F.A.Q. | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which Allwinner H3 Boards it works on?
A: It should work on all H3 boards when set with proper script.bin(fex)/uboot.

Q: Which Allwinner H3 Boards are currently supported?
A: It has been tested by us on the following boards:

  • Xunlong Orange Pi PC
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Plus 2E
  • Xunlong Orange Pi PC Plus
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Lite
  • Xunlong Orange Pi Zero Plus 2
  • SinoVoip BananaPi M2+ H2*
  • SinoVoip BananaPi M2+ H3*
  • FriendlyArm NanoPi M1* (as of 1.3.3 please use uboot for M1+)
  • FriendlyArm NanoPi M1 Plus* (built-in bluetooth not supported)
  • Sunvell R69* (Blog post, MUST HAVE FAN!)
    '*' means we suggest the use of a 5v fan and heatsink while running H3Droid

Notes:

  • For best experience use a high quality class 10 SDcard (iops is more important than sequential speeds)
  • Low ram means more swap
  • All H3 devices should be supported with minor tweaks to the fex file!
  • When using dd to write an image be sure to use 'conv=fdatasync' at the end of the line or run 'sync' before removing SDcard

We have included with the installer many of the common H3 fex files, however, you can put in place any fex you like fairly easy. Eventually we will try to document this in more detail for novice users. The image uses mainline u-boot which has a lot more functionality than stock, it allows you to mount the first parition and update the fex/kernel/ramdisk as needed instead of having to recompile everything. This means it should support almost any Allwinner H3 device with little to very little effort.

Q: What makes H3Droid different from the images provided by the vendor?
A: This image includes / supports:

  • Custom resolutions (800x480 1024x600 1024x768 1280x1024 1360x768)
  • Universal installer (h3ii) that works on all systems
  • Updated u-boot (mainline)
  • Configs (fex) with correct DRAM and CPU settings (Xunlong's images known to cause overheating or excessive throttling)
  • Google Play Store integrated (Xunlong doesn't provide Google Services at all with their images)
  • YouTube
  • Kodi (Compatible)
  • Root access to the system by SSH, UART and/or ADB shell (As part of the installation process you will be asked to place your SSH key in the installation directory as h3droid.pub)
  • Powermenu with reboot/poweroff
  • Navbar and sysbar
  • Lots of development tools and devices preinstalled
  • Using UsbModeSwitch.apk app which is provided, you can toggle OTG Gadget mode
  • English language set by default
  • Plenty of network chips supported (usb and sdio)
  • Custom recovery system (h3resc). It can be used for installation of H3Droid onto eMMC. Press spacebar during u-boot countdown or use android powermenu with longpress on reboot button (1.3.3+) to boot into it
  • Armbian dual boot (with assisted installer in h3resc)
  • Plenty of bugs fixed
  • Active development and support from H3Droid team

Q: What hardware is supported by your Android image?
A: This image supports:

  • Common WiFi adapters - including:
    -- built-on the boards and USB dongles:
    -- realtek: 8188cu, 8188eu, 8192cu, 8723, 8812au/8821au
    -- atheros: ath9k, ath6k
    -- ralink: rt2800usb compatibles (5370 tested, should work on: rt27xx/rt28xx/rt30xx/rt33xx/rt35xx/rt53xx/rt55xx)
    -- mediatek: mt7601u
  • Common Bluetooth adapters - Most CSR conforming dongles work (please report issues)
  • 100Mbit and Gigabit Network Adapaters found on H3 boards
  • HDMI and CVBS Displays
  • HDMI and Analog Audio Playback
  • common USB devices (kb/mouse/flash etc., if you have something that doesn't work, join us on IRC and report/ask)

Q: What is currently not supported by your Android image?
A: Some Bluetooth devices are not supported, while most dongles should work, some may still have problems (please report any issues).
A: Poweroff (as of version 1.3.3 this now works!)
A: Screen rotation

Q: Am I going crazy or does the resolution seem to reset to 720p when I reboot?
A: Breathe easy friend, you are not crazy! This seems to be a bug which we have not yet figured out how to resolve. (Please note: as of 1.2.9+, you can now set the resolution permenently in H3resc)

Q: What is the UsbModeSwitch app used for?
A: This app is used to toggle the USB OTG mode on the micro usb port found on H3 devices. This allows the board to be connected to your computer and used as a mass storage device and provides access to Android via ABD shell.

