Our Beaglebone Black Products
Taking the Beaglebone Black out for a walk
Beaglebone Black is a low-cost, open source, community-supported development platform. Boot Linux in under 10-seconds and get started on Sitara™ AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor development in less than 5 minutes with just a single USB cable. BeagleBone Black ships with the Ångström Linux distribution in on-board FLASH. (Excerpted from the TI website)
The coolest thing of all may very well be that the Beaglebone Black fits into an Altoids mint tin.
After working with the BeagleBone Black (BBB) for a couple of days we have some quick impressions (May 2014).
- Although having 2 GB of flash memory available to hold the OS sounds great, it really doesn't take long to fill it up.
- The Angstrom distribution has a log file which chatters constantly due to a debug message which was turned on. Any instructions which say to do a 'dmesg' to get a driver running may not work since it may have fallen off the back of the dmesg log.
Bad Experience with Adafruit NIC
The Adafruit's Miniature WiFi (802.11b/g/n) Module: For Raspberry Pi and more was a read dud for a bunch of reasons. They are not so much BBB issues as issues with the NIC.
- The Adafruit site claims "its supported by the Bone's Angstrom installation that comes with each Bone" but their tutorial page says:
This tutorial may not work on Beaglebone Black or the latest versions of Angstrom (kernel 3.8+) due to changes in the OS. We're working on a new/updated tutorial, but we don't have an ETA - we'll post it as soon as we can! Thank you for your patience.
- This message is undated so we can't tell if it's been there a while or not.
- We do appreciate the warning but we bought the part based on the sales page and didn't see the warning before we bought the part.
- We would have bought a part that actually worked and was supported if we knew it didn't/wouldn't work.
- It's our pet peeve when people thank us for our patience. We are not all that patient.
- There are a lot of people complaining about the part on the Adafruit forums.
- Adafruit's tutorial instructions say to update the kernel but the sales page said that the module works with the kernel.
- After hours of messing around with it, we sorta got it working. But not really. We never saw it actually connect up.
- It may have range problems.
Here's notes (not ours) on the NIC:
I now have reliable Wifi on my BBB (A5A) with an Edimax dongle (rtl8192cu). The problem is not the driver/board (in my case), but it was apparently ages old versions of connman and wpa_supplicant. I'm using the firmware binary downloaded from debian repo and then compiled the latest connman (1.16 iirc) and latest wpa_supplicant (2.0) from sources right on the BBB itself and did a make install.
Here's another listed solution:
I discovered that I had two wpa_supplicants running! I commented out the pre-up line from the /etc/network/interfaces as found on octopusprotos and now things seem to be working swell.
Why not try network manager instead of connman. I was having trouble with getting the wifi (Linksys WUSB100v2) to work. Removed connman and installed network manager, installed the drivers with opkg and it worked perfect on the first try. I have had it running for about a week now besides the occasional reboot to get VNC back up and wifi is still working good. Haven't tested speed yet but it seems to be running good for being G and considering that my phones data connection runs circles around my home data connection (best i can get in BFE unless i spend almost triple for only double the speed).
Processor: AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
- 512MB DDR3 RAM
- 2GB 8-bit eMMC on-board flash storage
- 3D graphics accelerator
- NEON floating-point accelerator
- 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers
- USB client for power & communications
- USB host
- 2x 46 pin headers
- Ångström Linux
- Cloud9 IDE on Node.js w/ BoneScript library plus much more
Where the Beaglebone Black really shines is I/O support.
- 3 I2C buses
- CAN bus
- SPI bus
- 4 timers
- 5 serial ports
- 65 GPIO pins
- 8 PWM outputs
- 7 analog inputs (1.8V max 12 bit A/D converters)
One-Wire on the Beaglebone
PWM on the Beaglebone
The Adafruit ProtoPlate is a great way to experiment with the I/O capabilities of the Beaglebone Black. We have used one of these for the Arduino and they are really handy for relatively small breadboard circuits.
- Latest images
- Smaller BBB Debian image (500K)
- Getting started
- Writing a new Image to the Beaglebone Black
- Installing OS
- NULLCape - Good place to read to understand CAPE I2C connection
- Hipster Circuits - Other than the name of the site, a great place for all things BBB
- BBB FAQ - A good place to start and a good general reference
- Beagleboard site
- Comparison between the Beaglebone Black and Raspberry Pi boards
- Beaglebone Black Wiki
- BeagleBone PRU Notes
- Using the Beaglebone PRU to achieve realtime at low cost
- Adafruit BBB Tutorials
- Beaglebone capes
- Fixing HDMI video
- Force BBB to boot the way you want it to boot
- To make the BBB boot from the SD card instead of the eMMC, just delete the MLO file (link).