Embedded systems ARE fun!

No, seriously, they are.

I’ve been messing around with some ARM stuff for the past couple of weeks, and one of the things that has ended up on my desk is a Banana Pi M3 - which has an 8 core A83t CPU.

This thing’s awesome.

So, of course, today - on what is MEANT to be a weekend - I’m going to see how hard it is going to be to get FreePBX working on it.

I expect that it’ll be pretty painless, especially as I’m going to be building it with a Debian 8 image, but… This is what I do for fun.

I’m such a nerd.

BPi M3 Specs:

  • Octa-core 1.8GHz A83t CPU.
  • 2 GB LPDDR3 memory.
  • 8 GB eMMC storage.
  • WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 onbaord.

Yes. This thing has 8gb of flash already built in. There should be no need for a SD card!


This is meant to be a U3 card, with 80MB/sec write. Pfft. It even came in a shiny gold box too!

Well I’ve been running raspbx on a Raspberry Pi 2 for a couple of months now


And yes, they are fun. Especially compared to the monster box that was the old proprietary analog system it replaced.

Oh yes, I know they’re fun. But the mental contortions people put themselves through to try to treat them as anything APART from fun is really entertaining.

I found this the comment the other day, when I was looking for some real world data on SD lifespan:

It’s hilarious. He goes through ALL the problems and how unreliable his Pis (he’s up to his third now), and then ends with this

So if you will use the pi in a 7/24 environment, don’t be cheap

I would phrase that somewhat differently.

If you want a 7/24 environment, don’t be cheap and use a Pi

In fact, after looking at these BPi M3’s, it looks like they’re broken out of the box, even worse than the RPis. The thermal dissipation requirements for the A83 chip almost demands a heatsink, and yet there’s not one installed by default, or even a warning that it’s going to be unstable unless you put one on.

I dunno about you, maybe I’m blind, but I can’t see a heatsink there. Maybe it’s some new ultra-modern invisible one. 8-\

Anyway, my fun has been curtailed - I’ve been told I need to reinstall my son’s laptop.

I have tested the original Bananapi, it works pretty well can handle many concurrent calls Also use a high quality sd card to avoid data corruption, I didn’t thought it and had my mysql screwed up. The community and the support are small compared to raspberry and I think it’s the biggest flaw. Also the company that makes them is kinda shaddy, they had some dispute over the project with an online retailer or something like this.There is also OrangePI, even cheaper.

Yeah, the A20 based one. A20’s are good CPUs and don’t - unlike the A83’s - throw out huge amounts of heat.

I have one of them sitting here too! The good thing about this standardization however is that:

That doesn’t really matter. These things are basically A20 (or A83, or whatever) chips on a board that gives them power and storage, and exposes their network and USB connectors. You don’t need to care about anything else, because they’re all basically identical at that level. It only gets complex when you need to care about the way that specific board talks to a specific thing (eg, IR Receiver on this M3)

Well you are right for just running linux on it, I think it is ok. :smiley:

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IR receiver? How are you using yours? My PI is sitting in a closet.

Did you test the performance too? How many concurrent calls?

Here’s one test of the RPi-1:

Testing The Raspberry Pi

Now those numbers seem pretty extreme to me. Two thoughts: 1. the RPi-2 provides a lot more power and 2. I’d only use it in a much reduced environment with half as many extensions and only a few lines.

My environment is two analog lines and just six physical extensions. Probably gonna add a couple of DECT phones.

Asterisk itself uses very little processing power. Your limitations will be hit at the IO level before anything else – probably network bandwidth.

Of course you CAN make asterisk work harder, by having it transcode and record calls, at which point you’ll run it out of puff very quickly.