Q: Is this Android image 'rootable' ?
A: As of 1.3.4+ app root is added
A: Answer for older versions: Yes and no. Like ALL KitKat and later android releases, root access is complicated. Unfortunately the SDK used happens to use a secure setup preventing remounting of /system as read/write to the Android interface (so root is not available/possible from Android interface). That said, root access via UART, SSH and ABD shell which can be used for most things that would really require root (installing apps, remounting/modifying fs). We have already taken the liberty of installing Google Play Services for you to make use of the image easier. You can try rooting apps, but be aware that while some may work, they are controversial and might do more than you think (trojans/spyware). For most tasks requiring root, ssh or adb is sufficient.

Q: I am trying to use Netflix, Youtube or another streaming app and for some reason the video freezes up a few seconds in, whats up with that?
A: It appears this is a bug with the app when it detects a change in stream quality, usually in apps like Netflix rewinding the video 30 seconds should resolve this ( This was originally reported on OrangePi Forum ).

Q: I can not download Kodi from the Google Play store, it says it is incompatible, why?
A: Versions of Kodi after 16.4.82 require Android 5 and up and no longer support KitKat which we use for this image. Instead we recommend to install SPMC 16.4.82, download here.
A: Since 1.3.4 you can use h3resc and add it via ADDONS menu (requires network connectivity)

Q: I am using H3 board with low memory (less than 1GB of ram) and having issues playing 1080p videos, what's wrong?
A: For 1.2.9+ please use h3resc and set 720p mode.

Q: For some reason when I attach miniterm to the UART on a board running H3Droid it doesn't work, why?
A: We've noticed that input doesn't work when using miniterm. Please use different terminal program instead, such as putty or 'screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200' for example.

Q: I installed Armbian from H3resc but when I boot Armbian the screen is green, how can I fix this?
A: This is caused by us enabling DVI compatibility in our fexes and in Armbian this casues black to appear green, you can fix this by toggling option in H3resc (in display submenu, for 1.3.3 and older it's named hdcp toggle, for 1.3.4+ it's named dvi-fix).

Q: How to configure IR remote?
A: Follow the steps below:

  1. Load module: modprobe sunxi-ir-rx; rmmod sunxi-ir-rx; modprobe sunxi-ir-rx;
  2. Generate keys by running 'getevent' (note the codes and pressed keys, if no keys are generated, try different remote)
  3. Create keymap file in /system/usr/keylayout/sunxi-ir.kl
  4. Reload the module

Q: Can I use the camera provided by Xunlong on my Orange Pi board in H3Droid?
A: Yes, you can! To activate the modules needed for the camera you will want to login to the board as root via SSH/UART/ADB and you will want to run the following command:

echo "/sbin/busybox modprobe gc2035 ; /sbin/busybox modprobe vfe_v4l2" >> /data/rc.local
Once done, reboot to implement the drivers!

Q: What is a 'serial UART' connectior cable and how do I use it with H3Droid?
A: A serial UART cable can be attached to the UART connector on your H3 board to provide access to the boards serial console, which will provide you a root access to your device, the adapters are usually very cheap ($0.50-$2.00) and will allow you to connect to your board via a USB-to-serial interface.

You can read more about how to use a UART cable on our Blog!.
Just remember, it's an extremely cheap but very helpful tool!

Q: I have found a bug or security issue in H3Droid, how should I get in touch with you?
A: Remember, this is work in progress, so there may be occasional issues! You can help by reporting bugs and concerns using our Feedback page.

Q: Do you have an IRC channel?
A: Yes, we do! You can come meet us in #H3droid on Freenode irc network ( chat.freenode.net:6697 / non-SSL: 6667 ) you can also Click Here

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