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Powerblock (or similar) with Odroid XU4?

  • @hansolo77

    there is a shutdown script on the XU4 forum and a pin out that you can use for adding a shutdown button.
    i dont know how to make it work with retropie.

    i use ORA with my xu4 so i think they have one built in, cant remember

    here is the links, hope its not against the rules



  • @hansolo77 You can take a look to my github account. There I wrote a script to reset and restart the EmulationStation. It is possible to use it as shutdown button, too - as @ExarKunIv there are several ways in doing.

    Some ways to say.... you won't be happy with the XU4. It is not the out-of-the-box gaming system as the Pi. The Pi3 is the much better supported device with more emulators.

    If you want to play N64 and DreamCast emulation then give the XU4 a chance. If you want a better performing Media Center, use the XU4.
    If not stay on the Pi ;)

    Maybe you should wait 6 weeks, maybe the Pi4 is available ;)

    For your topic question about the PowerBloc I think you should add @petrockblog. He can answer if it is possible to use the PowerBlock.
    The powering via GPIO is possible ... look here, so a Mausberry should also work. Usually you use a power device 5V/4A for this! So take care of overloading the ports

  • I know retro gaming on the xu4 is still pretty new. This is a new project I'm going to work on. I have my Pi build working fine. I'm just looking to get the added system support for better N64. For all intents and purposes, the C2 looks like a better Kodi system with 4k video and gigabit net. I'm just looking for something new to tinker with. :)

  • Global Moderator

    Unfortunately, the PowerBlock's MOSFET is only rated up to 3.7 A. Since the XU4 draws up to 4 A the PowerBlock's maximum allowed current would be exceeded. Therefore, I cannot (unfortunately) recommend to use it together with the XU4.

    If there would be enough people with interest in such a XU4-specific PowerBlock, I could put that into development, though.

    The C2, by the way, could be used together with the PowerBlock (regarding the maximum current). It's firmware might need to be adapted. Any interest in that?

  • I'd be interested in an XU4 specific version. :) But I can see the whole "not wanting to develop it if there's not a market for it." I know the XU4 is getting a lot more publicity and activity on the emulating scene.

    I've been trying to Google my way around the internet to see what other people have done. The last thing I read suggests I don't even need such a device to do a safe shutdown. It looks like that functionality already exists on Pin12. It would require a momentary switch. Long press is complete poweroff whereas a short press would simply put it into standby. I may have misread it though. I just got my XU4 in the mail on Tuesday and actually had hernia repair surgery yesterday. So I'm not even really ready yet to play around with it. I'm really out of it doped up on pain meds too. I did make a backup of the 16gb eMMC card before I started hooking it up on Tuesday and I'm floored by the speed! It takes 20-30 minutes to backup my Pi's 16gb microSD card. This took like 4 minutes!

  • Coming back to this. The ability to turn on/off the XU4 is indeed controllable by Pin12. Unfortunately I've not been able to figure out how to make this work in my scenario. A button wired to Pin12 and say Pin1 for +3.3v will turn the system on when I push the button, and turn the system off when I push it again. But it's a strict power off. I don't think it's doing anything safely. This is basically like having an inline switch on the power cable going to the XU4. Interestingly, the XU4 automatically starts booting up once power is connected too, so it is EXACTLY like having an inline switch. I really would like to have a safe shutdown though. Going back to last year, when we were developing a way to have the shutdown process the killing of an emulator and then shutting down ES before powering off, so to save any ES changes to gamelists.

    I've spent a little bit of my free time to try and see if I can power the board with other GPIO pins. It looks like @cyperghost pointed to a good thread which indicates it is possible. So I could, in theory, use a Mausberry and wire the Mini USB out to a couple of wires and connect that to the XU4 pins. Then again, I could just wire it to the XU4 with a barrel plug for that matter. The problem would be with the scripting and the pins to connect them to.

    So after thinking it through a bit... I'm going to contact Mausberry and see what their switch's capacity is. If it can't handle the 4a or greater throughput, I might need to think of something else.

  • A Mausberry isn't needed imho
    You can use a mosfet switch like this one here
    And the 4A is just the max current the plug can deliver when the XU4 is maxed out.

  • Wow that's way above my pay rate. ^_^ I'm completely lost looking at that thing. It looks like it's just a switch with built in current protection. Wouldn't I still need something like the Mausberry though to be able to communicate between the switch and the device to signal it to run the shutdown script and allow safe power off?

  • If the physical switch is in the “off” position, the switch state can also be controlled by a digital signal (e.g. from a microcontroller) via the “ON” control pin. Driving the “ON” pin low (or leaving it disconnected) will leave the switch off; driving the pin beyond approximately 1 V will turn the switch on. The maximum voltage for the “ON” pin is 30 V, independent of the switch voltage (VIN).

    Here is your communication between the board and the switch. You can read here about the modification of the first NESPi cases

  • That looks like it would do the trick, but it also looks like a daunting endeavor. I'd have to modify the design to work in my case with a full size NES case. All those mini jump wires between contacts is going to suck for me too. Plus I have no idea what those other parts (diode, resistor, capacitor, etc) are used for. I wish I knew more about electronic circuits. That's why I liked the Mausberry circuit so much, plug in, put the wires where they need to go, and you're done (after getting the script obviously). The PowerBlock was useful too because you just attach it to the GPIO pins. I still think doing something like the Mausberry would work best, but I'm not sure if they can support the amps. Waiting for them to reply.

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