Armbian Linux for Arm processors and Android TV Boxes.

It's always interesting when I write, to see what feedback or help is out there. I encourage you all to write in the comments below. The recent blog about Linux Mint 20.1 created a stir on amateurradio.com, where my scribbles are relayed over and duplicated. Paul VA3ZC got in touch, and said "Have you tried Armbian? Linux for ARM devices". So a quick trip down to the link https://www.armbian.com/  Reveals a good download area for hardware which you may like to try it out on. Although the Raspberry Pi is not listed, surely is can't be long before something is ported over. I know recently Ubuntu Linux has been ported for the Raspberry Pi. But are there cheaper methods of playing around with Linux and using it to advantage our hobby? Paul mentioned he uses  an old Android TV Box. I have one of these which I use coupled up to my main TV for watching Youtube on.  
             This is mine I snatched out from under the TV for demo purposes.  The advantage of the Android TV box they are cheap! A mini computer all self contained inside a little box. Normally they include a power supply, simple remote, and work straight away out of the box when you plug them into your TV, booting from their internal Android firmware. They are also very simple to get running with Linux (in most cases). Adding a keyboard and mouse, blow the Linux firmware on to an SD card, and  away you go (In theory anyway).
   
  As you can see from the above two photo's good connectivity is included. If you would like a little play around with Linux they have got to be an excellent starting point, and if you don't like it or get get fed up, brick it, or just end up throwing it into the corner of the shack, you haven't lost much. You buy them from the likes of ebay, just type in Android TVBOX. You need to check first that the processor type is supported before you buy. Here is an example at around £20 UK: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Smart-Wifi-TV-Box-Android-Quad-Core-Remote-4K-HD-Media-Player-3D-8GB-Streamers/293698849998?hash=item4461d0ccce:g:dEkAAOSwS41fH-VW As well as the Armbian website support there are lots of videos on Youtube to a show you how to go about installing Linux. (Depending on processor type): Here is one I dug out, there are plenty of others, but it shows you the basics how to go about and get it running with Armbian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xezRDUCDkg Hope that helps!  
Steve, G1KQH, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Armbian Linux for Arm processors and Android TV Boxes.”

  • Paul VA3ZC:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the nice follow up to my comment. That is the unit I use for FT8 portable. I was going to throw it out but had a look at the specs and decided that it could have a second life in my portable ham shack. Generally speaking the Armbian is a lot more responsive than the Android and lets you run linux programs such as wsjt-x, fldigi and cqrlog. It lets that old tv box fly as a little computer.

    Good luck with your PI. I’m sure that there will be one in my not too distant future.

    73,
    Paul VA3ZC

  • Steve (G1KQH):

    Thanks Paul, Maybe we could start a little support group if there is enough interest?

    73’s Steve

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