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Pi-Top Ceed with Asus Tinker Board (instead of a Raspberry Pi)

Asus have recently launched a product called the Tinker Board. It's supposedly a pin-compatible (but not software compatible) ARM based single-board computer.  Its header layout and dimensions are supposedly identical to those of a Raspberry Pi model 3b. 

The main benefits over the 3b are double the available RAM and approximately twice the CPU performance. 

I'm curious if anybody has tried to use this product with a Pi-Top or a Pi-Top Ceed? We'd expect that some of the software features which are part of the Pi-Top OS would be missing - from what I can tell this only supports an Asus specific port of Rasbian. But would the rest of it work?

If it were possible to boot the device and have sound and display working that might be good enough for quite a lot of use-cases. Perhaps the Pi-top specific software could be side-loaded via Apt (just like we can do with Raspbian). 


3 people like this idea

 Hi...i am a new user here. In my case I didn't notice any smell. After shutting down the Pi-Top last night I decided to unplug the 110V mains adapter to see what effect that might have. Connected power today to boot up. The battery was showing 78% when I noticed.

I've modified battery widget a little - now it works with Tinkerboard. Please try version for Jessie: 
It don't need any scripts from Pi-top OS, it works with I2C directly.

About shutdown - I don't think that scripts should do that. 
I'am sure that shutdown is performed by some kernel patch - shutdown commands should be last that Linux will do. So all filesystems will be unmounted to this moment, and scripts should be unavailable, and all processes is killed...
So, I think, something in place where kernel sends shutdown command to ATX power supply (in case if it runs at X86), there should be some customization that will send shutdown command to Pi-Hub. 


IMHO, better ASUS Tinker Board S with internal storage (but unfortunately only the 32-bit processor operating mode)

Great idea add Asus Tinker board

Oops, formatting didn’t turn out and Tinkerboard SPI 2 should have been SPI 0. rPi 38 to TB 13, rPi 35 to TB 15, rPi 40 to TB 23, rPi 36 to TB 29
Doing some further digging getting a proper shutdown and brightness setting to work on the CEED will require modification of the GPIO cable. The i2c pins are in the same place but the Tinkerboard equivalent of rPi SPI channel 1 (SPI 2) used to talk to the hub are all in different locations. I have not tried it yet but here is the remapping I think will work to use Tinkerboard SPI 2 to talk to the hub. rPi Tinker Function —- ——— ————- 38 13 MOSI 35 15 MISO 40 23 CLK 36 29 CS I think with this remapping and a recompilation of poweroff-v1 to use SPI channel 2 on the Tinkerboard I can get power on/off working like on Raspbian. If that works then brightness shouldn’t be to hard to get going after that. Checking with pi-top on how hard to would be to get a replacement cable should I mess mine up doing this experiment.
I got the package installer in TinkerOS to recognize the pi top packages by adding and adding the pgp key in that directory. I was then able to do sudo apt install pt-hub like you do in Raspbian. While it looked like it installed OK, the shutdown appeared to work but brightness and speaker appears to do nothing. This is in a CEED so it could be related to needing SPI for talking to the MK1 hub for brightness and HDMI audio for sound. Might need to dig through the sources to see if some tweaks are needed o adapt to the Tinkerboard.
Thanks for the update. BTW, Raspbian stretch has the same power down issue you described until you install the hub support (pt-hub) so I suspect it can be solved by porting those utilities. I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to write a battery widget by reverse engineering that python code from the Github repo. Glad to hear heat isn’t a problem. That was my big concern since the heatsink doesn’t align quite right with the CPU. I’d be happier if it was at least centered but it looks like ASUS shifted the chip 3mm or 4mm. Have not been bold enough to tear apart the bridge (yet) but it does look like it could be adapted. It looks like the heatsink comes up through the hole and attache# to the top plate which is held by rivets. A modified heatsink that was offset a bit for the Rockchip could be made to fit into the current design (I think). Too bad they didn’t just use a cable like in the CEED, then it would be super simple to adapt to the TinkerBoard or Odroid C2 and still accommodate their larger heat sinks.

 Hello, Guys.  Sorry for delayed answer. I'll answer to all 3 of your questions in one message.

1) About HUB and drivers - I didn't modifyed anything. It all works, as for me. Only one thing that dosn't works for now - at shutdown, Tinkerboard (it running Gentoo) shuts down, but pi-top isn't, so I must hold power key. Brightness control works, and I copied python pt-hardware-info script from  Pi-top OS to be able to read data about battery. It is not veru handy, but it works. 

2) About battery. I've conducted little test, and will write post in my blog shortly, but in short words - Tinker board requires less power when idle, and more power when loaded, but it is really faster than Pi, so it will handle same amount of work in shorter time. I think, battery life decreased a little, but now Tinker-based pi-top is much faster and work with it is pleasure, not pain, like it was with Pi in some scenarios.

3) About heatsink. While I'am writing this all in firefox, CPU temp is 58 C on my tinkerboard. I did not modifyed heatsink. And, I'am using Gentoo and I'am compiling all on pi-top, not on other machine, and I did not have  some problems with CPU overheating. So,heatsink may be not ideal, but it is enough even for hard loads such as compiling.

So, swaps your Pi's to tinkerboard. It is really good idea!

Has anyone come up with a good way to realign the heatsink? The Heatsink on the bridge does not hit the Rockchip on the Tinkerboard correctly and looks like it would need to be bigger. It looks like it is pop riveted so there may be a way to put a heatsink that fits the Rockchip better. If they sold replacement bridges I’d be inclined to experiment but I’m hesitant to screwup the only one I have.

What about the battery power duration for the Tinker board VS Raspberry pi 3?

Battery must be charged more frequently ?

Dmitry: is it running TinkerOS? If so how did you modify the drivers to have HUB work? 

Hi guys!
I've succesfully swapped RPi3 to Asus Tinker board in my Pi-top v2.
Yes, tinkerboard is a little bit wider, and connector between pi-hub and GPIO header will not install easilly - but it is still possible! Un-tighten screws on hub and tinkerboard, then insert bridge to hub, but don't press on bridge, don't push it fully in hub's socket for now, and after this - carefully push hub in direction to tinkerboard and carefully press to bridge over GPIO pins.  After some iterations, in my case, it works, and bridge slided to GPIO pins. Yes, not fully, there is still some gap (I think, this is because heatsink of bridge is blocked by SOC metal plate), but it works!
Yes, there is no battery indication out of the box, and probably overheating problems - but, I think, it is still good replace - tinkerboard is really faster than rpi3!

Your findings are similar to mine. I gave up trying to use the Tinker Board in my Pi-Top -1 and reverted to good old RPi3B. However, I have the Tinker Board in an Element 14 Desktop cox with 128GB SSD and it tears along nicely. ASUS certainly aren’t up to Raspberry Pi Org standards yet and much community tinkering (pun intended) needs to be done. If the RPi4B with 2GB RAM is introduced soon it’ll probably kill off many newer, more powerful alternatives, simply due to backwards compatibility.

Pitop v2 doesn't use HDMI though.

It has an interesting cable I haven't seen before, although it might actually have a more common LVDS inside, I didn't check.

I tried plugging in RPI without pitop OS on it and it wouldn't detect the monitor either 

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