LoRA and RTL-SDR module?
#1
Any chance the just announced PineTab LoRA and RTL-SDR modules could also be made to work with the Pinebook Pro?
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#2
(05-15-2020, 02:09 PM)poVoq Wrote: Any chance the just announced PineTab LoRA and RTL-SDR modules could also be made to work with the Pinebook Pro?

The PineTab modules are, as I understand it, making use of USB 2.0; this is at least true of the RTL-SDR and likely also true of the LoRa and cellular modem modules. The Pinebook Pro's M.2 slot provides 4x PCIe and nothing else, so anything that would work in that slot would have to be able to make do with that alone. This is really quite a good start for SDR stuff, all things considered, since PCIe is extremely fast and low-latency, and can potentially also offer things like DMA (though I'm not sure what's available on the RK3399 in particular - someone else will have to answer that). Unfortunately, I don't know of any extant devices that can work under PCIe alone, or that fit into an M.2 slot. The closest thing I know of is probably the XTRX, which fits into a miniPCIe slot (might work in a Pinebook Pro, but would require a new adapter card). It needs USB for most functions, but its FPGA also offers PCIe, so it's entirely possible it could be programmed in another device and then used in the Pinebook Pro. It does cost about three times as much as the entire Pinebook Pro itself does, though, so it might not really be realistic for most folks. Much as I want one myself, I can't afford it.

Somewhat tangentially, I still can't get my own USB RTL-SDR device to work on my Pinebook Pro. Have you had any luck with that?
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#3
There is a chance that we will see additional, internal expansion cards based off the 4 x lanes of PCIe.
For example, this one may be suitable for the LoRA or RTL-SDR modules, (but, I did no research...);

WiFi 6 for the Pinebook Pro

The subject was for new WiFi standards. Other, (more expensive), laptops use a MiniPCIe or M.2 slot for their WiFi card. This has 3 effects;
  • Pass the buck on certification to the module maker
  • Allow different WiFi modules to be used for different markets or cost brackets
  • Increasing the cost, (because of this flexibility)
The last makes a lot of sense for a product that may have several years on the market.

But, for our Pinebook Pros, it's better to reduce cost, and use a reasonable WiFi chip at the time of design. (Which is months before manufacture.)
--
Arwen Evenstar
Princess of Rivendale
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