Introduce ROCK 5 Model B - ARM Desktop level SBC

In response to your question, it depends on when the factory gets us some units to have in our inventory. Right now, they are only working on fulfilling preorders. I imagine it will take at least a few weeks after they are done filling preorders before we can have some in stock. Maybe longer, depending on parts and production schedules.

that sounds cool (hopefully no part shortage)

Its very likely you can get cheaper and more cost effective elsewhere as nothing here is Rock5b specific as they are standard m.2/usb product.

Ebay from ultra cheap 2nd user to where ever you prefer to pick up your gear, even eMMC can be purchased elsewhere at least for now until things stabilise more than just a pre-release early adopter order.

Mine is also on the way.
Ordered from Allnet China. I forgot to add the heat sinks to my order and had to email the store to find a solution. I am very satisfied with how sympathetic and professional their service is. We literally wrote back and forth for an hour, to make sure, that everything will be by sent the same day I placed the order. So Radxa made a good decision, partnering with distributors that take their customer service seriously. (Thanks to Norbert and his “busy hands” team!)

So far, so good…

I just had one of the funniest phone conversation with our customs office. I’m not a noob, but installing pi hole and Nextcloud server on a Raspberry Pi is as high as my pedigree goes. After my little 3 minutes monologue about the content of the package, the answer I receive is:
Her: okay… Excuse me, so what is it you are using for? Li-hooks!?
Me: LI … NOOKS! Ubuntu is a version of it.
Her: can you tell me again how much RAM they are.
Me: 8GB and 16GB.
Her: “Okay… So what you are telling me is that, you need this little Chip to put it in your computer to help you install all Linux.
Me: No, it IS a computer. RAM, CPU, GPU, AI engine are on the same PCB. It’s just that it’s as small as a credit card.
Her: Okay… So, what do you want to do with it?
Me: well it’s small, and I can have it running all the time in the Background taking care of multiple backup tasks. Without worrying too much about power consumption. Smart home, Nextcloud server, printer server…
Her: Okay, I got the information. I am not sure, I understood everything, but in case we need more information your number is… and in case we don’t get you on the phone your email is…”

I wonder how a marketing guy would explain it better than I did. She seemed very interested after I said it runs without fans in the background and is as small as a credit card. I’m sure it was a good idea to stop after “Nextcloud server” and not go into details about VPN Server + Open Source and data stuff… It didn’t even come to my mind to say “surfing the web”, “writing emails” or “Removing pimples with darktable”… At the end of the day, it’s just a computer…

That’s it, a little feedback and retrospect from a call with the customs office! I’m curious what experiences you have with customs and your orders. Mine was bitter-sweet. I hope they don’t think I’m doing dodgy things. :upside_down_face:

FYI: I’m planning to replace my old Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 from 2016. If the radxa lasts for as long (6 years), I’ll be very satisfied with my purchase. Thanks to the radxa team (the debug-party people too) for building this right in-between pandemic and lockdown!

One average thankful user.

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Ok so that means with Rock5b we get two m.2 ports available and then we need to use USB.
Unfortunately the 4G module I was targetting is m.2 so will need to make a choice.

Mekotronics, as can be seen on pic below, managed to embed wifi (probably using one of two m.2 ports)

image

and still provide following IOs
at bottom: m.2 empty slot which could be used for my 4G module
on the left: sata connectors which I believe could be used for pluggin hard drive but not in M.2 format (so not NVMe?)

EDIT: after further search, seems like we find very similar 4G dongles, to the one I was initially looking for. So probably going that way and keep NVMe + Wifi on m.2 slots.

M.2 is a mechanical connector able to carry tons of different protocols. It’s not a protocol like PCIe, SATA, SDIO, USB and so on (all of which can be carried by an M.2 port).

