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Author Topic: very minimalist hardware for TC?  (Read 7288 times)

Offline herrMnnn

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very minimalist hardware for TC?
« on: May 11, 2012, 01:09:27 AM »
Is there a hardware product out there that will run TC (command line only) out of the box, with just Ethernet, USB, and VGA (or HDMI), for less than AU$200?  Preferably using <10W?

I just need to run a python script to download data from a modbus device and write it to a usb drive.  It's very little work (less than a second every 30 minutes), most of the time the device will be idle.  Data access and admin is via SSH.  It's running on a PIII/128mb system now but I want to make it more compact and silent.

A Mini-box Atom system booting TC from a CF hard drive looks like my best option at present, but it's way more processing power, memory and I/O than I need.

Any (constructive) suggestions are welcome.

PS I could probably go the Arm route and work up a system on a Beagleboard or similar, but I've got it working in TC now and I like the way TC operates.

Offline beerstein

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 01:34:11 AM »
did you check out the $ 50.00 PC board from UK I do not remember its name - Rasberry PI or so?
Then there is the Arduino  several mini ITX boards from PC Chips in China
A company named Giada also makes mini PCs - just google on these phrases and see what you can find.
t(w)o be(ers) or not t(w)o be(ers) that is the question

Offline curaga

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 02:38:20 AM »
Yes, you can get many thin clients used for that price (~50$). Eboxes work too, but they are quite pricey for their limited performance new.

The VIA-based thin clients often idle at <10W and max at <30W, so better than recent Atom boards in idle. This of course depends on the model, etc. The ones having Eden (their sub-1W cpu) are of course lowest power.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 02:40:03 AM by curaga »
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Online Rich

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 05:19:25 AM »
Hi herrMnnn
Maybe something from here?
http://www.norhtec.com/products/index.html

Offline curaga

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 07:21:54 AM »
http://www.parkytowers.me.uk/thin/index.shtml

This site has good data on which models work well, and usually with TC too.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline herrMnnn

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 06:46:59 PM »
Thanks folks, some excellent information there which has given me something to search on.

I got very excited about the Raspberry Pi when I discovered it some time ago, but no TC support is a hassle - after playing with TC for a few weeks it is such an elegant solution I don't really want to muck about with anything else.  Also RPi has no real time clock and for a data logging device this could cause problems - it may not always have net access to sync time (eg power failure), and if a data call is logged with the wrong time it will completely mess up the data set (which is being graphed against time, downstream on the users pc).

Arduino is interesting but I really don't have the time to sort it out.   I need an off the shelf device that runs TC . 

Ebay searches found some Wyse thin clients so I'll see how I go in the auctions...

Offline gutmensch

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2012, 04:48:25 AM »
I can confirm Wyse SX series is cheap and running with Tiny Core Linux - I once had TC 2.x running on this series and one could even use the flash device for storing stuff, but there were some hacks needed. If I wanted to shoot one at ebay I would probably also consider the IGEL clients since they IMO don't need that much hacking and they might be even cheaper.
If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said. (Alan Greenspan)

Offline curaga

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 05:14:43 AM »
I have some Itona and Neoware clients myself :) All of them were quite standard, could boot from USB and the flash disk was attached via IDE.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline herrMnnn

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 03:29:23 PM »
I picked up a HP T5700 from ebay for less than $50 delivered.  There were cheaper options but I couldn't be bothered with the auction process.  I'm kicking myself for missing out on a lot of 4 Wyse S50 units which went for $6 plus postage for the lot.....

Anyway, once I worked out what I was doing, I installed and ran TinyCore from the internal flash drive without a problem.  I booted it into Windows XP embedded first just to make sure the hardware was ok before I formatted the drive, and as expected TC is much faster :)

I chose the HP as it reportedly has lower power consumption than some of the others around (9-14W), and since I won't be running much in the final configuration processor speed etc is largely irrelevant.  The parkytowers site referenced above was a huge help.

Offline cast-fish

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 11:26:20 PM »
http://www.ewayco.com/100-low-cost-pc-products-low-cost-systems-embedded-systems-servers-lcd-pc-panel-pc.html

here is good at $99

That is a boxed new Linux thin client ready to go....

V.

TQ mini = model

Offline herrMnnn

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 04:47:46 PM »
I picked up a HP T5700 from ebay for less than $50 delivered.  There were cheaper options but I couldn't be bothered with the auction process.  I'm kicking myself for missing out on a lot of 4 Wyse S50 units which went for $6 plus postage for the lot.....

Anyway, once I worked out what I was doing, I installed and ran TinyCore from the internal flash drive without a problem.  I booted it into Windows XP embedded first just to make sure the hardware was ok before I formatted the drive, and as expected TC is much faster :)

I chose the HP as it reportedly has lower power consumption than some of the others around (9-14W), and since I won't be running much in the final configuration processor speed etc is largely irrelevant.  The parkytowers site referenced above was a huge help.

I haven't posted in a while, which is testament to TC's stability, but thought I'd post a milestone...

Code: [Select]
07:00:01 up 365 days, 20:23,  1 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.04
It has been running a little longer than that, but it's been 365 days since I plugged it into a UPS.

It's been logging csv data to a usb drive via a serial connection to a radio receiver (RS232 modbus) every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, without skipping a beat.  It sends an "ok" email to me every Monday.  I download the data from it to my Windows PC via Rsync.

TC was a bit of work to get up and running, but it's been brilliant for this purpose.  Well done and thanks again to the developers!

Online Rich

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 06:59:58 AM »
Hi herrMnnn
Well done. You certainly have me beat:
Code: [Select]
tc@box:~$ uptime
 09:55am  up 150 days 10:13,  1 user,  load average: 0.01, 0.03, 0.05
tc@box:~$

Offline cast-fish

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 03:45:18 PM »
Hi

you know those "wyse" s50 machines. They contain a 366 mhz geode AMD right?

in processing terms what are the boxes capable of?

running tcl? and what about running apps?


do they have a gig of ram and what ssd hard-drive?

thanks

Vince.

i have seen those boxes in large offices. They serve up to the terminals a xen hypervisor windows session.


Offline gerald_clark

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 07:32:48 AM »
I use HP T5730.
Hard to beat.
1G AMD Sempron 64 bit CPU with 1 or 2 G of RAM, 1 or 2 G Flash drive for about $30.00.
VGA and DVI Video, ethernet, and sound supported.

Offline cast-fish

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Re: very minimalist hardware for TC?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2013, 06:10:49 AM »
nice gerald


but that same money in ARM-land gets you  5 times more cpu power and 4 times more graphics power. (and even all wrapped up in a nice tablet)

and that's new !   

V