I have decided to have a go at electronics. This seems like a good idea, since it is fun, practical, interesting and when I was at university I got good grades for it.
I’ve bought a Beaglebone Black development board and a Arduino Nano clone.I bought both because they work very differently, and I want to see how they compare. The Beaglebone Black board has a 1 GHz (1000 MHz) ARM processor, runs LInux, and has 92 connection points in two header blocks. The Arduino Nano has a 16 MHz processor of a much simpler design, has no operating system at all, only the smallest piece of built-in software to load my programs. Both connect to my PC using a USB cable, and make it easy to set them up.
I have also bought a copy of the book ‘Exploring Beaglebone’ by Derek Molloy, which explains clearly how to correctly attach things to Beaglebone Black. The board is a very expensive and sensitive beast. I also acquired some free stickers from Logic Supply. The instructions said to print on labels, but I obtained good results using regular paper and some glue. Because the connectors are now labelled, it is much harder to connect to the wrong pin.
Finally, I downloaded a copy of the software ‘Putty’ and ‘WinSCP’ to control the Beaglebone Black. Using this software I can copy files between the PC and the Beaglebone Black, and also run a Linux terminal.