@jirm Thanks for the suggestion. I've downloaded the raspian image. To duplicate the path I used with armbian, I downloaded TMRh20's RF24 code so I can test the radio with code I've already had up and running on the hardware.. However, this version of raspbian is really bad. So far nothing compiles. Regular raspbian, and armbian on the orange pi one do not have this kind of problem out of the box; they compile a wide range of packages. I'll spend some more time on it to be diligent, but this distro looks like it needs to be put on the abandon pile.
I tried compiling mysensors gateway too but no luck with that yet either. This is what I get:
[SECTION] Detecting target machine.
[OK] machine detected: SoC=H3, Type=unknown, CPU=armv7l.
[OK] init system detected: sysvinit
[SECTION] Saving configuration.
[SECTION] Cleaning previous builds.
gcc -MT build/drivers/Linux/log.o -MMD -MP -march=armv8-a -mtune=cortex-a53 -mfpu=neon-vfpv4 -mfloat-abi=hard -DMY_RA
DIO_NRF24 -DMY_GATEWAY_LINUX -DMY_DEBUG -Ofast -g -Wall -Wextra -I. -I./core -I./drivers/Linux -c drivers/Linux/log
.c -o build/drivers/Linux/log.o
cc1: error: bad value (armv8-a) for -march switch
cc1: error: bad value (cortex-a53) for -mtune switch
Makefile:102: recipe for target 'build/drivers/Linux/log.o' failed
make: *** [build/drivers/Linux/log.o] Error 1