Tinker Board S SPDIF, Docker


I have tried the Asus Tinker Board S as it is announced with internal Flash and SPDIF hardware support.
Now I feel like I need to warn you;

  • Tinker Board S does not implement S/PDIF. It only has a TTL interface with 5V level instead of +/- 0.5V level. If you connect your audio gear you have good chances to fry it!
  • The heatsink is too high. It causes electrical shortcut on any HAT
  • The heatsink get’s way too hot because it is too small. As a consequence CPU clock get’s throttled drastically
  • Onboard connectors for power switch have wrong orientation and cannot be used with a HAT
  • S/PDIF TTL pad is not populated with a pin. It is very hard to solder and in a totally uncomfortable place
  • S/PDIF TTL pad offers no proper grounding. How does Asus think a MHz signal should be connected without proper grounding?
  • TinyOS, which is used by Volumio has many broken implementations. That is why you can’t get docker implementation for LCD up and running
  • All the plugins I tried did not work. Volumio plugins don’t seem to be multiarchitecture. That goes e.g. for Remote Controller, GPIO buttons, even Equalizer
  • Only a very limited number of TI/BB PCM51XX DAC is supported

I just stopped with further integration, as the Tinker Board is absolutely disappointing in HW and SW. Volumio does not seem to integrate well with HW other than Raspberry Pi. At least the plugin system seems to be not applicable and other easy implementations as ACPI for easy ON/OFF button operation are not implemented.

I would have loved, if Volumio would had marked it as NOT PRODUCTION READY:

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I disagree with you.
I just think the Tinkerboard is the best SBC as of now, for many reasons. And our experience is of course based on the use you can do with Volumio (so we don’t get all the throttling you report).

For the plugins, yes, this is true that some are not compatible, but this is an issue on our side, and we should manage plugin compatibility better.

Hi Michelangelo,

don’t get me wrong, I absolutely appreciate the work you did with and Volumio is a great integration of services on the Raspberry platform.

But the Asus Tinker Board is seriously suffering from design flaws and totally lacking support for its OS. I have no interest in fighting, but I have given quite a number of facts in my post.

In comparison to the Tinker Board, the Odroid C2 is a superior platform as well from an electronics design perspective as well as from software design (OS support) and documentation point of view.

And there is a reason for this: Asus as a company is all about protecting intellectual property from their history, they don’t have experience in open and collaborative projects. They don’t have that mindset. They release hardware and someone else takes care for the rest. But who would that be? Have a look at the latest development in TinkerOS - nothing. Have a look at the broken packages in TinkerOS - ouch. The SBC market is saturated already. You get all bells and whistles on well established platforms. There is no need for a Tinker Board.

Entirely different for Raspberry and others like Banana or Odroid to just mention a few :sunglasses: . Odroid has been founded as “Open” Odroid= “Open Android”. Even though Odroid has developped far more in the direction of Ubuntu, they have now a full blown OS and even on 64-bit. Hardware is fully documented and comparably powerful to the Tinker Board. Okay, the Odroid C2 is lacking a sound interface onboard. Well, who would take that into consideration?

But this is just my two cents.


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On a Tinker Board w/out S an SPDIF Optical and RCA Out Plate Cable Bracket for ASUS, Gigabyte or MSI works perfectly well. It´s actually made for a PC board, but easy wiring of the three connectors: SPDIF (needs soldering) and +/- 5V. You find this to buy from Amazon or eBay.

Now the RCA Out Plate moved this into a cannibalized Cyrus CD Player.

Connected to a Cyrus Pre Qx DAC via Cinch Spdif puts a smile on my face during listening. Thanks to the Volumio team for this peace of software!

On my wish list is to make the HifiBerry DAC Plus working on the TB.

Hello, the setup also works well for me. But only up to 16bit 44khz. Everything that goes beyond that is distorted. Have you also had this experience?

I double checked and found most of the sampling and bit rates are working fine. As I reported ealier multiple of 44,1 kHz i.e. 88,2 kHz and 176,4 kHz are not supperted by the Tinker Board, which give a bad noise with some DAC. A resampling workaround from Volumio 2 has not been moved over to Volumio 3 for whatever reason.

Maybe your DAC is only supporting 16bit/44,1kHz?

Thank you for your reply. My dac plays on hifiberry digi pro also higher bit and sample rates. I think it’s because of the possibilities of the asus board. 44khz, 16 bit is also ok. A good second streamer for little money.