This Linux computer plus router is the size of a ring box

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Does it actually route or is it merely an access point?

It’s Linux and has multiple Ethernet interface (one wired, and wireless) so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be able to act as a router assuming appropriate Kernel drivers are enabled and packages like iproute and iproute2 are loaded. Let’s put it this way, I’ve never seen a Linux SBC that couldn’t.


Any plans to open up the boingboing store to Canada? Would love to order one but alas there still is no shipping to Canada. Nice little piece of kit I’d like to play with, but not worth my time to ship into Pembina ND and drive down to pick it up.

Just don’t get it mixed up with a ring box. Either way, it would be bad for your proposal.

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Keep in mind that unless you really want the small size this is also something you can do with an RPi. It looks like this is about 20% of the size of an RPi, but the RPi was already pretty small, putting it on the back of a TV or something the size difference doesn’t matter. (The RPi also only comes with one ethernet + one WiFi, just like this new device, FYI if you want another Ethernet you’ll need to add USB Ethernet, and if you want to move bits quickly look at the RPi4, it can push the USB bus at full speed while the RPi 1,2,3 could not)

Note: the prices are pretty similar, $42 for the VoCore, vs. $35/$45/$55 for the RPi depending on how much RAM you want (the $35 RPi has I think 1M RAM vs. the 128M RAM on the VoCore).

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this new little box. If the power consumption is low (and the ~500Mhz CPU should take less power) the small size should be low weight, so this would be great to put in a weather balloon, or maybe to try to fly a quadcopter with or something.

I’m just saying the RPi is playing in a similar space and some of the tradeoffs might be better for your projects (and likewise if you were about to get a RPi, the tradeoffs this little guy makes may or may not be better for your project).


Oh I have RPis! :grin:
Just wanted to add another unique small Linux computer to the collection.

I’m a ham radio enthusiast and yes a weather balloon with an APRS tracker is something on my list of projects to do at some point. Not that it would make much difference at all, but I’d likely choose this over an RPi to fly because of the weight.

I haven’t done a weather Balloon thing, but from what I understand people that do RPis for that prefer things like the RPi Zero because it is lower power and you can run it off of a pair of AA batteries which is a significant weight savings, and frequently they go as far as to desolder the GPIO pins they don’t use.

You would also have to make sure the VoCore can keep up with a USB camera of some sort while the RPi “cheats” and has dedicated I/O and silicon for it’s own camera (I use it as a cat room camera at home, and the image quality is not great, but definitely passable).

Er, also if you can’t buy it from the BB store, you can find other places to buy it. I’m not putting a link here because I think it would be nice for people who can buy it from the BB store to do that. If I figure out how to PM you though I’ll send a link.

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No plans to run video on the Linux board I fly, I’d likely choose to fly a separate HD video camera. The Linux board is purely there to run a GPS and run the APRS software that sends out positional information on a 144.390 MHz channel. I need more than a pair of AA batteries for the application anyways as the radio will be on the order of 5 watts.

I realize I can get it other places but boingboing has a good price on it at the moment. This is also not the only time I’ve found something of interest on the store that I would like to order. Plus hey! I want to support one of my favourite sites on the network of tubes!

Small is cool but I went in the other direction.

I just use a shuttle computer with 32 gigs of ram and an core i7 for my router.

(I went the whole ESXI server and one of the vm’s is the home router.)

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I think the advantage of VoCore is it is ready to run OpenWRT out of the box. For home routers and headless network devices something like OpenWRT is a really good choice versus RPi’s default of Raspian.

I haven’t tried it yet, but you can get OpenWRT for RPi. For something like an RPi3 or RPi0W it becomes pretty interesting to have a webserver based control of the device.

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Mike’s Parcel Service?

What about an Arduino for the GPS transmission ? Can get a nano/micro for less than $5.

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You should compute how many years it would take for new small low power computer to pay back for itself based on lower power consumption. Bonus round, also include cost differentials for additional cooling in the summer (and reduced heating in the winter).

I would bet the answer is “hey, even 150W vs. 12W doesn’t matter because electricity is pennies per killowatt hours, so 138W/hour difference takes forever…”

Aw, crap. I got too close to the problem and went and solved half of it…

“[…] show that the average U.S. price of 13.32 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)”, 24 hours of 138W difference is 3,312kWh, or $4.41 per day.

Wow, so ignoring the secondary HVAC effects it is realistic that something like this (or a Rpi) saves over $4/day off of running a full desktop (assuming the desktop runs a whole 150W supply all day…sadly verifying that with something file a kill-o-watt costs as much as buying one of these little computers!!!)

I had assumed the payback period was “like a decade+” and factoring in time-value-of-money the payback would really be “never”. Turns out way faster.

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LOL yup! That’s the place!

I know it’s not linux but it would be awesome to run pfsense on this machine however it would need at least to gb ethernet ports and likely more RAM

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Bro, you slipped three orders of magnitude there! 138W is 0.138kW, x 24 is 3.3kWh, so using your pricing, 0.4 cents/day.


Eh, what’s a few orders of magnitude between friends?

(Ok, yeah, I’m wrong, thanks for the correction!)


We are running solar and using much less power than the system generates so not as worried. (It turned out SoCal Edison was lying about how much power we were using … go figure)

The ESXI server is doing more than the router as I have other servers and OS’es running on the box.

Look, guys - aren’t we supposed to say something about a Beowulf cluster here?


the latte panda boards look fun to play with.