Archive for the Beaglebone Black Category

Good support at

Posted in Beaglebone Black, CROSS COMPILING on October 18, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

The team at sorted the access to the user LED on the BBB but an interesting problem or two.

The code does not run on the embedded Angstrom that came with my BBB.

The new BBB come with Debian and apparently the LED are set up differently between the distros.

Additionally, while I could scp the cross compiled binary to my Angstrom, using a cygwin terminal, it wouldn’t work the same way when I had the Debian SD card in.

I found that I could SSD SCP from my TeraTerm to the Debian distro however.

So I was able to run the blinking demo from gobot on the Debian distro.

I just have to be brave and bomb the Debian onto the BBB.

Case closed.

So the showdown

Posted in Beaglebone Black, cheap obsolete tech, Embedded, ODROID-W, Open Source can be professional on September 28, 2014 by asteriondaedalus
No competition, really.  Grown up board for serious work vs a primary skool diddling board

No competition, really. Grown up board for serious work vs a primary skool diddling board

First BBB (the other Creative Commons offering) vs Raspberry Pi.  Say no more.  More grunt, more I/O, better connectivity.  Apparently looses out (only) because 1) cannot connect to an old analog television (who still has one of those?) 2) only has 1 usb port (well done Raspberry Pi, woo hoo) 3) and is scary for beginners (there there little gimp, you can upgrade to BBB when you are ready).  [[PS: you can actually get to the analog video if you have to]]

So ODROID-W vs Rasberry Pi.

Same Creative Commons hardware design base?  Only from the point of view of same SOC.

Same reliance on free OS and free software applications.

Smaller footprint for embedded rather than (so-called) PC applications.

Match box vs Credit Card size

Match box vs Credit Card size

Comes with more on it (but there is a twist):

How did they do it?

How did they do it?

What is actually missing off there picture is that ODROID-W sort of addresses a short coming with Raspberry Pi by also adding eMMC – but this is somewhat knobbled because the Broadcomm chip that RPF chose is somewhat a slug here and you only get a 10% improvement in speed.  But, you still have that option.

Now you only get one USB host port, much the same as BBB … but there is still the twist to come.

Now the twist, you don’t really get Ethernet until you add a base board.

The base board

The base board

Now voila!  With base board you get ethernet and four USB ports – better than Pi or BBB – so likely no need for USB hub at all.  You don’t have to have the baseboard with the LCD if you don’t wanna 😉

So, baseboard without LCD $20, with $30.  So more expensive than Pi?  Well not if you include RTC, UPS, ADC and fuel gauge, and four USB instead of two (so take off price of USB hub) AND an LCD.

Sad fact.  You still can’t connect to that old analogue television that you don’t have anyway 😦  You’ll have to settle for the LCD 😉

Now, I don’t myself think what I want this for is to build my own Smart Watch …

No, no, never, never no watch

No, no, never, never no watch

… lest Steve Wozniak make a Youtube about it.

Rather, the matchbox format means more horse power on smaller robotics platforms – way cheaper than the original trendsetters at Gumstix.  All of the Gumstix base boards (not the computer modules) are Creative Commons for you to use in making up your own designs for baseboards – striking an interesting balance.  But still, emphasizing that the hardware design is the thing that is open and encourages your own implementations.

Tini! But who can use those board connectors.  Makers need 2.54 mm!

Tini! But who can use those board connectors. Makers need 2.54 mm!

Just to help you out the GOR (Gumstix to ODROID-W to Raspberry Pi ratio) is:

Squeezy, not so Squeezy, Obese

Squeezy, not so Squeezy, Obese

Mind you, once you put your Gumstix onto a baseboard, so you get your 2.54mm spacings, you are back up to at least ODROID-W footprint.

What?  Yeah, you put the base on the ODROID-W and it takes up more room – but it doesn’t necessarily need the base for embedded work does it.  Options are good right!

Final Say

And taking on board what a couple of commentators have already said.

Raspberry Pi relies heavily on opensource software but muddied the water by asking owners to pay for CODECS.   Obviously, ODROID-W leans on same Linux sources – doesn’t everyone?

Pi wouldn’t be so cheap if it used a more accessible SOC – it could have been the BBB, but it wasn’t.

The chip selection will break Pi anyway.  Unless RPF really get into bed with Broadcom they will need to change out the SOC and likely not have the price edge.

One commentator noted, and I tend to agree, the prior art in the design of the Raspberry Pi is so heavily driven by the Broadcom chip itself that your only “art” is the arrangement of the components on the board.

Now, if the board layout is the principle art being brought in, and the board components around the SOC have varied, as they have done for ODROID-W, then there is no bleating that is plausible that the ODROID-W was a sleazy copy on the backs of RPF.

There is sufficient new art in the ODROID-W design, layout, use of components etc. that the Raspberry Pi has no more claim than any PC mother board manufacturer has, on any other, just because they all use the same INTEL/AMD cpu or companion INTEL/AMD chips.

This argument will be lost on Raspboobies I am afraid.

Erlang on BBB

Posted in Beaglebone Black, ConCurrency, Embedded, Erlang on September 17, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

So, tried to set up nerves-sdk on my 64bit Debian box.  Had trouble sourcing i386 libraries so I chickened out and jumped on my 32bit Debian box.

32bitSlow build but I got a linux image for the BBB cross compiled with erlang and elixir (no less) so I will look at putting the image on a card to see if the thing took.  I need to get an FDDI serial cable for my BBB to talk to the erlang onboard so soon.

Go not so Go

Posted in Beaglebone Black, ConCurrency, Go Language on September 14, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Well, I tried the flashing led example at Gobot for bbb.

It seems they left out a little bit of information, you actually have to add an LED (it doesn’t use one of the four USER LED provided on the board).

By the time I poured over the driver source I worked out that it does in fact leave out the USER LED.  There is no mapping function of the pin numbers to the ball grid on the bbb SOC chip described in the source so I am waiting on feedback as I think the driver needs a little mod to allow the four USER LED to be accessed.

Otherwise, code cross-compiled on my windoze 7 box and seemed to happily run on bbb (it printed debug info to the terraterm console).

So, looking forward to playing a little more in that space in between doing my Master’s Dissertation.


The chaps at Gobot have heard my suggestion and produced a dev stream to talk to the USER LED.  Thanks guys!

Go Language and BeagleBone Black

Posted in Beaglebone Black, Embedded, Go Language on August 31, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

Go figure.

Go language examples at Gobot leave out few pieces.

You have to have gcc in your path so I installed Mingw-W64 and ran the beaglebone examples from the bat file the install leaves behind (which sets the path etc.).

Couldn’t seem to get the GoClipse environment to build the example so still work to go there.