New in the Maker Shed: BeagleBoard BeagleBone

Computers & Mobile Technology
New in the Maker Shed: BeagleBoard BeagleBone

The BeagleBoard BeagleBone has just arrived in the Maker Shed in a limited quantity. It’s a low cost, high-expansion, hardware-hacker focused BeagleBoard for people that love embedded Linux systems. The ‘Bone is basically a bare bones BeagleBoard and can run alone as a full-featured Linux machine and development environment. It can also act as a peripheral or expansion for your current computer or regular BeagleBoard by connecting via USB or Ethernet. The BeagleBone is small even by BeagleBoard standards and with high-performance ARM capabilities, the BeagleBone brings full-featured Linux (Angstrom) to places it has never gone before.

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  • Board size: 3.4″ x 2.1″
  • TI AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8-based microprocessor.
  • Shipped with 2GB microSD card with the Angstrom Distribution with node.js and Cloud9 IDE
  • Single cable development environment with built-in FTDI-based serial/JTAG and on-board hub to give the same cable simultaneous access to a USB device port on the target processor
  • Industry standard 3.3V I/Os on the expansion headers with easy-to-use 0.1″ spacing
  • On-chip Ethernet, not off of USB
  • Easier to clone thanks to larger pitch on BGA devices (0.8mm vs. 0.4mm), no package-on-package memories, standard DDR2 vs. LPDDR, integrated USB PHYs and more.
  • Future expansion cards will add additional functionality (like DVI and HDMI output)
  • NOTE: Requires USB A to Mini B cable for programming.


10 thoughts on “New in the Maker Shed: BeagleBoard BeagleBone

  1. Justin St. Giles Payne says:

    So, can I poll a switch? Turn an LED on and off? Or do I need to plug an Arduino into it before its effective as a hobbyist physical computing platform?

    1. Romilly Cocking says:

      Yes, you can poll a switch or blink a led, and no, you don’t need an arduino.

  2. Rex Staehly says:

    Two words Raspberry Pi

    1. Paul Beech says:

      While the Raspi does have a lot of overlap with the ‘Bone and costs less, this board is more suited for a certain applications.

      Mainly those that need a beefier CPU (ARM11 vs Cortex-A8), many many more IO pins, and a better documented chip and mainboard layout (the Raspi should catch up with this in the near future)

  3. Jamie Laing says:

    I just got my BeagleBone in the mail, and I’m a little disappointed to find there is basically nada out there in terms of example code.  The Cloud9 concept is great, but I can’t find anything about attaching servos, reading pins, or any of the basic stuff.  I may have been spoiled by the Arduino. I will keep looking!

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I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.

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