Sharing first impressions as new owner
#1
Hi, I am new owner of Rock64 4GB powered by genuine 3A psu and storage on Samsung MicroSDHC 32GB EVO Plus UHS-I U1 card.
I will try to share all my findings about this interesting board.
My goal is to achive stable h265 htpc for my old samsung tv.

First of all I was very disappointed how unstable is the stock board. I have tryed Android 7.1 TV, Android 7.1, Bionic minimal linux, Android 8.1, LibreElec and Recalbox. All systems except Android 8.1 and Bionic minimal were randomly freezing or crashing even with heatsinks on cpu and mem.

I have managed to install Kodi 17.6 on Android 8.1, but h265 hd iptv stream was choppy.

Then I reached recalbox installation and was impressed how seamless kodi worked, untill crash.
I suspect overheating to be main problem on my board. Maybe it's bad soldering, design or initial setup. It looks like most systems are crashing above 60'C
I have managed to reach console through ssh and lowered cpu frequency by setting governor to powersave.
Cpu frequency has been reported about 400MHz, I dont remember exact value, and temperature mostly did not exceeded 60'C. 
System was stable for at least 20 minutes and h265 playback was perfect.

I have few questions.

1/ Why the temperatures were so high even on powersave governor (cpu usage was low (top )) ?
2/ Can we lower voltage to cpu, mem and default cpu frequency to lower overheating ?
3/ Is genuine aluminium casing effective against overheating problem ?

Meanwhile I will try to use active cooling and test if my system is stable enough.
  Reply
#2
(09-20-2018, 06:32 AM)lamasutra Wrote: Hi, I am new owner of Rock64 4GB powered by genuine 3A psu and storage on Samsung MicroSDHC 32GB EVO Plus UHS-I U1 card.
I will try to share all my findings about this interesting board.
My goal is to achive stable h265 htpc for my old samsung tv.

First of all I was very disappointed how unstable is the stock board. I have tryed Android 7.1 TV, Android 7.1, Bionic minimal linux, Android 8.1, LibreElec and Recalbox. All systems except Android 8.1 and Bionic minimal were randomly freezing or crashing even with heatsinks on cpu and mem.

I have managed to install Kodi 17.6 on Android 8.1, but h265 hd iptv stream was choppy.

Then I reached recalbox installation and was impressed how seamless kodi worked, untill crash.
I suspect overheating to be main problem on my board. Maybe it's bad soldering, design or initial setup. It looks like most systems are crashing above 60'C
I have managed to reach console through ssh and lowered cpu frequency by setting governor to powersave.
Cpu frequency has been reported about 400MHz, I dont remember exact value, and temperature mostly did not exceeded 60'C. 
System was stable for at least 20 minutes and h265 playback was perfect.

I have few questions.

1/ Why the temperatures were so high even on powersave governor (cpu usage was low (top )) ?
2/ Can we lower voltage to cpu, mem and default cpu frequency to lower overheating ?
3/ Is genuine aluminium casing effective against overheating problem ?

Meanwhile I will try to use active cooling and test if my system is stable enough.

Your comment about stability on recalbox made me wonder, what version of libreelec where you using?
Most polished and stable bilds are posted in a libreelec thread, here is the direct link to the latest one with the latest fixes:
https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread/12151-...#post99909
afaik most people are super happy with the latest builds from there, while im pretty sure that recalbox includes a build from 3 to 6 months ago wich was still annoyingly unstable, it didnt had hdr yet, heavily unstable 4k etc...latest ones have most of those issues solved...
  Reply
#3
If I remember correctly, I used some kwibo devel and some nightly from https://test.libreelec.tv/, I don't remember versions.
Recalbox was beta 2 downloaded from https://github.com/mrfixit2001/recalbox_rock64/releases.
Recalbox image thread at https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=6351.

Then I tried android images again with cooling fan attached. No luck, it freezes at some content loading. Waiting for my serial console to investigate what is going underneath.

I read your reply and tryed LibreELEC-RK3328.arm-9.0-devel-20180925231446-b4e31e2-rock64.img.gz, but unfortunatelly video and iptv stream playback was unusable.

After all that I tried to build image from official repo.
I have cloned https://github.com/LibreELEC/LibreELEC.tv.
First I used 8.90.005 tag, but it was kind unstable for me. Then I switched to master and builded aarch64 image and addons. Some addons are not aarch64 ready yet.
I had some time at weekend and tried some addons. Among them were simple iptv, sledovanitv and hts.
Experimenting with game addons led to some freezes and crashes, but it's not main goal for me.
IPTV streams played seamlessly all day without any crash. Cpu temperature was about 42'C
After installing inputstream.adaptive addon, sledovanitv was even more usable.

While I was manipulating with usb peripherals, I had to play with board directly beacause I have no enclosure yet. I found out, that power is failing sometimes, when I slightly touch psu connector or bend cable. I will try to investigate what is going on there exactly.

Hypotetically this can be my unstability problem. Psu connection on board is unstable, board cannot draw enough power sometimes, mem corrupts which leads to crashes. 

All that means all my tests can be meaningless and I have to stabilize power line first.

If someone is eager to try to build own image from source, here are some commands (https://wiki.libreelec.tv/compile):
Prepare at least 45GB free disk space.

