Can I use balenaFin 1.1 without Compute Module 3?

Can I use balenaFin 1.1 without Compute Module 3?
Essentially, is it possible to run the multicontainer setup on it without it, or is mandatory in complete lifecycle?

Hi @tappswise , the balenaFin (any version) is a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3/3+ Lite and requires it to work. The only thing that would work without the module inserted, is the co-processor and its 18 EXP pins, but that is a simple micro-controller and not a linux capable device (in fact is meant to be an extension of the Compute Module) and I honestly think using the balenaFin as a micro-controller only would be way overkill :smiley:

I see. Cool.

Would this then be a compatible module? (
I see from pictures that the production year differs, but are there any major differences between using 3 or 3+ Lite?

both the CM3L (the one you linked) and the CM3+/Lite (the newer model) work on the balenaFin. The main difference between the 2 is thermal performance: the newer CM3+/Lite sports an embedded heatsink on the SoC and overall the PCB has been re-designed to have more reliable thermal performance under heavy load. You can read about it directly from the Raspberry Pi Foundation at this link:

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Is the fin compatible with non-lite version of the CM3/CM3+? (I’m attempting to use a CM3+8gb and am wondering if this is why it’s not recognized).

I found the answer here: Fixed: Balena Fin CM3+ Fails to Boot or present USB (rpiboot needed on new CM modules)
The fin does seem to be compatible, but require rpiboot to be installed.

@john the balenaFin is not compatible with non-lite compute modules! you will likely end up with conflicting signals between the embedded eMMC and the compute module eMMC