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Nanopi Neo512 / Neo2 enable USB on header

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Hi there,

New here in the forum.

Just got my hands on both the Neo512 and the Neo2 and been doing some OS installs.

On the NanoPi Neo 512
OS is Armbian downloaded from this site, updated and upgraded after OS install.
Currently connected to the network via Ethernet
Samba and Webmin running fine.

I would like to have access to the 2 USB on the headers
Purpose is to connect the Nanopi Neo to the network via USB WiFi
The "new" 2 USB ports to be used to connect USB Flash drives

1. Initially I attempted to plug a corded female USB type A on the header pins (spliced the cord and connected the corresponding wires to Vcc, D+, D- and Gnd pins).
2. Powered the Nanopi Neo,
3. Inserted a USB flash drive on the header installed USB port.
4. ran lsusb, the flash drive did not show up on the list
5. removed the flash drive from the header USB port and inserted it to the USB port beside the Ethernet port
6. ran lsusb, the flash drive appeared on the list.
7. repeat steps 3 and 4 again, same results.
8. edited the line in /boot/armbianEnv.txt: overlays=usbhost0 usbhost1 usbhost2 usbhost3
9. saved the file and rebooted.
10. ran steps 4 to 6, same results, still the USB port on the header cannot see my flash drive.

--- or maybe I got the steps wrong or missed a step..

Is there a proper step-by-step procedure to enable the ports?

your help will be highly appreciated.
LTolledo wrote:
1. Initially I attempted to plug a corded female USB type A on the header pins (spliced the cord and connected the corresponding wires to Vcc, D+, D- and Gnd pins)

--- or maybe I got the steps wrong or missed a step..
Is there a proper step-by-step procedure to enable the ports?


I think you should check step 1. because all other steps seem to be right.
Do you got the right colors at the cable (black, red, green and white?)
Did you think about that the female header is in the other pinout-direction as the male header (see attachment)?
Thanks for the prompt reply,

I've revisited step 1 and checked the cable continuity, confirmed that there were no breaks in the cable.

1. Reconnected as follows

USB pin 1 -- Red --- Nanopi pin 1 ---- VDD5V
USB pin 2 -- Green --- Nanopi pin 2 ---- USB-DP1 (D+)
USB pin 3 -- White --- Nanopi pin 3 ---- USB-DM1 (D-)
USB pin 4 -- Black --- Nanopi pin 12 ---- GND

2. powered up Nanopi again
3. ran lsusb -- the USB device appeared in list (strange it didnt appeared before but now its OK)
4. ran blkid to check if automounted -- /dev/sda appeared
5. reconnected as follows (while powered)

USB pin 2 -- Green --- Nanopi pin 4 ---- USB-DP2 (D+)
USB pin 3 -- White --- Nanopi pin 5 ---- USB-DM2 (D-)

6. repeat steps 3 and 4 -- USB device appeared in list, /dev/sda
7. plugged a USB WiFi dongle on Nanopi's original USB port
8. ran nmtui to enable WiFi connection and activate it
9. ran ifconfig to confirm WiFi IP address
10. shutdown and remove LAN cable from Ethernet port
11. powered on the nanopi
12. SSH nanopi using WiFi IP address --> success

Reviewing all of this, the problem may have been caused by poor electrical connection on the D+ side, there was some contaminant inside the female pin header during continuity test.

With this my original requirements have been met.
Thanks again for the replies. :D

might get more nanopi (neo512 and neo2 are the only ones available at my local supplier) in the very near future. ;)

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