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NanoPi router board updated with 8GB eMMC and a metal case

Feb 14, 2022 — by Eric Brown 785 views

FriendlyElec launched a $48 “NanoPi R2C Plus” router, an case-only variant of the RK3328-based NanoPi R2C SBC that adds 8GB eMMC, among other minor changes. Meanwhile, there is now a $9 metal case for the similar Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS SBC.

In the NanoPi R2C blurb in our recent catalog of 136 Linux hacker boards, we mentioned that an eMMC equipped NanoPi R2C Plus was in the works. As reported by CNXSoft, the Plus model is now shipping for $48, but only in a version with a metal enclosure. CNXSoft also reported that Shenzhen Xunlong’s almost identical Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS router SBC, which similarly combines a Rockchip RK3328 and dual GbE ports, is now available with its own metal enclosure for $36 (see farther below.)



NanoPi R2C Plus enclosure detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The NanoPi R2C Plus is a variant of the NanoPi R2C, which is itself a spin-off of the NanoPi R2S. The R2C and R2C Plus replace the Realtek RTL8211E GbE transceiver found on the R2S with a cheaper Motorcomm YT8521S chip, which FriendlyElec says offers the same throughput while allowing a price reduction of $12. As with the the R2S, there is also a Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller for the second GbE port.

The new NanoPi R2C Plus adds 8GB eMMC and switches from a 10-pin, 2.54mm pitch GPIO header to an 8-pin, 1.25mm header that removes the IR and 3.3V pins. Power input has changed slightly to 5V/2A input via Type-C. FriendlyElec lists this in the wiki and shopping page spec sheets as micro-USB, which was used on the R2S, but in a comparison chart and the above detail view as Type-C, which is listed by CNXSoft.



NanoPi R2C Plus enclosure (left) and SBC detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The R2C Plus is slightly larger than the R2C at 57.5 x 54.3mm. Yet, only the 63.5 x 63.5 x 24.5mm enclosure SKU appears to be available, at $48 plus shipping. Other major features include 1GB DDR4, USB 2.0, serial debug, and a microSD slot.

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Specifications listed for the NanoPi R2C Plus with enclosure include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); ARM Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR4
    • 8GB eMMC 5.1
    • MicroSD slot for up to 128GB
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (1x Motorcomm YT8521S, 1x RTL8153B via USB 3.0)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • USB Type-C port for client and 5V/2A input
    • Serial debug interface
    • Fan interface (5V)
    • 8-pin, 1.25mm GPIO header (UART, I2C, 2x GPIO, 5V, GND)
  • Other features — 3x LEDs; metal enclosure
  • Power — 5V/2A via USB Type-C
  • Dimensions – 63.5 x 63.5 x 24.5mm
  • Weight – 151.4 g
  • Operating systems – FriendlyWrt 19.07-snapshot (based on OpenWrt); FriendlyCore Focal Lite (based on Ubuntu 20.04)

 
Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS with enclosure

When we checked prices for the Orange Pi R1 Plus at the end of 2021, the SBC was unavailable, so we removed it from our catalog of 136 Linux hacker boards. We failed to see, however, that Shenzhen Xunlong had launched an almost identical, but cheaper Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS model in November. It is possible that it, too, was sold out in late December.



Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS with enclosure (left) and SBC detail view
(click images to enlarge)

In any case, the Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is now shipping, and as of last week, it is is available with a new metal enclosure that costs $9. The fully assembled metal SKU costs $36, compared to $27 for the SBC alone.

Compared to the Orange Pi R1 Plus, which we covered in our Jan. 2020 SBC catalog, and which is a more advanced variant of the Orange Pi R1, the LTS version performed a GbE switcheroo that is somewhat like that of the almost identical NanoPi R2C Plus. The LTS Realtek RTL8211E PHY is replaced with a Motorcomm YT8531C instead of the R2C Plus’ similar YT8521S PHY. The swap-out has helped to lower the price to $27 for the SBC version.

Minor differences with the R2C Plus include the availability of a CVBS pin on a slightly larger, unwelded 13-pin GPIO header. The Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS lacks the NanoPi’s 8GB eMMC, but offers 16MB SPI flash for booting. Like the NanoPi boards, the Orange Pi boards ship with open specifications and Linux images.

Specifications listed for the Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS with fully assembled enclosure include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); ARM Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB LPDDR3
    • 16MB SPI flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (1x Motorcomm YT38531C, 1x RTL8153B via USB 3.0)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • USB Type-C port for 5V/2A input
    • Serial debug interface
    • Fan interface (5V)
    • 13-pin GPIO header (earphone, CVBS TV out, IR, UART, I2C, GPIO)
  • Other features — 2x LEDs; heatsink, metal enclosure
  • Power — 5V via Type-C or 2-pin header; reset button; RK805 PMU
  • Dimensions — 63 x 60.6 x 27.3mm
  • Weight — 175 g
  • Operating systems — Android 9, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenWrt

 
Further information

The NanoPi R2C Plus with fully assembled enclosure sells for $48 at the FriendlyElec shop, plus shipping, with options including a $9 power supply and $7 USB-based LCD module. FriendlyElec notes that “Although DHL service is partly recovered, there are still issues with on-time delivery. Postal services get delayed by around 30-45 days in many countries.” More information may be found in the NanoPi R2C Plus wiki.

The Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is available on AliExpress for $28 plus $5.18 shipping to the US or for $36 with enclosure, fully assembled plus $7.78 shipping, with an estimated delivery date of Mar. 17. More information may be found on the Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS product page.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

4 responses to “NanoPi router board updated with 8GB eMMC and a metal case”

  1. Mr. Blue Coat says:

    “16GB SPI flash for booting” should be 16MB SPI

  2. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief, LinuxGizmos says:

    Thanks Mr. Blue Coat. We’ve made the correction.

  3. Chip says:

    The NanoPi R2C Plus link points to the FriendlyElec shop, not to Aliexpress as indicated in the text (1st line just below “Further information”).
    Not a problem, I’ve bought several times from them and they’re reliable, but be aware that, although they use China Post, shipping costs are quite higher than those we are used to when purchasing from Chinese vendors on Aliexpress or Ebay.

  4. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief, LinuxGizmos says:

    Thanks for catching that Chip. We have made the fix to link.

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