RockPro64 some time later

Some time passed since I got that board. And some things changed as well.

U-Boot changes

I went through U-Boot and submitted a bunch of changes. Most of them were small tweaks to RockPro64 board configuration:

With above changes I have all firmware parts stored in on-board SPI chip and do not have to worry about storing whatever on removable media. Also do not need serial console to play with U-Boot as everything can be done with USB keyboard and HDMI monitor.

Board configuration

To be able to work comfortably with RockPro64 board I mounted it in acrylic case from Pine A64 and then added some tweaks.

RockPro64 setup on my desk
RockPro64 setup on my desk

Breadboard wires and switches

Black and white cables are SPI clock and ground. Using button I can short them during boot so on-board flash gets ignored and U-Boot gets loaded from SD card.

Two orange wires are serial Rx line going through hardware switch. The reason is simple: for some reason board does not boot when Rx line is used during first power on (right after power plug insert, not after pressing Power button). So instead of disconnecting wire each time I can just move switch left, power on, wait for U-Boot messages, switch right and have both directions of serial console working.

Too bad that there no Power/Reset pins as I would move buttons to breadboard as well to make them more reachable.

USB hubs

Next to the board I have a bunch of USB hubs:

Each of them was in use when I played with enabling USB keyboard as I do not have USB 2.0 keyboard and needed a way to connect standard 1.1 one.

Other stuff

Tincantools SPI Hook works as serial console and there is PCI Express x8->x8 (open ended) riser so I can play with different PCIe cards.

And there is a jumper on ‘disable eMMC’ pins as I lack such module.

What next?

Next step would be testing distribution installers a bit. And check how they work. I did some attempts already and waiting for fixes to be merged.

aarch64 rockpro64 sbc