Getting started with ROCK Pi E

ROCK Pi E is a Rockchip RK3328 based SBC(Single Board Computer) by Radxa. Here E for Ethernets. It equips a 64bits quad core processor, USB 3.0, dual ethernets, wireless connectivity at the size of 2.5×2.2 inch(56x65mm), making it perfect for IoT and network applications. ROCK Pi E comes in various ram sizes from 512MB to 4GB DDR3, and uses uSD card for OS and storage as well as supporting eMMC module. Optionally, ROCK Pi E supports PoE, additional HAT is required.

This guide is designed for ROCK Pi E enthusiast. The purpose is to learn about the ROCK Pi E board as well as how to prepare and set up for basic use.


Getting started with ROCK Pi E


What you need

Necessary

  • ROCK Pi E main board
  • One of the Storage media below:
    • μSD card, larger than 8GB.
    • eMMC Module, larger than 8GB with eMMC to μSD converter board.
  • Power supply
    • The ROCK Pi E is powered by Type-C DC 5V.
  • USB to TTL serial cable
    • ROCK Pi E exports a dedicated serial console, which can access the low level debug message.

Optional

  • μSD Card Reader
    • For flashing the image into μSD Card or eMMC Module.
  • Ethernet cable
    • ROCK Pi E supports Internet access via WiFi or Ethernet.
    • One or two Ethernet cable are used to connect your ROCK Pi E to a local network and the Internet.
  • Audio cable
    • Audio can be played through speaker or headphones using a standard 3.5mm jack.

Starting the board for the first time

ROCK Pi E can be started with eMMC or μSD Card. Now, you are presented with two options when installing your new operating system onto your ROCK Pi E.

Prepare

  • When start system with eMMC

Insert eMMC Module into eMMC to μSD card converter board. Insert the converter board into μSD Card Reader, which connects to host computer.

  • When start system with μSD Card

Insert the μSD Card into μSD Card Reader, which connects to host computer.

Write Image

  • Download the flash tool, etcher, from Downloads. Choose the right version for your host operation system. Here we operate on host Ubuntu 16.04.
  • After unpacking the package, we run the tool by executing the command
$ ./etcher-etcher-electron-1.4.5-x86_64.AppImage

If you get an error message: “No polkit authentication agent found” you can try and start it with sudo, but do know that this is running the tool as root.

  • In the etcher window, click Select image.

Rock pi e

  • In the etcher window, click Select Drive.
  • In the etcher window, click Flash.
  • In the etcher window, once it shows us Flash Complete! It is done and can be put into the RockPi.

rock pi e

Boot

  • Now insert system storage media, eMMC Module or uSD card into the socket on board.
  • Use the USB to TTL serial cable to setup a connection between PC and ROCK Pi E board. See Serial Console.
  • Connect the power supply to the ROCK Pi E. The board will begin to immediately. (You might not see the boot sequence, on Ubuntu Server you will see the login prompt)

General purpose input-output (GPIO) connector

ROCK Pi E has one 40-pin expansion header. Hardware V10

GPIO number Func4 Func3 Func2 Func1 Pin# Pin# Func1 Func2 Func3 Func4 GPIO number
+3.3V 1 2 +5.0V
68 I2C1_SDA GPIO2_A4 3 4 +5.0V
69 I2C1_SCL GPIO2_A5 5 6 GND
100 UART1_TX SDMMC0EXT_D0 TSP_D0 GPIO3_A4 7 8 GPIO2_A0 UART2_TX_M1 64
GND 9 10 GPIO2_A1 UART2_RX_M1 65
96 SPI_CLK_M2 SDMMC0EXT_CMD TSP_VALID GPIO3_A0 11 12 GPIO2_D2 90
104 SPI_CSN0_M2 TSP_D4 GPIO3_B0 13 14 GND
98 SPI_RXD_M2 SDMMC0EXT_CLK TSP_CLK GPIO3_A2 15 16 USB20DM
+3.3V 17 18 USB20DP
27 SPDIF_TX_M0 GPIO0_D3 19 20 GND
83 CARD_CLK_M1 PDM_SDI0_M0 I2S1_SDI GPIO2_C3 21 22 GPIO2_B4 SPI_CSN1_M0 76
60 CLK32KOUT_M1 GPIO1_D4 23 24 GPIO2_A3 EFUSE_PWREN 67
GND 25 26 GPIO2_C7 I2S1_SDO PDM_FSYNC_M0 87
97 SPI_TXD_M2 SDMMC0EXT_DET TSP_FAIL GPIO3_A1 27 28 GPIO2_C1 I2S1_LRCK_TX SPDIF_TX_M1 TSP_D6_M1 81
80 TSP_D5_M1 I2S1_LRCK_RX GPIO2_C0 29 30 GND
79 TSP_SYNC_M1 I2S1_MCLK GPIO2_B7 31 32 GPIO3_A6 TSP_D2 SDMMC0EXT_D2 UART1_RX 102
82 TSP_D7_M1 PDM_CLK_M0 I2S1_SCLK GPIO2_C2 33 34 GND
ADC_IN1 35 36 GPIO2_C5 I2S1_SDIO2 PDM_SDI2_M0 CARD_DET_M1 85
66 IR_RX GPIO2_A2 39 38 GPIO2_C4 2S1_SDIO1 PDM_SDI1_M0 CARD_RST_M1 84
GND 39 40 GPIO2_C6 I2S1_SDIO3 PDM_SDI3_M0 CARD_IO_M1 86

Features

Model ROCK Pi E
Processor SoC RK3328
Quad Cortex-A53 ARM 64bits processor
frequency up to 1.3GHz
Memory 256MB / 512MB / 1GB / 2GB DDR3
Storage MicroSD(TF) up to 128GB
High performance eMMC module 16GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB
Wireless 802.11 b/g/n wifi
Bluetooth 4.0(rtl8723bu)
external antenna
USB USB3.0 Type-A HOST x1
Key Reset x1
Ethernet 1x 1000Mbit ethernet, optional PoE(additional HAT required)
1x 100Mbit ethernet
IO 40-pin expansion header
USB 2.0 x1
I2C x1
SPI x1
UART x2
I2S x1
5V DC power in x2
3.3V DC power in x2
Others RTC connector, LEDs
Power USB Type-C DC 5V
Size 2.5×2.2 inch(56x65mm)

I hope you like this post “Getting started with ROCK Pi E”. Do you have any questions? Leave a comment down below!

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Harshvardhan Mishra

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. I am a tech blogger and an IoT Enthusiast. I am eager to learn and explore tech related stuff! also, I wanted to deliver you the same as much as the simpler way with more informative content. I generally appreciate learning by doing, rather than only learning. Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Follow and send tweets me on @harshvardhanrvm. If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee!

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