Beaglebone!

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Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:46 pm

Thought people might be interested in this little puppy: http://beagleboard.org/bone
For people too lazy to click the link, it is a small board powered by a ARM Cortex A8 (720MHz peak) and 256MB RAM. It comes with Angstrom Linux preloaded on a microSD card.
The distro also comes preloaded with perl, python, gcc etc and even Cloud9 javascript IDE. All you need to do is connect to your computer using a single USB cable, and install some drivers and voila, you are connected to its console.
Alternately, you can get a cheap 5V power supply, connect it via ethernet to your router, and you can ssh into it (ssh is enabled by default, no configuration necessary). This is what I have done.

For the hardware hacker types, it also comes with a lot of connectors with some daughter boards and accessories in development.
For others (like me), it is an easy and fun way to play with an ARM board.
It does have a free USB port, not sure if you can say connect a hard drive to it.
codedivine
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:42 pm

Are there advantages to this board vs. the Raspberry Pi? The Pi's going to be quite a bit cheaper, at least for the motherboard.
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:32 pm

The small ARM boards are beginning to explode. I've got a PandaBoard at work running QNX but Linux is supported on it as well. My manager bought one for everyone on the team because they were only $170 and that's worth the productivity increase in having a board sitting there that you can futz around on and get your stuff working properly.
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:34 pm

codedivine wrote:Thought people might be interested in this little puppy: http://beagleboard.org/bone
For people too lazy to click the link, it is a small board powered by a ARM Cortex A8 (720MHz peak) and 256MB RAM. It comes with Angstrom Linux preloaded on a microSD card.


If it's like other TI processors that microSD card is specifically formatted so that the processor ROM boot code knows that it is a boot-able device. Also the UBL and U-boot (MLO and Eboot for CE) are written specific locations on the SD card, if you write over them with new versions your fine. If you delete and then copy the new boot loader files to the SD card it will not boot until you reuse the tools on the SD card.

codedivine wrote:The distro also comes preloaded with perl, python, gcc etc and even Cloud9 javascript IDE. All you need to do is connect to your computer using a single USB cable, and install some drivers and voila, you are connected to its console.
Alternately, you can get a cheap 5V power supply, connect it via ethernet to your router, and you can ssh into it (ssh is enabled by default, no configuration necessary). This is what I have done. For the hardware hacker types, it also comes with a lot of connectors with some daughter boards and accessories in development. For others (like me), it is an easy and fun way to play with an ARM board.
It does have a free USB port, not sure if you can say connect a hard drive to it.


It looks like it is USB host so a harddrive should connect fine or a thumb drive it will depend on if the drivers are loaded on to support USB storage. The thing I'm not a big fan of is the USB/serial/JTAG over the same port but for the price I guess it's ok. The expansion boards might make it more accessible but at that point it might be cheaper just to get a Beagleboard.

All and all a neat board.

If your looking for something very small these might fit the bill as well:
http://www.gumstix.com/
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:51 pm

bthylafh wrote:Are there advantages to this board vs. the Raspberry Pi? The Pi's going to be quite a bit cheaper, at least for the motherboard.


Raspberry Pi uses a slower CPU than this board. Other than that, Pi has quite a few advantages such as builtin video-out.
Beagle Bone does not have a video-out builtin, you will need to buy an extra board for that.
However, Pi is not available yet but should be soon.
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:37 am

tfp wrote:If it's like other TI processors that microSD card is specifically formatted so that the processor ROM boot code knows that it is a boot-able device. Also the UBL and U-boot (MLO and Eboot for CE) are written specific locations on the SD card, if you write over them with new versions your fine. If you delete and then copy the new boot loader files to the SD card it will not boot until you reuse the tools on the SD card.

In my experience it's more the partitioning of the card, particularly setting the heads/cylinders/sectors correctly as per http://code.google.com/p/beagleboard/wi ... DiskFormat
After formatting as FAT32 make sure that MLO is the first thing copied, then uboot, then you can copy everything else. I imagine if you delete and recopy they might end up in later slots in the FAT and the TI bootloader only looks at the first few.

One other requirement I have found that doesn't seem to be documented anywhere else is that the partition needs to end on an odd numbered cylinder as it starts on cylinder 1 so that it is an even number of cylinders. If it is not then you will get a "+" on the end of the size when printing it out and the processor will refuse to boot. The way that if anything is slightly wrong the board just does absolutely nothing on boot makes troubleshooting infuriating, but I guess their boot loader is just too tiny to do decent error reporting.
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:51 pm

I'm more familiar to WinCE on OMAP. They have a windows based tool that will format and do the copies as needed, I'm sure in Linux a few commands will cover what the gui tools does for you.

Yeah the boot ROM in the processor is really small and doesn't really give any info if it fails to find the MLO which can be annoying. Freescale and Atmel are basically the same with that as well.
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Re: Beaglebone!

Postposted on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:40 am

Neat, for only $89, I'm thinking of ordering one of those BeagleBone's from mouser.com...

Whereas it can be used for a simple web server, I'm thinking something a bit more challenging, perhaps "In-vehicle entertainment and monitoring"?

Anyone have any good DIY/ARM-board project sites that have some examples of these being used in-vehicle?
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