ARCH can be 32bit arm or 64bit aarch64

to download all source code before building (speeds up build time)
#PROJECT=Rockchip DEVICE=RK3328 ARCH=aarch64 tools/download-tool

to build image with proper bootloader
#PROJECT=Rockchip DEVICE=RK3328 ARCH=aarch64 BOOTLOADER=u-boot UBOOT_SYSTEM=rock64 make image

to build all addons use
#PROJECT=Rockchip DEVICE=RK3328 ARCH=aarch64 scripts/create_addon all
  Reply
#4
I have investigated my power source problem a bit.
It looks like barrel jack and it's counterpart is not suitable for this type of application.
+Vdc contact is very poor, sometimes no +5V even if fully connected.
I will order and try to solder another psu directly (MEAN WELL RS-15-5 looks promising).
  Reply
#5
(10-03-2018, 02:59 AM)lamasutra Wrote: I have investigated my power source problem a bit.
It looks like barrel jack and it's counterpart is not suitable for this type of application.
+Vdc contact is very poor, sometimes no +5V even if fully connected.
I will order and try to solder another psu directly (MEAN WELL RS-15-5 looks promising).
Why not just purchase the official one from the Pine store? Its cheap and guaranteed to work.

https://www.pine64.org/?product=rock64-5...uk-us-plug
  Reply
#6
(10-03-2018, 07:04 PM)dudemo Wrote:
(10-03-2018, 02:59 AM)lamasutra Wrote: I have investigated my power source problem a bit.
It looks like barrel jack and it's counterpart is not suitable for this type of application.
+Vdc contact is very poor, sometimes no +5V even if fully connected.
I will order and try to solder another psu directly (MEAN WELL RS-15-5 looks promising).
Why not just purchase the official one from the Pine store? Its cheap and guaranteed to work.

https://www.pine64.org/?product=rock64-5...uk-us-plug

I have one but it's barrel jack is not working very well as described.
I just have to give it a try. RS-15-5 costs about 9$ + 2$ for delivery 4 days max waiting time.
I will post results after some tests.
  Reply
#7
Progress so far.
I have received premium aluminium casing, serial console, emmc module and RS-15-5 psu.

As for the casing, there is a space between chips, cooling pad and heat pipe, therefor cooling is not working by default. I have added extra 0.5-1 mm spacers beneath board mountings for heat pipe to touch cooling pad correctly. Temperature is about 56'C when playing hd h265 iptv streams whole day and 46'C at iddle.

I have tried connecting serial console and it's working great. It looks like most of the kernel panics are random so I suspect they are caused by faulty dc connection.

I have added rubber band between hdmi cable and power connector of original psu to bend the connector and get more stable dc connection.
It looks promising, uptime is almost 4 days without crash so far.

I have tested LibreElec 8.90.006 too, but playback was choppy so I decided to stick back with 8.90.005 for now.

I am postponing RS-15-5 psu test for now, as the rubber band solution is working fine.
  Reply
#8
(10-17-2018, 05:19 AM)lamasutra Wrote: Progress so far.
I have received premium aluminium casing, serial console, emmc module and RS-15-5 psu.

As for the casing, there is a space between chips, cooling pad and heat pipe, therefor cooling is not working by default. I have added extra 0.5-1 mm spacers beneath board mountings for heat pipe to touch cooling pad correctly. Temperature is about 56'C when playing hd h265 iptv streams whole day and 46'C at iddle.

I have tried connecting serial console and it's working great. It looks like most of the kernel panics are random so I suspect they are caused by faulty dc connection.

I have added rubber band between hdmi cable and power connector of original psu to bend the connector and get more stable dc connection.
It looks promising, uptime is almost 4 days without crash so far.

I have tested LibreElec 8.90.006 too, but playback was choppy so I decided to stick back with 8.90.005 for now.

I am postponing RS-15-5 psu test for now, as the rubber band solution is working fine.

IMO the ruberband solutions is risky, it can break the conector on the rock64, i remember someone connecting the power directly to the header, in regards to conectivity its more reliable but iirc its a bit sirky in regards of power surges since the barrel is "protected" iirc...google is your friend but it can be a better option than the dirty ruberband solution (also ruberband degrades and if you forget about it in 6 months it can break just because and you can start having problem again and you dont know exactly why, even worst, ruberband degrades faster with temperature and since you get 56 degree under load that temp is probably in most of the board, if you need to replace the ruberband every month its going to get annoying FAST)
  Reply
#9
Hi again, I have some news.
I have managed to test RS-15-5. It did not helped to solve my issues. 
RS-15-5 is working fine, but LibreElec is still crashing.
I have tried to lower all frequencies. I have created autostart.sh and set all governors to powersave.
For now by trial and error it looks like GPU is my problem.
Armbian is running GPU at 200MHz but libreelec at 500MHz.
If lowered to 400, it's stable.

I assume my board has soldering issues, which cannot be easilly solved.
  Reply
#10
Hi iamasutra

It sounds like you've had some success getting the Rock64 GPU working under Armbian. What have you tested? I'm mainly interested in HW h264 decoding (with mpv preferably, but gstreamer or kodi would do) but it would be nice to get GLES working too.

Which version of Armbian (Bionic, Stretch, Xenial?) did you use and how did you build and install the GPU/VPU drivers? Did you use the official rockchip mali repo or one of the forks?

If you have any notes on what you did to get the r64 GPU/VPU running under Armbian they'd be much appreciated!

EDIT

The person that created the Armbian RK3288 media (video driver) script for RK3288 devices should soon be releasing a similar script for RK3328 boards any day now but those who can't wait can follow these instructions on how to build the GPU drivers, gstreamer and mpv for Armbian, thanks to the librecomputing renegade being almost identical to the r64:

https://forum.armbian.com/topic/5864-lib...ment-68505
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
Big Grin Rock64 as a retro-gaming console: early impressions Luke 51 22,696 01-16-2019, 04:40 PM
Last Post: Luke
  Slow SMB transfers when sharing encrypted USB drive - is my CPU the bottleneck? oealias 3 390 04-01-2018, 03:42 AM
Last Post: pfeerick

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)