Since I was experimenting with the video surveillance Xeoma from Felenasoft I wasn’t really happy with it running as a VM on my Xen Server 6.5 host. Mainly because I also run my Internet gateway/firewall (IPFire) on that host. And since I’m so lucky to have 500Mbit (up and down) fiber in my home, I want to spend as much resources (as necessary) to my Internet gateway. I really don’t want another VM hogging my host resources.
Since I’m a major fan of Aliexpress I started a quick search there and stumbled upon the Orange Pi development boards. Positioned as Raspberry Pi alternative this looked like a really good (and in most cases) cheaper alternative.
The absolute positive thing about the Orange Pi is that there are versions with a SATA connector. A video surveillance system can use A LOT of disk space if you want to record EVERYTHING 🙂 Having the option to use an old laptop harddisk for storage was the main reason I decided to order one.
But searching for a version I found that there are a lot of different Orange Pi’s. I decided to make the comparison table below for my own use.
|Orange Pi||One||Lite||PC||PC Plus||Plus||Plus 2||Plus 2E|
|Memory (shared with GPU)||512MB DDR3||512MB DDR3||1GB DDR3||1GB DDR3||1GB DDR3||2GB DDR3||2GB DDR3|
|SATA port||–||–||–||–||Up to 2TB||Up to 2TB||–|
|Onboard Flash (EMMC)||–||–||–||–||8GB||16GB||16GB|
|Wifi||–||yes (unknown chip)||–||–||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (Realtek RTL8189ETV)||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (Realtek RTL8189ETV)||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (Realtek RTL8189ETV)|
|Audio Input||–||Onboard Microphone||Onboard Microphone||Onboard Microphone||Onboard Microphone||Onboard Microphone||Onboard Microphone|
|Audio output via HDMI AND CVBS||–||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|USB 2.0 Ports||1x HOST / 1x OTG||2x HOST / 1x OTG||3x HOST / 1x OTG||3x HOST / 1x OTG||4x HOST / 1x OTG||4x HOST / 1x OTG||3x HOST / 1x OTG|
|Buttons||Power||Power||Power||Power||Power / Recovery / UBoot||Power / Recovery / UBoot||Power / Recovery / Uboot|
|GPIO(1×3) pin||–||–||UART / ground||UART / ground||UART / ground||UART / ground||UART / ground|
|Other||–||IR input||IR input||IR input||IR input / Uboot||IR input / Uboot||IR input / Uboot|
|Size (mm)||69 × 48||69 × 48||85 × 55||85 × 55||108 × 60||108 × 67||108 × 67|
|Price (september 2016)||$10||$12||$15||$20||$39||$49||$35|
I decided to order the Orange Pi Plus 2. It has 16GB built in flash, so no need for an SD for booting. It has the much wanted SATA connector. It has 2 GB of internal DDR3 ram, should be enough for even a surveillance system.