$8.00 SBC that runs Linux

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Pine is growing more and more interesting products. They have a whole family of single-board computers that are available, unlike raspberry pi, for reasonable and non-inflated prices.

I think I’m going to save my currentliy-unobtanium raspberry pis for moving to LinuxCNC, and consider Pine for SBCs that aren’t tied so closely to the raspberry pi per se.

While I own a TS100 soldering iron, if I were buying a new soldering iron today, it would absolutely be the Pinecil — it’s open source and apparently is part of a thriving community working on its firmware, and would be worth more than the $80 I paid for my TS100 since it has both barrel jack and USB-C power options, yet is $26:

It can use the same tips as the TS100, and they also sell four different sets of four tips each for $26 per set. They also have silicone USB-C power cables for powering it to make it safe to brush with the hot tip (the TS100’s power cable isn’t silicone).

As far as I know, you can use any 20V 65W USB-C power supply with it, but…

The $38 power supply, a $4 USB-C cable, and a $26 pinecil is still less than I paid for the TS100 with a power supply with a barrel jack, while being more capable.


How about a phone?

Or a laptop?

Doesn’t appear to be $99 anymore…



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I like my Pinecil quite a bit and it’s now my daily driver.

I bought an original Pinephone which was billed as a dev kit and it is definitely a dev kit. I hear that the newer model is quite a bit faster and that the OS distro options are picking up steam. I’m hoping that when it’s time to retire my Pixel I’ll be able to switch to a Pinephone as my main pad.

Generally, I’ve been impressed with the Pine team and their work.