Tag Archives: BeagleBone

Dumb things I did today

So today I spent a couple of hours messing around with my BeagleBone Black. The purpose of this exercise was to relearn some old electronic skills (circuit design) and teach myself something about how the BeagleBone Black can be programmed. The goal was pretty simple, wire a BeagleBone Black to three LEDs and a light sensor. With full light, the Green LED is lit, if the sensor is shaded the Yellow comes on and if the light is turned off, the Red LED lights. Anyone who is actually interested in the wiring and python code involved, let me know and I will provide you with a more detailed  information, otherwise I am simply going to leave at a short demo.

BeagleBone Black

I really liked the Raspberry Pi (RPi), it was useful for a variety of little projects, it even hosted this website for several months until I migrated it to a more robust system. There really was my problem with the RPi, it was not powerful enough, the 700Mhz processor was weak for anything requiring more than a command line script. For Christmas this year, PezWitch bought me a BeagleBone Black (BBB) along with some must have accessories.

The BBB has several advantages over the RPi, a 1 Ghz processor, which makes it usable as a desktop system, although it is a bit slow for a modern computer. It also has 2 GB of eMMC flash memory built onto the board for booting the OS from, Leaving the Micro SSD for storage. What stopped me in my tracks and made me go WOW, was when I was looking at the instructions and realized I could plug it into my computer with a USB cable and then I could access the BBB through the USB port, the BBB emulates a network connection via USB. So while I could not hook it up to a monitor (it had a Micro HDMI connector and I had no adapter), I could secure shell (SSH) into the BBB and set it up via a command line. To say the least I was hooked.


So yesterday, we went out for the Micro HDMI adapter and we stopped at Radio Shack, I decided I wanted to grab a small Breadboard and a hand full of miscellaneous electronic doodads, capacitors, resisters, LEDS, usually you can get a kit for like $30. When we got there, they had a Maker Magazine kit “Getting Started with BeagleBone Black“. The kit comes with a BBB, a small breadboard and miscellaneous electronic doodads. If you go to the link, it lists for $120, well Radio Shack had it priced at $80, not bad, so I grabbed it up. When I got to the counter the nice lady rang it up and said $34 (rounded up, it was actually 33 and some change), being an honest man, I spoke up and said this was priced considerably higher than that over on the shelf. She said, Oh we are having a sale today, Oh Okay was my response and I went on with my day. When I checked the receipt when I got home it showed the original price as $45 and she had discounted it 25% and then of course sales tax was added. I realized at that moment that Radio Shack was a victim of its minimum wage workers. Someone mis-priced the kit in the computer system and later the clerk basically didn’t care enough to check on the error.

The moral of the story is, labor as with anything, you get what you pay for.