Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Next Little Thing - Orange Pi

The Raspberry Pi has found its way into the hearts and minds of radio amateurs around the world. At only US $35 or so for a single board computer with USB, Ethernet, HDMI, and a  GPIO port for interfacing to other electronics, it's a bargain - or at least it was. Now there's a pretender to the low cost computing throne called the Orange Pi. Clearly the manufacturer has no issue with trying to horn in on Raspberry Pi's brand image.

There's a regular power port rather than the USB power of the Raspberry Pi - and a power switch. It also has 1GB memory, a faster processor, but you give up a couple of USB ports. The big news is that it is only US $15, plus $3.99 shipping, from China of course. The Techcrunch article rightly points out that support and the aftermarket for compatible devices may well be sacrificed to get the $20 savings.

The Orange Pi can be ordered from Alibaba.com. If you're worried about ordering products from China, Alibaba is designed to make the transaction safe and it has an excellent reputation.

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