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Pocket Beagle first impressions


#1

I received my 2 Pocket Beagles from DigiKey a few days ago. I got the sd card built using the Etcher utility and the latest Debian image. It took about 30 or 45 minutes to get it booted up. https://beagleboard.org/latest-images

I am using NodeRed with the addition Modbus nodes to communicate with a device over a serial port. So far it works perfectly. I found out by accident that UART 0 dumps data out at bootup. This initially messed with my Modbus connection. Once I moved to a different UART it worked. (In regards to NodeRed the BBB specific nodes are not showing up even though it shows them installed. Most likely due to ‘/sys/devices/platform/bone_capemgr/slots’ missing. That is a question for a different forum altogether.) For more info on NodeRed: http://nodered.org

The device really needs a network connection. Trying to get the Internet connection working thru the USB port took some work. I found help here: http://ofitselfso.com/BeagleNotes/HowToConnectBeagleboneBlackToTheInternetViaUSB.php

Questions:
Can the built-in Cloud9 IDE compile C?

Does anyone have suggestions for wired (preferred) or wireless ethernet?

EDIT: I see there is new info on the FAQ page regarding Ethernet connection using mikroBus Click.

It will be interesting to see what additional accessories or “capes” people come up with.


#2

As you have discovered, there is a lot more info to come and we are talking/working with the org on many things to come round the amazing PocketBeagle.


#3

When I first purchased the PocketBeagle I had no idea that it worked out of the box with the mikroBus Click modules. I was able to order the correct headers and Ethernet Click module and I got it up and running in less than an hour.

I put a little more documentation here for the next person who goes down this road.
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/beagleboard/GGhpOK-i5-4/jMHeUSDdBgAJ


#4

Looks nice but the click module is not so cheap. For Ethernet I would consider to use an USB Ethernet adapter with the Pocket Beagle or perhaps the beaglebone green which besides Ethernet has 4GB eMMC flash storage.
https://beagleboard.org/green


#5

I agree the Click module is not cheap. However, I am eyeing this for more of an industrial application. I am not a big fan of dongles and plugs like USB that don’t lock in an industrial environment. It also provides an option when considering building an application specific carrier board for the PocketBeagle. However, the benefits of the just mounting the BGA package on a custom board might outweigh the simplicity of plugging in the PocketBeagle. I have never reflowed BGA’s here in my office so I am a little nervous.


#6

I agree as well. Every application has its own pros and cons. Please keep us informed about the long term stability of the tcp connection of the ENC28J60 in combination with the Pocket Beagle. I’m still struggling with unexpected hangs (once in a week or two) in a G120/ENC28J60 setup where I cannot yet definitely find the reason (code? driver? firmware? hardware?)


#7

:cry::cry::cry::cry:

So SPI ethernet chips work? That’s good to know.


#8

Yes, it does. You can get more info here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/beagleboard/GGhpOK-i5-4/jMHeUSDdBgAJ

It obviously not as fast as built-in ethernet or even USB ethernet dongle but for most applications, I think it is more than adequate.


#9

With Gigabit ethernet , or 802.11AC 7200 dongles, there are plenty of inexpensive options to max out the I/O of the device. This is kinda why I’m glad it doesn’t have any ethernet or wifi options. The SD card only option is a little disappointing, but given the advent of industrial SD cards it’s not such a deal breaker anymore. besides, you could prob load the entire OS into ram and never touch the SD card again. Or you could prob boot load an os off the network (or even the cloud).