocking up on them before they went extinct.

Are there any alternatives to the RasPi in the original <$50 price range that have built-in HDMI video output?  The Teensy board is very attractive, but no video.  I am not looking for RasPi compatibility, only a MCU with HDMI.

Or, alternatively, are there any external add-on peripheral boards (I2C?) that do video?  I don't need full-speed frame-rate, only rather still images or slowly-changing text/graphics.

I am new to this forum and this is my first post here.  Thanks for any suggestions.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Famed Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3875
 

@rcrowley7 Not sure why you are saying such things. The product has a minimum end of life of Jan 2026. The recent shipment of 100,000 units should be in your local stores etc by now. They are in mine. Sadly however I see they (the stores) are only offering them in the high priced configurations. If you are unable to wait for the market to slowly return to whatever passes for normal nowadays then I am sure there are quite a few alternatives. A USB to HDMI adapter is $20CDN so all you need is an MCU with USB of which there are plenty.

Rather than shoot from the hip, you might want to investigate the root causes of the shortages. They were going to happen without covid due to aging fab plants and dramatically increasing demand. Simple supply and demand made much worse by a multi year pandemic that isn't over yet is just now starting to ease. The cost is going up simply due to increases in overall economic conditions over the last several years. The Pi4 will remain the top product at least thru 2023 but in 2024 we may see the Pi5 announced.

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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