  • Mekotronics use a single PCie Gen2 lane for their soldered AP6275P Wi-Fi (same chip many other RK3588 device vendors use)
  • they use zero PCIe lanes for Gigabit Ethernet since those are RGMII attached while Radxa chose to use a 2.5GbE controller that eats another PCIe Gen2 lane
  • except the four PCIe Gen3 lanes available in the M.2 key M slot the remaining three possible PCIe Gen2 lanes are all multiplexed with SATA/USB3 so a device maker always has to make compromises. It’s impossible to expose all protocol variants RK3588 is capable of due to pinmuxing (RK3588 has not infinite balls to connect to the SBC --> many of these pins have more than one function). Details: https://www.cnx-software.com/2021/12/16/rockchip-rk3588-datasheet-sbc-coming-soon/
  • When it’s about WWAN modems (4G) please keep in mind that many/most for M.2 or mPCIe slots do not rely on PCIe but on USB instead so better check which protocols which M.2 slot carries. Rock5B’s key E slot carries PCIe Gen2 or SATA. No idea about USB…

Thanks for precisions.
If I understood well what you explained, Rock5b m.2 slot would not automatically support 4G devices? Good to know then.

Some 4G devices I was looking at were:

  • quectel EC25 like this one
  • sim 7600G-H like this one

Both are Mini-PCIe form-factor but not sure if they use USB protocol behind as you seems to suggest.
BTW, I found out, USB dongle variants exists with same 4G chips so may go that way then as it will make more sense if they use USB protocol to use them directly on USB port and leave M.2 slot for other device requiring PCIe/SATA protocol.

EDIT: After further reading module description, seems like you were right:

You can easily insert a Mini PCIe module in Base HAT then start using cellular internet with your Raspberry Pi. Both UART and USB communication with modules are available.

Only if the M.2 card is not relying on USB for the data communication since USB in the M.2 key E slot is NC (not connected):

In other words: G4 M.2 cards that use PCIe/UART might work.

Hi, I ordered (and paid) a long time ago (20 March 2022) 2 discount vouchers, 1 for each model, through AllNet but never received anything so far. Should I get these vouchers eventually automatically in my mail or should I do something first ?

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By “only”, you mean it will work only? since if it relies on USB, and USB is NC, then it won’t work if I’m right.
From my previous quote both UART and USB communication are supported, so should work through UART then.

you could use something like this for the 4g card (it works with all usb 4g m.2 cards): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002776899631.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.73621047NJTlvA&algo_pvid=b9f9e444-798a-4b27-86b2-a263ad6e08cd&algo_exp_id=b9f9e444-798a-4b27-86b2-a263ad6e08cd-14&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"12000022135045307"}&pdp_npi=2%40dis!EUR!20.86!19.82!!!5.92!!%400b0a0ae216658367977037458eceb3!12000022135045307!sea&curPageLogUid=OxO6Gy8Ho571

Nope. The two products you linked both rely on USB for data transmission which is not available in Rock 5B’s key E slot.

Only with those being key B. And the products he linked to were not even M.2 cards but mPCIe (the connector standard) but of course not utilizing PCIe (the data transmission protocol).

Ok, thought one of the item was also UART as quoted from their description:

Both UART and USB communication with modules are available.

Found this other 4G module, in dongle form factor, using one of previous chip. At least I can’t go wrong with that if performing as good as others.

They are delivered automatically, and in the order they were made. As preorders started 9 January 2022, you’re a little back in the line, but you’ll get your order codes soon.

Note that for two, you’ll have to place two separate orders; only one code can be used at a time. You can contact Allnet China to have them shipped together.

As a datapoint, I ordered my AllNet code on Jan 27 2022 and have not received any communications yet either. I’d guess there’s significant demand and you’re pretty far down the queue (as I am).

Received the order invitation earlier today (pre-ordered 21 Jan)

Shipping is rough (17 USD), so it’s a pity I can’t get the passive aluminium enclosure together yet, but settled for the acrylic one for now.

Can’t wait to try it out as my new daily web machine!

did you order from ameridroid?

I got mine from allnet

oh allnet is so far allready i wonder where ameridroid is

I ordered from ameridroid early february 2022. I wonder when it will be shipped.