The Orange Pi PC is one of many open source single board computers (SBC) that have sprouted up over the last few years due to Raspberry Pi popularity and in more recent time shortages. The Orange Pi PC is very similar to the older RPi generation of boards but critically it is available and cheap.
Because people are struggling to get hold of Raspberry Pi’s I’ve seen a big demand in alternative cheap SBC sources. I have also seen a lot of questions arising on whether or not it’s possible to install Klipper on it. Well today I’m going to answer that question and take you through the process.
The Orange Pi PC is available for around £30 plus taxes. It can’t compete with the latest RPi’s in terms of performance but it should be plenty to run a single instance of Klipper.
The Orange Pi comes in a small cardboard box with some instructions and no accessories. The board was in a sealed antistatic bag as is expected with most circuit boards.
First impressions are that the board is tiny! It measures in at 5cm*5cm*2cm. The price it pays for this small size is the lack of HDMI and only 1 USB A connection. Soldering quality looks good on both top and bottom layers, as does the silk screen. There is an external WiFi antenna which will hopefully mean a good WiFi connection!
Setting up the OS
Head over to the Armbian website and download the OS image for the Orange Pi PC, I recommend picking the Jammy variant as it is the latest release at the time of writing this guide.
While you are at it now is probably a good time to download the user manual from here. I will try to make this guide as complete as possible but it can’t hurt to know where to find the official manual!
To write the OS image to the card I like to use the Raspberry Pi imager. Open the OS image in the Raspberry Pi imager and then select the SD card. Note – The SD card should be formatted with FAT32. Click write and then yes to acknowledge that any existing data on the SD card will be wiped.
Wait for the image to write to the SD card. This can take quite a while so grab a cup of tea or do whatever else you do to pass the time.
it for the image to write to the SD card. This can take quite a while so grab a cup of tea or do whatever else you do to pass the time.
Insert the SD card into the board. Connect the board via ethernet to your network. Lastly plug in the micro usb to barrel connector for power.
You should see a red light and soon after some flashing blue lights around the ethernet port. Use a network scanning tool like advance IP scanner or your networks configuration interface to locate the IP address of the board.
Open a terminal client like PuTTY and use the IP address to SSH into the device.
You should be greeted with a command line interface prompting you to enter a username and password. Enter username ‘root’ and password ‘1234’
Enter the username ‘root’ and the password ‘1234’
You should be greeted with a command line interface prompting you to add a root password. Enter your password then press enter. Repeat your password and hit enter again. (Note don’t be too lazy like I was and pick something too simple for the password!) enter 1 to choose Bash as your interface. Then enter a username and password for the normal user account.
Type Y then enter to select a locale and language. If you are reading this you probably want to look out for EN. Enter your choice and wait – this step took my board a minute or two to complete.
At this stage if you want to use WiFi you will need to plug in an external dongle. Run the command below then select activate a connection. You should see the following dialog with a list of WiFi networks discovered. Pick your network and enter the password to join the network. An Asterix * will appear next to the network if it connected. Quite this dialog once happy.
Congratulations your SBC is up and running!
We will be using KIAUH to install Klipper and the associated packages.
First off we need to make sure git is installed. Paste and run the following command. It should already be there but there is no harm in checking!
sudo apt-get install git -y
Next we want to make sure we are using the user we created earlier rather than doing everything as root. I called my user pi. Run the command below but substitute in your user in the place of pi. You should see the active user change to the one you entered.
Next install KIAUH. run these command one at a time. You should now have successfully installed KIAUH.
cd ~ git clone https://github.com/th33xitus/kiauh.git
Next launch KIAUH using the command below. You should be greeted with the menu for installing Klipper, Mainsail and Moonraker!
Press 1 and enter to go to the install menu. We are going to work our way through the installed in numerical order. Start with Klipper (1) then Moonraker (2) then Mainsail (3). If you are familiar with this process and know what you want you can start adding extras but otherwise you can add them later. You will likely be prompted for the sudo password during this. Enter it (note no text appears when doing so) and press enter. Installing these will take a while. Choose y for all the options as you go along.
Once complete enter b to go back to the main menu. You should have a status that looks like this. If you do press q and exit.
Either use the IP address you found earlier for an ethernet connection or complete the next step to find the ip address for the WiFi device. Enter ifconfig and them look for wlan in the printout. The IP address we are interested in should be listed as inet. Copy that address into your browser and hopefully you should be greeted with a Mainsail user interface.
You will almost certainly have a Klippy error because you haven’t defined a board yet.
Plug in your controller board of choice and find the serial port using the following command. You should get the serial id you need to paste into your Klipper config.
And thats it guys! you are ready to move onto setting up your printer controller board.
Follow instructions specific to your board to flash the firmware and then update your printer.cfg file as per any other Klipper install! Hope you liked it and that this helps some people out who are scared of using a non-official Raspberry Pi board!
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