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Opi Zero Plus2 H5 Booting Issues

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Post time 2017-11-6 22:33:07 | Show all posts |Read mode
Problem:My newly acquired Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 - H5 will not boot most of the distributions downloaded.
Background:

I have searched the forum and internet and don't find my particular situation.  I'm tying to determine if I have a hardware or software issue for this version of the Orange Pi.

First, I understand that most problems involved in booting the OPi are related to power supply and SD Card.  In light of this fact, I have purchased several (5 or 6 SD Cards in various sizes from 8GB to 64GB from reputable makers in speed from U1 and U3 - SanDisk being my most common purchase).  Furthermore, I have used power supplies from the kit-supplies OPi wall wart to Apple 5 volt (2.1 amp) and generic regulated 3 amp supplies.  All combinations seem to exhibit the same behaviour.  I sincerely believe that these are not my root cause...
I have downloaded and flashed a number of the distributions on the "Resources" page.


Experience Level: I am an Electrical Engineer (PhD level education in Semiconductor Device Physics [I don't say this to seem bragadocious but to allow the conversation to move to any level appropriate] with experience in embedded systems, processor design and system architecture.)  I've been running Linux systems  for years and have SBC systems running with RPi and Tinker Board currently although I don't claim to be a kernel expert)

System:
Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H5
Expansion Board (USB ports)
HDMI monitor
Logitech Wireless Keyboard/Mouse combo

Observations:

I have downloaded several (Android, Ubuntu, Debian, Raspbian and Armbian).  Each were expanded and written to the flash card with Etcher (MACOSX) or Win32 Disk Imager.  Each shows a slightly different performance of LED but none boots to a usable desktop or CLI save Armbian.  And, Armbian does not boot to a CLI consistently.  Only about once in every 4 or 5 boot cycles will the CLI with Login prompt appear.  However, at least Armbian displays the U-Boot system information on the monitor each time.  Usually, this blanks and hangs at "Starting Kernel".

Originally, this sounded like a power supply problem but I'm doubting that - I don't see supply voltage dip when the kernel starts.  (I have not put a shunt on the supply line to determine the instantaneous current draw...). Furthermore, IF I get to a command prompt, the system is rock solid in Armbian.  Processor temperature is steady around 28-29C.  Wireless performs well and all system software is up-to-date (apt-get update/upgrade).

Suggestions?

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 Author| Post time 2017-11-6 22:55:48 | Show all posts
Edited by mnixon77550 at 2017-11-6 22:57

OK - I think I have made some progress...

In writing my OP, I found that the one item that I had not changed was the monitor itself.  Since it worked fine with all my other SBCs, it didn't seem that it could be an issue - that may have been incorrect.  It is an older Dell and didn't allow the system to display information from the HDMI.  I plugged the system into a new TV HDMI port and the Ubuntu Desktop came right up.  Word to the wise - check all components with alternatives to make sure no faulty assumptions on "working" components.
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